Keen Targhee II Mid
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $120
Solid, comfortable hiking boot.
- Loose treading
I've had these boots for about four years now, and they've been everywhere with me—from hiking through the jungles of Borneo to walking around my hometown in snowy Minnesota.
I bought these because I was having knee problems after doing a lot of steep hiking in trail-running shoes. They were comfortable right out of the box and definitely provided a lot more support from my toes to my ankle. The boot is surprisingly water resistant, at a certain saturation point they do let water through; although I don't think it's the boots' fault when I step in puddles up to my ankle.
The only complaints I have is that they don't breathe well and can get super warm (great in the winter, notsomuch in the jungle), and also that after maybe a few months (of heavy use) the tread started to come loose, especially along the sides.
My friend who worked at REI said that was because Keen started using a more earth-friendly glue that isn't as strong; I question whether it's more ecologically sound to use harsher glue if the product lasts longer. That said, I haven't returned them or bought new boots yet because I just like these too much.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $30
Waterproof, wide, and comfortable.
- Great toe space
- Cleans easy
- Heavier than trailrunners
- Not quite as breathable
Prior to getting my Targhee II, I was using trailrunners when backpacking. I loved wearing lightweight trailrunners but found that I always get blisters after every trip (regardless of miles). Additionally, I didn't like how trailrunners tend to taper by the toes — it hurts when going downhill.
Enter the Targhee II. First impressions to me was the weight, compared to the runners I had, this was significantly heavier. However, I noticed how much wider the shoe was, especially in the toe area. I purchased a pair and began wearing them to town just so I can break them in. I found them to be quite comfortable.
After using this pair on a trail, I was convinced that this was a great shoe. Since wearing this shoe back in August of 2011, I have to say that I have yet to get a blister and I have yet to have any issues with any pain on my toes. It's a great shoe if you're not quite ready for trailrunners but want to trade up those heavy boots.
Yours truly slogging comfortably uphill wearing my Keens.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $96 on sale
Great fitting hiker out of the box. Durable and good traction.
- Keen should use a better insert
Best fitting shoe I have ever hiked in. Great toe space since I have a wide foot. Good traction on the trail.
I get 400-475 miles out of each pair only having to change the insert once. I am currently on my third pair.
Materials: leather outer, vibram sole, and "Keen-Dry" innter (presumably their version of GoreTex)
Use: day hikes, not-too-heavy backpacking
Break-in Period: n/a
Weight: 21 oz per boot (size 12)
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $89 on sale
I have trouble finding hiking boots that I find truly comfortable. This is one of those. As boots go, they feel good on my feet. They also have a very roomy toe box as opposed to the unnatural-shaped angled toe box found on many boots. Unfortunately they turned out to be not durable.
- Roomy toe box
- Inexpensive on sale
- Not durable
Usually I research gear extensively before buying it. In the case of these boots, I bought them in a store without reading reviews first, because I have trouble finding boots that fit me well. These Keens fit well. The nice wide box toe avoids the typical problems of scrunching up my toes laterally, or my toes hitting the front.
They are pretty comfortable for boots like this. What I really like is that they feel comfortable, yet at the same time have a sole that's solid enough to avoid the soles of my feet feeling every pebble on the trail.
However I have to return them. I've had them for <3 weeks, gone on about 16 miles of day hiking, and 13 miles of backpacking and already the sole on one is starting to separate from the boot.
Surprise (!!!) several other reviews mention the same kind of issue.
Too bad ... I wore these boots on these hikes/backpack without a single blister, and they were as comfortable as I could expect a boot of this type to be. Honestly, part of me says "just cement the sole back to the boot" ... it's too hard to find comfortable boots that fit me. But I paid good money for them, even on sale, and I'm afraid if they're coming apart this soon, what'll happen months from now with n more miles on the trail?
Back to the drawing board to find another pair that fits me and is comfortable... :(
In spite of the positive attributes I had to give just a "2" rating because of the poor workmanship.
