Reviewed: The Columbia Wayfinder Outdry Hiking Shoe

The Columbia Wayfinder Outdry Hiking shoe is a remarkable blend of style, comfort, support, and performance.  The best way to ensure that you maximize your enjoyment of the great outdoors is to make sure that you have a comfortable pair of shoes.  The Wayfinder Outdry is comfort and more.

Columbia Wayfinder Outdry in Navy and Pool colorway

Why You Should Choose the Columbia Wayfinder Outdry

Columbia loaded the Wayfinder Outdry with modern technological advancements to make sure you are able to get the most out of your next trip in the great outdoors.

Features

OutDry

The OutDry technology is a seamless, breathable membrane that Columbia uses on a lot of its products including rain jackets and rain pants. It’s heat molded to the inside of the shoe to prevent moisture retention.

TechLite

The Techlite midsole is a lightweight cushion for your feet.  It’s breathable and removable.  Techlite absorbs the energy from walking and uses that energy to help your step rebound for more enjoyable hikes.

Omni-Grip

Columbia calls Omni-Grip an advanced traction system that responds to any type of terrain and condition.  No matter where you are headed, Omni-Grip will make sure you are on solid footing.

What To Look For In A Hiking Shoe

When trying to decide on a hiking shoe the number one factor is comfort. If you try the shoe on and it doesn’t feel good it’s not going to work. Period.

After that, you need to decide how it will perform.

Will it slip on your heel?

Will your feet get wet if you step in water?

Does the design of the shoe help prevent injury?

Let’s dig in.

Comfort

The Columbia Wayfinder Outdry is an exceedingly comfortable hiking shoe.  The toe box is roomy and there was no discomfort on the first wear out of the box. 

The shoe runs true to size and cradles the feet.  At 13 ounces, they are light enough to keep you from feeling like you have bricks on your feet.

The heel support is also welcomed and appreciated.

Support and Traction

The shoes hold up extremely well to modest inclines and declines.  The traction is outstanding on wet grass and they eagerly grip slick, muddy clay.  

The shoe construction is also a huge plus. After multiple wears and washes, the stitching is still good as new with no signs of wear.

The one area that can be a concern is ankle support.  Since the Wayfinder is a shoe and not a boot there may be issues for some hikers.  It’s something to consider.

Breathability

Breathability goes right along with comfort.  And the Columbia Wayfinder Outdry performs like an all-star in this department.  

This shoe was tested in Texas in 90-degree heat on sunny days and on cloudy, humid days with no issues.  

Columbia uses features like the breathable mesh overlay and breathable sole to control heat and sweat.  There is no need to worry about overly hot feet with these shoes.

Waterproof

This is where the Wayfinder Outdry really shines. By using the OutDry technology a waterproof membrane is molded to the shoe.  It also comes with a gusseted tongue to keep water out.

Testing found that puddles and rain stood no chance to penetrate the waterproofing. 

Style

Hiking shoes should be rugged, sturdy, and comfortable.  You are only as good as your shoes.

The last thing you want is for your feet to start hurting halfway through a hike. 

However, there is nothing wrong with looking good while feeling good.  

The shoes reviewed here are royal blue with a light blue color called pool and black accents and toe cap.  The laces are also royal and pool.  The outsole is a combination of light and dark gray.  

You can also buy it in a black and grey colorway as well as grey and moss which has more of an earth tone look to it.

Other Uses

The Wayfinder Outdry is designed with adventure in mind.  However, if you are short on adventures and long on errands and DIY projects they will more than hold up to what you ask of them.  

They are over-engineered for yardwork but will be perfect for a long day of mowing and weed eating and other gardening activities.  

If you need to go out to the store in a thunderstorm bring them along.  

They aren’t just a hiking shoe.   They are a do-everything shoe.

Columbia Wayfinder Outdry

Pros

  • Excellent Styling
  • Comfortable
  • Great Support
  • Superb Traction
  • Breathable in hot humid weather.
  • Waterproof
  • Lightweight
  • Great for yard work or daily wear.

Cons

  • Low cut so people needing ankle support may want a hiking boot instead.
We strongly recommend the Columbia Wayfinder Outdry.

The Columbia Wayfinder Outdry is an affordable hiking shoe that outshines its price tag. This shoe is perfect for the novice hiker or the experienced one.

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