Made of lightweight materials. They don't have much top-of-the-foot coverage so they're mostly suitable for well-maintained trails and summer hikes. Also useful for crossing rivers and streams. They come in open and closed-toe designs. See the best hiking sandals.
The low-cut equivalent of hiking boots. Comfort is paramount in the creation of these shoes so they often have flexible materials. Generally used for day hikes. See hiking shoes.
Mid to high-cut models designed for more aggressive hikes and backpacking. See hiking boots.
Specialized footwear. Often insulated and used in technical routes, ice climbing or expeditions. See mountaineering boots.
Good to know
For hikes that won't last for more than a day, go with hiking sandals or hiking shoes. Tackling trails with greater challenges will require hiking boots or mountaineering boots.
For multi-day trips with a heavy pack. Manufacturers emphasize durability and support in the creation of backpacking boots. See backpacking boots
Designed for users who want to cover a greater distance by going fast, usually with a light pack. See speed hiking shoes.
Boots that grant insulation to the user during hikes. See winter hiking boots.
Mainly sandals. Aside from hiking they can be used for other purposes such as water activities. See multi-sport hiking sandals.
Good to know
Casual hikers can choose day hiking footwear or multi-sport sandals. More info here.
Shoes with a cuff that goes below the ankle. See low-cut hiking shoes.
Good to know
Generally, for trails that are easy to tackle, go with low-cut shoes. Go mid to high if there are more trail obstacles.
Experts are hikers, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.
Are you an expert? Apply to contribute here.
60 / 100 based on 1 expert reviews
The Summit County is a winter hiking boot that will appeal most to those with wide feet.
Updates to Keen Summit County
- The newly updated Keen Summit County has some notable improvements and changes over the previous model—the Summit County III. It still sports a leather upper with Keen.Dry for waterproofing, though when compared with the past edition, its ankle shaft has a more synthetic construction.
- Getting a personalized fit in this refreshed version is as straightforward as before. That said, the boot now has an extra layer of fit customization thanks to the ankle-hugging pair of lace loops placed just above the boot’s instep line.
- For thermal insulation, this boot still uses the proprietary technology Keen.Warm. Over its predecessor, this iteration has more toe insulation at 450 g. Its upper region, however, has seen a slight decrease in warming—from 400 g to 300 g.
Keen Summit County size and fit
Keen’s Summit County is a high-cut, men’s winter hiking boot with an adequately true-to-size fit and standard width. It is offered in a number of whole and half sizes. Its lace-up closure, with its ankle-hugging lace loops, provides a personalized lockdown. The boot’s pull tabs—one on the tongue and the other on the back of the heel—provide on-and-off assistance.
What grants wearers grip over snowy ground is the Summit County’s dual-climate rubber outsole. Also known as Keen.DCR, this rubber layer stiffens in cold weather to provide grip over hard snow. Its low-profile, V-shaped lugs have toothy angles to bite into soft surfaces. Lugs are also seen along the sides of the sole for extra traction when performing lateral maneuvers. In addition, this outsole has ridged heel and forefoot zones to assist wearers in their ascents and descents.
The footwear’s toe guard is the outsole’s extension called Keen.Protect. Marked with the eye-catching exclamation point logo, this rubber bumper shields wearers from bumpy hazards as much as it protects them from frontal impacts.
Ensuring wearers remain protected over treacherous terrain is the boot’s hefty midsole. This rubber-like platform is made of ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) to which the midsole owes its lasting durability, weight resilience, and not to mention, low-temperature resistance.
For additional underfoot comfort and thermal insulation, Keen engineers gave the boot a removable thermal heat shield footbed. It is made up of three layers—a wooly top for cushioning, a supportive middle, and a heat-harnessing bottom barrier. This insulating insole is designed to keep the warmness of the boot’s interior inside while the biting cold outside.
The Keen Summit County’s above-the-ankle upper is a combination of synthetic fabric and waterproof nubuck leather. The protective band (the boot’s version of rubber rand) located at the base of the upper and the shellback heel support are both synthetic, with the latter closely resembling rubber plastic.
When it comes to protecting users from wet elements, this shoe is imbued with a waterproofing technology exclusively by Keen called Keen.Dry. It is a membrane within the bootie of the footwear that also wicks away moisture from the inside. What keeps feet all nice and warm, on the other hand, is the internal component referred to as Keen.Warm. This insulation technology is made of charcoal bamboo.
The Summit County’s lockdown system is comprised of synthetic round laces, lace tunnels, and open hooks. Its pair of lace loops located just above the instep is part of the boot’s ankle-hugging overlay. Stitched to the mid-center of the tongue is a lace keeper which is made of the same synthetic material as the ankle lace loops.
- Charcoal bamboo, more commonly known as bamboo charcoal, is made up of pieces of oven-burnt bamboo. Treating fabric with charcoal bamboo gives it thermal insulation of up to 10 degrees Celsius.