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Keen Review: Hiking Boots

Keen Review: Hiking Boots
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Updated: 10/22/2022 | Keen Review

keen logoDisclaimer: I received prodcuts from Keen to review in this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are mine and 100% honest.

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About Keen

Keen is an outdoor shoe brand for men, women, and kids. They make attractive and durable shoes for those who love adventuring outdoors and hiking.

Founded in 2003 by Martin Keen and Rory Fuerst, the outdoorsy duo kept looking for well-made shoes that could survive their outdoor adventures in Portland, Oregon. Since they couldn’t find one, the pair decided to build their own. And from that point, Keen has been a leader in crafting active footwear.

The company was founded by Martin Keen and Rory Fuerst in 2003, and is now solely owned by Fuerst (with Keen selling his share to his co-founder in 2015).

With work boots, slippers, sandals, hikers, and a few versatile styles in-between on their roster, Keen decided to turn their attention to the environment, along with volunteer and outreach programs to support their communities, even spearheading funding initiatives like the Colorado wildfire they’ve been raising $25,000 to support.

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Keen Hiking Boots Review

Just to give you an idea of how we’re reviewing Keen hiking boots in this post, I’ll share my typical usage of their boots. I prefer to hike in my boots and wear them about 2-3 times a month. I typically do not put a lot of wear and tear on my hiking boots and have had my shoes for over 2 years.

We received the following boots from Keen to review in this post:

  • Targhee II Hiking Boots ($165) – I love these boots! They’re super supportive and were easy to break in. I’ve taken these boots on over 20 hikes and they still look new.
  • Targhee II Chelsea Boots ($155) – I wanted a more fashionable option for hiking and travel so I opted for this Chelsea-style boot. The boots don’t have laces and easily slide onto my foot. The ankle and sole support are a bit looser than my Targhee II, so I recommend sizing down or using insoles for a better fit.
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Keen Chelsea Boots

Keen Pros

  • Durable and Well Made – The shoes are super sturdy and great for light to mid-level trekking.
  • Excellent Toe Protection – The toe box of their hiking boots is thick and supportive. You don’t have to worry about stubbing your toes or getting them smashed under a rock.
  • Great ankle support! The ankle area will need to be broken in but the support is amazing thereafter.
  • Comes in many colors and patterns.
  • Offer laceless options. We were able to test out their Chelsea styles which performed just as well.
  • Practices ethical manufacturing
  • Environmentally friendly products
  • Donates to environmental non-profits such as the Colorado Wildfire Fund.
  • Heads a volunteer organization called Keen Corps.
  • Free shipping on orders over $100.
  • Keen offers a 30-day window from your order date to return unworn footwear. US customers can enjoy free return shipping. To begin your return process, you’ll need to contact the company through their Returns Portal and request a return label. Once Keen receives your goods, it will take 7-10 business days to refund your credit card. You can also bring their shoes in-store to receive a refund.
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Keen Chelsea Boots

Keen Cons

  • Expensive – A pair of Keen hiking boots will run you over $100 USD.
  • Issues with soles detaching. I haven’t had this issue with my boots but it seems to be a common one when reading customer reviews on their site. Their sole consists of a dual-density compression-molded EVA midsole, a torsion stability ESS, and a proprietary rubber outsole.
  • Heavyweight – Keen hiking shoes weigh on average around 2.5 pounds. This makes them very heavy to lug around, so I typically wear them while traveling.
  • Little arch support. I have super high arches and their shoes lack arch support. I typically get a size larger and use an orthopedic foot insert in all my active footwear.
  • Wears out faster when compared to competitor brands.
  • Not great for long-haul trips. Your Keens will wear out quickly if you decide to take them on a long trek around the world. 
  • They do not offer an exchange program. You’ll have to return your shoes and purchase a new pair.

Where to Buy Keen

The best place to shop for Keen products is through their website.

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