Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Keen Targhee II Mid Walking Boot. The first 50 miles...

Throughout winter and early spring I tend to stop using Inov8's for my main shoes.  For two reasons.  Firstly I don't tend to do as much backpacking during the winter, secondly I like a warmer and waterproof boot.  However I'm like the princess and the pea when it comes to boots.  My feet are very particular.  I have skinny heels and a very wide forefoot.  I also can't walk in stiff boots, use ski boots or anything that restricts natural foot movement too much.  I get a lot of pain in the arches of my feet.  On top of all these requirements I have HOT feet, really hot feet - goretex lined shoes are a complete no go area, far far to hot even in cold conditions.  E-vent lined shoes I can get away.  So when Webtogs asked me to test some Keen Targhee II Mid Boots I was apprehensive (I didn't tell them, don't let on).

My old Hi-Tec v-lite Recon mid boots had finally given up the ghost.  Event lined, fabric boots, very flexible with soles made by Satan himself.  If it was wet you were on your behind at least three times during the day.  I kept them for snow and ice and used microspikes with them.  In those limited conditions they were perfect.

Getting back to the Keens.  I'd seen mixed reviews from bloggers and general users alike.  It would seem that most of negative reviews were of the earlier e-vent lined models not being waterproof.  The "Keen-Dry" waterproofing seems to have gone down better.  I was also unsure about the look of the boot.  However when you put them on and look down at your feet they look like the kind of boot that means business.  Looks do matter.


First impressions were good, the way they are cut means they are very easy to get on and off, no struggling at all.  Laces that stay tied.  It still amazes me that some shoes come with laces that can't hold a knot.  Pretty light for such a sturdy boot, about 580g per boot (UK size 10) on my scales.  A good degree of flex in them as well to allow good foot movement.  A word on sizing here.  I usually fall between a 9 and 10 in a UK size.  Gareth from Webtogs suggested I go for the 10 and it fits like a glove.  If you straddle a foot size go for the larger one as they are a little conservative.

I've done about 50 miles in them now.  All of these day walks, the longest being 15 miles.  I've used a pair of Bridgedale liner socks and some thick Rohan Merino Wool socks on all the walks.  What can I say about these boots... Well they work, they work well.  Issue free walking from the outset.  No foot pain, no blisters not even hot spots, no leaks, plenty of underfoot cushioning when on tarmac and enough flex for your foot to move with the contours of the ground and not slide about on rocks and tree roots.  Also they don't cook your feet.  In fact your feet stay nice and warm.  I probably wouldn't use them in high summer but my feet do run hot.

The grip is better than most boots and most vibram soles of which I'm not a fan.  The last walk was very wet with extended sections of ankle deep mud.  What follows is a dirty video.  You have been warned.




I like these boots, they work well.  I personally will use them for the cooler months as I don't like lined boots during the summer as my feet are too hot.  If you don't suffer "hot foot" like me I don't see why you couldn't use these year round.  I think you'll find it difficult to find a better all round three season boot as this.  I will report back when they've had a few more miles on them to give an indication of wear and also to see if the stay waterproof.

8 comments:

Shap said...

It looks like you are wearing plus fours. Very stylish.

Shed Dweller said...

Good to hear from you Shap. You need to make the effort when walking round one's estate. I was also wearing my grandfather's tweed jacket.

David Lintern said...

i'm interested in these, as they are comfy in shop and i want lighter boots but avoid gtx as also have hot feet. did u test on wet rock and or grass and how did they fair on these?

Shed Dweller said...

Hello David, I had a good day in the Peaks last weekend with them on. A lovely sunny day, but very wet underfoot. They performed very well on wet grass and rock as good as any other walking boots I've ever had. Not as good as Inov8's but close. Inov8's have a lot softer rubber compound on the sole, more grip, more wear. These are a good compromise.

David Lintern said...

cheers John. am still mmming and aahh ing (something I do very well). Missus kitted out with new Solomans yesterday but goretex, ok then. I tried TNF vindicators but....goretex, no thanks! Jury still out

Shed Dweller said...

I was out in them today. You're feet do get damp in them, but they don't feel overly hot. I think that e-vent are slightly more breathable but there's not much in it. I did 10 miles with no hint of a hotspot or blister. You can't tell you're feet are damp until you take them off. So pretty good really.

Joe Newton said...

Ahhh, the comfiest boots I've ever owned!

It was a pity then that the lining on my earlier model failed, rendering them next to useless. I'm also not convinced about the depth of tread on the sole but probably not a problem on most trails, just on the steep stuff.

But that fit. Foot bliss. I have a narrow heel and wide fore-foot too. We must be Foot Twins...

Shed Dweller said...

Hi Joe. There were/are lots of reports of the e-vent lined boots failing badly. These ones, touch wood are still 100% waterproof. They've had another 30 miles on them since the initial test and I do the "stand in a stream for a minute test" on them at the end of the walk and no water ingress at all.

My concerns on the depth of the tread so far have been unfounded. No problems with slipping and they are no real tread wear either. Some boots soles seem ok for ages and then suddenly go. So we shall see.

I may not get much use from them until it gets colder again as my feet run warm.