One of the best ways to make your weekend more exciting is to go on a hike. But before that happens, you need to be equipped with the proper gear. Get decent shoes for your hike so you can enjoy it to the fullest. Among the options you should consider is a pair of Keen hiking boots.
Advantages of the best Keen hiking boots for men and women
Comfort and fit
It isn’t easy tackling a trail when you’re using uncomfortable and ill-fitting footgear. Keen hiking boots are designed to take care of these concerns so your hike won’t be affected. The brand’s hikers come with a lace-up closure system to lock your foot in place. The cuff and tongue are padded to keep your foot comfy. There’s a pull tab on the tongue and heel for quick on and off.
Keen’s day hiking boots use an upper with mesh panels to ventilate your foot better in warm weather. They also help reduce the footgear’s overall weight to help you hike faster. On the inside, you’ve got a removable footbed to provide underfoot comfort and cushioning. This component uses a special “Metatomical” design to match the natural contours of your foot. These parts all function as one so you’ll have satisfying outdoor experience from your Keen hiking boots.
What can I do to get an exact fit from my Keen hiking boots?
In some cases, ordering a new pair of Keen’s hikers online is more convenient than trying one in a store. Of course, there are some details that you need to be familiar with before finalizing your purchase. Here are some handy tips to know when ordering Keen hiking boots online:
Get the exact width and length of your foot using a measuring tool. Regarding length: once you’ve got the measurements in centimeters, you can refer to the footwear company’s sizing guide.
Keen hiking boots are available for men and
Men’s sizes range from 7 to 17. Women’s hikers start at 5 and top out at 12.
Don’t forget about additional factors when fitting a new pair of Keen hiking boots. Make sure you compensate for the socks on your feet and the extra bulk they add. It’s also best to measure your foot in the afternoon as it swells over the course of a day. The logical move here is to get a boot that’s half a size bigger to eliminate any fitting problems.
Your chosen footwear needs to be tougher than any challenge a trail is going to throw at it. Keen hiking boots are built to last long so you can get your money’s worth from them. The uppers are made from sturdy materials, such as nubuck leather, for improved resistance to abrasion and the elements. Meanwhile, the brand’s day hiking boots use an upper with mesh fabrics. This configuration reduces weight and enhances breathability without compromising durability.
Keen’s hikers are fitted with a heavy-duty carbon rubber outsole that can withstand constant contact with the ground. Meanwhile, the midsole component is made of either a dual-density ethylene-vinyl acetate or poly urethane material. In particular, the Keen Durand’s PU midsole is known to exceed more than a million steps. After conducting various tests, the midsole compressed only three percent compared with typical EVA midsoles which compress at an average rate of 50 percent. This is a testament to the brand’s commitment to deliver Keen hiking boots that are built to last.
Your feet need proper support to compensate for the extra weight you’re carrying during a hike. Keen hiking boots are engineered to grant the support you need while you’re tackling different trail challenges. The brand’s hikers are endowed with a midsole component that cushions and stabilizes your every stride. Most of these midsoles are made of EVA while specific models use polyurethane, or PU. The former is lighter while the latter is more resilient.
Some Keen hiking boots come with a heel-capture system made of thermoplastic urethane, or TPU. This feature locks your heel in place for extra stability. A shank can also be found inside a Keen boot to prevent it from twisting or contorting. On the inside, there’s a double-density EVA footbed that matches the contours of your foot. The combination of EVA and the Metatomical footbed adds support and cushioning to your every step. All of these components work in unison to render competent support to your foot.
There are so many instances you may slip during a hike. A pair of Keen hiking boots is designed to keep your feet planted securely on the ground. They are equipped with non-marking outsoles made of high-performance rubber to render ample traction. An aggressive lug pattern dominates the surface of these outsoles. These 4mm multi-directional lugs bite into varied ground conditions so you won’t slip. The design of these lugs also enables the outsole to shed debris and mud as you move along. All in all, Keen hiking boots deliver sufficient traction so you can move without any worries.
