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Keen targhee2 mids - experiences?
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Michael Cheifetz
(mike_hefetz) - MLife

Locale: Israel
Keen targhee2 mids - experiences? on 11/25/2012 01:15:25 MST Print View

I just bought these on a whim - they fit SOOOOOOO well i just couldnt resist (have quite severe flat foot so good fit is a big issue for me)

But im still very interested to hear if anyone has recent experience with the new model (KeenDry membrane) - my application being normal light multiday 3 season (my last hike total carried weight was circa 23lb inc water and food)

10x
Mike

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: Keen targhee2 mids - experiences? on 11/25/2012 06:27:47 MST Print View

I had a pair of those and loved them. Kept my feet dry and comfortable. I abused them pretty good for a season and a half of hiking above treeline on talus. The tread wears pretty quickly but I was fine with that considering their comfort. I had some separation between the sole and upper but it was minor and I was able to easily repair with superglue and maintain the waterproofness.

The KeenDry isn't new though. That's what was on my pair from 3 years ago.

Bogs and Bergs
(Islandized) - F

Locale: Newfoundland
Keens on 11/25/2012 06:37:23 MST Print View

I've got nine hard months now on a pair of Gypsum Mids, which are pretty similar. I'm also a flatfoot, bought them for comfort, got home and read reviews that questioned durability and the wisdom of WPB linings, returned them, then bought and returned two other high end brands and finally bought them again. Comfort trumped all, I figured. Why have long-lasting discomfort? But I have had no durability issues yet, after months of varied terrain and elevation, with good traction in all conditions. (They've seen no pavement, of course.) And I have been most pleased with the WPB lining.
I've read the anti-WPB arguments, that it's better to let your feet get wet and have quick-dry footwear, but in my environment I beg to differ. I suppose it's a different matter if the only water you meet is a crossing, but when you spend all day going from bog to mud to mist-beaded vegetation, that would mean permanently wet feet, regardless of weather. The only drying would be overnight, and they'd be wet again immediately in the morning. Letting the feet stay wet means having to deal with maceration and blister prevention instead. I'd rather not, thanks, especially in colder conditions. The WPB in the Keens has been a most pleasant surprise. Received wisdom says, 'waterproof and breathable? pick one' but I swear these boots have both. Only rain from above has wet them out, and that was avoidable/my fault. They did, in fact, dry overnight. And I experienced sweaty feet only in heat-wave conditions. Once the wind picked up, they dried on my feet. Without the wind, a 10 minute boots-off break did the trick. The mesh goes right to the toes, and it works. So I have nothing but good to say about them. Never a blister. When you can do two weeks plus of twelve hour days and never once think about your feet, you've got the right boots. Durability schmurability, if they die next year I'll buy them again.

Michael Cheifetz
(mike_hefetz) - MLife

Locale: Israel
traction? on 11/25/2012 09:05:22 MST Print View

thanks for your input!!
good to know that at least some people are happy.

what has been you experience with traction in wet/mud and wet/rock? I can imagine its not as good as super sticky gummybear tenacity innov8 - but how does it compare with normal hiking boots (vibram masai/apptrail/startrrek)

Mike

Bogs and Bergs
(Islandized) - F

Locale: Newfoundland
Re: Traction on 11/25/2012 11:46:48 MST Print View

I have slipped in them once that I recall, but that was on wave-smoothed, algae-covered wet rock at a 65 degree angle, so I'm not sure what would have saved me there. Crampons? Otherwise, quite good traction. It took me a while to trust them; as you say, the Keen rubber is not as soft as some. But I have walked moss, mud, clay, gravel, pebble, scree, and bedrock, dry and wet, transitioning from one to the other, sometimes at quite steep pitches, with no trouble. There have been times I expected to slip, but didn't. The lug is very good, grips well without getting clogged, and finds an edge on anything but the smoothest, slimiest rock. It seems the tradeoff in footwear is durability vs traction, more of one will give you less of the other, and I for one would much sooner leave a smear of rubber on the rock, rather than a strip of my hide. The Keens seem to fall on the traction side of the equation, and I'm happy with that.

Kevin Garrison
(kgarrison) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area
Targhee 2 Feedback on 11/25/2012 12:51:09 MST Print View

I've own 2 pairs of Keen Targhee 2s. The first pair were replaced by Keen after 6 months when one of the cloth shoe-string eyelets failed. I've used the second pair for more than 2 years on all types of terrain. I recently retired them and move to a new pair of Solomon Comet mids.

Overall, the Keen's are extremely comfortable boots. As for KeenDry, I did not find it to be breathable at all. If fact, I found that the lack of breathability caused my feet to get really hot and to sweat excessively. Keen does offer a non-KeenDry version which I would highly recommend over the KeenDry version.

