As the song goes...
'these boots were made for walking and that's just what they'll do...'
Outdoor manufacturers KEEN gave me the opportunity to test their Westward Boot, while indulging my love of hiking. This new blog post is product review of these boots.
is a popular Outdoor American clothing, shoe and bag manufacturing company based in Portland, Oregon.
KEEN’s mission statement is to continually “create original and versatile products, improve lives, and inspire outdoor adventure.” Which in turn helps promote and develop the KEEN Effect.
In recent years the company has grown, but was originally founded back in 2003 by Martin Keen and Rory Fuerst. It is now a leading outdoor brand and they now provide an extensive range of outdoor products, which are available in retail locations throughout the United States and worldwide.
The Westward Boot
It was a real delight to put the eye-catching Westward Boot through its paces, within a variety of different outdoor settings. The Westward Boot, is an all-purpose hiking boot that performs really well, both on the trails, rugged mountain settings and also urban environments.
The boot comes in two colours. Cuba / Olive and Gargoyle / Grey, like the pair tested in this particular blog. The boots look great and are recommended for use in Hiking, Leisure and Travel. The mid fitting walking boot is comfortable and comprises of a compression-moulded mid sole, together with a striking colour combination of suede and canvas upper which certainly makes them the ideal boot for hikers, in all manner of outdoor settings.
I was really pleased with the boots, as first impressions showed that they were very well made.
KEEN brand themselves on the boots being 'European Made' and emphasise that this is a harmonious blend of:
Quality and Craftsmanship.
Improved Fit and Comfort.
Commitment to the community.
When reading this it did make me think, is this the normal advertising jargon brands use as a means of not fulfilling promises in the product itself?. When matching the words to the brand itself, I really did identify all of the above in the boot being tested.
For me the attention to detail made the boot really unique and when purchasing a product that will perform well and indeed last. It is something that I always look for and in the Westward boot, all of the boxes had been ticked.
The materials used in the the boot are strong and sturdy. It comes with a mix of water resistant suede and breathable meshing. It allowed the boot to be comfortable and dry, using KEENS own waterproofing to help keep the shoe warm, dry and the waterproof. As a result the boot is clearly suitable for all types of weather and seasons.
Waterproofing always makes me pretty sceptical, as sometimes a shoe manufacturer will say this, but out in the field, it isn't quite always what it seems. I feel the KEEN Westward lived up to expectations and fulfilled its promise. The water resistant coating did keep water away, especially in the form of rain showers and more persistent rain, bus stepping into deep water is likely to lead your feet getting wet.
KEEN pride themselves on the saying 'million step comfort'. I felt the boots had a high level of all round comfort and fitted to my large, wide feet perfectly. When applying a walking sock to my foot, the overall fit was snug and extremely comfy.
The robust materials made the boot really strong, but I also found it to be very light for this type of boot. This allowed me to move freely over a variety of different terrain, without the feeling of carrying too much excess weight. I don't like this in a shoe and have, over the years opted for a lighter shoe, but sometimes it can come at the expense of the make up and material.
With the Westward Boot, I didn't encounter any such thing and felt there was a really great balance between materials used, weight and strength. overall weight and feel was really excellent.
Inside the boot was a comfy lining that with held the water proof membrane that helped to keep my foot dry and warm. Again it is a sturdy and well made material and it certainly did its job very well done. I was really impressed.
In the outdoors
It was great to put the boots through there paces. I love my hiking but in doing so, it is really paramount that my footwear is good. Over the years I have fallen into the trap of picking the wrong material, the wrong weight and perhaps even the wrong style. So, testing the Westward Boot was really exciting, as the on appearance it looked good and I simply wanted it to live up to its looks, out in the field.
In order to maintain a well balanced and fair opinion of the shoe, I decided to test it on a variety of different terrains. I simply didn't want to just opt for the hills and rocky extremes but also wanted to see how it would fair on a variety of different surfaces.
As a result I chose terrain in the upper elevations of the Peak District, woodland trails and farmland. This would then give me good evidence to form my opinions.
On uneven rocky terrain, the cushioned and compression moulded EVA mid sole sole performed really well, as it provided enough support and stability underfoot to respond to my footsteps. I felt the sole stood up to my body movements well and gripped perfectly well on to lose bits of grit stone and slippy outcrops of limestone, that were prevalent in the landscape.
I moved freely both up and down hill, without any problems. It never felt uneasy or unnerving going down stepped sections and likewise going up. The shoes were light enough to walk briskly and I had no problems running and leaping from rock to rock. It almost felt as good as a pair of trail shoes.
Simply perfect and really found there niche on the wet and muddy trails. The shoes again offered a strong degree of stability and were very durable when the conditions were damp, wet and sometimes cold. They also stood up to tree roots and uneven surfaces and upland terrain. To have such a comfy boot in these conditions is pretty essential and these bots certainly didn't disappoint.
Where I tested the boots there is plenty of farmland and footpaths of high wet grass which can be sometimes challenging and unpredictable. For me the boots did well. I didn't slip and after walking continuously for 2 hours under damp conditions the boots remained dry.
When writing a review I always endeavour to write a comprehensive, fair and realistic point of view. I don't want to sound too bias or indeed too over critical. That's not my style and by doing so, I hope my thoughts give a positive insight into this good all round boot.
I'm my humble opinion, I thought the boots were fabulous. KEEN is a reputable company and leading brand, that have worked hard to create a very versatile and good looking product.
I was pleasantly surprised how robust the boot was, as it stood up to some fairly challenging conditions, both in terms of weather and terrain. On long outdoor walks, my feet were never uncomfortable and always remained warm and dry.
The boot consistently looked good, with striking colour schemes and durable materials used. In turn it has been branded very well, so that it will almost certainly appeal to any would be outdoor enthusiast or adventurer.
I personally enjoyed wearing the boots and would definitely recommend these boots to anyone who has similar interests to me. Anyone who loves to hike and roam in the great outdoors. There is no doubt in my mind KEEN have produced a great boot that is ideal for all seasons and a product very worthy of looking at or adding to your outdoor wishlist.
KEEN media links are shown below.
All images included in this blog post were taken in and around the glorious Peak District, UK.
Each image was taken by myself Gareth Mate using a variety of different cameras, including the Samsung S7 Smartphone and a Canon 700d.
Courtesy of Ryan T at Gear Lobo.
There is no doubt in my mind KEEN have produced a great boot that is ideal for all seasons and a product very worthy of looking at or adding to your outdoor wish list. Looking for additional footwear ideas in the outdoors? This post has some great hiking boot recommendations.
Once again, I only feel that is appropriate to extend a big thank you to outdoor manufacturers KEEN for allowing me to review one of their great products, within my latest blog post.
I really do appreciate having had the opportunity to work with them and I really cannot thank them enough for the excellent product and personable customer service throughout.
Keep on walking...
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