Spending your time outdoors can expose your foot to countless dangers. Keen’s hikers help protect your feet so you can continue on your adventure. For starters, Keen hiking boots come with a prominent rubber toe cap . The outsole curves towards the forefoot section to protect you from stubbing. Select models feature a mud shield on the sides. As the name suggests, this component adds another layer of protection when you tackle a muddy trail. Gusseted tongues are also present in these boots to keep debris out.
The brand’s finest hikers use Keen.Dry technology to keep your feet dry on the trail. This membrane is engineered to prevent water from entering the boot and causing all kinds of trouble there. At the same time, these liners allow perspiration to escape the boot’s interiors before it causes your foot to smell bad. Moreover, select Keen hiking boots are treated with anti-microbial technology to prevent your feet from smelling bad. Thanks to these features, you can hike in peace and have fewer worries to slow you down.
How can I increase the protective abilities of my Keen hiking boots?
There are instances when your footwear’s protective features aren’t enough. Don’t fret because there are certain add-ons you can use to maximize your Keen hiking boots on the trail. Here are two of the most popular options out there.
A pair of gaiters can be a lifesaver if you’re going to hike under rainy weather. This garment is attached over your pants and footwear. They prevent water and debris from entering the opening of your hikers, making them useful during a rainstorm.
Cotton socks aren’t the ideal partner for your Keen hiking boots. If you’re planning to go on a hike, a pair of merino wool socks is your best bet. These socks are excellent in managing excess moisture and hinder your feet from smelling bad. On the other hand, cotton socks trap water, making them detrimental to your hike.
Distinctive qualities of the best men's and women's Keen hiking boots
Keen started out in 2003 to find out if sandals can provide adequate protection to a person’s toes. Martin Keen, the footwear company’s founder, continued to expand from sandals to a wide assortment of outdoor gear products. The brand currently offers footgear designed for casual use, construction, and winter travel, among others.
The performance and protection that Keen hiking boots offer make them a popular choice among expert reviewers and consumers. Likewise, you can easily find one of the brand’s hikers online or in outdoor gear stores. In fact, Keen products are being sold in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia so finding a suitable pair of boots isn’t that hard.
What’s European Made ?
Most of the brand’s products, including Keen hiking boots, are built in their Oregon factory . European Made is an initiative by the footwear company to expand their operation outside of the United States. The plan involves sourcing out materials from all over the world to assemble them in Europe. The result is a line of products, including Keen hiking boots, which caters to the European market.
Noteworthy Keen hiking boot lines
Keen manufactures several hiking boot lines that are classified into different categories. Some models are categorized as lightweight hiking boots while others are meant for backpacking trips. Here are some of the brand’s prominent hikers.
Targhee Mid. The Targhee line is recognized as the brand’s best day hiking boot model. This hiker features a waterproof liner, sturdy upper, and compression-molded midsole to deliver the protection and performance you need. One of the latest offerings is the Targhee III Waterproof Mid.
Voyageur Mid. The Keen Voyageur Mid is similar to the Targhee in most aspects. The only difference between these two boots is the absence of a waterproof liner in the Voyageur. Outdoor enthusiasts prefer these Keen hiking boots for outings in warm weather.
Westward Mid. This particular boot falls under Keen’s European product line. The Westward Mid’s materials are sourced from different parts of the globe and assembled in Europe. The result is a sleek hiking boot that can handle any challenge a trail throws at it.
Durand Mid. This rugged hiker from Keen uses a PU midsole. The midsole’s durability has been tested to last for one million steps, as claimed by the footwear brand. During the tests, the midsole’s compressed at a significantly slower rate its EVA counterparts.
Gypsum. The Keen Gypsum Mid is similar to the Targhee line in almost all qualities. The noticeable differences include a stiffer upper and a more rigid midsole component
The brand’s hikers are priced accordingly to their technologies and the activity they’re designed for. The best Keen hiking boots can be bought for $195. On the other end of the spectrum, entry-level hiking footwear range from $125 to $140 . What separates these boot models are the presence of a waterproof liner, leather uppers, and other technologies.
