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jasontx Offline OP
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Well, this forum reads gear reviews so I thought I'd put a review I did recently of my Keen Targhee II hiking boots.

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For several years, I've used various sneakers (Tennis shoes) and recently hiking sandals for my outdoor forays. As a wildlife photographer, hiker, kayaker, shade-tree herpetologist, etc. I tend to hike many many miles through some very unforgiving areas. I decided last I needed something with a little more ankle support. Well, my favorite hiking sandles have always been Keen with their "Keen Protect" (toe guards) so I finally decided to try a pair of their hiking boots. After my usual long exhaustive internet reasearch I decided to try a pair of the Keen Targhee II mid hikers. I'll make this review short and to the point as much as I can.

COMFORT:

Out of the box, the Targhee 's were very comfortable with little break in time required. The cushioning around the top is well done as is the nice removable metatomical dual density EVA footbed. These boot slip on and off with ease and Keen even put a nice little heel loop on the back for aiding in putting them on and off.
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The laces were sufficiently long and thanks to their webbing tied in with their laces, were very snug. One of the Webbing straps goes completely around the back of the boot which gives a little bit of extra "snuggness". Nice Touch.
As soon as I got these boots, I took them for a 6 mile hike at a nearby nature park. I had no issues with blisters or hot spots and was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable they were. My longest hike with these boots was at Choke Canyon lake on a wildlife photography hike. I walked 20+ miles through mud, swampy areas, waterways, over desert terrain and rocks, all while carrying 35 pounds of Camera gear. The result? Very comfortable with not blisters. they did get pretty wet but that's another section.

The S3 shock protection (as Keen calls it) seems to work pretty well. These boots seem to cradle the foot and provide nice ankle support.The day I hiked the 20+ miles, it was approximately 98 degrees (f) and these boots breathed very well and felt good in the heat.
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TRACTION:

Traction on dry rocky areas was very good. As you can see from the photos, Keen's own bi-directional lug design is very aggressive and it works well. The carbon outsole lugs are a substantial 4mm and are very firm providing a nice bite into most terrain & obstacles. The firmness however left a little to be desired on wet rocks; nothing bad mind you just not as grippy as I would have liked. On gravel, dirt or even mud, the bi-directional lug design worked great; no complaints.
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One thing I really like about the lug design of the Targhee's is that they are easy to clean the mud off. The space between them is sufficient enough that a strong stream of water usually does the trick cleaning them. Most lug patterns do not work well in this regard but these are pretty easy to clean. Below you can compare the lug pattern of the Targhee's and my newer Merrell Chameleon4 Mid Ventilator Gore-Tex.
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LACES:

One issue I've had with some hiking boots I've bought in the past was that they either had cheap laces or the laces were too short. I'm happy to report that Keen doesn't skimp in this department. The laces were sufficiently long and have lasted through some rough times. One aspect that I kinda like on these lacing system of these boots is the last lacing loop or notch (seen below) if you will at the top of the boot. It is basically a plastic (very tough) cinch that due to the lumpy nature of the laces catches and holds the laces in place. They work very well; in fact the few times that my shoe has come untied, the cinch loop kept the laces in place and the boot snug; great idea.

The one aspect I would probably change about the Targhee's is that if you do not run the laces through the provided tongue loop, the laces will ride up over the tongue. Maybe a bit longer tongue would remedy this.
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WATER?:

While the Targhee's do not have Gore-Tex, they do have what Keen's version that they call Keen.Dry. When I first got the Targhee's their water proof membrane seemed to work pretty well. After about 20 miles of hiking however, the left boot started to leak a little bit around the toe area, then later, the leaking got worse. I will give Keen a pass on this issue however since where I live in south Texas, EVERYTHING has thorns and a thorn might have inadvertently caused the leak. When the Targhee's get soaking wet, they do take some time to dry out.

KEEN PROTECT:

Basically, the Keen Protect are the toe guards, an ingenious albeit simple idea made by Keen to protect toes. I think they first come up with this idea for their sandals / Huarache's (Spanish for Sandal) and it is what first drew me to Keen sandals many years ago; living in the desert southwest is hell on open toes. Keen has somewhat made their toe guards their calling card or trademark kinda like Spyderco uses their hole in their knife. Keen has included their Keen Protect toe guard on their hiking boots and on the Taghee's has saved my toes many a time. I was even bitten on the toe guard by a 3 foot Mottled Rock Rattlesnake (C. lepidus lepidus) with no penetration; thank goodness! So I guess that the Keen Protect takes on a whole new meaning in that regard.
[img]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-mUltmByzwuU/UAI1Rw9bwCI/AAAAAAAAAQs/i0RzgOu9y2Y/s1600/IMG_4685a.jpg[/img]
WARRANTY / CUSTOMER SERVICE:

I am happy to report that after owning four pair of Keen sandals and now these boots, I have had no need of customer service and cannot report on this aspect personally. I have read good things however.

