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KEEN Targhee ll Mid Hiking Shoe

 Keen R=targhee II Mid Hiking Shoe

I got a pair of Keen Targhee II Mid Hiking Boots a few weeks ago and have been testing them out ever since. I have been looking for a lighter weight hiking boot that dries faster than my leather Asolo boots but provides a comparable level of support. I’m paranoid about getting plantar fasciitis again and I need a boot that prevents heal lift and has a rigid enough shank to prevent my arch from collapsing and inflaming the tendons in my feet.

On that score, I’ve been impressed with the Targhee II Mids, which weigh 14.7 oz each in a size 10.5 Men’s (US) and are almost 50% lighter than my leather Asolos. The Targhees also have an impressively stiff shank, aggressive tread, and excellent toe cap protection for such a lightweight boot. I’ve been surprised with how good they feel when hiking rough trail with and without a backpack.

At first glance, the boots seem oddly designed, like sandals which have been beefed up using leather and torsional stabilizers to provide a stiffer fit. There is some truth to that since the boots carry on the classic Keen sandal design with the beefed up toe kick. The result however is a boot that actually works, but I have to admit that I was skeptical when they arrived.

Keen Targhee II Mid Hiking Boots

The exterior of the uppers is a combination of leather and thick mesh, lined on the inside with Keen Dry, which I believe is some sort of Gore-tex knock-off. The leather adds stiffness to the shoe, and needs to be broken in a bit to soften it up, particularly around the ankle padding. The mesh is clearly designed to vent moisture from the foot area

The Keen Dry layer in the Targhee is billed as being waterproof, but I think water-resistant would be more accurate. I tested this out by submerging a boot in a pan of water for 15 minutes and could feel the inside of the boot slowly getting damp. I believe the source for this seepage is the stitching that binds the mesh to the leather on the upper side of the boot and not because the Keen Dry layer is defective. Still it’s a bothersome hassle to have to sno-seal the boots to seal the seams and something I would have expected the manufacturer to have taken care off. It should be noted that Keen has just released a new version of this shoe with an new eVent-based liner and this issue may have already been addressed.

One standout feature in the Targhee is the toe area which is extremely roomy for a hiking boot. I always get black toenails during summer from smashing my toes against the front inside of my regular boots, but I don’t feel that happening with the Targhees, and the foot box seems longer and much wider than I’m used to. So much so, that it has taken some getting used to since the front of the boot feels like it flares out a bit toward the toe.

Fit wise, the Targhee II Mid runs very small. I normally wear a size 9.5 M (US) hiking boot and I’ve had to get the Keens in a 10.5 M (US) to get into them. This can be a pain if you are ordering online and you want to try on different sizes.


  1. This sounds intriguing, but one thing I dislike about Keen's sandals is their use of neoprene in the upper. Any of that in this boot?

  2. A few reviews on REI show these to be quick to wear out. I'll look forward to hearing how a distance hiker like yourself makes out with these boots!

  3. I wouldn't be surprised if that is true. The materials are very soft and grippy and probably prone to high abrasion. My mileage however might vary than your average REI buyer's because I don't wear my hiking boots around town and reserve them exclusively for trail use.

  4. It's been about a month. How are the Keen hiking boots holding up?

  5. I was just looking at them yesterday. They're holding up fine, but I've only worn them for about 20 miles of hiking since you last asked. However, I will say they get awful hot when I wear them. I will try them again when the weather cools off in late autumn.

  6. I'm also trying to avoid a return of plantar faxciitis and control a knee problem. The Targhee Mids are wonderfully comfortable for me, but have no adhesion at all on mud. After two nasty slips on moderate slopes despite the help of two poles I have retired them to town work to avoid broken bones.

  7. Everyone has their favorite fitting boot and for me it is Keen. Before my foot met Keen I always got blisters between mile 6 and 8. Nowadays, I am blister free and have been extending my distance and days on the trail. I recently bought the Targhee II and have hiked through some muddy trails in East Texas. Next month I'll take them on the Eagle Rock Loop Trail in Arkansas for a three day trek. So far I'm very happy with their weather proofing and fit.

  8. Why did Teva cease their Trail Wraptor sandal? I have one half worn pair and a new unused pair (bought as their supply dimished). Everyone I meet on the Bibbulmun Track (Australia) remarks on them and wishes they were using them rather than their heavy boots!

  9. I had a pair for almost a whole season, and loved them! they were sneaker-comfy right out of the box; totally waterproof without being hot; and the soles stuck like glue to anything. Then within a season of day-hiking (200-300 miles?) the lace guides started breaking and the sticky soles turned really, really slippery. Went back to Asolos, but I might get another pair of Keen shoes next year, just for kicking around…

  10. I put about 1,000 miles on my Targhee IIs before the shoo Goo could no longer keep them mountain trail viable. These were my favorite boots ever. I have found nothing like them for my feet and am so disappointed they discontinued the shoe.
    Other Keens just don’t for me well and hurt or give me blisters. I am looking for a trail shoe now as the Targhee was very much like a comfortable shoe rather than a boot. I need toe box space and a locked in heel, a combination hard to find.

  11. Love them! Thru-hiked the AT in 2019. Bought 3 pair, wore through 2 pair and I’m still wearing the 3rd albeit they’re ragtag and I’m ready for a new pair.

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