Keen Dry. This is the brand’s patented waterproof membrane technology. Keen hiking boots with water-impermeable components are efficient at preventing wet elements from being absorbed. The fabric is also effective in wicking away moisture from inside the boot. This dual benefit of waterproofness and breathability gives you more reason to hike with lesser worries.
Keen Protect. The best Keen hikers are equipped with a burly rubber cap at the forefoot section. The outsole’s design extends to the toe box area to prevent stubbing while you’re on a hike. Keen's hiking sandals and trail shoes also have this feature.
Metatomical Footbed Design. Metatomical is a combination of the words metatarsal and anatomical. Metatarsal refers to the five largest bones in your foot. Anatomical is the footbed design that cradles the foot’s contours. When these two concepts are put together in the brand’s patented footbed, support and comfort are enhanced.
Cleansport NXT. Foul-smelling feet are a common bane of every outdoor enthusiast. Keen hiking boots are imbued with Cleansport NXT technology to keep your feet odor-free. The fabric inside the footwear is treated with specialized microbes. These microbes activate at the first sign of sweat. They lessen the odor-causing organic material before your foot starts to stink.
Keen Zorb. This technology is used in some of the brand’s day hiking boots to deliver additional comfort. It is a layer of foam that’s placed under the footbed to make your each step comfier.
S3. S3 means Structure, Stability, and Support. This technology helps reduce shock, prevents your ankle from twisting, and provides extra support for your foot.
Frequently asked questions about the best Keen hiking boots
What’s the best way to preserve my Keen hiking boots?
Your hikers sustain a lot of wear and tear whenever they’re used. After each hike, it’s essential to clean them up . Here’s a handy guide on how to properly clean and maintain your boots.
Get a damp piece of cloth or soft bristled brush to clean your Keen hiking boots. Don’t use a brush with hard bristles as it may damage the quality of the hikers.
If you discover stains on your footgear, rub a little piece of gum eraser on the affected areas in a circular motion. Afterward, brush those same areas to get rid of the stains.
In some cases, a gum eraser won’t be enough to take care of those stains. What you should do is get a little amount of vinegar and mix it with warm water. Get a piece of cloth and apply the mixture on the stains. Be careful in applying it on those stains. Too much of this mixture can discolor the upper of your Keen hiking boots.
Over the course of time, your hikers won’t be effective in keeping water away. A good remedy is to get the brand’s recommended waterproofing solution. Apply it on your Keen hiking boots every three months to maintain its water-resistant coating.
Some of the brand’s footgear use a nubuck leather upper. After using these hikers for quite some time, you might see a few scuffs on them. The best remedy available is to use a leather cleaning product recommended by the footwear company. In doing so, you’ll be keeping your Keen hiking boots looking good for a long period of time.
What should I know about Keen’s warranty policy?
There are times when the boots you purchased from an outdoor gear store or an online shop is defective. The American footwear company has a warranty policy to help you in this matter. You can send an email about the defect you found on your Keen hiking boots. You’ll be given with a voucher equivalent to the price of your purchase once the brand approves your claim.
13 best Keen hiking boots
KEEN Targhee Vent Mid
KEEN Revel III
KEEN Axis EVO Mid
KEEN Targhee II Mid
KEEN Gypsum II Mid Waterproof
KEEN Summit County
KEEN Oakridge Mid Waterproof
KEEN Voyageur Mid
KEEN Durand II Mid WP
KEEN Targhee III Waterproof Mid
KEEN Explore Mid WP
KEEN Venture Mid WP
Paul loves adventure. Over the past 20 years, he has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He’s summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races. He has worked in the outdoor industry as a whitewater and hunting guide, gear tester, copywriter, and outfitting specialist at places like The National Outdoor Leadership School, No Barriers USA, and Sierra Trading Post. He has been quoted in NYMag, NBCNews, and Business Insider to name a few.