Our verdict

We loved the KEEN Voyageur Mid for its versatility, excellent ankle support, and great outdoor performance. Whether we were out for a quick jaunt in nature or a more ambitious thru-hike, the Voyageur Mid kept us steady, upright, and comfy. Our biggest issue; we were discontented with the shoe's underperforming sole unit.

Pros

  • Accommodating fit
  • No need to break in
  • Excellent traction
  • Lightweight
  • Sufficient ankle support
  • Laudable breathability
  • Quick drying
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Sole started peeling off
  • Questionable construction quality
  • Too wide for narrow feet

Audience verdict

87
Great!

Who should buy

We recommend the Keen Voyageur Mid as a great choice for:

  • Hikers looking for a breathable boot for warm desert hikes
  • Beginner hikers in the market for a versatile and lightweight option
  • Broad-footed hikers looking for an accommodating and well-padded boot

KEEN Voyageur Mid bijb

Who should NOT buy

Narrow-footed hikers might find the Voyageur Mid's toebox a little too spacious and will likely bump up against the sidewalls during descents. We recommend checking out the Hoka Kaha 2 GTX or the Timberland Sprint Trekker as more snug-fitting alternatives. 

While the Voyageur Mid's outsole performed relatively well in our durability tests, the fact that it began peeling off within our normal testing window raises questions regarding the quality of the boot's construction. The Adidas Terrex Free Hiker 2's outsole boasts extremely high-quality Continental rubber that we found to be extremely durable and dependable. 

KEEN Voyageur Mid cut

Breathability

We pumped smoke into the boot to test how breathable it is and, as the footage demonstrates, it filters through the upper with relative ease. This above-average performance earns the Voyageur Mid a 4 out of 5, making it just shy of the perfect score we'd want from a desert-focused boot. This in combination with the use of moisture-wicking materials means that the boot not only dries up quickly but also prevents our feet from getting too sweaty or stinky. 

At the other end of the spectrum, we have the more insulated Adidas Terrex Swift R3 GTX which is a much more winter-oriented boot. 

This is still more ventilated than what we'd expect from a shoe that features so much leather in its upper. As we can see from inspecting a cross-section of the upper, these portions of the boot block any light from shining through. 

The key to the Voyageur Mid's airflow is clearly the mesh portions of the upper which act as the boot's ventilation ports. 

KEEN Voyageur Mid jlj

KEEN Voyageur Mid Breathability
Test results
Voyageur Mid 4
Average 1.7
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

The Voyageur's leather toebox is protected by a rubberized toe bumper that proved to be a worthy adversary to our Dremel in our durability test. 

After 12 seconds of grinding, our tool was only able to smooth out the bumper's speckled pattern at the point of contact, leading us to give the Voyageur mid a perfect toebox durability score of 5 out of 5. We really did feel tank-like as we marauded the trails without any concern of stubbing a toe or damaging the boot. 

KEEN Voyageur Mid Toebox durability
Test results
Voyageur Mid 5
Average 4.4
Compared to 17 hiking boots
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

Next, we turn our attention to the Voyageur Mid's heel collar and set our Dremel against it with 3.2N of force for four seconds of grinding punishment. 

Our tool managed to pierce the Voyageur Mid's lining during the test and eat away at some of the soft padding within. However, with how generously padded the boot is in the heel collar, the Voyageur Mid still earns a respectable 3 out of 5 for heel padding durability.

KEEN Voyageur Mid Heel padding durability
Test results
Voyageur Mid 3
Average 3.8
Compared to 17 hiking boots
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

We pressed our durometer against the Voyageur Mid's outsole and got an average reading of 87.3 HC. 

KEEN Voyageur Mid Outsole hardness
Test results
Voyageur Mid 87.3 HC
Average 87.3 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
81.0 HC
Outsole hardness
92.0 HC

Outsole durability

For the final appearance of our Dremel, we fired it up to 10K RPM this time and set it against one of the Voyageur Mid's outsole lugs. 

After grinding away for twenty-two seconds, we used a tire tread gauge and found that we had shorn off 0.6 mm of material from the Voyageur Mid's outsole. This is right around average for a hiking boot and, with over 9 mm of rubber to wear through underfoot, this gives us no cause for concern regarding the longevity of the outsole. However, the poor construction quality might be more of a problem as we noticed the sole start to peel away from the shoe after only a handful of tests.  

