If there is one boot company that understands all your work boots requirements, it is KEEN. This brand brings you an exceptional range of boots that are a must to keep all job-related injuries and discomforts out of the way.
This Portland-based company is a major producer for a massive range of work and hiking boots. The brand took the label of “Launch of the Year” under their belt in 2003, and since then it has only strived to exceed its own quality standards with every piece released on the market.
KEEN is a brand that puts a lot of effort into satisfying their customers, and for this reason, they have created products that are not only high-quality but also light on your pockets! Release after release, you can witness this brand offering newer styles and constructions while focusing on one and the only thing—the protection of your feet.
To share our love for this esteemed brand, we have reviewed some of the best KEEN work boots out on the market right now. And trust us, there is something here for all seasons and terrains.
Buyer’s Guide for Keen Work Boots
If you do not understand all the rage behind the KEEN work boots, then we have a complete buyer’s guide here at your disposal. We have also discussed some of the common features you should expect out of a KEEN-built boot! So read on!
What’s So Special About KEEN?
It is easy to make a mistake when you’re buying hiking or work boots. You might rarely find a boot that serves your purpose of adequate safeguard and aid required for the job, or the climb. Working through tough pavings requires a lot of effort, and you could easily injure yourself with a quick slip and fall. You may as well need a specific type of boot for foot problems, mainly for Plantar Fasciitis.
If KEEN is known for one thing, it is producing superior-quality work and hiking boots. They specialize in this niche since the time they have come into existence. They have a long-running tradition of ensuring you get the best and tested materials for your feet.
Researching different kinds of products and their brand’s credibility can take a toll on you. With so many websites on the internet offering a pool of work boots that look too enticing not to try on! However, if you’re worried about receiving bad quality, then you must know about KEEN, a leading producer of work boots that has a great reputation on the market.
This brand is known to have a massive line of work and hiking boots and has been in the running for the past 15 years. KEEN saw great success within the first few years of its tenure and it has thus only accelerated. This brand is a preferred leader for high-functional boots with attractive designs, and they have something for all!
KEEN brings you many features that are found in their contemporary’s products. They are always a step ahead and bring a host of exciting functions to the table, according to your daily requirement and usage. Even their simplest features like outsoles or steel shanks have no comparison on the market. They are so well-built!
You wished for it, and you got it. KEEN will surprise you with all the variety of features it has under their belt. Whether you want an insulated work boot for heavy-duty work or a flexible one that provides you traction on slippery floors—you get it all here. This may be the reason why these boots cannot be left undiscussed in the realm of the boot-world.
Features and Qualities to Expect in KEEN Work Boots
Here are some of the features that are widely found in the KEEN work boots. The below-mentioned list is certainly going to expose you to the standards on which this brand works.
Any work boot’s quality depends on the materials used to construct it, and you will be glad to learn that the vast majority of KEEN work boots are equipped with Nubuck leather uppers. If you know about full-grain leathers, you need to know about Nubuck. This material has a suede-like appearance that is combined with properties of waterproofing and breathability! KEEN Dry is another material that has been invented by the brand itself, and it comes in the form of panels.
Most of the KEEN work boots flaunt a blend of materials from their uppers to their outsoles that are resistant to water and sweat. One of the features you will spot very often is the waterproof membrane that allows ventilation as well as dryness within the boots even after a long day of being on your feet. And they can surely hold out against a rainstorm!
3) Workplace Protection
Many occupational safety standards have been laid down to help workers choose what kind of protective footwear they require for their specific work. These standards are supposed to be the blueprint that brands must follow to market any pair of boots ideal for a job. KEEN work boots proudly show off qualities like electrical shock protection, slip protection, safety toes, and must more! And they have been created by compiling to all necessary ASTM standards.
While protection stays a strong point in all KEEN work boots, comfort is at close quarters too. This brand is lauded for rendering some of the best work boots to the market by striving for maximum comfort and cushioning. You have room for your feet to breathe right from the toes to the arches. A lot of attention has also been given in protecting your feet against impact with shock-absorbing insoles. Say adios to feet fatigue and distress.
Best KEEN Work Boots Reviews
Here is our curation of some of the best work boots in the KEEN collection.
One of the boots by KEEN that we can recommend with our eyes closed is the KEEN Utility Davenport Mid WP Work Boot. These boots offer considerable protection to people working on industrial and construction sites. One striking thing about these boots is the asymmetrical toe protection it sports, as this function is designed to fit your foot perfectly.
