I’ve owned a pair of Keen trail shoes for many years now, and while they got minimal hill use, they’ve been so comfortable that they’re my casual footwear of choice. These suit those with wider feet, or those with a typically Northern European foot shape as opposed to the almost winkle-picker narrow Italians (think Scarpas). In fact, you could probably have duck’s feet and they’d probably fit. So without a doubt, these Targhee IIs also offer a slipper-like comfort that you don’t often get in walking footwear. From the moment you put these on, they’ll feel like your favourite pair of boots and need no breaking in.
While they certainly passed muster in the comfort stakes, they were not so good on the hill. I found that over a number of trips that the grip provided was not as great as I’d have liked. Having been a rather wet summer in Snowdonia, the conditions underfoot has been exceptionally slippery and while the likes of Inov8 provided decent traction in these conditions, I felt rather unsafe on these walking on relatively easy routes that I was very familiar with. They proved themselves to be waterproof enough and the KEEN.DRY waterproof and breathable membrane seemed to do it’s job.
They’re well made with a hefty rand covering the front of the boot, ideal in rocky terrain. Coupled with a leather upper and quality manufacture, these look like they’ll last the distance. A pair of knobbly laces are a novel feature, presumably to prevent the laces from coming undone once tied up.
If you want a pair of very comfortable boots for trekking or easy rambling, and boots that can double for casual wear then these are ideal. Considering their price as a mid-range boot, then you can overlook the grip issue as there’s very few boots out there that cope with slippery rock. We’re not sure if this is due to the non-vibram sole or the conditions underfoot, but a few other reviews we found on some sites agreed. I suppose it depends on the kind of walking you do, and I know as a fact that Welsh rock is particularly slippery when wet when you compare it to something like peak gritstone, so that doubtlessly contributed.
For the price and the weight, they’re a decent enough boot but I would keep off Crib Goch in the rain with these, but I’d happily go for a trail walk, shop around Betws and perhaps go for a pint afterwards. If you’re heading off for a trek in rockier, drier climes then these would be ideal.
Review sponsored, but not influenced, by Nature Shop UK – an online retailer selling premium “nature inspired” brands and products that are kind to your body and to the environment. We are committed to making a positive difference to the world that we all live in with a specific focus on preservation of the natural environment and in helping the lives of children who will inherit this beautiful world of ours. We have offices and distribution centres in Rustington, West Sussex in the United Kingdom and in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand.