Hiking boots, like hikers, come in many shapes and varieties. If you’re new to hiking, comparing Keen hiking boots and other brands can be overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be a problematic shopping experience, nor should it be. It should be enjoyable. Finding the right boots will help you have the most enjoyable outdoor adventures possible, so don’t overlook the purchase decision.
You need to consider comfort, first and foremost. Sure, you want to listen to the experts and their buying tips. But if the boots don’t fit well or aren’t comfortable for long durations of use, don’t buy them. Apart from this, you have to consider where you’re hiking, ankle support, stability, and material finishes. The details, look, and designs, aren’t nearly as important as quality, so make sure that’s the top priority. Get ready for your next hiking day trip or weekend adventure with a great pair of Keen hiking boots.
Types of Keen Hiking Boots
Deciding on the type of Keen hiking boots to purchase is the first step in the decision-making process. Hikers have to determine where they’ll be hiking to choose the right boots. Depending on trails, and whether they’re muddy, dry, or uneven terrains, the best boots will differ in each situation. Experience levels also factor into your decision. These are a few options to consider when choosing hiking boots.
Light hiking boots
Lightweight hiking boots cut back on the bulk and eliminate unnecessary weight. It’s important to consider the grip, tread depth, and outsole materials when choosing lightweight boots. When deciding on Keen hiking boots in this category, hikers should also compare joggers. Especially if you are doing off-trail hiking and jogging, there are combination hiking boots available. The lighter the hiking boot, the easier it is to mobilize on paths.
A mountaineering boot is insulated, waterproof, and is great for wet, icy, and snowy hiking conditions. These Keen hiking boots will keep feet warm, dry, and stable, on uneven hiking terrains. The shoes also provide better grounding and feature synthetic insulation to help keep feet warm.
These boots are for backpackers. When you are carrying a heavy backpack or hiking on longer trails, these boots provide greater stability for hikers. They’re also more comfortable to wear for longer hiking day trips. These Keen hiking boots typically feature insulation and some waterproofing features.
Keen Hiking Boots Components
Hiking boots feature an upper, midsole, and an outsole. When comparing Keen hiking boots, it’s important to consider material finishes in each of these three areas. A one-piece upper is durable, breathable, and provides hikers flexibility. The materials are suede, synthetic, or leather finishes. This portion of the boot covers the upper part of the foot. So hikers need to choose something breathable and comfortable. Also, depending on weather, the material should adjust accordingly for hot and cold temperatures.
The midsole is available in EVA (ethel vinyl acetate) or PU (polyurethane) materials. EVA is light and breathable. The other options offer great shock absorption but are typically a little warmer. TPR is a thermoplastic material. It’s light and durable but is has petroleum chemicals in the insole. So, some hikers aren’t keen on this material.
Keen Hiking Boots Materials – Leather Vs. Synthetic
Hikers also have to decide between Keen hiking boots with leather or synthetic material finishes. Heavy, water-resistant leather features Gore-Tex or other layers of protection. On the flip side, they’re bulkier, not as comfortable, and not as breathable as synthetic. But of course, synthetic boots are light, comfortable to hike in and feature a soft insole.
Each hiker has to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of both materials, to find the best fit. Or, they can choose one pair of each, for different hiking trails they’ll tackle.
Features of the Best Keen Hiking Boots
When comparing hiking boots, it’s important to consider the features that are most important on hiking trails. Some things for hikers to look for when buying Keen hiking boots include:
- Comfort and stability on uneven grounds, wet or muddy grounds, and terrains
- Traction and tread depth to dig into the hiking trails easily
- Lightweight materials and breathability
- Water-resistant finish or coating
- Durability, and quality material finishes
Every hiking boot has its distinct features setting it apart from others. So finding the perfect pair may require some hunting. But you’re sure to find the perfect fit for you.
The Best Keen Hiking Boots
There are several great pairs of Keen hiking boots. These are a few of the top options in low, mid, and hi-top varieties, for hikers to consider purchasing.
Targhee II Hiking Shoe
The boot features an EVA insole, padding on the tongue, and a pull-tab making it easy to put the shoes on. The leather exterior ensures the boots will withstand difficult outdoor hiking conditions. The low-top height and lightweight 15-ounce finish is a nice feature for longer hiking trails.
The hiking shoe has a two-inch heel. This design makes it easier to step on the wet or muddy ground. And, the shoes also feature deep tread patterns. This design makes it easy for hikers to dig their feet into damp or muddy trails easily.
