Keen Voyageur

2

3 comments

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $90-ish

Summary

I find the Keen Men's Voyageur shoe to be very comfortable, especially if the fronts of your feet are wide. They have excellent traction for most situations, breathe very well, and dry quickly if they get wet.

Pros

  • Fit
  • Ruggedness
  • Comfort
  • Traction
  • Price
  • Cats like them too (see pics)

Cons

  • Lining quickly wore through at heels

I bought my Keen men's Voyageur hiking shoes about a year ago, to wear casually and on easier trails where boots were overkill. The fit was excellent right out of the box, with no breaking in required.

The toebox is nice and roomy for feet that are wide in the toes like mine. I've never had any problems with pinching or my toes jamming on downhills. They don't make my heels feel like they're swimming in the shoes, either. I use Sole Sport (red) footbeds to support my very low arches. They add a little volume in the heel (with a deep heel cup) but my feet have never felt like they're riding too high.

The upper is mostly leather, with mesh panels on the sides and a padded nylon tongue with leather reinforcements. The eyelets are leather tubes and haven't been worn by the laces. There's no waterproof/breathable membrane, but the shoes dry quickly when they get wet thanks to the mesh. Put on a dry pair of socks and keep hiking.

They're definitely Keens, with that huge toe cap.


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The sole is relatively aggressive, offering good traction in dirt and pretty sticky on rocks. The sole has colored lugs but as you can see in this pic it's not a dual component system, just grey rubber molded over the black. It's very flexible and gives you a good feel for the ground underneath. That also means you feel every rock you step on, which can get a little uncomfortable after a few hours.

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But these are trail shoes, hardcore rock-hopping isn't what they were meant for. Today I wore the Voyageurs hiking the Ledges Trail on Pleasant Mountain in Bridgton, Maine, and was absolutely sure-footed the whole time. Even hopping from rock to rock while fast-hiking down the mountain, they stuck to the rocks without any real discomfort when stepping onto a sharp or pointy rock. I really liked the nimbleness of these things, and had so much fun wearing them today that I'm ordering a pair of Vibram-soled hiking shoes meant for more rugged use.

My only real complaint with the Voyageurs is that the lining wore through in both heels. It doesn't chafe or anything, I just think a pair of $115 shoes should last longer than a year before wearing like that. They're still 100% serviceable, and I'm going to keep wearing them until they fall apart.

At the summit of Pleasant Mountain today, it was a great hike up and I was looking forward to letting my shirt dry out.
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Unfortunately for me and everyone else at the summit, what appeared to be a group of teens from a youth camp or some other kind of group summited from a different trail a few minutes after I did, yelling and shouting, throwing rocks off the ledge, breaking branches off dead trees, etc. Their counselors (guides, whatever) didn't have anything resembling control, some other older hikers asked the kids to stop throwing rocks because there are other trails on that side (I didn't realize this or I would have said something earlier), and to please not leave the branches all over the place. They were ignored like they hadn't even spoken, and since that's one thing that'll send me into a berserker rage I had to head down before I forgot that I'm not sergeant Smith any more and these weren't unruly privates. But maybe being smoked with 1/2 hour of grass drills right there on the rock is what they so desperately needed!

Alicia TRAILSPACE STAFF

A belated thanks for your review of your Keens, Phil. I'm sorry to hear it wasn't a great summit experience though.


27 days ago
Phil Smith

Oh well, 35 years ago that probably would have been me LOL. Besides, I go up there once or twice a week, usually in early evening, and it's much quieter. Cooler, too!


27 days ago
Alicia TRAILSPACE STAFF

Good call!


26 days ago
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