Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Keen Targhee II: Ready for your Voyage of Discovery

Marcel Proust once said, "The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes."

When living your own voyage of discovery, whether it be courtesy of a fast and light day hike or a simple stroll through your local national park, the Keen Targhee II will lend a helping hand in granting you access to those new landscapes.

As you scamper across waterfall misted trails or stomp through puddles, these shoes keep your feet dry with KEEN’s proprietary waterproof, breathable membrane. KEEN.DRY™ lets vapor out without letting water in, allowing you to traverse unspoiled trails without getting slowed down by sogginess. The waterproof leather upper blocks out moisture so your feet stay toasty and dry.

Webbing pull loops at heel and tongue allow easy entry and exit; while padded, gusseted tongues keep out debris and moisture while relieving lace pressure. KEEN also does a quality job of incorporating reflective trim on the Secure-Fit Lace Capture System – always a worthy safety feature no matter where your journey takes you.

Aggressive 4mm multidirectional lugs along with KEEN’s legendary toe protection ensure that this hiker looks as though it was forged in the heart of the wilderness. The gnarly lugs clutch whatever Mother Nature throws your way and pushes you deeper into the forest. The ESS shank provides torsional stability keeping you upright on uneven and muddy terrains as well as sketchy scrambles.

Despite all these great features, it’s the interior of the Targhee II that truly impresses.

A removable metatomical footbed quickly molds to your foot's shape for personalized comfort while supporting your arches, preventing those midday aches and pains.

The shoes also feature KEEN’s S3 Heel support. The S3 (shock, suspension, stability) system is engineered to support the foot on impact, dissipate shock reducing the odds of wrecking your ankle when you miss that gnarly root playing sniper on the trail.

In early field tests our Gumption crew member was suffering from a deep heel bruise -- OUCH! Yet the compression-molded EVA midsoles coupled with KEEN’s S3 Heel support offered maximum padding and shock-absorption without feeling soft and spongy. The result was an ability to rack up major mileage points in spite of the painful heel.

Room For Improvement…
The aggressive multidirectional lugs are a nice touch but have more of a ‘grip’ than ‘stick’ factor. For the $120 price tag, we would like to see KEEN go with a Vibram outsole that provides a little more confidence when your feet are dashing across slick mushy moss or hugging glassy granite.

The other matter pertains to sizing. KEEN’s own website points out that the Targhee II runs approximately ½ size small. Not a problem if you traditional fit is in the 7 to 11 range, however, if your foot is more Sasquatch in nature (size 12 or above) you’ll be forced to go a full size larger which could leave your toes swimming in a sea of toe-box. The other option is to stick with your natural size leaving you with a tight fit in the toes resulting in toe tight travels and uncomfortable downhill blitzes. As such we’d love to see KEEN either make the shoe a more precise fit or introduce half sizes beyond 11.5.

Final Analysis…
Flexible and comfortable like a shoe but with a durable, burly tread that devour trails like a boot, the KEEN Targhee II is a gumption ready trekker that will carry you gracefully across scores of trails and terrain.

1 comment:

  1. Keen Targhee II: Ready for your Voyage of Discovery. Marcel Proust once said, "The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but ...