I mentioned in a previous post about Predator Camo that I got a new pair of KEEN Erickson PCT hiking boots for my upcoming backpack trip in the elk woods of Colorado. I am very excited about packing deep into elk country of the San Juan Mountains for an early September bow hunt this year. Needless to say, since last December I have been eagerly breaking in my new, full grain leather KEEN hiking boots.
The first thing I loved about these boots was that they need NO break in period. From day one when I put them on, they felt like I had been wearing them for years. The leather was soft and flexible, but still retained the feel of durable boots that won’t wear-out on me. I was immediately happy with the risk I took in purchasing these boots, without many reviews available on line at the time. I did read one review that the boots ran a bit small, which I can now agree with, so luckily I ordered by boots 1/2 size bigger. Another comment I read in a couple reviews was that the upper speed laces pop out of the boot. I agree that being held by only one point is not the most comforting design, but I have been careful to not pull on these gussets directly away from the boot. I have had no problem with them and am able to tie my boots snug for full support.
I was initially attracted to these boots because of the many features that they carry, along with a sharp look. They have similar features of other hiking boots that cost $100 more, but they don’t look nearly as good as the Erickson’s in my opinion. I do not see any areas where these boots are lacking. The full grain leather is soft, yet durable. The thermoplastic urethane shank and thermoplastic urethane torsion plate provide great support and stability. The KEEN-Dry waterproof barrier works. having recently moved to Austin, TX I have been able to test these features on numerous rocky, wet, and rigorous hiking trails.
I have been hitting the trails with a 50 lb pack on my back, and the boots easily prove that they can do what KEEN designed them to do. The sole and shanks on this boot are well made and can easily handle any terrain. The one feature that I was most hesitant about with these boots was the KEEN-Dry inner lining, which is KEEN’s version of Gore-Tex. I have never owned a pair of KEEN boots before and had not heard anything about their breathable, waterproof membrane before either. I have been very pleased with the KEEN-Dry liner and my feet have stayed dry when crossing creeks, and I don’t feel like my feet are steaming in a sauna in there. I have no doubt that I will have good traction, stability, and ankle support when packing deep into the mountains in Colorado.
I recommend these boots for anyone requiring a lite to heavy duty hiking boot.
UPDATE: I want to give a quick update on these trusty boots. After a fresh bath in leather soap and a generous coat of mink oil, they are set to take me on their third trek to Colorado in September. I am overly impressed with the durability of these boots and the support they provide, even under heavy loads. I think they have one more season left in them, and then I will be looking for another pair of leathers to break in for next year.
Follow the Lord.