Keen Targhee Vent Mid
All-day comfort for wide feet in a lightweight hiking boot. Still holding up after a year and half and an estimated 350 km / 250 miles of use. Best for hiking in mostly dry conditions.
- Reasonably durable for a lightweight boot
- Wet easily and dry slowly
I picked up my Targhees on a sale table at an outdoor retailer sometime during my last couple of months in Tucson in 2018. That summer they saw some use on day hikes and a four-day hike in Colorado before I brought them home to Norway. Since I have the breathable but non-waterproof version of the boots they are not well adapted to Norway’s “moist” climate, but since they are relatively light and very comfortable I have used them for several day hikes here and on two longer backpacking trips and some day hikes on a recent trip to Iceland and the Faroe Islands. That adds up to an estimated 350 km / 250 mi of use so far.
The uppers are a combination of leather with breathable mesh panels and a molded polyurethane “heel capture system” that includes tough PU strips that wrap around to the toe above the sole. There is quite a lot of exposed stitching but so far it has worn through on only one short stretch, and that has not opened up any more over the last 100 km / 60 mi or so. The sole wraps up over the toe to protect it, and there are no signs of delamination.
Breathable boots were a poor choice for the wet terrain on the Hornstrandir peninsula in Iceland because they wet easily and dry slowly, but at least they were still reasonably comfortable when wet, and they did much better on the somewhat drier and well-maintained Laugarvegur and Fimmvorduhals trails.
For me their most endearing quality is comfort. Plenty of room up front for me to wiggle my toes, but they hold my foot well enough that there is no heel chafing or jamming the toes into the front of the boot on long downhills. As part of the heel capture system, the laces pass through a nylon strap that wraps around and theoretically stabilizes the heel, but as far as I can tell the straps don’t actually move so I take this as a bit of a gimmick, the good news being that the boots feel good anyway.
Although it’s still nice to take them off at the end of the day, I’ve had other boots or shoes, notably the comparable Merrell Moab Ventilator that leave my toes really hurting after a full day, especially after steep downhills.
The mid height is fine for hiking on rocky trails, where the soles also offer good grip. I don’t really believe that mid-height boots offer much in the way of ankle support, but when the going gets rough it can be nice to have some protection for the ankle bones. The soles are showing some wear but still have plenty of tread. I don’t expect either the uppers or soles to last forever, but I’d say I’m on track to get 800-1000 km (500 – 620 miles) out of them before they get demoted to backyard boots.
(Targhee Vent with 350 km / 250 mi on right, Targhee waterproof with a few dog walks on left)
My size 46 (US 11.5) pair weighs 1120 grams.
The Targhee Vent is best for day hiking and backpacking in mostly dry conditions. I just picked up a pair of the waterproof version for use in Norway’s wetter conditions. The fit seems to be the same, but I will have to put some miles in before I will know if they live up to the standard set by the breathable version.
As noted above, I have put about about 350 km / 250 on these boots in dry to very wet conditions. I have gone through dozens of pairs of light hiking boots in both work and recreation, including a pair of the comparable Merrell Moab Ventilator mid-height, and another pair of Moabs in the low cut (shoe) version. I have also hiked a lot in heavier, full-leather boots and running shoes, but I prefer light hikers as a compromise on rougher trails.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: Don't recall, on sale at significant discount off MSRP
For under $200 CAD, better than expected.
- Waffle'y foot bed that needed no break-in
- Stays tied up well
- Pretty good on rocky trail
Hi all—I'd not owned Keen boots before, even though I liked their look. This Targhee was my second set of light hiking boots. Pair #1 was Oboz.
A "break in" wasn't needed. The footbed felt good for me (90kg), so I felt confident going into a 12km, 500m up/down, mountain hike with a heavy-ish pack. The boots held up. My feet were achy, however that may be due to fatigue (first hike this year), and overall weight.
Day 1, 12km, heavy load = achy feet
Day 2, 5km, no load = happy feet
Day 3, 12km, heavy load = achy feet
Rock feel through the sole was not too bad. I knew it would be harsher than a +$100 more expensive, steel shank boot. I hope the side welts and sole hold up to mountain scrambling. That was where the Oboz boots eventually failed. The Keens are a bit lighter, and the rock feel is more muted on the new Keens vs old Oboz.
So, I feel I got good value for the boot.
Pair #2 of light hiking boots. Pair#1 Oboz.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 190 Cad
Comfortable, well made, breathable.
- Quality construction
- Nice forefoot width
- Good overall fit
- Fairly heavy, but seems lighter than standard models
For those that don't need a waterproof shoe/boot, Keen's new Targhee Vent is built without a waterproof liner. This makes the boot a bit lighter and much more breathable than the traditional styles.
The fit is great for my foot shape, especially nice in the forefoot, with a comfortable heel pocket. Insole seems OK, but I will replace it with a Superfeet insole for more support in the arch and heel. Mesh on sides provide ventilation. Soles are grippy.
Source: bought via a "pro deal"
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