KEEN Voyageur Mid Outsole durability
Test results
Voyageur Mid 0.6 mm
Average 0.7 mm
Compared to 14 hiking boots
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

The Voyageur Mid's outsole is thicker than average at 5 mm thick according to our caliper measurements. This gives us a nice and chunky base that elevates us from any hazards below and adds to the reinforced and protected feeling we enjoyed while testing this boot. 

KEEN Voyageur Mid Outsole thickness
Test results
Voyageur Mid 5.0 mm
Average 3.1 mm
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
1.8 mm
Outsole thickness
5.6 mm

Weight

Tipping our scale at 18.4 oz (522g), the Voyageur Mid is slightly heavier than the average hiking boot. However, it didn't feel too cumbersome during our test hikes, even when pushing the mileage with ascents and descents on more grueling trails. Conversely, this heft does further add to the shoe's impenetrable and tank-like vibe that had us cruising with confidence as we tested the boot. 

KEEN Voyageur Mid Weight
Test results
Voyageur Mid 18.41 oz (522g)
Average 17.92 oz (508g)
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
11.71 oz (332g)
Weight
26.00 oz (737g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

Apart from all the rubber, there's also a generous amount of EVA foam in the Voyageur Mid's midsole. With a stack that measures 46.2 mm thick at the heel according to our caliper, the Voyageur Mid towers above the average hiking boot. 

KEEN Voyageur Mid jbjns

As a result, we enjoyed extremely well-cushioned landings despite the boot's relatively firm midsole foam. 

Test results
Voyageur Mid 46.2 mm
Average 35.9 mm
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
26.2 mm
Heel stack
46.9 mm

Forefoot stack

The Voyageur Mid's stack isn't as drastically high at the forefoot, measuring 25.3 mm thick according to our caliper. This is still more foam underfoot than the average hiking boot has and keeps our foot feeling elevated and protected from impact throughout our stride.  

Test results
Voyageur Mid 25.3 mm
Average 22.5 mm
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
17.0 mm
Forefoot stack
30.7 mm

Drop

The difference in our stack measurements leaves us with a rather extreme offset of 20.9 mm which is much steeper than our current lab average. 

KEEN Voyageur Mid klnbRW

This feels strange and takes some getting used to on harder terrains, but is great when it comes to walking on soft sand where our heels tend to dig into and sink slightly below the surface. 

Test results
Voyageur Mid 20.9 mm
Average 13.4 mm
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
2.6 mm
Drop
20.9 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

We pressed our durometer against the Voyageur Mid's midsole foam and got a firmer-than-average reading of 29.3 HA. 

KEEN Voyageur Mid knvae;

Despite this, we still felt comfy in this boot thanks to the sheer amount of foam underfoot, with the firmness of the midsole actually serving to provide us with added stability when walking on soft sand. This also makes the boot a good option for schlepping a heavy pack over long distances. 

Test results
Voyageur Mid 29.3 HA
Average 25.4 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
15.4 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
53.3 HA

Midsole softness in cold

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.
KEEN Voyageur Mid Midsole softness in cold

Difference in midsole softness in cold

Despite being marketed as a desert boot, the Voyageur Mid's midsole performs surprisingly well in our freezer test. It only becomes 9.8% firmer with a durometer reading of 32.1 HA. This is still rather stiff, but won't feel too different from how it does at room temperature. Deserts can get very cold at night, so it's good to know that the boot will remain quite forgiving regardless of how harsh the surroundings may be. 

Test results
Voyageur Mid 9.8%
Average 21.5%
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Insole thickness

The Voyageur Mid's insole falls within the average range at 5.8 mm thick according to our caliper measurements. 

KEEN Voyageur Mid Insole thickness
Test results
Voyageur Mid 5.8 mm
Average 6.0 mm
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
3.7 mm
Insole thickness
10.7 mm

Stability

Lateral stability test

In spite of the boot's massive stack, the Voyageur Mid feels remarkably stable underfoot. This is no doubt a result of the firm midsole in combination with a number of factors we'll explore below. 

Torsional rigidity

Unsurprisingly for a boot that boasts so much foam and rubber, the Voyageur Mid is quite difficult to bend and twist in our hands, leading us to give it a firmer-than-average torsional rigidity score of 4 out of 5. This prevents the boot from contorting laterally as we walk and maintains a steady and level base that promotes excellent stability even on soft and uneven terrains. 

