Canadian Woodworking

Keen Venture Mid Boot


These light weight, breathable, waterproof boots make for ideal spring and summertime footwear in the workshop, around the home, or on weekend hikes.

Author: Carl Duguay

Well-fitting, comfortable footwear that provide good arch support should be important for anyone who spends the better part of a day constantly on their feet. Whether you work on a job site or in a shop, your work boots need to fit well – too short or narrow and your feet will feel constricted and sweat; too long or wide and your feet will move around causing blisters. Not giving your feet the attention they deserve can result in problems down the road – plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia, or tendinitis to name a few. Fortunately there is a lot of good footwear on the market.

Model: Men’s Targhee Vent Mid (#1018586)
Price: $220.00
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Key Features:
Sizes: 7 to 17
Colours: Dark Olive/Raven plus 3 other colour combinations
Sole: Rubber
Midsole: Dual-density, compression-molded EVA
Footbed: Metatomical dual-density EVA
Upper: Water-resistant oiled nubuck leather
Weight: 1.2 pounds/boot (size 11)
Warranty: 1 year

During the Spring to Fall seasons I look for work boots that are breathable, light in weight, and waterproof. For the job site I always recommend hard toed boots while in the workshop or around the home soft toed boots are fine – they tend to be lighter in weight and more flexible in fit. The new Venture Mid 6″ work boot from Keen Footwear has the three main features I look for in a soft toe work boot, along with a few extra features.

The Venture Mid, at just under 2-1/2 pounds for the pair, are among the lightest work boots on the market. I find they feel a bit more like high top sneakers than work boots, and are just as comfortable. The upper is made of a synthetic waterproof and breathable material that is paired with Keen’s ‘KEEN.Dry’ proprietary membrane lining which enables your feet to breath, and helps to make the boot both light and flexible. The removable footbed (aka insole) is infused with CLEANSPORT NXT, which uses naturally occurring microbes to control odour causing organic material inside the boot.

keen venture
Waterproof, breathable membrane
Keen venture footbed
Removable, replaceable footbed infused with CLEANSPORT NXT natural odor control.

The boots also feature Keen’s ‘KonnectFit’ heel locking system – essentially a free-moving cord that extends from both sides of the boot around the back heel. As you lace up the boots the cords stabilize the back of the heel, providing a more snug fit. This system likely leads to a more custom fit for different foot widths.

Keen Venture
Unique heel capture system provides a more secure fit.
Keen Venture
Rubber sole extends upwards toward front of the toe.
Keen venture
Watertight seal between sole and upper.

The ‘Keen.All-Terrain’ rubber soles are slip, oil, and abrasion resistant and have lugs just under 3./16″ long that provide very good grip and enhance stability and traction.

Keen Venture
Deep lugs on the sole provide excellent traction.

There are seven pairs of eyelets. The bottom four are simply punched into the upper material. I would have preferred if these eyelets were reinforced with metal. The top three are metal eyelets – one pair of ringed and two speed hooks. I like this arrangement, as the speed hooks make it much quicker to loosen the laces when you untie the boots. The braided nylon laces are flexible, making them easy to tie, though the laces are way too long – I end up double lacing them.

keen venture
Hooked eyelets make for quicker tying.
keen venture
Convenient pull tab at heel.

In use I found these Keen Venture Mid boot exceptionally comfortable, providing good ankle and foot support. The day after I got these boots I wore them for a full work day in the shop – no need to break them in. Over the last four week of use I really have nothing to complain about. I can wear these boot all day long without my feet feeling overly warm or sweaty. The soles feel flexible at the toe end, and there’s ample wiggle room.

If you spend a lot of time on your feet in the workshop or you’re looking for a super light weight pair of boots to wear around the homestead or for weekend jaunts in the great outdoors, then do check out the Keen Venture Mid boots.

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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