Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Monday, 15 January 2018

Keen Men’s Targhee II Walking Shoes – Long Term Review

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My first acquaintance with this shoe was in April 2011, when I was supplied with a pair for review back in the days when a few retailers felt that reviews from outdoor bloggers, in return for FOC products, might help their sales.

I duly earned my crust by writing a comprehensive review of these shoes, which together with all the relevant technical data, can be found here.

Since then, I have updated the original review and I am now on my third pair of Targhee II shoes. Unusually, Keen seem to have stuck with this product without ‘developing’ it, which must be some sort of tribute, in my mind.

The first three pictures in this posting are of this third pair, bought recently on-line from Mastershoe in Trowbridge for £89.

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Meanwhile, the original pair that was reviewed back in 2011 was ‘replaced’ in 2015 by a new pair bought at MEC in Ottawa (when exchange rates were more favourable than they are today). Those shoes, pictured below, were bought for the purpose of trekking 900 km across the Pyrenees on GR11 (the Spanish route).

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GR11 hardly dented the shoes, which I have continued to wear until the recent purchase from Mastershoe. They have now done 2400 km and are still going strong, but will now be used mainly for mountain biking. The waterproof membrane and the lacing system have remained intact, the main source of wear being on the soles and (shown below) the fabric in the heel area. That won’t have been helped by the frequent removal of the Salford insoles that I use. These are a tight fit and need to be removed to air the shoes properly.

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The final four pictures – below – are the last you will see of the original shoes from 2011. These have been worn for mountain biking in recent years, but before that they did clock over 2500 km (1560 miles) of use as trail walking shoes. The main source of wear was the fabric lacing system, and extra holes had to be made to thread the laces. This wasn’t really a problem, nor was the wear on the soles, for use as mountain biking shoes.

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As you can see from these pictures, and given that these shoes cost me nothing in the first place, the shoes were pretty worn and owed me nothing, so after these pictures were taken they were recycled, albeit with reluctance.

I’ve noticed a comment on my original review, suggesting that the quality of some Keen products has deteriorated since then. In the case of these shoes, the second (newer) pair seem if anything to be more durable than the original pair. Remarkable, in fact, as the GR11 route was demanding on the shoes, and my track record for both Asolo and Scarpa three season walking boots is that they last for about 2000 to 2500 km, if anything less than these trail shoes.

Conclusion

This is my last review of these shoes, and I’m unlikely to review any other trail shoes as I can’t really imagine that I’ll find a better product. So as long as you can get them to fit properly using a suitable insole, heel cup, etc, I wholeheartedly commend this product.

2 comments:

AlanR said...

Great review over the years Martin. You have certainly worn them to almost complete destruction. Keen must be pleased with your comments. From your previous review i kept it in mind and Sheila bought a pair of Keens around 12 months ago, which she loves.

My Salomon boots on the other hand are now ready for the bin, which is an absolute tragedy. Soles good, uppers good, mid layer completely fallen apart and have rendered the boots useless. This is the 2nd pair that this has happened and always out of warranty.

Phreerunner said...

Thanks for the comment, Alan. I've never had any contact with Keen, and from what I've heard they don't have the best reputation for customer care. Given that I've no experience of that, as thankfully there have been no problems with the solid construction of this particular product, it's an aspect that falls outside the scope of this review.