A warm and versatile hiking boot, rather than a dedicated winter boot, but tje Keen Karraig is one we love and recommend for great comfort and grip in conditions including frosty weather and light snow. Keen have more serious winter-specific designs in the boot locker, but the Karraigs offer year-round functionality and still do well when the mercury drops.
No dedicated insulation, so not warm enough for really freezing days
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If you’re a year-round, all-conditions walker who loves to wander off the beaten track no matter what the weather, the Keen Karraig boot could be your new best friend. The Karraigs are not snow-specific boots, so there’s no big puffy insulation besides naturally warm leather, but we still found them brilliant when we tested them out in temperatures down to and around 0°C.
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These boots are an excellent choice if you plan to get out in snowy mountain conditions a few times a year, but want to get the best bang for your buck by buying a hardwearing hiking boot suitable for use throughout autumn and spring too.
•RRP: $250 (US) / £160 (UK) / €190 (EU)
•Compatibility: A great hybrid of hiking boot and winter boot
In the field
This may not be a boot designed specifically with winter in mind but we love wearing the Keen Karraig for hikes when the weather is frosty, because it is such a high-performing hiking boot in any conditions. We find them warm, waterproof and instantly comfortable to wear, which makes for a happy experience out on the trails. We like the high, supportive and well-padded ankle, which can be laced up tightly and doesn’t let rain or snow seep in, the protective toe box (something Keen have taken to a whole new level) and the thick soles, which offer great grip even on wet and icy surfaces. Keen’s own-brand Keen. Dry breathable membrane reliably keeps rain and sleet at bay. You can wear the Keen Karraig on frosty walks or when venturing above the snow line on winter treks, but if you are planning to be out and about for extended periods, working or exploring in the ice and snow all day long, you’d be better picking a winter-specific boot such as Keen’s better-insulated Revel IV.
An award-winning travel and outdoors journalist, presenter and blogger, Sian regularly writes for The Independent, Evening Standard, BBC Countryfile, Coast, Outdoor Enthusiast and Sunday Times Travel. Life as a hiking, camping, wild-swimming adventure-writer has taken her around the world, exploring Bolivian jungles, kayaking in Greenland, diving with turtles in Australia, climbing mountains in Africa and, in Thailand, learning the hard way that peeing on a jellyfish sting doesn’t help. Her blog, thegirloutdoors.co.uk, champions accessible adventures.