Traction and Stability7.0 /10
Water Resistance9.0 /10
- Wide fitting boot (could be a con for others..)
- Cheaper than other durable lightweight hiking boots on the market
- Waterproofing is Keen's own, and holds up to standard set by Gore-Tex
- Footbed is a bit too thin for heavy use
Looking at the blurb for the Keen Durand on their website, they seem very keen to show everybody that they are in fact American built. Of course, in such a varied and beautiful country as the USA there are many opportunities to show off the hiking possibilities, as well as many different conditions and terrains to navigate. We’re here to find out whether they have constructed a boot that will live with them, as well as live up to the storied history of American wilderness pioneers.
Considering these are mid-top hiking boots, the Durands are pretty huge, probably adhering to the unspoken American motto, go big or go home. The toe box is significantly larger than other brands, which is both a blessing and a curse for customers, those of you who have wide feet and usually struggle to find correct footwear will find the sizing of these a dream, but those of you who have narrow feet will finally be the recipients of foot discrimination. As a result of this extra space, for many people the boots aren’t as snug as a top hiking boot should be, and this lack of security may be a safety issue if your foot ends up unsecured in more precarious situations. Another potential issue possibly is the tongue, it creates a pressure point on the top of the foot for some people, which is an issue that Keen have had in certain other products in their range. Despite this, generally the Durand’s are comfortable, and require little breaking in to fulfil their comfort potential. Keen recommend ordering half a size up from usual when ordering this boot (Why can’t these companies just make it fit the correct size? Answers on a postcard.)
At 1270g for the pair the Durand’s are surprisingly light for what aesthetically seem amongst the chunkier products in the mid-hiking boot range. Still though, you can find lighter alternatives if that is what you are looking for. Considering the size though, these are definitely a present surprise, they are even light enough for more day to day use, if the Paul Bunyan look is your chosen style.
Traction and Stability
The mainstay of the traction technology in these hiking shoes is the dual compound rubber sole, denoted by different colours. The black outer rubber is soft, providing the grip on uneven and/or slippery surfaces extremely well for the most part. Whereas the much harder orange rubber can be considered the tough and durable backup. This is a design to confront the problem of wear on the shoes that are truly grippy but must sacrifice that advantage for durability in the long run. It’s a good thought, but in actuality this presents a new problem to the consumer AKA you. Because the truly useful soft black part is liable to wear down much more rapidly, you will have to manage the terrain you walk on more. For instance, it is a waste to walk on pavement with how it will wear your lovely new backpacking shoes. If you use these boots in the areas designated, you will find them very apt for all your rock clambering, mud skipping needs. Just don’t waste them by popping to the shops. The Durand has a fillip in this department because of the chunkiness described earlier. Its wideness really helps with grip (though of course this is lost should your foot not fit properly) and it has very good ankle support for a mid-hiking boot, alongside a fairly stiff sole, you are sure to be well protected from ankle rolls and unfortunate slips.
The quality of material deployed in the Durand cannot be doubted, and in general they have been held up as a solid all round boot. Some complaints have been made that the side stitching unravels after too short a time, whether this is a design flaw, a manufacturing flaw or just plain bad luck on the part of those people is hard to say. One problem that has been raised is the fact that Keen only issue a year’s warranty with this boot. A short amount of time no doubt, especially for a boot that can be quite pricey, but certainly not definitive evidence of a poor build. As mentioned before, the soft grip can be worn away quite quickly if they are worn on paved roads, but other than that there are no obvious issues with the Durand’s when it comes to how long they’ll last.
Unusually, the almost ubiquitous Gore-Tex technology is not present here, Keen instead use their own waterproofing tech called, imaginatively, KEEN.DRY. They combine this with Nubuck leather and it is just as good as any Gore-Tex enabled boot, which as we know, is high praise indeed. It is also very breathable and because of the high ankle this is about as water resistant and comfortable as any lightweight waterproof boot out there on the market. Additionally, because the boot is very warm overall, they perform particularly well in snowy conditions.
Our conclusion for this particular hiking boot is that that Keen clearly know what they are doing, and have made a solid, yet slightly clunky boot. This is a boot that some people will love for its wide fit and feeling of good protection and some people will hate for its wide fit and feeling of looseness. In general though this is an all-round hiking boot that will stand up to the rigours of most trails and is worth looking into at the very least.
|Upper Material||Nubuck leather
|Footbed||Removable metatomical dual density EVA|
|Midsole||Direct attach PU|
|Sole Material||Dual compound rubber|
|Claimed Weight (per pair)||1.27kg|
|Best Use||Well worn hikes|