Selecting a hiking shoe can be a daunting process because there are so many options—between brands, material, height, cut and all of the many features, it seems like you’ll never be able to narrow it down.
I live in an area where I don’t have the luxury of going to multiple stores to try on different shoes, so I’m forced to purchase online and hope for the best. I have several friends that love their KEEN shoes and boots, and the customer reviews are typically positive across sites such as Amazon and Zappos. After doing some online research and reading various blogs and product reviews, I narrowed down my hiking boot selection to the KEEN Oakridge Mid Hiking Boot.
Features (from the KEEN website):
Lightweight – 13.3 oz.
Waterproof leather and mesh upper
KEEN.Dry waterproof, breathable membrane
Hydrophobic mesh lining for dry comfort
Removable metatomical EVA molded footbed
Compression-molded EVA midsole
Size and Fit
Most of the customer reviews indicated the KEEN Oakridge boot runs slightly small, and recommended ordering a half size up from your normal shoe size. I took this advice, which was a good decision.
Right out of the box, the boot was very comfortable. I tried them on with a pair of WEWOOL socks, since this is the type of sock I would be wearing while hiking, and found that the fit was very comfortable. My feet fit perfectly with no unwanted looseness or tightness. This was my first pair of mid-height boots, so I was initially concerned about where the top of the boot would hit my ankle and if there would be any rubbing or discomfort.
I was also concerned that the toe area would be too big, as some of the KEEN shoes I’ve seen and tried on are very large. These boots did not have that feature, and the toe area was very comfortable. Enough room to move around but not too much to make the boots feel loose or too big.
One of the main features I wanted in a hiking shoe was that it was waterproof. The KEEN Oakridge boot features the KEEN.Dry waterproof membrane to keep your feet dry while hiking. This proprietary technology is a waterproof membrane that lets vapor out without letting water in. I was impressed with how dry my feet stayed, even while walking through wet grass, creek side and in shallow water. Additionally, even in the heat, my feet did not get too hot or sweaty.
The mid-height offers more stability for the ankle when walking on uneven terrains. As mentioned previously, I was concerned initially about the height and where the top of the boot would hit my ankle. I have not experienced any issues with rubbing or discomfort so far.
The boot comes with round laces, which tend to come untied easily. I typically double tie this type of lace to prevent it from coming untied during activities. The lacing eyelets are leather and are made so that when cinched down, they create a snug fit.
The tongue is thick and well cushioned, making it slightly difficult to keep in place during lacing. But once tied, there were no discomfort with the thickness. The tongue is also waterproof, preventing water from seeping in from the top.
The KEEN Oakridge boot has a lot of cushioning in the footbed, making them comfortable for all-day hikes. The footbed is removable and molded for foot comfort.
The traction is slightly aggressive and is sufficient for hiking on standard trails, including slightly rocky and uneven terrain. If your plans include hiking in ice, mud or very steep terrains, a more aggressive tread would be recommended.
Options and Price
Available sizes: Women’s 5-11, medium width
Color Options: Gray/Shark, Navy/Algiers, Shitake/Viola (Color availability dependent on size and retailer)
Where to Purchase: This boot is a newer style, so it is available many websites including KEEN’s website, Amazon, Zappos, Cabela’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Backcountry.com. I purchased from Amazon due to free shipping with Amazon Prime.
The KEEN Oakridge Mid Hiking Boots have, so far, exceeded my expectations. They were comfortable right from the box and required no break-in time. They are very lightweight and waterproof, making them even more comfortable. With a price of $125, they are a great value from a quality and trusted brand.
Sarah Honadel is an avid outdoorswoman from Kentucky, now living in Idaho, who enjoys hunting turkey, deer and elk. She is a Team Member at Huntress View and Brand Champion for ReelCamo Girl, two organizations that work to support, encourage and empower women in the outdoors. Follow her on Instagram @waddysarah and @arrowridgecreations.