Its that time of year again. Autumn is finally upon us, it’s getting cold, a bit wet but the colours are changing. Time to get out the big coats and ever bigger boots. We are working with KEEN to review the Women’s Karriaig waterproof hiking boots and this means an adventure was on the cards!
So we headed out to the Brecon Beacons to do the ultimate test. (and an excuse for another adventure!)
Putting the Karriag waterproof hiking boots to the test
Fit & feel
When I first put these boots on my feet they felt nice and soft. They are easy to slip into, providing that you loosen the laces. My ankles felt well supported. The boot wasn’t too heavy, considering they are an Autumn/Winter boot, which are generally more heavy duty. The boot itself feels like it has been made from high quality materials, making an overall sturdy structure.
As a boot this felt very supportive, especially around the ankles, which is where a lot of other boots/shoes fail. The ankle support is very thick padding, which keeps you secure in the boot. There is also the added protection on the front of the boot, with a rubber tip and All Terrain rubber outsole, so you don’t stub your toes.
Another crucial thing for me is arch support. Keen have created a removable, dual density EVA insole, which has helped keep my feet supported, whilst walking longer distances. After a few days of adventuring in these boots, my feet were feeling pretty fresh.
Laces and clasps
The Karriag boot has integrated a special clasp, that once laces are tightened, keeps everything in place. This worked a treat, however I did find it quite difficult to tighten the laces. When tightening, the clasp keep clicking into place, making it a little difficult – this took me a few tries to get this right! This may be due to the boots and laces being new, so may take a few attempts, wear to break this in. When walking the laces stayed firmly in place however I did still experience a little bit of heel slip.
The waterproof test
Considering it rained the majority of time whilst on our adventure, the boots took a beating in both the rain and big muddy puddles. The ultimate test came when I found a small stream to dunk my feet into, whilst photographing. I managed to dunk all the way up to my ankles and I had no water spill into the boot. This boot is fitted with a special high tongue, that is fully attached to the boot, keeping you nice and dry. I spent a good 10 minutes in the stream and came out completely dry and still warm. The boots didn’t hold any water when I removed my feet, keeping them nice and dry. After using this shoe for a few days, I haven’t discovered any damp smell at all and they dried out quickly.
I was impressed with the grip on these boots, even after dunking them into water they proved to pretty good (just be careful on rocks in general!) The soles felt very heavy duty and big into all of the mud and leaf litter. There is also the heel brake integrated into the back of the boot, which is great for if you are walking back down a hill, it takes the pressure off a little and provides you with more stability, especially in the mid.
Pricing and colourway
- There are 2 colourways – Steel grey/smoke blue and the boots that I am reviewing which are Chestnut/Nostalgia rose. Both really lovely outdoor colourways.
Overall after putting this boot to the test, I was impressed at how waterproof, warm and comfortable they were after taking them out on their first adventure. This is perfect for if you are looking for a boot that feels ready to go as soon as you purchase. KEEN in my opinion, always has provided me with a boot/shoe that you can wear from day one, with no need to break in. In this particular boot, I did find the laces a bit of a struggle, especially with the clasps. You need to find the correct technique of fastening, to keep them nice and secure. KEEN do provide a step by step of how to best tie these boots.
If you like what you see and hear, why not check out the boots on the KEEN website.
Tech specs by KEEN
- Speed hooks for easy lace adjustment
- 5mm multi-directional lugs for traction
- Full-length nylon board-lasted construction for added stability
- Contoured heel lock for a more secure fit
- European made: assembled with pride in Europe
- KEEN.Dry waterproof, breathable membrane
- Integrated dynamic ankle support
- High-abrasion rubber tip for added durability and protection
- Waterproof leather and performance mesh upper
- KEEN.All-Terrain rubber outsole for higher-traction grip
- PU midsole delivers resilient cushioning
- Breathable mesh lining
- Removable, dual-density EVA insoles with arch support for all-day comfort
Gently brush the shoe with a soft bristle brush or hand towel to remove loose dirt and debris. Stains can be treated by lightly rubbing a gum eraser in a circular motion over the location and lightly brushing afterwards. Tough stains can be treated with a mixture of water and a little vinegar on a damp cloth. This process may cause slight discolouration to the area.