Since it flaunts such a perfect fit, the boots ensure a lot of protection for your toes. We also like the large toe box, as it can help your toes breathe properly, and it can also help avoid the discomfort that comes with narrower boots. Work boots must always have features of these for optimal safeguard and comfort.
The leather construction ensures that the product not only sticks by for a long time, and also provides you a comfortable and relaxed fit till then. There is also a sole crafted out of rubber material that sits at the base of the product. There are no doubt several features coming together and making a waterproof and breathable bomb of a work boot.
The midsole in the boots is capable of providing you a lot of comfort and relaxation. Not only that, the entire construction in non-metallic along with a rubber outsole. And we all know this duo is known to not only be non-tracking but also resistant to oil and chemicals.
You also get protection against mild impacts as well as abrasions with the help of the molded reinforcement of the toe box.
What we love:
- Asymmetrical toes provide the perfect fit for both right and left foot
- Comes with a breathable and water-resistant membrane
- Protects against mild impacts with the help of reinforced molded toe box
Keep in mind:
- Not ideal for workers you need a lot of shock-absorption
The KEEN Utility Pittsburgh Steel Toe Work Boot is a work boot that is capable of standing strong against everything that it is exposed to. It is incredible to see the kind of ruggedness this product brings to the table. The materials used here are strong, and you won’t have to worry about your feet no matter what weather.
Some of the elements here make this pair an extremely durable one, especially with the rubber toe guard above the asymmetrical steel toes. A lot of protection is guaranteed even with the sturdy rubber outsole. So, overall several layers of guards keep the shoe from wearing off with time. It is also known that the comfort level that the shoe brings is extremely high as well.
The shoes are convenient to keep on throughout the day because they are well-padded. Not only that, it comes with a waterproof and breathable lining that wicks all the moisture out and keeps you sweat-free all day. EVA midsole also makes an appearance at the footbed for an extra punch of support and comfort. Due to this, you never have to worry about your feet going tired.
The only problem you may face here is that the shoes require several days to weeks to break in.
What we love:
- Capable of withstanding harsh environments
- Comes with several layers of protection against water, fall accidents, and slippery surfaces
- EVA midsole and breathable waterproof membrane added for extra comfort and hygiene
Keep in mind:
- Takes weeks to break-in
KEEN Utility Braddock Low Soft Toe Work Shoe has been known to be one of the most comfortable work boots in the industry. However, this is not to say that they do not have protective features. It is important to note that shoes like these are ideal for handy work, way more than for construction sites. These boots showcase some of the standard features that you can expect in most of the KEEN boots—cushioning, water-safety, and safeguard from electrical shocks.
Many workers can be apprehensive of working on slippery areas, and that can bring out a lot of their productivity. With the non-slip outsole in these boots, all you have to focus on is your work effectiveness! While you’re secured against falls, you also get substantial protection against electrical shocks here. Making the product a safe and comfortable option for linemen.
Another feature that gives a lot of assurance is the metatomical footbed design that has been a special feature in most KEEN boots. The reason why this brand is gaga over it can be the impressive arch support it provides. The design is also the reason behind the body’s ability to naturally cradle your foot’s edges and contours.
One of the only drawbacks that we have noticed is that in comparison to other variants of work boots by this brand, this one feels heavier.
What we love:
- Offers a comfortable cushioning to your feet
- Built with an impressive arch support
- Offers the patented toe protection unique to KEEN
Keep in mind:
- Heavier than other KEEN shoes
These shoes are built for people who love to explore, however, they can double as great work boots too. Let us explain to you how! The KEEN Men’s Targhee II Mid Hiking Boot comes with new hybrid technology. These boots do not look like your traditional hiking boots, they have a greater style quotient attached to them.
These boots can be great workwear due to several features they flaunt, one of these features include a waterproof membrane that creates a shield against all kinds of weather conditions. This is a much-needed quality for work boots to carry. The product also comes with an outsole specially designed to give you traction on slippery slopes. And well, what is better than that?
The ESS shank incorporated here comes with a mid-cut height that provides a little height and supports the user when climbing mountains (or working on them). Having said that, the heel of the boots tend to come apart with rough use within six to eight months of wear.
What we love:
- Ghillie lacing with low-profile upper with for a great fit
- Strong rubber outsole provides much-needed traction
- Stylish look bestowed with the help of polished leather material
Keep in mind:
- May face problems with heels within a few months with heavy usage
As a woman, your work boots must also come equipped with protection and high-quality materials. The KEEN Women’s Oakridge Mid Waterproof Boot not only provides you strength and safeguard against infections from cold, but you also receive a nice and stylish pair that you can wear anywhere you want.
