KEEN Targhee II
KEEN Targhee III
If you are in the market for some affordable hiking boots that are worth their salt on the trail, you have probably been looking at the Keen Targhee range of hiking boots.
They are, without a doubt, some of the best value hiking boots on the market that still delivers performance on the trail. But, there isn’t just one model to choose from, you have to make a decision between the Keen Targhee II boots and the Keen Targhee III boots.
Now, generally speaking, some hikers prefer the Keen Targhee II mid and others prefer the Keen Targhee III mid. So what are the key differences between each pair of hiking boots? That is what we are here to unravel so that you can choose the right hiking shoe for you.
These are both excellent pairs of hiking shoes that provide you with immediate comfort from day one and have enough support and durability to handle a serious hike. They are so comfortable that people wear them around the house, on short hikes, and long ones too.
You will get excellent traction from both Keen Targhee hiking shoes, great toe protection and they are both breathable and fully waterproof too. Both have excellent midsoles with ample cushioning for all-day comfort and provide solid support on the trail too.
Now, it is hard to imagine getting such a great pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots for such a great price, which is a major part of why they are so popular. So, let’s dig into the details so you can decide whether the Keen Targhee II Mid or the Keen Targhee III Mid hiking shoes are best for you.
Both the Keen Targhee II Mid and the Targhee III Mid offer amazing comfort the first time you wear them. It is like putting on a pair of hiking shoes that you have broken in for months and this comes down to a few things.
The fit is excellent on both the Targhee II and Targhee III as they are both anatomical and mold to your feet. They secure your heel and leave enough space for your toes to spread out.
The intelligent design runs the middle webbing eyelet around the heel which when laced up provides excellent support along the trail.
The Targhee II and Targhee III also come with a torsion stability ESS shank that ensures you don’t slip and slide or get any blisters on rugged terrain.
While they are not 100% waterproof they both have a water resistance rating of 3.75 inches flood height.
This means that crossing streams is a no in terms of water resistance but the boots will keep water out when walking through puddles and wet grass.
The Keen.Dry waterproof breathable membrane also does a good job of letting moisture and heat out on both the Targhee II and Targhee III.
They do well with thin socks but don’t breathe as well with thicker merino socks on.
You can walk through rugged terrain without any concern about stubbing your toe.
They both have 4 mm lugs on a sole made from nonmarking carbon rubber but the Targhee II Mid has a bigger tread pattern whereas the Targhee III Mid hiking shoes are more streamlined and provide a bigger surface area for traction.
The key difference this creates is that the Targhee III Mid is excellent on all terrains including scrambling on loose scree while the Targhee II Mid is solid on all terrains except for when you need to scramble.
Now, they both provide excellent cushioning and shock absorption but the Dual-density EVA midsole creates a different feel inside.
The Targhee II has a more elevated heel than the Targhee III which is more of a traditional hiking boot design. The Targhee III feels more like a normal trail running shoe with a lower heel.
Now, it totally depends on your feet and what you prefer as to whether the Targhee II hiking shoes will suit you better than the Targhee II hiking shoes.
Now, the Oiled nubuck leather provides better waterproofing on the Targhee III but it requires consistent oiling to maintain its waterproof abilities.
The Targhee II on the other hand provides as much comfort and waterproofing as Targhee III but it comes without the maintenance hassle.
The Targhee II has more of a classic hiker boot look to it whereas the Targhee III is a much more streamlined model. This doesn’t have much effect on the performance of each of the hiking shoes, but it does matter in terms of what kind of aesthetics you prefer.
The Targhee IIs also have a more classic hiking boot feel to them whereas the Targhee III has more of a trail running feel to them.
Overall, the choice is yours as to whether you prefer the classic Targhee II look and feel, or the more streamlined trail running look and feel of the Targhee III.
It is only $10 which is pretty much negligible in most cases but it is a difference nonetheless.
The Targhee II and Targhee III Keen boots have a durability issue which lies in the upper.
The Targhee II has a lot of seams that can easily unravel. Now, the Targhee III has the same issue, but the upper also requires oiling too, making it more susceptible to wear.
You can avoid these durability issues by using a seam grip to hold the leather seams together for longer, and if you remember to oil the leather upper on the Targhee III, then it will stay good for years.
The Targhee III does require more maintenance and care than the Targhee II though, so be aware of that when choosing.
Choosing between the Targhee II and the Targhee III boots is not an easy choice and having run through all the similarities and differences, do you have a gut feeling?
I would personally choose the Targhee II line as they require less maintenance, are more affordable, and I prefer the traditional hiking boot look and feel compared to the Targhee III.
The main benefit of the Targhee III is that they have overall traction on all terrains. The Targhee II doesn’t do well when scrambling on loose terrains whereas the Targhee III does.
If you like a streamlined, sneaker feel to your hiking boots and do a lot of scrambling, then perhaps the Targhee III will suit you better. Just remember to oil the leather upper often.