Test results
Voyageur Mid 4
Average 4.2
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

The Voyageur Mid's heel counter is moderately stiff, earning a 3 out of 5 on our subjective scale after our manual assessment. This level of flexibility at the heel allows the boot to hold our foot in place relatively securely but without putting too mich pressure on our ankles or tendons. 

Test results
Voyageur Mid 3
Average 3.4
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

The Voyageur Mid's midsole is 113 mm wide at the forefoot, making it on par with our current lab average. This gives us more than enough platform underfoot to promote a stable stride. 

KEEN Voyageur Mid Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Voyageur Mid 113.0 mm
Average 112.2 mm
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
96.3 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
124.6 mm

Midsole width in the heel

The midsole also falls in line with our current lab average at the heel, measuring 91.8 mm wide according to our caliper. 

Test results
Voyageur Mid 91.8 mm
Average 88.3 mm
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
71.7 mm
Midsole width in the heel
106.1 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

We secured the Voyageur Mid to our workbench and found that 37.4N of force is needed to torque the boot to 90 degrees. 

This is about the same amount of force needed to bend the average hiking boot to the same point and means that the Voyageur Mid is able to bend along with the natural flexion of our foot with relative ease. 

Test results
Voyageur Mid 37.4N
Average 40.2N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
16.6N
Stiffness
84.7N

Difference in stiffness in cold

As with our previous freezer test, the Voyageur Mid performed extremely consistently after we chilled it for twenty minutes. Becoming only 5.5% stiffer when faced with frigid conditions makes it much better suited to the cold than the average hiking boot. As such, we would have recommended this boot as a good snow hiker if not for its high score in our breathability test which would turn our feet into ice cubes within the shoe in cold conditions. 

Test results
Voyageur Mid 5.5%
Average 29%
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
100%

Grip / Traction

Lug depth

Using our caliper, we measured the Voyageur Mid's outsole lugs to be 4.2 mm thick.

KEEN Voyageur Mid bbow

These multi-directional lugs gave us great traction on dirt and gravel trails while the shoe's wide footprint kept us from sinking into the sand during our test hikes. 

KEEN Voyageur Mid Lug depth
Test results
Voyageur Mid 4.6 mm
Average 4.1 mm
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
3.0 mm
Lug depth
5.7 mm

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

We measured the Voyageur Mid's toebox to be 108.7 mm wide at its widest point which is significantly broader than average. This means that the boot will comfortably accommodate wide feet with plenty of room without any fear of hotspots or blisters. 

KEEN Voyageur Mid Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Voyageur Mid 108.7 mm
Average 102.1 mm
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
95.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
110.2 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

The Voyageur Mid's toebox tapers down to 88.2 mm wide in the area around the big toe.

KEEN Voyageur Mid Toebox width at the big toe

This is also wider than average and gives the boot a very forgiving silhouette that doesn't constrict our toes as we walk. 

KEEN Voyageur Mid Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Voyageur Mid 88.2 mm
Average 79.0 mm
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
67.6 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
91.1 mm

Tongue: gusset type

The Voyageur Mid's tongue is fully gusseted on both sides which helps in providing a secure midfoot lockdown while also preventing debris from entering the boot. 

KEEN Voyageur Mid Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Voyageur Mid Both sides (full)

Comfort

Tongue padding

At 12.1 mm thick according to our caliper measurements, the Voyageur Mid's tongue is ever-so-slightly thicker than our current lab average. 

Test results
Voyageur Mid 12.1 mm
Average 11.2 mm
Compared to 21 hiking boots
Number of shoes
5.9 mm
Tongue padding
22.3 mm

Heel tab

Not only does the Voyageur Mid have a little finger loop at the heel, but it also has one at the top of the tongue. These make sliding into the relatively snug boot a little faster and easier. 

KEEN Voyageur Mid heel tab

KEEN Voyageur Mid Heel tab
Test results
Voyageur Mid Finger loop

Removable insole

The Voyageur Mid's chunky insole isn't glued in, so replacing it with a custom orthotic is possible if necessary. 

KEEN Voyageur Mid Removable insole
Test results
Voyageur Mid Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

With lines of reflective elements intersecting to form a large X at the rear of the boot, as well as dotting the finger loop, the Voyageur Mid certainly does have the safety of nocturnal adventurers in mind. 

KEEN Voyageur Mid Reflective elements
Test results
Voyageur Mid Yes