Keen has launched a new range of speed hiking shoes and boots, which are the lightest it's ever made. The Zionic speed hiking footwear is described as offering outdoors fans comfort, support and grip but without extra grams.
The Keen Zionic speed hiking shoes weigh just 278g for a women’s US size 7, and 378g for the men’s US size 9. The women's mid-height hiking boot is 300g, while the men's is 385g.
For comparison, Keen's lightweight NXIS series tip the scales at 309g and 321g for the women’s shoes and mid boots respectively, and 393g and 395g for the men’s equivalents.
What makes the Zionic different?
Keen has long been known for its distinctive outdoors footwear with a generous fit and an over-sized look. The Zionic speed hikers represent a shift to a more streamlined design that still allows the toes and forefoot to spread for all-day comfort, yet, from the outside, now looks more like a standard boot or shoe.
Keen has stuck with its penchant for bright and funky colours though, and there's a host of familiar features that fans of the brand will appreciate.
The shoes and boots are constructed with a rip-stop, recycled mesh upper, TPU overlays for extra durability and protection in exposed areas, plus the brand’s own KEEN.DRY waterproof and breathable membrane. Keen has added an eco-friendly PFA-free DWR coating.
Underfoot cushioning and support comes from an air-injected midsole, stability shank and removable PU insole with arch support. The brand has designed in what it calls a heel crash pad, where the outsole is wrapped around the heel to aid the absorption of impacts. The outsole has 4mm low profile lugs, which will work well on paved paths and loose trails.
Hiking comfort is said to be enhanced by a “palpably fluid heel to toe movement that flexes and supports with every step”. There is added padding around the Achilles tendon area.
Keen uses a speed lace system that has top collar hooks to offer a swift and secure fit. A loop at the outside of the heel allows for two-finger leverage to get the shoes on and off. If you are prone to sweaty and smelly feet (hey, it happens!) you’ll also welcome the Keen Eco anti-odor treatment.
The Zionic series is priced at £160 (about $210) for the mid-height boot and £150 (about $190) for the low cut shoe version. They're available at keenfootwear.de and selected lifestyle and sporting goods retailers.
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Fiona Russell is a widely published adventure journalist and blogger, better known as Fiona Outdoors. She is based in Scotland and is an all-round outdoors enthusiast with favorite activities including trail running, mountain walking, mountain biking, road cycling, triathlon and skiing (both downhill and backcountry). Aside from her own adventures, Fiona's biggest aim is to inspire others to enjoy getting outside and exploring, especially through her writing. She is also rarely seen without a running skort! Find out more at Fiona Outdoors.