It’s been an interesting year, but I was finally allowed to leave the country for work. I travelled to a place that is very rocky, high-altitude and cold (minus figure with snow). For my trip, KEEN provided me with the new Revel high Polar hiking boots, to put them to the test in a harsh environment.

First impressions

When my pair of KEEN’s first arrived and I took them out of the box my first thought was wow! These are super light compared to my snow boots. I slipped them on and they seemed comfortable, had enough space for my wider feet, and felt sturdy around the ankles. It was then time to try them out in nature.

Fit

I spent around 7 weeks in these boots. Much of that time was going over various terrains such as jagged rocks, deep snow, sand/dust and over small streams. Thank goodness I didn’t get wet. For me, like many of my KEEN boots, the fit is always the best. I have quite wide feet and some walking boots are too tight, but these had a great spread on them. I did fall over a few times due to loose rocks but my feet and ankles stayed protected. Overall the boots didn’t feel too heavy or cumbersome and after a day of hiking my feet felt all good due to the extra cushioning from the midsole and insole. The midsole has a thermal heat shield that keeps the heat in the boots.

As always, I have issue with heel slip, which seems to happen in every boot I wear. In the first week this did happen quite a lot, until I started using a good lacing technique to prevent this. So, within the first week I did get a heel blister, but after this I had no more blisters. I was walking across rough terrain for sometimes 6-12k a day for 7 weeks. So only one weeks worth of blisters is pretty good going I think.

Overall Protection

I really enjoyed the much higher boot fit and it was perfect for my work expedition. The higher boot supported the ankle well and provided extra warmth. The KEEN polar traction outsoles are nice and thick with a great grip. I did fall over quite a few rocks and walked across a lot of thorny bushes. They did take a good battering from the many rocks and stones that got lodged in the sole. I did notice that by the end of my 7 weeks that one of the toe caps at the front started to come off. I think it got it caught under a rock at some point. This caused the rubber toe cap, which is pretty reinforced, to break at the sides a little. 

Against the cold

I spent a lot of time outside standing around and in knee-deep snow. I only ever wore one pair of walking socks. Throughout the entire time my feet stayed warm and no snow entered the boot. My feet didn’t sweat too much either, as the breathable membrane allows moisture out. Inside of the shoe is something special! KEEN.WARM. This is a special lining that is made from charcoal bamboo that keeps the heat in. The rest of the insulation is made from recycled PET. The boots also kept my feet dry. Whenever I would go into a small stream or large puddle my feet would stay nice and dry.

Pricing

£139.99 on KEEN’s website.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a boot that is high ankle, warm and surprisingly lightweight that does well on the walking trail, or something that just keeps your feet nice and warm in minus temperatures, then I would recommend this polar boot. As I say above, I was wearing these every day for around 7 weeks and walking pretty far in them. They kept me warm, dry, and supported. Furthermore, a lot of the boot has been recycled and has eco-friendly and animal-friendly materials. So this boot is great for the eco conscious individuals too.

To find out more, and purchase your own polar boots, visit keenfootwear.com