Columbia Talus Ridge

, April 2, 2012

The Talus Ridge is Columbia’s attempt to fill the gap between lightweight trail running shoes and the heavier, more sturdy walking boot. Capable of perfoming across a range of disciplines and weathers the shoe has been referred to by its manufacturers as the ‘opitamy of trail multi sport’, an apt description for any outdoors shoe.

With many brands trying to hit the gap between the traditional ankle-high boot and the more recent trail shoe, Columbia confronts some stiff competition with this product. In response to their statement that ‘you can walk, jog, scramble and climb in all conditions’ with the shoe, I headed out this winter along canals, across snowy fells and along rock walls to put this shoe through its paces.

In outlining the prominent features of the Talus Ridge, it is worth noting that the shoe is not so light as to be a trail running shoe, nor supported enough to be your traditional walking boot. The weight, caused predominantly by the soul, is vastly compensated by the stability and aggressive traction the soul possess. Easily adjustable lacing and TPU webbing system give a reassuringly lock down around the foot, at no point limiting movement whilst running.  Having tested them on short aggressive runs and long days hiking, I was impressed by the consistent levels of support and comfort they provided.

A few extra features include a shank system in the middle that helps maintain arch position when carrying weight over longer periods, perfect sized laces that won’t irritate the wearer and a desirable colour scheme for all occasions.

The shortcomings of the shoe are few in number but should non the less be considered. The breathability and waterproofing of the shoe is effective, but should not dominate the ones reason for purchase shoes.  Any semi rugged runner will not be able to ensure dry feet, certainly in wet, snowy conditions. This is just as much due to the lack of angle support as the porousness of the material.

Consequently if hiking is your soul intention I would recommend one Columbia’s hiking boot range or the Talus Ridge with ankle support over this particular design.  Secondly the reinforced toe panels, although they vastly improve the versatility of the shoes, they may cause discomfort, certainly in fast jarring decents. My toe nails certainly felt the effect on a couple of occasions.

All in all, a highly recommended shoe for outdoor enthusiasts who like to move at pace across all terrains, or runners who don’t stick to roads, spontaneous bolderers or fell runners who prioritise support and traction over light weight.

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