Update: November 24, 2011
I have used these boots for a number of overnight trips since posting my original review. The separation of the sole hasn't gotten any worse. I can probably seal up the gap with some kind of boot goo.
The boots continue to be as comfortable as I could expect for this type of boot, without any real issue with blisters, etc. Therefore I've upgraded my rating to a "3.5" from the previous "2".
Price Paid: $125
These are the most comfortable boots I have ever worn. I wore them around running errands for one day and after that they felt like I had owned them for years. Very quick break-in. They are light, which makes them so easy to walk in.
On one trip I put about 10 miles on them. I went through wet grass, mud, sand, sharp rocks, snow pack, and crossed about 6 creeks. My feet stayed completely dry (warm in the snow as well) and I always had excellent traction, even in the mud. Good ankle support, laces stay tied and tight, and I didn't have any rubbing anywhere. No blisters or hot spots, yet.
One thing I did notice was after about five miles through sharp rock there is some wear on the rubber outsole, but not much. Doesn't affect performance and isn't very noticeable. The lugs didn't have any damage from the rock.
I hope these last for a long time. Very pleased with Keen.
Use: Dayhikes, 20 miles max.
Break-in Period: no break-in time.
Price Paid: $125
I had my Mid for about a month now. I use them only for day hiking and carry sling bag with 40oz of water.
I have put approx. 70 to 80 miles and had no problems. I only use them on the weekends and use work type boots during the week for training.
I live in Chula Vista, CA, and use the Mids at the Otay area. I have made 10 miles hikes and overall 3000 foot climbs, no toe problems, it has not come apart, the trails have been 50 to 60% rocks, hard pack dirt, and flour type dirt. I clean them once a week and only wear wool socks with the Targhees.
They feel great on my feet, they protect the bottom of my feet OK. When the raining season comes I plan to use gaiters and not go through streams.
The box that the shoes come in say 1 year warranty. I bought them at REI so if I have a problem I'll take them back.
I hope to get 1000 miles out of them, but only time will tell.
Update: September 19, 2010
I have a wide foot. I read reviews and went to REI to try on shoes after a 5 mile hike. I put these on and they felt great.
The shoe laces are strange but they are good. When you tie your shoes they give a snug fit and the toe box gives a lot of room.
I do clean the shoes every week and called Keen to ask if I could use mink oil. They told me no problems. When reading about the problems with this shoe it seems that if mink oil is used it could solve some of the problems. Also I think if your a large person, they'll break faster.
The sole has not come apart, and the reason I bought the shoes from REI at a higher cost, is because the shoes have 1 year warranty and I feel REI will help if the shoes come apart.
They are great on the trail, no problems with grass seeds getting stuck on the shoe, or feeling every rock. I had them now for 2 months and put about 175 miles on them. I use only wool socks with them, it's a little warm but I can deal with it. No blisters and no break in time.
Update: December 2, 2010
This is a follow up about my Keen Targhee II. I put about 400 miles on they before they failed. The threads on both shoes started to come off. I look at it and could see that the glue was not put on very good, which lead to the failure.
The shoes fit and felt great. I read the reviews and didn't want to believe that there was problems with the shoes. I bought them from REI and they took them back with no problems. This is a good place for the warranty.
I also had problems with my laces which started to make coils. I change the laces and problem was gone. The shoes only went on the trail, and were clean and never left outside to dry.
I wanted to get another set, but couldn't do it because I felt they would fail again in 4 months. I'm trying Merrell boots now and will write a review in few months.
Break-in Period: none!
I just returned from a 130-mile hike from Albany to Lake Placid, New York, consisting mostly of highway/road trekking, with about 30 miles of trails thrown in. I purchased 10 pair of hiking shoes from Zappos, and this baby won out over others at more than twice the price.
I'm glad I went for lightness and agility over the Asolo shoe I was deciding between -- which was twice as expensive, twice as heavy, and half as flexible (but had a lot more ankle support). Breaking in REALLY isn't necessary -- I wore the shoe a few times around the house before I left, and throughout the whole 8 day hike, I never once had an issue I could attribute to the shoe.
