Keen Targhee II Mid
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: Bought at retail, around $120 (don't recall exact price)
Great for light to moderate hiking. Virtually no break-in time, breathable, and keep your foot well supported. On more rugged terrain (like jagged rocks) however, these boots will wear down quickly. Waterproofing is great at first, but deteriorates quickly.
- No break-in time
- Waterproofing (at first)
- Waterproofing deteriorates
- Soles wear down quickly
For light-moderate hiking, these boots are great. Require virtually no break-in time, are wonderfully comfortable and supportive, not to mention breathable. Some more jagged rocks in desert areas take a toll on the sole though. Additionally, they don't maintain their waterproof quality well, even with additional treatments. Have loved these boots for a while, but with rigorous hiking, I've had to replace them at least yearly, if they make it that long.
Fit: relatively good arch support, conforms well to the foot. I have wider feet and these fit like a very comfortable glove.
Comfort: Top notch on comfort. No break-in needed, minimal hot spots, if any. Would suggest gaiters if you'll be trampling through deep snow. Debris tends to stay out of the boots fine.
Water Resistance: even with reapplication of waterproofing (i.e. nikwax/other similar products), the waterproof quality advertised with the boots deteriorates quickly. In the first few months of owning, these boots were great for crossing shallow streams, feet were always dry on the other side. However, now (less than a year of wear), my feet will get wet even if I'm just wearing these in moderate rain.
Traction: Stellar... until the soles wore down after walking on some jagged rocks (inevitable as a geologist). Now the grip is still decent when wet, but on steep dry slopes, traction going down hill is somewhat debatable.
Temp: Breathe great, always have.
Construction and Durability: See water resistance/traction. Parts of my soles are falling off after less than a year.
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.
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: 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.
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.