KEEN DEPART WP CNX

This is a 2 stage review. The 1st stage is written on the first day of testing, the 2nd stage after a month of use.

They Say - Lightweight protection for toes on the trail. The Depart WP CNX is a waterproof, low profile, multi-sport outdoor shoe boasting a proprietary, lightweight PU midsole, allowing the foot to move naturally. Multi-directional flex grooves on the sole enable more natural motion to better connect your foot to varied terrain and the integrated, contoured arch provides underfoot support.

http://www.keenfootwear.com/gb/en/product/shoes/men/trailhead/depart%20wp%20cnx

  • Weight: 12.6 oz/357 g
  • Type: Fast & Light, Waterproof
  • Lining: KEEN.DRY waterproof breathable membrane
  • Upper: Waterproof Leather

We Say – Stage 1; The boots did feel very light, and the material extremely flexible. I put them on this morning and there was none of this struggling to pull the laces apart so you could put your feet in. The material had enough give in it that i could just push my feet in with no hassle. Which was handy, as it was 6am and I wasn’t fully awake and anything that goes towards making getting dressed at this time of day easier is a winner in my mind.

I single knotted the laces, just to see how long it would take for them to come undone. Then I went out to work on my window-cleaning round. I have to spend a lot of time on my feet with this job, about 6 hours worth in all i reckon, so this was a good first test, to see how comfy they would be.

The soles have that close to the ground feel that you find in the better boots and trail running shoes nowadays; they’re perfectly well padded but it doesn’t feel that way, and I mean this in a good sense. I got good contact with the ground all day, I mean, I could feel the changes in the surfaces quite distinctly, I guess this is down to the multi-directional flex grooves in the soles.

The arches of my feet feel less supported than with heavily padded shoes but that is ok, I want to work the bones in my feet as much as I can, it’s better for me.

I spilt a lot of water on the shoes during the course of the day, but my socks didn’t get wet.

So now I’m sat down after the 6 hours on my feet, and my feet feel just fine. Not aching at all, not wet, and the laces didn’t come undone once. All looking very positive so far for these boots. Check back here in a months time to see the final review.

UPDATE; So, I’ve been wearing these KEEN boots for 2 months now. I’m very happy with them. There have been lots of 8 hours winter hikes undertaken, as well as the pretty regular 4 or 5 hours hikes, and I’ve always been really comfortable. Towards the end of the 8 hour hikes my feet tend to swell a little but the boots are wide enough to take that, so my feet never feel too confined/squashed up. I’ve been wearing them with some merino insoles recently, merely because I was reviewing the insoles during November and December, and together I’ve been kept fantastically warm and comfy, although when I take the insoles out the boots still perform well.

They cope with rocky and grassy terrain well, although when I’ve had to traverse muddy, slippery slopes I’ve found they lack grip. So if you’re likely to be spending most of your time on muddy, slippery terrain, perhaps these aren’t your best choice. If you’re planning on hiking on a good mixture of terrain though, they’re a good bet.

Recently I’ve come to Canada and since it’s so snowy I’ve been using these boots for running. They’re flat, grippy and light enough to do the job, and they keep me dryer than my running shoes. I also use them for hiking. The temperature is around minus 20 but with the insoles and a decent pair of socks on, my feet stay warm.

I like Keen as a brand, they’re new to me but seem to be pretty eco conscious, which I think all companies should be nowadays, and these boots do strike a good balance between functional trail wear, comfort and something that you can wear everyday. Well worth checking out.

If you want to view the boots online, please see http://www.keenfootwear.com/gb/en/product/shoes/men/trailhead/depart%20wp%20cnx

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