SPECS:

- 4mm multi-directional lugs
- Dual density compression molded EVA midsole
- KEEN.DRY waterproof breathable membrane
- Non-marking rubber outsole
- Patented toe protection
- Removable metatomical dual density EVA footbed
- S3 Heel support structure
- Torsion stability ESS shank
- Waterproof nubuck leather upper

CONCLUSION:

I really like these boots and there is still lots of life left in them. They breath fairly well in the hellish S. Texas heat and were initially waterproof (a thorn may have ended that). The Targhee's are VERY comfortable out of the box and caused no blisters and little to no break in time. The traction is good to great in most conditions save wet rocks and the lugs are easy to clean after a day in the mud. If I had to come up with a negative (and that would be pushing it) it would be how the laces ride up over the tongue unless you run them through the provided tongue loop. That's just a minor pet peeve and should not detract from the fact that these are NICE hiking boots, one's that I highly recommend.

If you're interested in the review in it's original format, it's here: http://centavogear.blogspot.com/2012/07/keen-targhee-ii-mid-hiking-boot-review.html

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Thanks good review


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I'll add my 2cents:
I have 3 pairs of these. I beat one pair down with two long summers of hiking in conditions as different as Utah Canyonlands and Canada's Waterton. They fit better out of the box than any previous boots used in the last 28 years. I agree, the traction is a little less grippy on wet rocks, so I take a little more care with foot placement. I still use the beat-down pair for work boots. I now hike in the second pair, and have a third still in the box (I don't trust boot makers-- they "upgrade" perfectly good models and the fit changes, so I stockpiled these).

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jasontx Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Alagator
I'll add my 2cents:
I have 3 pairs of these. I beat one pair down with two long summers of hiking in conditions as different as Utah Canyonlands and Canada's Waterton. They fit better out of the box than any previous boots used in the last 28 years. I agree, the traction is a little less grippy on wet rocks, so I take a little more care with foot placement. I still use the beat-down pair for work boots. I now hike in the second pair, and have a third still in the box (I don't trust boot makers-- they "upgrade" perfectly good models and the fit changes, so I stockpiled these).

smile I actually thought about doing just that; buying a backup pair.
Thanks..

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I tried a pair on and they were the most comfortable shoe I've ever tried on. However, Danner's were on sale and I couldn't pass up a pair of Danners for $88 out the door. Regardless, I will likely give the Keen Targhee a try eventually. They felt incredible. They made the Merrells I tried on feel like rental bowling shoes.

I do like the Danners I bought.




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jasontx Offline OP
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Originally Posted by huntinaz
I tried a pair on and they were the most comfortable shoe I've ever tried on. However, Danner's were on sale and I couldn't pass up a pair of Danners for $88 out the door. Regardless, I will likely give the Keen Targhee a try eventually. They felt incredible. They made the Merrells I tried on feel like rental bowling shoes.

I do like the Danners I bought.

I've got the Danner Striker GTX's as well. GREAT boots.

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I did a lot of climbing in Colorado in July and I wore my Columbia Sawtooth's. They have an aggressive sole that is also sort of soft and tacky. They worked great on the jagged loose rocks that are present on so many 14'ers in Colorado...they did well on the boulders too. I've looked at the Keen Targhee II's and I wonder how well their hard less aggressive sole would have worked for me when I was climbing in July?


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Nice review. I also have these boots and have been very satisfied with them. As you mentioned, one of my favorite features is that the soles do not get loaded up with mud/dirt.

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good review... I have worn them for years but they do not last very long. I just put up with buying a new pair every 18 mos


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Excellent boots!

Replaced the laces with 3mm orange perlon overhand knot and pass them backwards through the yellow strap in the rear, wrap around and tie in front.

Did three heavy duty trips in the North Cascades and still in good shape. I put lots of effort in maintaining them. Thorough brushing and vacuuming and retreat the Nubuck properly.

Great approach boot, good on talus and scree and boulders. Would use a stiffer mountaineering boot if any edging or couloir bashing was involved.

Their toe box is ideal for descents keeping your toes from becoming hamburger on steep slopes or trails.


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