Hope this helps.

Bogs and Bergs
(Islandized) - F

Locale: Newfoundland
Breathability on 11/25/2012 16:20:36 MST Print View

Yeah, I should have qualified my remarks. I do live in a cool and windy climate, right by the North Atlantic. Kind of a permanent early November with six weeks of July (when putting your feet in water is actually desirable, and these boots are not). Also I don't have particularly sweaty feet. YMMV, as they say.

German Tourist
(GermanTourist) - F

Locale: in my tent
Keen on 11/25/2012 16:31:44 MST Print View

The Keen Targhee/Voyager is my default hiking shoe and as I have been continuously living outdoors for 5 years now I have gone through about 12 or more pairs of Keens. They last about 1,500 km or even a bit more depending on the terrain before the profile wears out and the cushioning goes flat completely. They last much longer than the Merrells I used before.

Ben R
(snowfiend131) - MLife

Locale: Western PA
Targhee Traction on 11/25/2012 18:07:51 MST Print View

I agree that these boots are comfy. However, I have found them dangerous for rock hopping at stream crossings, due to serious lack of traction on wet rocks. I have found Vasque, Merrell, and Salomon shoe soles to have much better traction.

Michael Cheifetz
(mike_hefetz) - MLife

Locale: Israel
at least im not a complete idiot then on 11/26/2012 02:49:09 MST Print View

thanks for all the input. I guess YMMV is always true but from reading this it seems quite a few people have got good comfy use out of them...so I hope i will as well.

10x
Mike

Michael Cheifetz
(mike_hefetz) - MLife

Locale: Israel
arrrgh#$%$#% - delamination on 12/11/2012 10:16:59 MST Print View

well...cant say i was not warned..

my new (2 weeks) Keen Targhee mids have started to seriously delaminate on the sides - where the rubber rand is glued to the leather.

The store will of course replace it...but its not making me happy
M

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: arrrgh#$%$#% - delamination on 12/11/2012 10:23:19 MST Print View

I just bought a pair of the Keens for winter, but have not used them yet. I hope your delamination issues are a fluke!

It's interesting to read how one person's experience with KeenDry is the polar opposite of another's!

Edited by T.L. on 12/11/2012 10:58:44 MST.

Chris C
(cvcass) - MLife

Locale: State of Jefferson
mine are solid on 12/11/2012 11:11:02 MST Print View

I have a pair that I bought 2 years ago, the soles are very slippery on wet rock compared to some other shoes I own. They do keep my feet dry in light snow and I have had no durability issues either.

I wear them every day to work or when its raining so they have seen lots of round town wear and tear and the soles are a little thin in some spots but they have held up better than I expected.

Ryan Dorn
(fiestabuckeye)
Wish I had a pair now on 12/11/2012 19:45:44 MST Print View

I absolutely loved my Targhee 2's. The comfort is unparalleled although I will concede that the traction is sketchy, but as long as you're cautious on wet surfaces, you'll be fine.

Unfortunately, my last pair was in need of replacement and I picked up a pair of Merrell Moab Ventilators that I got a good deal on and I hate them. I've put the Targhee 2s on my wish list for Xmas. Hopefully someone comes through.

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
Keen targhee2 mids - experiences on 12/11/2012 19:57:56 MST Print View

Have posted about these several times, but having owned three pair, will do so again.
The first two pair each lasted about a year of day hiking and spring and summer trekking (would love to be out there all summer, but cannot afford it and there are commitments - so a trek for me is usually the better part of a month) After getting thoroughly sopped a few times, the outsoles started to come apart (they are made of different pieces bonded together), and the uppers started to separate around the bottom edges from the soles, allowing rain to enter.

The third pair had the worst adhesion of all, even when brand new, as the tops of the sole could be easily peeled away from the leather. So even before using them, PU glue was worked between the sole and the leather around the boot with a shaved popsicle stick, with the excess cleaned up with Isopropyl alcohol. Doing this when new worked great, and has prevented the separation experienced with the first two pair; but the third pair has yet to see a trek of several weeks, with the usual days of rain and slogging that will bring. The PU glue treatment is also not going to help the sole pieces hold together any better.

Wrote to Keen a few years ago about all of this, and got no reponse, even though pains were taken to be 'fair and balanced'. They did come out with the Gypsum, which is also billed as a 'mid', but is about an inch higher. If you like the feeling of freedom that a true 'mid' allows over a hiking boot, the Gypsum will probably be a disappointment. Too bad, because it appears to be much better made than the Targhees, and would be just as light, perhaps moreso if it were the same height. In it, the foot is closer to the ground, giving me a feeling of more control.

