Keen Targhee III Waterproof Mid
A comfortable, mid-weight hiking boot with a waterproof-breathable…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: NOK 1169, about $125
A comfortable, mid-weight hiking boot with a waterproof-breathable liner that works well for wet terrain.
- All-day comfort
- Snug fit but with plenty of toe room
- Waterproof, as advertised
- Some condensation from sweat
I was so impressed by the fit and performance of my Targhee Vent boots that I decided to buy a pair of waterproof Targhees for use in wet Norwegian conditions. I found an older model on sale and went for it partly for price but also because it has less exposed stitching in the forefoot. My Vents are the Targhee III model and have a similar design and fit. I haven’t put a lot of distance on them, but I’m impressed enough to go ahead and review.
Most Norwegian trails are just marked, cleared if there happens to be any trees and shrubs in the way, and then worn in over time, and many of them involve crossing wide, squishy bogs where water wells up around the feet at every step. I’ve worn these boots on a couple of all-day hikes on these wet trails and finished feeling reasonably dry. Since any waterproof-breathable barrier is a compromise, they sweat up a little faster than more breathable boots, but that’s better than coming away completely soaked from the outside.
Both the Vent and Waterproof versions are the most comfortable boots I’ve had in quite a while, with plenty of room for the toes and a snug heel cup. My older model boots do not have the nylon strap that the laces pass through to snug the heel, but my experience with the Vents suggests that it doesn’t do much of anything anyway and I don’t notice any difference between the older model Waterproof and newer model Vent in foot movement in the boot. The laces close the boot up around my foot well enough to prevent the foot sliding forward on steep downhills and there are none of the rubs and pinches that somehow seem come out of nowhere toward the end of a long day’s hike.
The soles grip well on dry and wet rock, and on the Vents are holding up well after about 300 km (100 miles), some of it on abrasive volcanic rocks and cinders in Iceland. The wrap-over rubber toe bumper provides a little extra protection and is holding up well on the Vents, with no sign of delamination. I’m very impressed by the fit and waterproof performance, and for a mid-light boot these are about as good as any I’ve found.
I have used this pair of boots on a couple of all-day hikes on wet trails, and the similar Targhee III Vent for about 300 km, including two multiday hikes in Iceland. In over 50 years of hiking, backpacking, and some mountaineering, I have worn out dozens of pairs of boots of just about every description within those categories.