Keen Men’s Venture Leather WP Boot Review
Dave Roberts reviews the Venture Leather WP by Keen
The Men’s Venture Leather WP Boot by Keen are in their own words:
.. a waterproof full grain leather edition of this hasty hiker [Venture boot] that is agile, rugged and equipped to deal with whatever the elements have in store – Keen.
The Keen Venture boots are designed for those looking to travel fast over the course of the day, but don’t want to compromise while crossing rugged terrain. I’ve lost count of the time I’ve used a foot jam to climb an easy scramble in lightweight boots, before realising how painful that is in a boot that’s lightweight above all else. That’s where the full rand on the front of the boot comes into itself, offering protection for the toe that’s essential for the rough trails of Snowdonia, the Lake District or the Scottish Highlands. It’s no less than essential if you’re going to be doing anything approaching a grade 0.5 scramble and using your feet!
At the other end of the walking spectrum, these boots aren’t over engineered either, making short shrift of those wet lower level winter walks that seem to be all mud and beer (now that’s a name for a website!). They’re not designed with crampons in mind, so they’ll be suitable for all conditions in the colder months bar serious winter conditions on the higher fells. That being no criticism as a good winter walking boot suitable for crampons is an absolute pig to wear in any other conditions and you’ll need separate boots for those. I’m a strong believer in having three pairs – summer boots, crampon boots and a good all-rounder for all other walks into which category the Ventures firmly fall.
The Venture Leather WP boots feature, as you’d expect, full leather uppers with an internal KEEN.Dry waterproof, breathable membrane as opposed to the more ubiquitous Gore-Tex. There are probably scientific tests out there that measure the breathability and waterproofness of these different fabrics, but in practical use I’ve found these manufacturer’s own liners to be fine. In typical Mud and Routes fashion, or perhaps more akin to Peppa Pig, we found some muddy puddles to jump about in just to make sure!
The boots are nice non-narrow fit, but don’t seem as wide as some of the older Keen boots. As always, we think that the fit of a boot is too subjective to review, and at best we can only suggest a guide as to them being narrow/wide. Personally, I cannot wear narrow brands (or review them), but other than that my feet tend to be quite happy in most boots. Adding to the comfort in the words of the manufacturer they’re:
Equipped with KEEN’s new KonnectFit interlocking heel-capture system for superior lock-down feel, which helps increase stability on unpredictable terrain, this gutsy explorer is built to let you stride out with confidence during scrambles, fast paced adventures and day hikes.
What this means in practice is that the boots have been designed to grip your heel and prevent movement. This is achieved with one of the eyelets being attached to a wire that tightens around your heel as you tighten your laces. This system can be seen clearly on the photo below. This prevents your heel lifting out of the boot, which can lead to blisters.
The Keen Venture boots are Ideally suited to the cooler months – as we found them to be a bit on the warm side during testing. However, an un-seasonal September with temperatures around 23°C didn’t help. That could well be personal as I go for the lightest and thinnest footwear that I can get away with in the warmer months, as my feet will tend to overheat on longer walks in hot weather.
Despite being un-seasonally warm, a September day in the Carneddau was the perfect test for the Keen Venture Leather boot. With conditions underfoot varying from wide track to bog, rock and everything in between – we were able to put them through their paces. Grippy on rock, and importantly keeping our feet perfectly dry on the boggier and wetter sections with ease. While we didn’t find any technical scrambles, there’s plenty of bouldery ground to cross around Bera Bach and Garnedd Uchaf. The boots were tough enough to survive a few foot jams along the way, especially with the full rand protecting the toe.
The Keen Venture Leather WP Boot is a good all round boot for the non-summer, non-crampon walking season. A healthy compromise between an ultralight boot and a fully featured heavy boot that will suit wet, muddy adventures in typical UK conditions from coastal rambles to upland yomps.
The Venture Mid Leather WP is priced at £140, with two mesh editions available; the Venture Mid WP (RRP £130) and Venture WP low (RRP £120)
*This is a sponsored post, as always Mud and Routes review honestly and impartially and opinions stated are our own*
Keen Venture Leather WP features and specifications:
- Speed hooks for easy lace adjustment
- 4mm multi-directional lugs for traction
- Stability shank delivers lightweight support
- konnectfit heel-capture system for a locked-in feel
- KEEN.Dry waterproof, breathable membrane
- Notch in back for achilles comfort
- High-abrasion rubber tip for added durability and protection
What the Manufacturer Says:
VENTURE INTO ADVENTURE WITH KEEN
KEEN steps up the pace with progressive, new fast hikers for FW19
For over 15 years, KEEN have produced market-leading outdoor footwear globally acclaimed for its innovation, craftsmanship, comfort, and durability.
Hot on the heels of the launch of its progressive Venture boot in Spring 2019, KEEN picked up the pace for FW19 as they proudly debut a waterproof full grain leather edition of this hasty hiker that is agile, rugged and equipped to deal with whatever the elements have in store. This premium upper material amplifies the aggressive performance of this all conditions warrior , upping the game for year round protection and enabling you to power through challenging inclines and steep ascents, however inclement the conditions.
Skillfully integrating progressive design with added durability, the Venture Leather WP boot debuts an edgy stripped back design for sure footed performance on quick strike hikes. Whether you’re taking off on an impromptu overnighter on the trail or making off for a mammoth 36 hour micro adventure, the Venture is designed for the adrenalin hungry and is the ultimate tool to fuel fast paced exploration this season. Providing exceptional fit and progressive stability for the toughest terrains, a tuned wishbone stability shank is coupled with an injection molded EVA midsole ensuring a cushioned ride and total protection during pacey adentures on demanding inclines. Equipped with KEEN’s new KonnectFit interlocking heel-capture system for superior lock-down feel, which helps increase stability on unpredictable terrain, this gutsy explorer is built to let you stride out with confidence during scrambles, fast paced adventures and day hikes.
Boasting a KEEN.ALL-TERRAIN rubber outsole with four-millimeter multi-directional lugs for high-traction grip and the KEEN legendary toe protection, the Venture boot is coupled with a KEEN.DRY waterproof and breathable membrane for all conditions comfort and protection. A speed hook system allows for swift and easy lace adjustment on the move, whilst all models in the Venture range benefit from Eco Odor Control with Cleansport NXT, keeping feet fresh during fast paced adventures.
For FW19 the Venture is available in three models for men – the all new Venture Mid Leather WP (RRP £140) and two mesh editions, the Venture Mid WP (RRP £130) and Venture WP low (RRP £120), both updated with innovative new no sew construction methods in the new season editions.