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Keen Growler

rated 4 of 5 stars

The Growler has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best winter boots for 2024.

photo: Keen Growler winter boot

Great boot for motorcycle camping in cool weather.

I have worn several different brands of boots in harsh Wisconsin winter weather and when riding my motorcycle in cool weather. Before now, my size 13-14 feet would began to feel cold after 30 or 40 minutes in the cold—regardless of the brand I was wearing. Wool socks helped a little but not enough to prevent the cold feet. But now I have discovered the Keen Growler and my cold feet days are over.

These boots are insulated waterproof boots that claim to keep your feet warm down to minus 25 degrees Fahrenheit. I have not tested my pair in such extreme cold weather but I wore them on an hour motorcycle ride in 39-degree weather. At the end of my ride, my feet were toasty warm. These boots will obviously keep your feet warm if you choose to camp in cool weather. These boots are very lightweight (18.3 ounces) and have a metal D ring for attaching gaiters.

As many other reviewers have noted, they fit tight and most people will need to buy a half size larger than their normal size.

The only complaint I had was that the first pair I ordered had a manufacturing defect that rubbed my heel raw after an hour of wear. I returned that pair and got a new pair that fit like a glove and needed no break-in time.

Materials: Leather uppers with PrimaLoft insulation
Use: motorcycle riding and camping
Break-in Period: None
Weight: 1 pound, 2 ounces
Price Paid: $125

I bought these boots from EMS about a year and a half ago. I've probably used them on around 8 hikes through varying conditions. They were pretty warm, pretty comfortable and mostly waterproof for the first year. The last few hikes, as the weather has been warmer, my feet got pretty wet from melting snow and puddles/brook crossings. The KEEN dry system basically failed after some moderate use.

When I went to re-treat the boots with some TX Direct wash-in, I noticed a lot of stitching in the toe (on both boots) coming apart, the left one was so bad there is a 1" hold in the fabric of the toe. The soles of these boots are barely worn down, they look new aside from the falling apart. These boots are NOT made for hiking or heavy use so please do not consider buying them if you're serious about getting out there.

I wrote an email to KEEN about the issue I was having, but unfortunately the boots are beyond the 1 year warranty's coverage. No forgiveness. KEEN should stick to making sandals, and leave the hiking/backpacking shoes and boots to the other guys who know what they're doing (IMO).

Materials: Gore-Tex
Use: Dayhikes, a few weekends, light use
Weight: ?
Price Paid: $110

Very, very warm boots - actually too warm for anything above freezing. For mountain hiking in winter, they're basically perfect. Waterproof, comfortable and very stable around the ankle.

I love how easily they lace up. You can regulate your warmth with your socks, but I recommend something very good at wicking, since your feet will sweat. They breathe fine, but in frigid temperatures (10F and below), once making camp I will change my socks immediately.

They had a breaking in period where I had two hot spots for a few days walking around the city. After that, though, they conformed to my foot perfectly. The insole has a foil layer to reflect heat - I don't know if it actually does anything, but it's a neat feature.

Materials: rubber, EVA, Keen Dry lining, Heat Shield footbed
Use: winter mountain hiking
Break-in Period: 3 days
Weight: 2 lbs. 4 oz.
Price Paid: $125

Used mostly just once in Sept. on a 14er day hike in CO.

Only complaint is that I noticed right away that the outer cuff of the boot rubs against the outside of my lower leg (several inches above my ankle). I added another pair of wool socks for protection and was totally fine. I imagine this problem will go away with continued use.

Look forward to hiking with these in later Oct (hopefully in some snow) to really test their worth.

Price Paid: $125

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