Of course, I got blisters -- but my 5 didn't compare to my friends' 15-20 each. I never even noticed I had blisters at all until I took my shoes off at the end of the day -- the Keens didn't rub at all. The only thing I added to the shoe was an insole for my mile-high arches.
The first day of trails, we got stuck in a torrential downpour 1/2 mile into our 2-mile hike to shelter -- we booked it, uphill, and I had no slips or losses of traction. My feet stayed absolutely dry until I was forced to walk through 12" water when the trail became a fast-moving stream of rainwater. Even then, the shoes dried out much better than my friends' did overnight.
I'd buy this shoe a hundred times over, especially at such a reasonable price. I wear a 8.5 in running shoes, and a 9 fit well with thick hiking socks and liner socks.
Price Paid: $125
These are the best boots I've owned. They are incredibly light and comfortable and very supportive. After a long walk over rough conditions my feet feel great as if it was just a stroll around town, this really surprised me as no other shoes or boots offered the same comfort. On a number of occasions I nearly rolled an ankle, but these held strong and prevented injury.
They are also pretty water resistant. I have crossed a number of streams and walked a number of muddy trails in moderate rain while my feet were perfectly dry.
Currently I cannot imagine how to improve these boots, and would look to get another pair if they ever wear out.
Use: short dayhikes and rough trail with a heavy pack
Break-in Period: 2 days
Price Paid: $99
These boots are like an old friend, so comfortable and easy to be around. They were absolutely the most comfortable boots I have ever owned right out of the box, with just a short break in period I headed out for an two day hike with my son.
Never had a blister, sore spot or wet feet, that's heaven. Plenty of toe room with a really nice fit and just high enough on the ankle to support but allow lots of ease of movement.
I have spent more on others but would recommend these over the more expensive.
Use: day hikes or overnighters with light pack
Break-in Period: a few hikes
I bought these hikers after reading the reviews here. I was looking for a lightweight waterproof day hiker. I required a wide toe box and these were one of the few that fit the bill for me. The terrain I predominantly use is hilly upland forest, cedar bush and farm field.
These boots have met my expectations nicely. I did have concerns about the toe piece delaminating but that has not been a problem and I have worn these boots almost daily now for about 10 months.
They are not heavy or "klunky" feeling. The tread has a good grip good on the surfaces I travel.
There is no sign of stitching coming loose or significant "hot spots" of wear.
I'll probably buy a second pair in the fall before Keen comes out with a new model and, as all shoe manufactures like to do, change something in the shoe to improve it but instead ruin it.
The real test for this shoe will be next month when I'll be hiking in Jasper...but I have no doubt it will perform well.
I highly recommend this boot.
Update: August 24, 2008
This is an update to my previous review.
I took my Keen Targhee mid II boots with me to hike in Jasper National Park in Alberta.
I love these boots for hiking the trails of southern Ontario but I am glad I brought my full grain leather Lowa's along. They were most suited to that terrain. The Targhee's were too light for hiking the Rockies especially if you were on all day hike. I found that after a half day on the trails when my lower leg muscles tired I needed the support of a heavier boot to prevent a rolled ankle...nothing against the Targhee's but they weren't built for that terrain.
I'm still glad I have them and still highly recommend them for lighter work.
Update: November 24, 2011
OK, three years later and I need to update this review.
My original boots are still in use for around the house — doing the dirty jobs where I don't mind if they get wrecked.
The waterproofing really lasted only about 18 months which was a bit disappointing (minus 1/2 star) BUT considering they were my everyday shoe also, maybe that's reasonable.
I live in southern Ontario which has four distinct seasons, (July, August, September and winter — well not quite that severe) so the boot takes a beating. Nothing has fallen apart on the boots. No de-laminating of the soles, uppers are good, only the cushioning is done.
