SNOWSHOE MAGAZINE GEAR REVIEW:

Gear Review: KEEN Revel II Boots

200g insulation and roomy toe box for warmth

As someone who suffers from Raynaud’s, I have become accustomed to numb toes during my winter treks at the best of times. Often enough, numb progresses to painful. Last winter I put in several dozen miles in the KEEN Revel IIs, and was much—and very pleasantly!—surprised to find that I kept sensation in my toes down into the teens Fahrenheit.

Side view of the Revel II with laces removed in order to highlight the gusseted tongue. Also on display are the stabilizing shank and generous underfoot insulation.

The Revel II checks the should-go-without-saying boxes: 200g insulation and a waterproof/breathable layer. It also adds the snowshoe-friendly features of a gaiter hook at the bottom of the laces and ridges at the heel counter to help secure the heel strap of a snowshoe binding. One nice design touch is found above those ridges in the form of an Achilles notch. This thoughtful feature works in tandem with the gusseted tongue to provide comfort as well as good ankle motility.

Note the Achilles notch as well as the two ridges, which can help secure a snowshoe binding’s rear strap.

Footwear warmth is a function of more than the amount of interior insulation, and it is here that the Revel II punches above its weight. First off, the design does not skimp on underfoot insulation. An insulated boot with a thin sole is akin to a down sleeping bag used in tandem with a chintzy ground pad. Volume also helps provide warmth, and the boot’s designers put that fact to good use.

Without going to the extremes of a bulky pack boot, the Revel II is built with enough volume to allow for the use of an aftermarket wool insole. The roomy toe box, protected by KEEN’s trademark toe cap, played a huge role in keeping the blood flowing and my feet warm.

The Revel II features a protective toe cap as well as a handy gaiter hook. The lace hooks are far superior to fabric loops in terms of durability.

Revel II tread pattern and TPU shank (in yellow).

To learn more

The KEEN MSRP for the Revel II model is $160. To learn more, check out the company’s product page at http://www.keenfootwear.com/product/shoes/men/revel-ii.

Author information

Matthew Timothy Bradley

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