SNOWSHOE MAGAZINE GEAR REVIEW:

Gear Review: Keen Oregon PCT Hiking Boot

I’ve never owned a pair of boots like the Keen Oregons.  They’ve proved to be tough, well constructed and perfect for snowshoeing.  During my trek through Glacier National Park, the Oregons performed flawlessly in a number of changing trail conditions: muddy, icy and snowy.  They were also light enough to wear during my flight from Denver to Kalispell.  I never felt as though the Oregons were too burdensome or got in the way, like most clunky hiking boots.  Keen didn’t over-engineer the Oregons to compensate for sturdiness; they weigh in at 24 ounces and are conveniently waterproof.

Keen shoes are known for their soles that fit over the toe, which work perfectly with snowshoes – especially with an aggressive binding.  Most Keen shoes keep a ratchet binding from pinching the toes and the upper ridge of the foot.  However, during my Glacier trip, I was using a pair of MSR Denali Evo snowshoes, which has a four-strap binding.  I didn’t experience any pinching or drifting while snowshoeing.  Keens are a natural fit for most snowshoe models.  

Without a doubt, the Oregons are going to be in my closet for many years to come.  It’s more than likely they will endure several snowshoe trips per year, and many summer hiking excursions as well.  Of course, like most leather boots that are waterproof, they require care and attention.  I store them in a dry area, clean any dirt off the leather after each day’s use, and then reinforce scratches with Vaseline (weird yes, but it works).

The only difficulty I experienced with the Oregons was a slight heel blister problem after a consistent ascent on my snowshoes.  The trail was steep with a lot of switchbacks.  This may have been my fault for not tying the laces tight enough to keep my heel in place.  Lesson learned!  Although, it wasn’t anything some good ol’ moleskin couldn’t cure. 

The Oregons also feature a cushioning system that’s made from natural materials for “an eco-friendly take on tough performance.”  I’m happy with the Oregons and plan to use them for most of my snowshoe outings in the near future.  In the meantime, my summer hiking plans will include using the Oregons on a regular basis.

The details:

  • Fit Tip: We find this style runs about a 1/2 size small.
  • Lining: KEEN.DRY Waterproof / breathable textile, KEEN.DRY Waterproof membrane / breathable textile
  • Upper: Leather, webbing, high abrasion synthetic
  • Rubber: Non-marking rubber outsole

Additional features:

  • 4mm multi directional traction lugs
  • Cork/EVA heel cushioning insert
  • Forefoot torsion bars for plate flexibility
  • Heel lockdown webbing strap
  • KEEN Key-Tech Full length TPU interlocking torsion plate
  • KEEN.DRY waterproof membrane
  • Lightweight PU forefoot and EVA heel
  • Metatomical tri-density footbed
  • Moisture wicking lining
  • Speed lacing hooks

To purchase the Keen Oregons, visit http://bit.ly/dnS5XS.

For more information on the Oregons, visit http://bit.ly/chsIL4.