Keen Footwear first look, Voyageur Mids and Arroyo II’s

I’ve been a long time user of Keen’s Targhee’s, in low and especially mid form. I used them on my recent West Highland Way trip, and on various stuff from walks in the park to hike-a-bikes to scrambling. So I was interested to see the Voyageurs, which are in essence a Targhee without the waterproof liner. The outer construction is quite different, although the overall profile is the same. The mesh breather panels will hopefully do their job. The sole is the same as the Targhee unit as well, this newer version is much improved from the older version that was only good on trails in Utah. The fit is standard Keen, wide toe box and neat heel which suits me fine. They feel good initially, I’ll get some backpacking done on them in the coming weeks and see how they fare.

Keen also sent me a pair of Arroyo II’s. These looks like another Targhee derivative, this time one that’s been assaulted by a primary school child with a pair of scissors who’s been told to “Make that shoe into a SliPKnoT mask”. Full of holes they are, but all in the right places. It’s really a sandal with a rubber toe. I can see them being good for cutting about casually, in fact I’ve had them on all day, but with an Injinji Tetratsok to stop grit grinding away between your toes they should be great on summer hills. The sole is again the Targhee unit, so no problems forseen there. But the lacing was a cord and cord-lock affair which doesn’t work and slips constantly, so I’ve already ditched it and stuck a pair of laces on.

32 thoughts on “Keen Footwear first look, Voyageur Mids and Arroyo II’s”

  1. More good stuff from keen then,getting the mrs. a pair of tharghee mids.Lots of keen sandals in T.K.maxx at the mo,various models including ‘newport’ if my memory serves me correctly.Around the £30 mark.

  2. Took my new Targhee Mids to Norway this past week to give them a go in the early season slush in the Rondane mountains. Day before we fly i tear a muscle in my ankle during a ‘last minute run’. Absolutely gutted. Couldn’t walk more than a few minutes all week despite being in the middle of breathtaking hills. The weather was awesome but the most the Keen’s got used was walking to the compost lavvy at the hytte we were stayin in. we’ll be back in the summer.

  3. Aye, Keen makes good stuff, they are a good fit for me too, as hill boots/shoes normally squeeze my big toe in the direction of the wee toe, if you see what I mean.
    Why is footwear normally made with a pointed bit in the middle of the foot?? Asymmetric climbing boots (Freneys for instance) finally got it right.
    I got myself a pair of Voyageur lows and used them on a 3 day trip round The Fannichs last weekend. Absolutely superb for comfort and performance. Never seen the peat bogs so dry though, so will have to wait for another trip to get the feel for them in wet weather. Don’t see that as being a problem as I will only use them on the hill from end of snow to start of snow.
    Anyhoo, I’m off to TK Maxx now to see what Keen stuff is in stock! Just be my luck that it’s Voyageurs at bloody half price.

  4. It is a bloody nightmare PTC. It’s been 9 days since i tweaked my ankle. I’m taking a couple of days off to lie up, rest it, ice it and scoff ibuprofen and hope it heals itself. I haven’t had much chance to wear my Targhee’s for any distance but they do feel more comfortable than anything else and i think it’s because of the wide toe box. It does look a bit odd at first when you look down and see the mahoosively wide toe bumper but it does make a lot of sense to people with ‘man’ shaped feet ! Ha ha!

  5. Good news on the Lows bairn4ed, I won’t get a proper shot of mine ’til next week.

    holdfast, I had a similar thing when I was due to do my West Highland Way trip. Sitting down, anti-inflamitories, interenet and I was sorted soon enough. So frustrating.

    Aye, Keen’s do look a little strange.

  6. Hey Petsey, like the look of your Ninja socks. Any stockists over here or is all internet?

  7. There’s no UK stockists at all. There’s a distributer in Spain, so will have them. in the US have them as well.
    I like them, they give some folk the horrors though.

    I’ve got a few different pairs, I’ll stick on a review at some point.

  8. I wore Voyaguers (lows) for a recent walk – very comfy but went through at the heel after 6 days (a lot of gravel and dust might have contributed to this); down to the plastic at the back after two weeks. Still comfy though at the end of three weeks – yet buggered!

  9. There seems to be a streak of fragility in Keens. I’m dead jammy and seem to get away with having few issues. The Targhees I wore on the WHW have a split in the soft spongey midsole where it’s exposed and that’s about it.
    I’m long overdue and update on the Keens above, I’ll need to get it up soon.

  10. I’ve dugout my receipt for my 3 month old targhee mids for a refund,leak like a sieve with no mesh in the sieve.And i so wanted to like them,well i do, i love the fit but hey ho…

  11. That’s a bugger.

    I’m now wondering if I can get my old leak-proof pair resoled. These new ones aren’t doing too well at all.

