Keen Targhee II Mid Review

6 11 2011

Awesome boots as long as I stay on the bike...

I’ve been rocking a pair of KeenTarghee II Mid boots for 3 to 4 years now. I love these boots and wear them regularly even though they have a fatal flaw I wish Keen would resolve.

First here are the good things:

  • they fit my feet really really well
  • very comfortable for all day use
  • grip well when it’s dry
  • stay 100% waterproof in the rain and when standing in deep puddles
  • my feet don’t get too hot or excessively sweaty during dry warm weather use
  • high enough for good protection
  • low enough I can pedal well
  • look nice
  • have been used a ton and look new
  • decent price

Well worn, but going strong...

Top of the list is they fit me well. You need to find footwear that fits your foot. If you don’t it doesn’t matter how great the features are they won’t work well for you. I know that’s an obvious point to most, but I worked in an outdoors shop and I sold many pairs of shoes/boots to people because they liked the looks or read a positive review – not because they fit well. Sad, but true…

As I said I love these boots except for that fact they have a slippery sole. Yup – waterproof hiking boots that don’t grip well when its wet. I have had many WTF? moments trying to come to terms with this myself. They work okay when it’s dry or if you are on a grippy surface. If you are on snow, wet roots, icy or slick surface forget about it you slide. If I go inside and I put on my Salomon hiking boots with a grippy Vibram sole I have no issues under the same conditions. My Targhees are older, but the images on the Keen website and the newer ones I look at from time to time at MEC/REI seem to use the same sole. If they changed the sole to something with decent grip I’d buy two more pairs as they would be a killer pair of boots. As it stands I use mine when I can and once they wear out I won’t replace them

Too bad the sole sucks!

Why do I keep wearing them?:

  • they are paid for
  • for walking around when it’s dry they work well
  • they work fine in the city when it’s raining [on concrete and asphalt]
  • they work fine for cool/wet weather biking with studded BMX platform pedals
  • I don’t actually like hiking much in and of itself so usually I’m biking with a short hike to see a view point which I can manage with these even when it’s wet
  • did I mention they fit my feet so well?..=-)

They are 100% waterproof...

Keen if you are listening change the sole on these babies and I will post all sorts of goodness about them online letting everyone know how much they rock. As it stands I don’t get the thinking behind waterproof hiking boots that don’t grip well in the wet????



7 responses

10 11 2011

Agree on all points, there amazing shoes, let down by slippy soles on rocks, esp wet slimey ones on the coast, 5 ten soles would be perfect!

10 11 2011

I sent my review link to Keen who replied that they were sending it to their designers. I’m not holding my breathe, but who knows maybe they’ll sort things out – some day!

29 12 2011

yep, same here. bought a pair blind as i know that keen’s fit me really well. they do. but i’m sliding all over the place.
fortunately the people i bought them from are going to give me a refund since i argued that a hiking boot that slips on wet surfaces is basically defective.
what a drag though…

30 12 2011

in fact, i’m wondering what’s up with the Targhee’s. there are loads of people who have no complaints and there are no complaints that i can find that are pre 2011. so what? batch problem? i’ve owned keens, something like a Targhee, in the past. no problems. and they’re such amazing boots that i want to sort this out. they’re also the only boots i’ve ever found that just fit my huge, wide feet!
there are no complaints that i can find about other models from them either, so i’m thinking i might exchange em and see what i get. anyone tried the gypsums or the klamaths?
i’ve also emailed keen to see what they say but i’m not hold my breath either.

30 12 2011

@Eric – let me know if you hear anything useful from Keen. I’d buy another pair if they didn’t slip like I was walking on banana peels when it’s wet!

15 01 2012

well, here’s the strange thing. i just took em to scotland, to the isle of skye, which is basically a giant peat bog and beat the hell out of em. and while they slip like hell around london, they were basically ok on wet rock so long as the moss n slime factor wasn’t too bad. when it was, i had to stick to the mud. but i managed to run a few miles down a rocky trail in the rain and they were fine. so not really sure what to do or say. i’m sure they could grip better but on the other hand, i didn’t end up on my ass either.

keen got back to me. they swore that the traction tests they’ve done put their soles at the top of the pile. they would say that. and thats traction, not grip. they suggested trying other types. ok.
they said that if i was really not happy with em they’d take em back. ok.
they said that there may be a factory film on em and that the grip should improve with a bit of hard wearing. they did.
they said it could be a batch problem but they weren’t aware of any other problems in that department. ok

but now i’m on to problem No.2. they’re less than a month old, seen one trip into the wild, and the treads aren’t looking to good. lots of wear. you’d expect them to be harder wearing since the grip isn’t so good.

these things are breaking my heart.

what seems odd is, why piss around? they’re clearly capable of making great boots. stick vibram on the things and be done with it, know what i mean?

14 01 2014
vikapproved | Keen Targhee II Mid Boot Final Review

[…] I reviewed these boots back in 2011 at the Lazy Rando Blog. The basic upshot of that review was that they fit well and kept my feet dry when it was wet, but they had a sole that was not as grippy as it should be for a hiking boot. […]

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