Whether you’re spotting or moving your traction, overlanding can involve getting in and out of a vehicle often. When you’re out of the vehicle, it’s typically not to stretch your legs. Instead, you’re probably standing at a slant on a rock slab or in a puddle of muck.
For overlanding or even car camping, your choice of footwear should match your plans and desire for comfort. Once you reach your destination, you’ll want shoes up to the task of exploring your surroundings. Another pair of shoes can act as a backup if one gets too muddy or sandy, but also can serve as comfort-minded driving shoes and be worn around your latest base camp.
Columbia designers took this into consideration when developing the Landroamer footwear collection. Your options include lace-up, mid-height hiking boots, pull-on boots for when you still need coverage and weather protection, and slip-ons for easier days behind the wheel and after.
Bundled together, you’ve got a quiver of shoes ready to tackle just about any outdoor scenario.
We had Columbia product manager Ryan Bucci walk us through the Landroamer shoes, which, combined with Columbia’s Landroamer apparel, offer head-to-toe options for adventuring by car, truck, van, or other rigs.Explore Columbia’s Landroamer Footwear
Overlanding Footwear Overview
All three Columbia Landroamer shoes are built on the same chassis, with a cushioned midsole, leather uppers, and a heel wrapped with rubber to relieve foot fatigue on long drives. Staying true to the brand’s roots, all three are made to be adventure-ready.
“We made them so they’re great for your end destination. But the journey is just as important and part of the excitement of the adventure,” Bucci said. The shoes should enable you to shake off one spot if it’s not what you want and feel prepared to carry on to the next, he added.
Columbia designers chose full-grain leather for the two boots because it’s tried and true on trails, and its durability is often the most sustainable choice. Similarly, the midsoles use TechLite Live, the latest iteration of the brand’s midsole that incorporates 50% plant-based materials while still providing impact resistance and rebound.
The outsoles are Columbia Omni-Grip, tailored to multi-terrain traction in wet and dry conditions. Cribbing from nature, the soles’ tread “has a gritty texture and a watery shape or flow to it” Bucci said.
Note the added knurling under the midfoot, where other shoes are minimal or slick. Small, 1.5mm lugs provide grip between the larger sections of wider 3.5mm lugs on the shoes’ forefoot and heel.
As you’ll see, Bucci aimed for shoe profiles that are “familiar but fresh.”
Landroamer Explorer Waterproof Boot
Sturdy hiking boots are a popular choice for overlanding because they provide ankle support, good traction, and durability. They are suitable for various terrains, including rocky trails and uneven ground. However, they can feel heavy and bulky while driving.
The Explorer is the closest to a traditional hiking boot among Columbia’s Landroamer footwear, yet uses modern materials and rounded heels for a lighter, sleeker shape.
It’s a waterproof, lace-up boot with metal eyelets and oiled grain leather. The brand’s Omni-Tech waterproof liner provides layers of weather protection while enabling moisture to escape. The uppers are high enough to protect ankles from scrapes and the elements while using the brand’s more modern midsole cushioning and outsole tech.Shop Now
Landroamer Scout Boot
Nestled in the Goldilocks middle of the three shoes is the Scout Chelsea boot. It’s a classic design that’s great for quick changes while on the go, and it won’t stand out on city sidewalks.
The lighter (11.8 oz each) build makes it an option for all-day driving while still providing enough protection and traction for jumping in and out of a truck, clearing a trail, or other light-duty tasks. That’s thanks to the combination of Columbia’s Techlite Live midsole cushioning and all-terrain Omni-Grip rubber outsole.
Lastly, the full-grain leather upper includes webbing around the ankles to help it slide on easily with a light tug on its pull-on tabs.Shop Now
Landroamer Camper Shoe
Any comfort-minded shoes should not interfere with driving while also providing traction — both on your pedals as well as the ground at your overnight destination. Flip-flops aren’t driving shoes, save them for the shower.
Columbia Landroamer Camper shoes can double as “driving shoes” when you don’t plan on getting out of the car often and want to give your feet a rest. They share the same footbed as the other Columbia Landroamer shoes and boots, yet they’re lighter and slip on and off.
The Camper rides on the same outsole and midsoles but changes things up with its suede upper and slip-on tongue. They still have the rounded heel and enough protection over the toe to keep you from stubbing it on any roots or rocks that jump out of nowhere.
Behind the wheel, the shoes’ rounded heels are there to prevent catching on weather mats. Wherever you base your adventure, they offer traction and basic protection to support your campsite wanderings and pre- and post-ride rigging chores.Shop Now
The Landroamer shoes are available in earth tones — green, brown, and black. There’s form-fitting webbing in the uppers with pull-on tabs labeled “Since 1938” as a nod to the brand’s origin. For now, they are only available in men’s sizing.
These driver-friendly takes on outdoor footwear are informed by overlanders and car campers alike. Columbia also makes Landroamer apparel designed with vehicle-based adventures in mind.
Check out the collection and see if it’s a better fit than what’s in your closet.Explore Columbia Landroamer Footwear
This article is sponsored by Columbia. Check out all the Columbia Landroamer apparel and footwear products online.