KEEN Revel IV High Polar Boots Review

KEEN Revel IV High Polar 400g Boot Review

KEEN’s Revel IV High Polar Boots are insulated waterproof/breathable winter hiking boots rated to -40F/-40C. Available for both men and women, these boots come up to mid-calf for maximum heat retention and feature metal lacing hardware for maximum durability, a gaiter ring above the toes, and a ridged heel counter that helps keep snowshoes securely fastened. Lined with fleece, the Revel IV’s are exceptionally comfortable for all-day comfort.  Sizing runs about one-quarter to half of a size small, so I’d size up and plan on wearing a slightly heavier sock. Wide sizes are not available and while the toe box is roomy, it’s not as high volume as many of KEEN’s other mids or boots.

Specs at a Glance

  • Temperature Rating: -40F/-40C
  • Height: Mid-calf
  • Waterproof/Breathable: Yes
  • Gender: Men’s (size 7-15); Women’s (size 5-12)
  • Sole: 5mm lugs
  • Sizing: Runs one-quarter to a half-size small.
  • Insole: Felted thermal insole
  • Weight: 3 lbs 8 oz/pr (size 11 men’s)

I’ve always found KEEN winter hiking boots to be very warm and the Revel IV is no exception. This is the kind of boot you want for long winter hikes when your trips start before the sun comes up and ends after it goes down.

With a temperature rating of -40F/-40C, the Revel IV is insulated with environmentally friendly charcoal and bamboo, instead of the usual Thinsulate used by most other winter boot manufacturers. The upper cuff and tongue are covered with fleece while the exterior is covered in leather with ballistic nylon in high flex areas.

The Revel IV High is a mid-calf 400g boot. The extra height helps keep you warmer by trapping more body heat.
The Revel IV High is a mid-calf 400g insulated boot. The extra height helps keep you warmer by trapping more body heat.

The Revel IV has a large front toe kick for toe protection and a reinforced heel counter to lock your heel in place and prevent pronation. Ridges on the back of the heel help keep snowshoe, crampon, or microspike straps secure which is a real plus for more technical winter hikes from traction aids are required. However, the boots have a very shallow mid-sole arch which can prove challenging if you wear gaiters with a thick stirrup strap, like OR Crocodiles, as it can cause abrasion if you walk on surfaces that are not covered with snow and ice.

KEEN provides a thermal insole with the Revel IV Polar Boot, which is covered in felt for warmth but does not have a reflective aluminum coating. When worn, the boots have a pretty low arch, so I wear mine with Superfeet’s merinoGrey insoles which are wool-covered for warmth but have a much more aggressive arch to protect against plantar fasciitis.

The Revel IV High Insulated Boots have a gaiter ring to hook your gaiters too.
The Revel IV High Insulated Boots have a well-protected toe cap and a gaiter ring to hook your gaiters too.

Traction is more than adequate and the boots have deep 5mm multi-directional lugs to grip snow and ice. The edges of the soles are also quite stiff, which makes them good for scrambling over rock ledges when you need a sole that won’t collapse on a narrow foothold.

There’s minimal time to break-in the Revel IV boots which are soft and pliant out or the box. KEEN also sells an “over-the-ankle” mid-sized versions of the Revel IV High Polar Boot called the Revel IV Polar Boot (note the missing “High”) that is rated to -25F, if you need less insulation or prefer a mid-sized height.

The ridged and rigid heel counter helps position snowshoe straps and prevents pronation.
The ridged and rigid heel counter helps position snowshoe straps and prevents pronation.

Comparable 400g (-40F/-40C) Insulated Winter Hiking Boots

Men'sWomen'sInsulationHeightPrice
KEEN Revel IV High PolarKEEN Revel IV High Polar400gMid-Calf$190
Oboz 10" BridgerOboz 9" Bridger400gMid-Calf$199
Salomon Toundra ProSalomon Toundra Pro400gMid-Calf$200
The North Face Chillkat 400The North Face Chillkat 400400gMid-Calf$150
Vasque Snowburban IINot Available400gMid-Calf$160

Recommendation

KEEN’s Revel IV High Polar Insulated Boots are are really good for men and women who want or need warm winter hiking footwear. Rated to -40F/-40C, their high mid-calf height helps lock in warmth while a fleece-lined collar and tongue provide both comfort and additional warmth. Their thick soles provide excellent insulation from the cold ground while durable metal hardware ensures trouble-free use and long life. The sizing runs slightly small, so consider sizing up a half size. Amazingly, these boots are wearable out of the box and require virtually no break-in period.

Do you want 200g or 400g insulated winter boots? See our insulated winter boot FAQ that explains the differences and pros and cons of each.

Disclosure: The author purchased this product.

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12 comments

  1. Hi Philip!
    I’ve been using a pair of Keen Durand Polars. How do these compare to the Durand Polars?
    Thanks!

    • I’m pretty sure KEEN has stopped making the Durand Polar. These are a cross between the Durand Polar and the KEEN Summit County, which KEEN also has stopped making.

  2. Keen says the footbed isn’t removable so I’d wrote these off. But you found an end around it seems. How’s the toe room above the toes adding in an insert?

    • You just need a thin screwdriver to lift the footbed out (I used the one on my swiss army classic). It’s completely removable. Toe space is fine without it. I put a pair of superfeet green in mine and they are fine.

  3. Hi! Nice article! However, could you confirm if they are suitable for use with 12 spike crampons? Are the soles suitably rigid?

    Thanks,

    Richard

    • Yes, if you use crampon that has a fkexible leaf spring. Otherwise, you need a mountaineering boot with a very rigid sole.

  4. Hi, I’m really enjoying your reviews!

    I just purchased a pair of the Revel iv High Polars in size 11 and I’m looking to order some Hillsound Trail Ultras as well. Hillsound’s website says that the large should work with a size 11 insulated boot, but it looks like the XL would work as well. Since you’ve reviewed both I was wondering what your thoughts were.

    Thanks!

  5. Hello I bought a pair of Keen Revel 4 High Polar. They looks fantastic and very warm, but I’m a little scared because I’ve read a lot of bad review about the reliability and material quality. It seems that many customers have had problem with breaks and seems that Keen products will not last.
    I see that they are made in Cambogia.
    Could you tell me something about it ?
    I am undecided whether to return them…. but I’m in love with these boots!

    • I haven’t had any problems with them. but if you’re concerned, return them and try something else.
      All boots are made in asia these days.

      • Thank you! I’m very undecided :). The alternative at the moment are the Columbia Bugaboot. Not the same feeling for my feet.

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