BackpackGearTest
  Guest - Not logged in 

Reviews > Footwear > Boots > Keen Explore Vent and WP Low Boots > Test Report by joe schaffer

Keen Explore Vent shoes
Test Series
by Joe Schaffer

INITIAL REPORT - August 10, 2019

TESTER INFORMATION:
NAME: Joe Schaffer
EMAIL: never2muchstuff(AT)yahoo(DOT)com
AGE: 71
GENDER: Male
HEIGHT: 5'9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 170 lb (79.4 kg)
SHOE SIZE: 9 (wide, when available)
HOME:  Bay Area, California USA

    I started backpacking in 1959. I enjoy California's central Sierras, camping every month with a goal to match my age in nights out each year; about 30 solo. For comfort I lug tent, mattress, chair, etc. This year's summer trips have been 5-8 days; 40 lb (18 kg), about half food and water related; about 5 miles (8 km) per hiking day. I winter camp most often at 6,000 to 7,000 ft (1,800 to 2,000 m); 2 to 3 nights; 50 lb (23 kg); 1 to 4 miles (1.6 to 6.4 km) on snowshoes.shoes

INITIAL REPORT

The Product:
        Manufacturer: Keen
        Web site: https://www.keenfootwear.com
        Product: Explore shoe
        Color: Climbing Ivy/Olivine
        Received: 8/6/19

Vendor description:
Features
    4mm multi-directional lugs
    Stability shank
    Konnectfit heel-capture system
    Radial support system
    Notch in back for achilles

Material
    Performance mesh upper with TPU overlays
    KEEN All-Terrain rubber outsole
    EVA midsole
    Breathable mesh lining
    Removable PU footbed with arch support

MSRP: $110 US

My measures:
    weight: L 13 1/8 oz (374 g)
    weight: R 12 1/2 oz (355 g)
    weight: Pair 26 3/4 oz (730 g)
    length: 11 1/2 in (29.2 cm)
    max width at heel: 3 5/16 in (8.4 cm)
    max width at forefoot: 4 5/16 in (11 cm)
   
MY DESCRIPTION:
     shoesExplore Vent low-cut hiker appears to have three main attributes: 1) Light; 2) Breathable; 3) Traction.

    The shoe has very minimal ribbing. A rubber rand covers the front of the toe box. The outer shoe is breathable, coarse-weave nylon. Inner lining offers a heavily padded tongue, anchored to the sides of the shoe with nylon panels. Laces pass through holes, supported by fabric 'eyelets' sewn only at the bottom of the small loop. Two upper-most lacing holes are reinforced with metal eyelets, with the top eyelet having no fabric loop. There is one pass-through webbing loop on the top side of the tongue. Laces are round. The cuff is moderately padded and has an achilles notch. A pull tab is affixed just below this notch. The two-layer sole sports 43 aggressive traction lugs with 4 lateral lugs at the toe and 3 at the heel. The sole is about 1 1/4 in (3 cm) thick at the heel, tapering to about 3/4 in (2 cm) at the toe, including the insole. The removeable insole has an added increment of cushioning at the heel.

IMPRESSIONS:

  Explore feels very light on the feet. I can't say I feel the difference in weight between the two shoes, but I wonder why the right shoe is 5/8 oz (19 gm) lighter than the left. The pull tab is an interesting feature. There's no-muss-no-fuss getting hold of it as is often the case with a fabric loop, but my old fingers have to rely on pure strength to remain ahold of it.

fit: These shoes fit my feet very nicely. Though my foot seems wide for many shoes, there is no tightness over the forefoot. Heel lift is not an issue.
    
    comfort: The shoes feel teriffic. The multi-layer upper construction seems to breathe really well; a trail test is yet to come. The soft nature of the sole makes them feel like cloud-walking--on a smooth surface, anyway.

    lacing: Laces don't slip very easily through the eyes. Slippage resistance is great when the shoe is on, but a little frustrating for a Type A to get the shoe on and laced. The sides of the shoes are not overly firm and yield to spreading as the laces give way for pulling the shoe on or off.

    tongue: The generous tongue's anti-migration panels hold the tongue in place, a feature I prefer.

    tread: Aggressive lugs across most of the sole suggest great traction without the siping or cross-hatching that typically holds mud and dog poop tightly in place.

    suspension: These shoes provide a soft ride in the house. Part of the testing will be to determine if the sole, especially at the heel, becomes spongey. The soft and very flexible insole seems insufficient.

    rubble isolation: My old arthritic feet are not expecting much isolation from trail rocks and rubble given the flexible nature of the sole, and that expectation will be tested without any backpack weight.

    stability: The shoes offer the kind of lateral support I prefer, especially in a low-cut. I turn ankles easily. If the count is low for this shoe as I expect in the test, I'll be able to keep track

    manufacturing quality: I don't find a single defect.

    style: They are really comfortable. That suits me. The shoe displays no arrogance of design in color, ribbing, lacing or any other aspect that I'd interpret to be marketing more than function.

Quick Shots:  
    a) comfortable
    b) well made
    c) light
    d) good lateral support

Thank you Keen and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this product. Field Report to follow in 2 months and Long Term Report in 4 months.



Read more reviews of Keen gear
Read more gear reviews by joe schaffer

Reviews > Footwear > Boots > Keen Explore Vent and WP Low Boots > Test Report by joe schaffer



Product tested and reviewed in each Formal Test Report has been provided free of charge by the manufacturer to BackpackGearTest.org. Upon completion of the Test Series the writer is permitted to keep the product. Owner Reviews are based on product owned by the reviewer personally unless otherwise noted.

If you are an avid backpacker, we are always looking for enthusiastic, quality reviewers. Apply here to be a gear tester.


All material on this site is the exclusive property of BackpackGearTest.org.
BackpackGearTest software copyright David Anderson