  12. Aye ,i loved ’em but not going to risk another pair. I emailed Ellis Brigham at Castleford,nearest place to Bradford which stocks them.They said ‘Sorry to hear blah blah…..We have had a few of these returned already’ hmmm.Every pair of lined boots i’ve had have given way (eventually,not after 3 months). I’m going to have a butchers at the hi tec v-lite ion mask thingys i think, they are a similar weight to the targhees ?? It’s a very interesting concept, not often you see something truly original.Could have gore and event etc crying into their membranes do you think ?? How do you find your test pair ptc ?

  13. The boots are okay, the sole is a good one, very grippy. Waterproof? Yes, they are, but when they get wet inside they take forever to dry. Water gets inside very easily as I keep finding, I think I need mini gaiters with them.
    If they fit you, they’re worth a try though.

  14. Thanks for that ptc, i’ll have a look at the weekend if i get a chance. I love the fact that Millets and Yeomans seem to be the stockists round my way for this cutting edge gear :)

  15. My brothers looking for a comfy breathable (he gets hot feet easily) trail shoe for a trip to africa later this year and asked me to research some options for him.

    What do you think of the Voyageurs as a possibility? And do you have any other recommendations.

    He’s a big 6’6″ lad with tree trunk legs, so I thought Keen shoes might suit. He has a pair of North Face hedgehogs he gets on well with fit wise, but he finds them a bit hot.

    (I’m usually the same size shoe as him or 1/2 smaller, and I tried his hedgehogs. They appear to be be mahoosive around the ankle for me.)

  16. Hmm, although the Voyageurs Mids and Lows have the vents, they’re still pretty sturdy, with thick uppers, I think they’re quite warm.
    I wrote an update on these but I cann’t find it, I think I might have accidentally deleted ?!

    In a mid, the discontinued Montrail Namche was great as the upper was all fine mesh, and Inov8’s current Roclite 370 is the closest thing I can think of, maybe more of a boot height at the ankle, but a very breathable mesh upper.
    Most of my current trail shoes are very good in the heat, the Salomns XA’s are always fantatsic in the heat, and my Montrail Streaks have just proved to be almost as good.
    But, fit’s the #1 thing isn’t it? Lot’s of potentila trail shoes options out there, not so many mids.
    The prototype Inov8’s that I’ve got on test might be a contender, but they are super flexible, and waterproof, although very breathable indeed. They’re out in September, if that’s niot too late?

    Ooh, Scarpa Hydrogens maybe? Thin sole, but very light and breathable.
    They’re be more…

  17. Yeah fit will be the thing. I don’t think mid’s are a deal breaker just a preffered option. He seems to think they support his tree trunks better.

    I guess what made me think of the Keens is the wide toe box they have, I think he’s tried Salomons on before and found them a bit too narrow at least in his normal size. Sizing up if they had them may have helped that.

    Which is the wider fit of the Inov8’s? They have so many very similar looking options.

    Them Scarpa’s look a neat option, I’ve never really thought about them for trail shoes are they decent?

  18. The Inov8 boot styles seem to be in the middle width-wise. They’re still a bit quirky though.
    The Scarpa’s are fine, I got them when they came out and then they went at the bottom the pile when I got all the test kit in over the past 18 months. I remember them as being wide enough, but quite low volume. Grippy sole as well I think.
    I should dig them out!
    I like mids for the crap-repelling qualities of the higher ankle, it’s not a bad idea for being on a trek in places foreign.

  19. This is good info ta.

    I get the impression you’re slightly disappointed by the Hardrock? Isn’t it essentially the same as the Namche?

    Are the Streaks or Masochists higher volume, or are they more like the Highlander?

  20. The first version of the Hradrock Mid was great, the update isn’t as good, and dare I say a bit “cheaper” feeling. I’ll need a couple more trips in them though.
    The Streaks and Mosachist are much more of a regular fit than the Highlanders, the Steaks particulary feel more regular shaped. The Masochists (I wore them out of the box on Ben Lomond last night) feel more racey but still habe a thick, cushioned sole unit.
    Either would be a good choice, same outsole as well which is pretty gripp on most terrain.

  21. Aye, there’s been a subtle change this year that’s a little unsettling. There was a resurgence with all the new models and then this year? I’m just not so sure.
    If the Masochists hold together I’ll feel better. Still my favourite shoe folk.

  22. Are your streaks last years? I presume they haven’t changed for this year?

    Let’s hope it’s a blip, it’s a shame when little specialist companies get swallowed.

    BTW are any of the La Sportiva trail runners (rather than the fell ones) good? And if so who stocks them in the Uk?

  23. My Streaks are ’08, but they look unchanged. I’m probably going to shell out for a spare pair.
    I saw the whole ’09 LaSportiva range last year and it all looked pretty good, they were targetting a lot of the established models from other brands with design and price points.
    I’ve only used the Crosslites and the Skylites though. Bobinson’s used the Skylite’s more than me if you’re looking for info.
    The Crosslites look like a fell shoes, but they’re too beefy and heavy I think, I think they’re a good open hillside general purpose shoe. But that’s all subjective, my mate happily runs in them.

  24. have u heard any more about if they are going to be bringing more pairs of the montrail stuff into the uk? last i heard it was looking pretty bleak for the rest of this year!

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