Keen Erickson PCT
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $135
Seriously waterproof, no rub points, and a decent price. They look a little duck-bill-y and I sweat in them, but they're full leather with a toe cap....and I sweat heavily in boots anyway. Sole is a little soft, though supportive enough to stand on knife-edge rocks easily.
- Flexible upper
- Short break-in period
- Finicky lace hooks — durable, but not a speed-lace system
- Flexible sole
Fit: I have size 9.5, with short toes and an average width ball area. The boots fit me very nicely. My toes can touch all parts of the toe box if I stretch them, which is nice. There's enough wiggle room that I'm not cramped, but the top of the foot and ankle are supported so my toes don't jam forward on descents.
Comfort: I broke these in on a 2-mile, flat sidewalk and proceeded down-trail without a wimper from my feet or the footwear. Especially considered these boots are all leather, they conformed very quickly and were flexible from the start. There's no rub points, and after a few days of continuous hiking my feet are tired (whose aren't?) but do not have perpetual sore spots. I've gotten no sand, pebbles, sticks or otherwise to drop into the boot, which was surprising to me. I nearly always end up with a small planet's worth of rocks in my other boots.
Support: I have a sensitive ankle that easily rolls, and the boots supported it nicely over rough terrain. Mile-long descents did not jam my toes into the front of the boot, and going back up the same route was also painless. After several uphill miles, however, my Achilles was a little taut. It didn't hurt, but it made its presence known.
Water resistance: Excellent. Superb. The main reason I bought the boot. I believe that cloth, in a boot, will not be waterproof and went with all-leather for that reason. I can confidently step in running, cold water up to the top of the boot without any fear of wet feet. I do wear thick wool hiking socks so that my help seal the top a little bit.
Traction: No complaints here. The sole conforms to odd shapes, and also has enough oomph to actually grab when you step off.
Temp: Warm. I haven't snow-hiked in them yet but any walking makes me sweaty in them. As a caveat, I fully expect any closed footwear to make my feet wet. These suckers don't vent a lick, though, so if that's important to you maybe a mesh paneled boot would be a better choice.
Ease: The laces need double-knotted. I don't really care for that, but it is what it is.
Features: I'm not sure they have any.
Construction: Rocks haven't worn through the upper yet, and the laces haven't broken. I have 30+ miles on them so far and they look nearly knew- except for the trail dust.
Conditions: Desert and Eastern U.S. forests. I'll be in forest for the foreseeable future and don't have any worries about bringing these boots along.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $145
A good all-around boot for hiking and light backpacking.
- Good fit on wide feet
- Fast break-in
- Thin, soft sole
This is my third different boot from Keen. I started with the Ketchum, then moved to the Oregon PCT, and now the Erickson PCT. I switched from Asolo, which I consider a true backpacking boot, to Keen as a result of foot injuries which have forced me to find a wider fitting boot.
The Keen boots fall short of the durability of Asolo, but have been good boots. The main complaints I have about the boot is that the sole is not a Vibram sole. It does not have the depth of tread, nor the durability of sole life, of Vibram. It is softer and thinner, so if you're looking for a boot with bulletproof soles, this is not the one.
That said, this boot seems superior to the other Keen boots in that there are no seams on the toe boxing to split out. My Oregon PCT boot developed an unsewn section in a toe seam after two years of vigorous backpacking use. I never had that problem with Asolo, and I suspect that the new Erickson PCT from Keen will be more durable without that seam on the toe. The sole is the same Keen product, so I imaging that the first thing to wear out will be the sole.
I give this boot a 4-star rating based on comfort, fast break-in, waterproof performance, and what appears to be a dependable lace loop attachment design. The boot fits wide feet really well, but if you don't need the extra toe room, I recommend going with a more highly technical hiking boot for a little more money.
Source: bought via a "pro deal"
Price Paid: Prodeal
Great comfort, no good fit.
- Wide Keen toe box
- Rivets on ankle bones
I was so excited to get these boots, I love Keens and I was in desperate need of a new pair of hiking boots. Sadly though the minute I slid them on I could feel the side rivet rubbing right on top of my ankle bone. No matter how I laced the boots, tight or loose, skipping the problem rivet, etc. I was unable to make these boots work.
They are however so comfy! The "key-tech" technology makes the boot feel really good on the ground, and the dual density heel is really great. I wish I could have made them work! I really wish they would make a taller version also, and just take that lower eyelet completely out.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $150
The looks are a little odd, but well structured.
I can neither favor nor state otherwise. I just got them from the retailer. Initial thoughts are OK. Toe guard is a little strange looking but you get used to it.
These boots are comparatively cheaper than those of the competitor brands because the important features such as the out-sole and the waterproof membrane are of their own so they are pricing the boots affordable. I read in another review that a guy experienced with another Keen model that the outsole started losing chunks of it after a few hundred miles of not so arduous trek. I hope I will not experience the same thing with these boots.
They are rather light as for backpacking boots, we'll see how they'll hold up to the elements. They are comfortable; the arch support is aggressive, which is something I like. The ankle support is great; my ankle is firmly locked in.
That’s all so far; this review will definitely be updated before the winter season.
Update: Winter is way over and they are still going strong. The waterproofness coming with their own thing, Keed-dry, is as good as any name brand membrane.
If you are looking for a reasonable alternative to those really high rollers, this is it, you will not regret.