Keen, which recently launched its lightest ever hiking boot – has expanded a collection of walking shoes for this winter. The Keen WK400 is now available in a fresh color range, plus new waterproof version and leather versions.
The company uses its own KEEN.DRY waterproof membrane in the WK400 shoes, and says that they are the result of three years of development and 5000 miles of testing.
As seen with the lightweight Keen Zionic waterproof boot, Keen appears to be moving towards a more standard hiking shoe look, but with its own twist. Features include the KEEN.CURVE design, which is said to offer a unique rolling feeling, "allowing the wearer to experience the full force of constant motion and forward momentum with every step".
The shoes also have a full-length underfoot plate that is claimed to be a natural accelerator of lower-leg movement, a wide outsole platform that should improve stability when hiking, and a high traction rubber outsole with multi-directional lugs. Bear in mind, however, that this isn't a hiking shoe for rough mountain terrain, steep slopes and scree but rather a walking shoe for well-trodden paths and trails.
Comfort and durability
The new Keen shoes have a deep 31mm of forefoot cushioning and a 10mm heel-to-toe drop, which the company believes “promotes forward momentum in your gait, while aiding stability and preventing the wearer from rocking backward”.
Further comfort comes from a padded tongue and collar, as well as a contoured fit that aims to hug the foot although there is still plenty of forefoot width to allow feet to move and splay naturally as you walk.
The WK400 also has a mesh upper with TPU overlays for durability, and offset lacing to relieve pressure across the top of your foot.
The leather edition is constructed in premium nubuck leather, which is sourced from LWG (Leather Working Group) certified tanneries operating on a closed loop basis to reduce water and energy usage. This is an industry gold standard that eliminates waste water. The leather upper has been further treated with a PFC-free durable water repellent coating.
There's also a WK400 WP (waterproof) model, which has the added benefit of a KEEN.DRY waterproof and breathable membrane for wet, snowy and cold weather walking days.
All of the shoes have an Eco Anti Odor treatment that doesn't reply on the use of harmful chemicals or pesticides.
All models in the AW23 WK400 family are available in male and female-specific fits and are priced form £135 (about $170). You can buy them at selected sporting goods and lifestyle retailers or online at www.keenfootwear.de from August 23.
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Fiona Russell is a widely published adventure journalist and blogger, who is better known as Fiona Outdoors. She is based in Scotland and is an all-round outdoors enthusiast with favourite activities including trail running, mountain walking, mountain biking, road cycling, triathlon and skiing, both downhill and back country. Her target for 2021 is to finish the final nine summits in her first round of all 282 Munros, the Scottish mountains of more than 3,000ft high. Aside from being outdoors, Fiona's biggest aim is to inspire others to enjoy the great outdoors, especially through her writing. She is also rarely seen without a running skort! Find out more at Fiona Outdoors.