These shoes are made for comfort with some of the most reliable materials that KEEN trusts. You can be sure your feet are going to remain happy and dry always with the breathable membrane added to the mix. The boots are constructed to fit both left and right uneven foot sizes, while the dual-density compression EVA midsole will make you feel like you’re walking on clouds.
No need to worry as these shoes comply with all necessary ASTM standards, and you also get the confidence of KEEN along with. They are currently available lighter shark and dark grey accents that add a lot of oomph to your personality. You would also be glad to know that the KEEN Women’s Oakridge Mid Waterproof Boot is designed to accommodate smaller feet.
What we love:
- Outsoles have been made oil and water-resistant
- Lightweight design, does not need a lot of managing
- Hydrophobic dry mesh lining for breathability and comfort
Keep in mind:
- Not made for women with wide feet
These are another Detroit variant by KEEN known as KEEN Utility Men’s Detroit Slip-on Work Boot. From the name itself, you must have understood that these boots are easy to put on and off. These slip-on have a mid-rise and come with a smooth leather upper. These boots have been made with one of the highest quality leathers available on the market right now.
The extremely durable and water-resistance leather makes sure to give you warmth and protect you against spillage too. The idea behind these work boots by KEEN is to extend you a product that accommodates your unique shape and size. And with the help of metatomical footbeds, that becomes possible.
Keeping no stone unturned, these boots also come with asymmetrical steel toes that provide you a shield against drop accidents. You never have to reduce your efficiency to be constantly alert for these hazards. Overall, these work boots offer a great deal of workplace protection.
What we love:
- Comes with removable metatomical dual-intensity footbeds for your unique shape
- Nubuck leather uppers for exceptional look and durability
- Slip-on mid-rise boots that come with stretchy cutouts
Keep in mind:
- Boots not made for a lot of movement might come off with rough usage
These boots come with all the required protection and support you would seek from a pair of work boots. And since strength is unofficially trademarked by KEEN, get ready for a product that is going to provide you a lot of grip, sturdiness, and coverage. The KEEN Utility Men’s Detroit Mid Steel Toe Work Boot is made out of waterproof Nubuck leather uppers and high-quality rubber soles.
Features like asymmetrical toes, along with an elongated 5-inch shaft gives you a great combination of protective comfort. You can rest assured that your being is going to be well-protected with these boots, and you’ll be safe from all workplace hazards that pounce on you.
KEEN Utility Men’s Detroit Mid Steel Toe Work Boot features a similar kind of functionality as the brand’s other bests. You get a waterproof membrane that adds to the breathability of the product and wicks away bad odors and sweats. And the outsoles make sure you don’t leave any marking behind. A removable EVA footbed also comes across as a protective barrier against impacts.
What we love:
- Comes with anatomical steel toes for protection along with great fit
- Removable EVA footbed for cushioning abilities
- Odor protection and sweat-free environment with a waterproof membrane
Keep in mind:
- The eyelet materials are deemed as inferior by some buyers
- Quality inconsistencies reported
History of KEEN
The company was founded in 2003 in California, USA by Martin KEEN—hence the name. By 2006, Kirk Richardson assumed control over the brand as an acting CEO which brought a massive change to the company for many reasons. Richardson’s previous employer was none other than KEEN’s nemesis, Nike. With all the collective knowledge the company began to expand and welcomed James Curleigh for the position of CEO later on. And since 2017, Roy Fuerst is the key person of the retail brand. Although the brand started in its home state, the headquarters were shifted to Portland Oregon in a much larger place.
The KEEN Utility Boots solve an array of problems for the men and women working in the manual labor roles. They have a large line of work boots created by ensuring their products serve almost all purposes, and not just restrict their use to a work boot. As a customer, you can choose the boots with functions that serve your purpose. These are boots for construction, farming, logging, mechanics, and more! You also get safety against all sorts of working conditions too, from slippery surfaces to cold ones, you make your choice! Whether you need slip-resistance, comfortable midsoles, toe protection, insulation, or more, KEEN offers you all kinds of solutions.
According to us, KEEN work boots are undoubtedly one of the best on the market. Having said that, when you’re making a purchase for your feet, make sure to pay attention to their measurements, along with the conditions you are working around. With a wide array of options presented in front of you, you must decide which product is your perfect pick!
I am a registered professional nurse with experience of 10+ years under my belt. I graduated from NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Since then, I have been beneficial for various rehabilitative and critical medical situations. I work with Feetfitness.com Team with researching foot problems and assists them by providing my expertise in the best footwear for different medical conditions. I am also instrumental to the group by helping in test, compile, and present the best footwear for professionals & everyday uses