If you're passionate about hiking, then you know how important it is to have the right hiking boots. Proper hiking boots will protect you from rocks, and any other debris on the hiking trail. They will help you move easily, and provide you with support while you do so. It’s important that your hiking boots have a good grip, so you don't accidently slip and fall.
Whether you spend most of your time hiking, or you are just a casual hiker, it's always useful to have a pair of versatile shoes that are made to endure all kinds of weather conditions. Keen is an American manufacturer that takes pride in creating comfortable footwear for all kinds of outdoor activities. We'll take a look at the two of their most popular models of hiking boots, to help you decide which one is the better fit for you.
6 or 7.5 inches (Polar)
Leather and textile upper
Waterproof Nubuck Leather
Mid: 22.4 oz / 635.0 g
High/Polar: 25.6 oz / 725.7 g
Mid: 17.4 oz / 493.3 g
The Keen Durand hiking boot promises to provide you with support and comfort wherever you go. These hiking boots are waterproofed with KEEN.Dry waterproof membrane that will protect your feet from water in any state. With Keen Durand you’ll have plenty of arch and ankle support on rougher terrains, and every step in them will be comfortable.
They also offer the Durand POLAR in super high (7.5 inch height) and warm version,(see image above) which is great if you spend a lot more time in cold & rough/mountainous terrain. Although, I would not recommend it for the average hiker (or for anyone not in cold areas), as it is a lot heavier, hotter to wear and more restrictive on your movements.
The Durand boots are lined with hydrophobic mesh lining, and they come with a removable metatomical EVA footbed in them. They will keep your feet warm, which is a good thing if you plan on wearing them only during the fall and winter seasons. However, if you are looking for a hiking shoe that is also comfortable to wear in the summer, then these are not the hiking boots for you. Look down below at the Targhee :>
The manufacturer suggests that you order half a size larger than what you usually wear, because they tend to be a little small. When it comes to the fit of the boot, we found that the Durand model has a wider toe box. So, if you usually have a problem finding shoes that fit you well because you have wide feet, the Keen Durand hiking boots might be a good choice. If, on the other hand, you have smaller feet, then you should probably check out the Targhee model instead.
There are some problems with the quality of the build of the shoes. In some cases, the stitches on the outside seam tore; in other cases the eyelets broke down or popped out. We're looking at a 180$ shoe here, so it is a good thing that Amazon.com offers free returns. It's important to note that this only happened to a handful of people, but it is essential to have all the facts when purchasing a proper hiking boot.
The Targhee hiking boots were built with durability in mind. They are meant to make it effortless for you to explore any type of terrain you want, while providing you with all the comfort and support you need.
You don’t have to worry about the rain, because these Keens are waterproofed with KEEN.Dry waterproof, breathable membrane. This basically means that no water can penetrate them, but the membrane allows good airflow. The soles of the shoes go up a bit on the sides, which ensures that no water can get inside them. However, it’s not recommended that you go hiking through streams and rivers; you will get wet if you do. The shoes will dry very quickly though.
The Targhee hiking boots have toe protection built in, so you don’t have to worry about stubbing your toes. The best part about these boots is that you don’t have to break them in at all. You can wear them straight out of the box, and your feet won’t feel a thing.
The Targhee model offers great arch support, but since it’s an ankle shoe, it doesn’t provide ankle support. However, if ankle support is something you look for in a boot, Keen does make these in several different heights, so you could opt for the Targhee MID boot. The boots have excellent grip, and you won’t have any problems even on rocky slopes. And, they have enough traction that you can be comfortable hiking both uphill and downhill.
Price: Well, the price is the obvious difference. The Durand model often costs close to two hundred bucks, and the Targhee model is usually about 25% less than that. If you like saving money, then opt for the latter choice.
True to size: The Targhee model stays true to size, which is a blessing when it comes to ordering footwear from the internet. The Durand model is smaller in terms of size, but still somewhat wider, so it might be more difficult to choose the perfect fit without trying them on.
Support: Both models provide arch support, but only the Durand model provides ankle support as well.
Both boots are waterproof, equally durable, and made from the same quality material. So, which Keen hiking boots should you opt for?
When we take everything into consideration, the Keen Targhee hiking boot seems like the better option. It’s significantly cheaper, but it performs equally well. It’s also the better choice if you are looking for hiking boots that you can wear all year round, and not just in the fall and winter seasons.
The only reason why we would suggest that you buy the Durand hiking boot, is if you have wide feet, and often cannot find footwear that fits you well. But, in the end it’s completely your choice. We’re only here to help you make that choice.
We also came across some complaints that the quality of Keen footwear has generally decreased, since they relocated their production to China. The number of these complaints is, however, very small, when compared to the number of raving reviews both these hiking boots have received. If you do encounter a problem such as the boots cracking, or the outer sole separating from the rest of the shoe; the manufacturer will replace them with new boots, for free.