User Review: Keen Women's Gypsum Mid
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $159
As comfortable as a boot could possibly be.
- Cushiony inside, tough outside.
- Pure comfort.
- KeenDry WPB membrane works.
- A day or so to dry if water gets in the top.
- Traction sketchy on smooth wet rock.
Imagine wrapping thin pillows around your ankles and walking on a rubber mat. With bumpers on your toes.
That was the first impression, and many days of tough use later they still feel the same way. I'd be surprised if it was possible to get blisters in these, given the right size. The ankle-locking lace system works, so I could half size up from 'town' shoes and have maximum wiggle room with no chafing or slippage.
They are built noticeably wide in the forefoot, which lets the foot adapt to long hikes and uneven terrain. Less foot fatigue at the end of the day than other shoes and boots I've tried. The sole is flexible, but thick enough to feel solid and stable. Traction is good on steep dry rock, and in loose dirt, gravel and mud; the one time I've slipped in these was on sloped wet rock.
The waterproof-breathable membrane does what I hoped it would do. My feet are dry in shallow streams, dew-covered grass, waterlogged moss, puddly bogs, and drippy undergrowth. The leather 'skeleton' of the boot has quite a bit of mesh in smart places, and feet don't feel swampy. No sweat-damp socks til July.
However, don't get water over the top of them, or let rain run down into them. Remember the cushions? Day at least to dry, so put rain pants or gaiters over them.
So far these Gypsum Mids have seen six long trips (10 days plus) and about a year's worth of 3 day weekend trips, with no real sign of wear. They're used on barrens, bogs, beaches, boreal forests ... varied terrain, not primarily rock, never pavement, so YMMV.
I wanted a higher cut boot because I was tired of mud, sand and pine needles in my shoes. It was either commit to a permanent shoe-gaiter combo, or try boots. I tried on dozens of boots at multiple stores over a long period of time. Still very happy with these, would buy again.