Won't say much about the fit, because that is different for every individual. The purchase of three pair despite the shortcomings was due to the comfort on the trail. Many boots fit OK in the store, or on a flat surface, but most fall down and begin to hurt when negotiating the rocks and roots of the White Mountains (By then you can't take the boots back). At least I could get through long treks comfortably in this boot, unlike most others.

Have noticed that each pair had a little more volume than the prior and required more shimming for the smaller foot; and that, along with the durability issues, has driven me this fall to try a slew of other mids to see if something better could be found. Unfortunately, I use a prescription orthotic that needs a flat surface underneath it to work; so narrow-heeled mids with some arch built in, like many Salomons and LaSportivas, do not work - the orthotic rocks over the arch. Otherwise, the search would probably be over already.

There is also the weight issue. The Danner Radical 452 is an excellent boot for me, and far more rugged then the Keens but a pair are a pound heavier than Keens. That pound really makes a difference, especially on a longer trek, or even a longer day if I happen to screw up the navigation.

The Targhee's sole is IMO about average for grip. But that can mean longer wear, except for the separation of the sole parts. Reach for the MicroSpikes on icy surfaces though. I do everything conceivable to avoid wet mossy rock, so that has so far not been a problem. But there is a lot of poking about and carefull treking pole planting with the Targhees, especially on rocky descents.

Despite all the above drawbacks, I will probably use the Targhees most of next year because of the comfort, and then throw them out like the last two pair. They get so ratty that a hunter I ran into in Colorado got a good laugh looking at the second pair. I have a pair of discontinued Garmonts on order, as well as a new pair of 452's for day hiking in the Whites, and if an equally comfortable yet more durable alternative is found will certainly post it with an update on my 'Duckfoot' thread from a while back.

Good Hiking to all, whatever is on your feet.

Edited by scfhome on 12/11/2012 20:02:19 MST.

Michael Cheifetz
(mike_hefetz) - MLife

Locale: Israel
replaced them on 12/12/2012 08:28:29 MST Print View

well - got the new pair today....when in the store we played with the old one - it really was ridiculous - you could easily rip off the sole..the glue was that dry/old.
I too hope its a fluke/lemon

RE gluing it before use...problem is that if i do that i cannot replace if it breaks up too soon again.
what glue are you using (brand?)


they ARE comfortable thou....

Mike

James Loy
(jimbluz) - M

Locale: Pacific NW
Keen Targhee Mid on 12/12/2012 10:07:30 MST Print View

I am on my fourth pair of these shoes now. The last pair for some reason, ran large, and I had to give them away. The problems I've had with the previous pair are that the seams commonly come apart prematurely, the fabric lace loops often wear out, and be extremely careful when descending a trail that is either slick from mud or snow as they have poor grip on these surfaces.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Keen Targhee Mid on 12/12/2012 13:16:48 MST Print View

James, there's gotta be something you really like about them to be on your fourth pair, yet you've only listed negatives.

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
Question from OP on 12/12/2012 17:32:00 MST Print View

Michael,
Used Elmer's Glue-All Max urethane. It is not quite as good as the Pro-Bond they used to make, but worked well. Put it on sparingly, and brush out excess glue at the top of the welt, because the glue expands a lot when drying.
Good point about not being able to return after gluing. If you have a pair that seems to be well-bonded all around the welt, you could wait and see how they do, and then glue if you want to keep them. Suggest cleaning thoroughly with a tooth brush and Isopropyl alcohol before gluing. But have to say that the glue worked much better when applied at the git-go, before the boots had been treated with sprays or goop, than on an earlier pair where I waited until separation developed at the welt.
Besides holding the sole and upper together better, the glue also keeps water out.

Note: I also use a small diamond wheel to carefully sand down the retainers on the lace hooks so the EMS waxed laces will fit easily. They work and wear much better than the laces that come with the boots which give me lace burns. The Gypsum has a much classier metal retaining lace hook that releases easily. If only they would make Targhees with the same quality as the Gypsum. It may be a matter of which Chinese factory makes the product. Hope someone influential at Keen is listening.

Edited by scfhome on 12/12/2012 17:34:34 MST.

Michael Cheifetz
(mike_hefetz) - MLife

Locale: Israel
Unbelievable - another one delaminated on 12/18/2012 08:24:29 MST Print View

this is getting to be too much

yesterday i noticed the Targhee2 we bought my wife is also delaminating seriously...and my totally new replaced one also seems iffy.

brought them back and got refund...but this is not making me happy with keen...

M