Monday, January 05, 2009

Keen Shellrock MP Hiking Boots - Light but Rugged

Three and a half years ago I hiked the Inca Trail in Peru with a great pair of Merrell hiking boots, but this second time to Peru I took along a pair of newer and lighter ones for the Saltankay Trail. I hiked for six days straight with the Shellrock Mid WP model from KEEN Footwear and came away quite impressed.

These mid-height boots do it all while still coming in under 15 ounces. They're waterproof but they breathe well, which is really important when you're slogging through mud, mule crap, and streams sometimes, but in a climate warm enough for shorts and a t-shirt. These hiking boots have plenty of reinforcement where it counts too, with a "stone bruising protection plate" in the front that saved my toes over and over on the rocky trail. I could walk down steep rock faces with the great tread, plus a heel stabilizer and a shank kept each foot stable on rough terrain.

The real test, of course, is the blister test. I didn't get even the hint of a blister on this trek and never touched the Band-aids I had brought along. My foot is wider than the standard D, so I usually have a problem with boots that don't come in wider sizes, especially when wearing thicker hiking socks. These fit fine though---I just had to loosen the laces a bit more than a D-width person would need to do.

So, the Keen Shellrock Mid WP hiking boots came through on all counts. Despite their light weight, they perform like a heavy-duty boot and I expect them to serve me well on many hikes to come.

They come in two color combinations, both looking good but not too out there. There is also a very similar women's version that comes in two different colors. Same specs, but a bit smaller and lighter. Both genders list for $130, but they come in closer to $100 at some online and offline retailers.

Get the KEEN Shellrock Mid WP from Backcountry.com

2 comments:

knitterjane said...

Bought a pair for myself on your recommendation -- live in a moderate climate, needed traveling boots with good support . Love them! They're light but incredibly supportive, and they look good enough for casual everyday wear with jeans.

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