Keen Oakridge Shoe
This hiking shoe features a leather finish and rubber outsole. The low-top cut is perfect for mobility and allows hikers to move quickly on trails. There’s a mesh top finish, making the shoe highly breathable in warm conditions.
The shoe also features a waterproof exterior, so feet remain dry in rainy or snowy hiking conditions. A protective toe cap is also a nice feature. It protects toes from injury if hikers kick branches or something hard on the hiking trail.
Keen Targhee EXP
The hiking shoe has a leather and textile finish. The upper material is durable and breathable. So, hikers won’t feel overly hot in warmer hiking conditions.
They feature a rubber sole. There’s also an interior liner in this hiking shoe to help increase comfort levels. At about one-pound per shoe, they’re relatively light.
Keen Targhee II Mid
Like the low-cut version, the Targhee II is also a favorite mid-ankle hiking boot by Keen. They are waterproof and feature nubuck, upper finish. The leather is durable and is more breathable than some other materials. The rubber outsole and wide 12.5-inch opening around the calf make the boots comfortable for extensive use.
The tongue and collar feature additional padding to increase comfort, and the boot also has an easy pull-on heel. The pull tab design makes it easy to put the boots on and take them off after use.
The boots feature leather and mesh finishes throughout the shoe. The mesh material creates a breathable upper portion, so hikers are comfortable in all weather conditions. The heel-lock design prevents the boot from moving when hikers are in compromising situations.
The rubber outsole is durable, and padding around the tongue helps further increase comfort levels. The Keen hiking boots are also water-resistant so that you won’t get soaking wet in rainy hiking conditions.
Keen Gypsum II Hiking Boots
This hi-top Keen boot features a leather and textile material finish. The boot has a rubber sole. The shaft measures five inches from the arch. The lace-up system allows hikers to tighten the boots or loosen them, for the highest levels of comfort.
The boots are also breathable, with mesh paneling throughout. The tongue and collar feature padding to help increase interior comfort along the ankles and calves. An upper pull loop also makes it easier for hikers to put the boots on, especially if they are wearing thicker hiking socks.
Keen Durand Waterproof Boot
The Keen hiking boots feature a leather upper finish and synthetic sole. The shaft measures 5.75 inches from the heel, providing plenty of high arch support. A PU heel cushion also increases bounceability, so hikers feel comfortable when hiking long trails.
The dry, proprietary, waterproof material on the exterior, also keeps hikers’ feet dry on the inside of the boot. Keen’s metatomical footbed, also conforms to the hiker’s feet.
Keen Revel III Hiking Boot
The boots feature a waterproof, nubuck leather upper. They have a rubber sole and shaft measures about six inches from the arch. The lace-up boot system is simple to put on and take off. It features a small loop at the back of the boot. This tab makes it easier for owners wearing thicker socks to put them on quickly.
The Keen waterproof membrane exterior is waterproof, so feet stay dry in all hiking conditions. The padding on the collar and around the ankles also helps increase wearability and comfort.
Our Verdict: The Best Low, mid, and Hi-Top Keep Hiking Boots
There are several Keen hiking boots to select. Regardless of experience levels, you need to consider fit, comfort, and protection when deciding on a pair of boots. If you’re buying low cut boots, the Targhee II boots. They feature a leather finish, a rubber sole, and two-inch outsole heel. Torsion stability, an ESS shank, and the pull-tongue design make it easy to put the boots on. They are lightweight, at about 15 ounces for each shoe. The boots also feature an EVA double-mold insole, for additional comfort.
For those purchasing mid-ankle boots, the best option is the Keen Voyager. The boot features a leather and mesh finish. The upper mesh creates a breathable fit and increases comfort levels in warm conditions. The boots also have a rubber sole, and waterproofing exterior finish. So, hikers stay dry, in wet and muddy hiking conditions on the trail. A contour-heel lock design also prevents the boot from shifting when moving. This feature helps increase comfort levels for hikers.
If you’re looking for hi-top ankle boots, the best product is the Gypsum II hiking boot. This boot is comfortable and features a leather exterior finish. It also features textile patterns throughout, which help increase the breathability of the boots. They feature a hi-top finish that extends above the ankle. This design helps minimize injuries and prevents hikers from turning their ankles. The padding, insole, and additional comfort features, also make the boots comfortable for long periods of use.
No matter which boot you choose, be sure to have fun enjoying nature.