For shoes fit for extreme trail walking at a moderate…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: NZ $100


For shoes fit for extreme trail walking at a moderate cost look no further than the Keen Koven hiking shoe.


  • Excellent build and design
  • Fully waterproof
  • Reasonable weight
  • Flat sole and open lug
  • Excellent grip on all terrain
  • Good enough to wear to town too
  • Good support


  • A trifle warm in hot weather
  • Slow to dry out if filled with water

Having worn out a pair of expensive trail shoes in a couple of months I had to shop for some replacements. Having seen a number of specialist shops with little to fit my shortened feet (Frostbite rebuild) a delightful young lady suggested some Keen shoes:

"They're wide and they are on special at under half price."

I tried them, took a size larger and Wallah! just like carpet slippers, wonderful comfort from the shop floor on.

Now I have had them for almost nine months. Traveled a variety of tracks and trails here in New Zealand and they have been great. The soles have a grip like a Scot on a $100 bill except black slime mould and there is no noticeable wear either.

They are still waterproof after a full winter of trips every week unless it comes over the top and they take a full day to dry out when walking or a couple of sunny days off my feet. I have been off trail too and on steep slopes descending at the end of a day to reach shelter or home and am pleased to tell no toe bunching and excellent support. This I am sure is down to the versatile lacing with the ghillie system allowing a variation from sloppy comfort to tight total support according to need. 

All in all, I am very pleased with these shoes and can recommend them for quality and price.

I have now had these shoes for over a year and overall am still very pleased with them however the soles are now showing wear, quite a lot of wear in fact. The wear was noticed after a week of intensive trail walking on the Port Hills near home; the trails are mostly soft clay with a few volcanic rock outcrops to negotiate so not at all extreme. Within a month the soles are now half way through their life as trail shoes, a very rapid break down. The uppers are still perfect as are the insides; what a pity the soles cannot be replaced! 


Thanks for sharing a review of your Kovens, Heath.

3 years ago

Where to Buy

Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support Trailspace's independent gear reviews.