I'm glad Keen is not like the running shoe companies that feel they have to change a shoe every 6 months. If it ain't broke, don't fix it is my mantra and it seems Keen feels the same way. To that end I purchased a second pair a few months ago.
A lot of miles were put on these boots so in my opinion they are definitely worth the relatively low cost.
My rating remains
Price Paid: $125
After a few short days of hiking in these boots, the sewn seam on the lateral side of the shoe at the pinky toe started to rip open. After one more longer day hike, the sole was peeling off of the shoe at the bend of the toes and the rubber that wraps around at the heel had also peeled off.
Prior to these problems the boot was comfortable and gave good grip and support. EMS graciously took them back for a full price store credit. I need to reselect but will be avoiding Keen.
Materials: leather, eVent waterproof membrane
I have very difficult feet to fit. I have flat feet, narrow at the heel, wide at the mid foot area, and normal width toebox. These fit pretty ok, except the heel is a little wide for my feet, so I can feel my heel roll a little. But so far no twisted ankles yet.
Despite what most reviewers say, I don't find it has a wide toe box. It's just not pointed like most shoes are shaped. But that helps reduce the impact on your toes then going downhill. It's also not a high volume shoe. I replace the stock insole with my custom made ones, which are slightly thicker, and the boots feel pretty snug around the feet without tightening the laces much.
The good: very comfortable out of the box. Good cushioning, uppers not too stiff, so requires very little breaking in. It feels like boots with the cushioning of sports shoes. Waterproof, good breathability. Kept my feet dry through a 30 min long light shower, except for water running down the ankles, which cannot be helped. Grip is good on all kinds of dry terrain, but on wet surfaces it does not grip that well. Definitely looses out to Vibram in that area.
The bad: Laces slip through eyelets. I find I have to retie the laces once in a while. I now use 2 short laces on each feet, one for the bottom three eyelets, another for the top two to tighten up the ankles area.
Not thick enough around the collar. I have thin ankles, and I have problem keeping the collar tight around the ankles. Maybe a second pair of eyelets further back will solve this.
Thew uppers are too soft to provide ankle support, which kinds of defeat the purpose of wearing boots.
The eVent membrane keeps your feet dry, but the leather itself dose not shed water at all. In fact, it absorbs pretty fast. Definitely wax it right out of the box. I regret not doing so. Now the leather is slightly stained from absorbing dirt along with the water.
The threads on the sole are showing wear after less than 50km, so I'm don't think the shoe is going to last very long.
The flat front at the toes makes it harder to grip on small ledges when climbing slopes.It's like the exact opposite of rock climbing shoes.
Bottom Line: Comfortable, decent boots. A bit pricey, but worth it if you want comfort without having toe spent months breaking in the boots.
Use: Dayhikes of 8-15 miles with 15 pound pack
Break-in Period: none
Weight: a couple of pounds I guess
Price Paid: $105
Excellent day hiking boot, can be used for some backpacking as well. Not sure why MPstaples said no toebox room, these are the roomiest boots in the toes I have ever owned while still maintain a good snugness around my heel. Keens run small, so maybe that was the issue, MPstaples tried to wear their normal boot size.
Great waterproofing, I often splash about in shallow streams and the boots are always bone dry. Decent gripping in wet and icy conditions.
Alas, the molding around the bottom that comes up along the side of the boot does separate, at least they did on my first pair. And, the outer bootlace shredded on my first pair, leaving a thin inner core, which in turn cut the lace holder. I should have replaced the laces right away, I didn't, and so the thin core cut the lace holding. Probably more my fault than anything.
Be certain to dry your boots after a wet or muddy hike.
Good to go right out of the box. Great waterproofing. Decent grip. Roomy toebox, no downhill toe banging.
Materials: leather/synthetic vamp, event liner
Use: daily use, hiking, fishing
Break-in Period: 3 months
Price Paid: $125
1. Permanent waterproofness due to eVent liner.
2. Reasonably light weight.
3. Square toe box.
4. Great "quick lace" system - can be laced up "too tight" within seconds.
5. Great reflective strips that can be seen for hundreds of feet at night.
I've worn the boots for over a year, and they keep me dry despite me using them to hike through frigid Tennessee streams and daily walks through the snow, slush and rainstorms of Minnesota winters.
