Canadian Woodworking

Keen Targhee Vent Mid Length Boots


Light, breathable, durable and super comfortable make this an ideal boot for the shop, jobsite, around the home, or into the wild.

Author: Carl Duguay

The sole of any boot is of paramount importance – for comfort, durability, and safety. The sole on the Targhee is made of a tough non-marring genuine rubber compound that is slip, oil, and abrasion resistant. The treads are quite deep, helping to improve the boots stability and traction. The rubber sole extends all the way up and over the toe of the boot for additional abrasion resistance.

Manufacturer: Keen
Model: Men’s Targhee Vent Mid (#1018586)
Price: $165.00
Source: Locate a Store


Key Features:
Sizes: 7 to 17
Colour: Cuban/Antique Bronze
Sole: Rubber
Midsole: Dual-density, compression-molded EVA
Footbed: Metatomical dual-density EVA
Upper: Water-resistant oiled nubuck leather
Warranty: 1 year

Keen Targhee
Rubber lug sole

Equally important is the outside of the boot. The upper on the Targhee is made of nubuck leather – essentially sanded and buffed cow leather. The advantage of leather over leather-fabric combinations is that it’s naturally water resistant, breathable, and more durable, which makes the boots longer wearing. However leather does take a bit more time to break-in.

Keen Targhee
Rubber sole extends up around the toe

The midsole (located between the upper and the sole) is, as you’ll find on many top quality work and outdoor boots, made of a dual-density compression-molded EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) foam. The midsole is a key component in footwear comfort – it provides cushioning and flexibility, and absorbs shock and rebound as you walk about.

Keen Targhee
Convenient pull tab at heel

The lacing system on the Targhee consists of four pairs of leather webbed eyelets, one pair of fabric eyelets, and one pair of hooked eyelets at the top. I particularly like the hooked eyelets, which considerably speed up the process of tying and untying the laces. Once you slip the laces out of the hooked eyelets you can pull the tongue of the boot forward, loosen the laces a tad if needed, and quickly extract your foot. The braided nylon laces are quite flexible, making them easy to tie.

Keen Targhee
Leather webbed eyelets

There is a strap running around the back of the heel that is connected to the lacing system via the fabric eyelets. As you lace up the boots the strap exerts pressure around the heel, helping to eliminate friction as you walk, which will help to prevent blisters. Another nice design feature is that the collar at the back of the boot slopes downward so it doesn’t dig into the archilies tendon.

Keen Targhee
Notice how the strap goes right around the heel, providing a secure heel lock lacing system

The removable and replaceable footbed is made of metatomical dual-density EVA, which, according to Keen, is built around the overall shape of the foot with special emphasis on the first metatarsal joint (big toe). In practical terms what I found was that these boots are super comfortable, even when worn all day long. Arch support is good, and they have a boxier front end that allows for a lot of toe wiggle room, even when wearing thick socks the boots didn’t feel overly tight – snug but not cramped. And, it doesn’t hurt that each boot only weighs about 18 ounces.

Keen Targhee
Removable, replaceable footbed

I’ve been wearing these boots on and off for the better part of six weeks, and they’ve broken in very nicely. These are ideal boots for the spring to fall months, whether you’re working on a job site, around the shop, and the homestead. Plus, these boots will look good for weekend jaunts around town or outdoor treks. Great value at a competitive price, and they come with a one year warranty.

Keen Targhee
Very light weight, super comfortable

Last modified: September 29, 2023

Carl Duguay - [email protected]

Carl is a Victoria-based furniture maker and the web editor at Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement.

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