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Targhee II Waterproof Hiking Boots

July 7, 2020

The KEEN Women’s Targhee II Waterproof hiking boot is ideal for the middling to advanced hiker looking to take the next step to adventure. From its exemplary, consider-all-scenarios toe protection to its patented waterproofing technology, this shoe is designed for the daring, and will take you far.

Pros

  • Sole is removable, allowing you to substitute in your own foot-pad preference, if necessary
  • No breaking-in time; customers report good performance and comfort right out of the box
  • Machine washable, like all KEEN leathers; just take out innersole and toss into wash

Cons

  • Low-rise ankle protection has been criticized by some as too hard for comfort
  • High price – due to patented parts

The Company

KEEN is dedicated to designing footwear, clothing, and bags that help people enjoy the outdoors, which they define as “anyplace without a ceiling,” while also giving back to the global community. The company does this by using sustainable materials and contributing to a wide range of nonprofit causes.

The Product

These attractive shoes have a leather exterior with a mesh-and leather tongue and brightly colored accents, which come in seven different combinations ranging from spruce green and black to gray and Caribbean blue. Each boot weighs 14.69 oz and has a shaft measuring approximately 4.5 inches from arch to top. It also has rubber soles, about 1 inch thick. It uses laces and a cloth-loop lacing system to ensure maximum fit for a wide variety of feet.Inside, padding includes both an EVA compression-molded footbed that supplies lots of arch support, and a removable dual-density midsole. There is also an ESS shank embedded in the midsole, which is designed to stabilize your foot as it lands, reducing fatigue. These features combine in a symphony of comfort to keep you walking long distances as easily as if you were making a jaunt out the door.

Attributes that set this product apart include:

  • Toe protection: Out of the top 3 rated models for women’s hiking boots, the Targhee II offers the best safeguard. Unlike Hi-Tec’s Altitude Glide and Columbia’s Newton Ridge boots, the rubber toe cage on these shoes (a patented design called Keen.Protect) wraps over the toe area and around the entire footbed. It covers not only the front of all toes but also some of the top, protecting your toes in a wide variety of situations.
  • Waterproofing: The product not only has a patented, Keen.Dry waterproof lining that is highly praised by customers, but also includes a waterproof nubuck upper to insure no water gets in. Both components are reported as effective but breathable, giving users the best of both worlds.
  • Ankle protection: Although this shoe has a fairly low-rise top compared to other women’s boots, it has an S3 (Shock, Suspension, and Stability) heel design, which absorbs shock, provides a sturdy foot support upon impact, and prevents ankle injuries.
  • Versatility:  Customers have reported high satisfaction with the shoe’s performance in many different kinds of weather, work, and terrain. The multi-directional lugs on the sole, for example, provide traction over slippery and muddy ground alike.

Compared to the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus, this product has greater toe protection, and is slightly more lightweight. It is also more versatile and able to handle a greater variety of conditions and terrain.

Compared to the Hi-Tec Women’s Altitude Glides, KEEN’s product offers a better toe cage and slightly more breathability due to its mesh tongue. Although the two boot models weigh approximately the same, the Targhee II has an additional advantage of greater customizability. It has longer-lasting EVA soles and a removable footbed, which makes the innersoles easy to replace or swap out for custom pads better suited to each user. It also has a unique combination of loops and eyelets for tying, which in turn make it possible to lace up the shoe in a variety of different ways to ensure the best fit for each user.

In a Nutshell

This is an ideal shoe for the heavy-duty adventurer, someone who expects to hike in many different environments and needs to be prepared for every eventuality. Every feature has been designed to ensure maximum comfort, durability, and versatility, and overall construction is meant to withstand heat, wet, and rough ground. Due to their high price, these shoes may not be the best choice for a beginning or casual hiker, although they do require next to no breaking-in time and would still serve you well from the get-go. These boots, however, are a testament to KEEN’s craftsmanship and a worthwhile investment for someone who intends to turn hiking into a long-term pastime. They will serve you well for many years.

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