By Dan Kidder
Every year, my hiking goal is about 2,000 miles for a season. This includes simple daily hikes and some really brutal multi-day hikes. It isn’t uncommon for me to wear out a few pairs of boots each season.
This year, my hiking season got off to a late start, but I am now ready to hit the trail in my Keen Targhee II hikers.
What I love about these low-top hikers is that they give my foot plenty of support, thanks to a Torsion Control ESS shank. This provides a more rigid platform for my feet and also protects against side twisting. All together this protects my feet from mechanical injury and fatigue on rocks and uneven ground, where I like to spend a lot of my time.
A Metatomical dual density EVA insole conforms to the shape of my foot, protecting it from all sides while also leaving plenty of room for my big toe, so it isn’t pressed into the shoe. This isn’t only more comfortable, but it helps to avoid blisters and damage to my feet.
On the outside, an oversized bumper on the toe and heel protect from bangs and bumps like a helmet for your feet. This also protects the boots to add more miles to their lifespan. An attractive nubuck leather upper with a hydrophobic mesh top and tongue make them look great and also stand up to a lot of abuse. Keen also sources their hides from Leather Working Group-certified tanneries that use processes to reduce chemical use and the impact on our watersheds.
They are also waterproof, yet breathable. They are coated with an environmentally friendly PFC-free waterproof coating on the outside and Keen.Dry membrane on the inside to let vapor and moisture wick away. Additionally, an Eco Anti-Odor chemical free probiotic insole naturally breaks down odor-causing bacteria and doesn’t harm the bees in the manufacturing process. I am a big fan of bees.
There is a special dual density compression molded midsole to give a lot of support to your feet so that mile 15 feels like mile one. And to keep them in place, wide webbing lace keepers allow the laces to move with your steps, and a nylon strap attaches the top lace to the heel with range of motion to allow it to be cinched tight and support the top of your foot by linking it to your heel.
The real test of a hiking shoe is the sole. Keen has created heavy 4mm multi-directional lugs for a positive grip on any terrain or weather. No matter if you are traversing a sandy dune, rocky scree, or flat hardpacked dirt, these boots will conform to the terrain for great traction. They can get a little slick on wet slippery rock, but that tougher sole means more miles over their lifetime.
For a supremely comfortable low hiker that protects your feet and keeps them dry, while also being committed to protecting and conserving the great outdoors we enjoy, check out the Keen Targhee II hiking shoes at your local Sportsman’s Warehouse and hit the trail with Keen.