I find that my toes never feel restricted in this boot.
Lacing up takes literally seconds as a set of lace-lockers at the top of the boot allow you to cinch the laces first, then the boots hold the laces tight for you while you tie them down.
The tread hasn't worn down much at all in the last year. I'm rather surprised about this.
This boot, despite the use of an aramid shank, has a very flexible footbed as well as a rather flexible ankle support. As a result, this boot isn't exactly a load-bearing hiking boot, but more of a light-hiker.
If you're carrying a 30+ lb load on your back, this may not be the boot for you...
How to improve:
If Keen somehow stiffened up the shank without increasing weight and improved the ankle support somehow, then this boot would move up to the "hiking boot" class. As it stands, the Targhee Mid II is more of a waterproof mid-height trail shoe.
Use: short dayhikes
Price Paid: $250
My expensive Keen boots are holding together quite well, but the nylon material eyelets for the laces are fraying badly and 2 eyelets have totally worn through rendering one boot unwearable.
Very disappointed...steer clear of these boots with nylon material eyelets!
Price Paid: $120
I now own the Targhee II's, but this is really about a problem I had with the original Targhees. Used around the city and on moderately rough 5-10 mile hikes. After 8 mos. the toe cap started separating from the leather. (A reviewer on another site mentioned this.) Keen has a fantastic warranty, and the dealer took them back without reservation. My size wasn't available, so they replaced them with the II's.
Of course, my primary concern is they stay in one piece. I'm glad the new style has Event waterproofing (whatever that is). However, I'm really disappointed they lightened up the tongue section. It's now the pinkish kind of color you get when you mix the colored's with the whites! Alas, I no longer have the coolest looking pair of shoes on the block.
Materials: Gore-tex and nubuck
Use: rough trail
Break-in Period: Doesn't exist.
Weight: Don't know
Price Paid: $129
I love my Keen shoes and sandals. But don't be fooled. This is not built on the same last. Keen hit it big by making shoes shaped like feet (what a concept!). But they apparently abandoned that idea with these boots. There is no more toe space in these than in any other pinchy-toed boot. Got severe blisters and returned them. Very disappointed in Keen. And they aren't leather -- so don't expect them to ever stretch or break-in.
Materials: leather and fabric
Use: overnight climbing trip w/ 35# pack
Break-in Period: nil
Price Paid: $120
Very, very comfortable; hardly noticed they were there. Plenty stable on rough trails. Grippy on class 3/4 rock. Problems with durability, though. Needed minor repair after only 15-20 miles of (admittedly rough) hiking and climbing. Overall a good boot for someone with a medium heel and wide forefoot.
Use: some dayhikes some rough trail w/heavey pack
Break-in Period: none
Price Paid: $100 ?
I love the way this boot fits but after only 3 months the sole cracked and the rubber that comes up around the heel started to peel off. Unfortunately, I'll be taking mine back to REI next week Surely they should last longer than that.
Price Paid: I am not sure but I think around $100 or so.
Where do I start? I love these boots. I don't ever give anything five stars but I cant think of a reason not to give them five stars. I have had my boots now for about 6 months and I wear them everyday to include hiking in them.
I was prepared to buy a pair of Asolos but I tried these on and knew this was my choice. I tried to like the Asolos over the Targhee but just couldn't.
Reasons I like these boots:
1. Comfort: They are immediately comfortable and become even better with age. The inside of the boot feel great. I love the Gortex as well.
2. Durability: I haven't had any problems with these boots coming apart. I read some reviews about the eyelets coming apart. I have had no such problems and like I said, I wear them daily. The sole seems to be wearing slowly, which is good because that is usually why I replace a pair of boots.
3. Great Leather: The leather is great. It wears well. Mine are getting a distressed look which I like.
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