Keen Klamath Mid
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $91.96 (on sale)
The Keen Klamath is a real, thick-lugged, insulated, waterproof hiking boot.
I've owned the Keen Klamath for most of this New York City winter season (2012/13) and they've performed like champions. I'd originally bought them for hiking the Catskills, but after a bit of a break-in (a week?) I found that they were perfect for the cold, wet weather we'd been having. They are not, however, really meant for city walking.
As for the break-in, I found that the proprietary waterproof membrane they use, Keen-Dry, gathers at the place where the shoe and tongue meet. It had caused me some discomfort during that first week. I found, though, that tightening the laces below the gathers, adding an extra turn to the laces, going through the next eye loosely, and then adding an extra twist at the last eye alleviated some of the pressure. Unfortunately, it disables one of the features of the boot: The second eye is part of a system that draws the upper part of the back of the ankle closer to your Achilles' tendon, supposedly providing a closer fit. I don't think I miss it.
I normally wear a 9.5. I'd heard talk of going a half size up with Keen's, so I did. And glad for it. The tens do allow just a bit of extra room for a pair of thicker socks, though I haven't really had the need for all that, yet.
We'd gotten a pretty good snow a few weeks ago, maybe ten inches. I put on my boots, and then a pair of gaiters. The gaiters fit fine. And then I went out and played. The boots performed as they had been all along. The boots kept the wet and cold out, and held pretty good traction.
Spoiler alert: If it's waterproof, it's not going to be 'breathable' enough to transfer sweat under hard hiking conditions. Your feet will get wet with your own perspiration. That's why you get waterproof AND insulated, not one or the other, even in a warm weather hiker. You want your feet to be able to dry easily in warmer weather. A waterproof, warm weather boot traps moisture inside. So, if you dunk your foot in a waterproof boot, they remain wet. Dunk your foot in a non-waterproof boot and they'll dry as you walk. I digress.
The next test was the real one: Harriman State Park, north of NYC. I'd picked out a six-mile loop to the Dutch Doctor shelter and back. The weather: 23°, gusts to 35 mph, mostly sunny. The trails were choked with ice and hard-packed snow. Perfect. I had to pull on my Hillsound Trail Crampons. I'd tested them for fit, but never in real-world conditions. Then I found the real beauty of these boots: almost zero twist.
The trails were not only covered in this stuff, but had been hiked on so many times, it was like walking on a pile of ice cubes that had partially melted and frozen together again. The sturdy sole of Klamath helped me avoid constantly having to check my balance, and the ankle support was ample and secure. Now, I did add in the 'cons' that they're heavy. There are lighter options that offer waterproof insulation.
Again, through a 6-hour, six-mile hike on icy trails, champions.
So, if you're looking for a traditional, thick-boned, meaty hiking boot for the colder temps, you found it. Keen's quality is legendary, and these live up to the name.
Where to Buy
The Keen Klamath Mid is not available from the stores we monitor.
You may want to check pricing and availability directly at these Keen retailers:
You may be able to find it new or used at one of these sites:
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Here's what other sites are saying:
Hike through lodgepole pines, across boulder fields, and up switchbacks with your feet securely ensconced in the KEEN Men's Klamath Mid Hiking Boots. These mid-height boots feature KEEN's waterproof breathable membrane for the muddy trails, snow fields, and stream crossings you might encounter during your mountain trek. Full-length plates in the midsoles help stabilize your feet and protect them from rocks. Cork and EVA heel inserts cushion your feet so they can hike longer. Multidirectional lugs give you traction on whatever trail conditions you encounter.
- Backcountry Outlet
Across campus, on a weekend backpacking trip, or just a walk around town, the Keen Klamanth Mid for Men is designed for your active lifestyle. Transitioning from town to trail is a breeze in the Klamanth Mid; stiffer than the Targhee, but not as much support as the Oregon PCT hiking boot. Offering waterproof protection with a sleek, leather upper, the Klamanth provides Keen's patented toe protection, a Cork/EVA heel cushioning insert, and the supportive, rugged construction you require as you venture out of town for a weekend on the trail.
- Altrec Outdoors
When trails are sloppy and rough, Keen's Klamath hiking boots will go the distance. The waterproof Keen.Dry membrane and Key-Tech stability plate will keep your feet dry and comfortable as you mark the miles.
The Keen Klamath hiking boots outfit feet for burly day hikes or lightweight weekend backpacking trips. Waterproofed nubuck leather uppers offer ample durability and flexibility for comfort on the go. KEEN.DRY(TM) waterproof breathable membranes dissipate perspiration before it saturates the inside of the shoes. Webbing pull loops at heels and tongues allow easy entry/exit; padded, gusseted tongues keep out debris and moisture and relieve lace pressure. Patented rubber Toe Guards protect feet and uppers from impacts and abrasion. Shaped, dual-density EVA footbeds provide ample cushioning and light support; they can be removed to accommodate orthotics. Midsoles are constructed out of a blend of EVA and polyurethane to absorb shock; special heel inserts feature a mix of cork and EVA to deliver extra cushioning. Thermoplastic urethane plates and shanks allow forefoot flex and provide stable support on the trail. Rubber outsoles with aggressive multidirectional lugs deliver traction and lasting performance. Closeout.