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Just read a post by rgk; I too have been wearing these for many years and they have been wonderful and my feet have been blessed. I am not sure what Keen has done, but these shoes are now too small, look bulky, and the footbed is excruciating. I have worn mine for 10 days, just to prove to myself that no design company could have screwed a staple and trusted shoe up so badly. I was misguided. And my feet hurt. For the avoidance of doubt, Targee, then Targee ll's in size 11.
I used to walk into REI (in the old days), then order online at Amazon a pair every 12 months (just checked my order history) and they were wonderful, wore them to work- hiked up Half Dome, but his last pair are atrocious.
Faint relief, as Amazon states I am too late to return them, I ordered a pair of Austins - they are exactly what Keens are meant to be; comfy, unbreakable and make you look like you're the kind of chap that cares about wildlife. It appears they still know how to make shoes that please.
I do exactly what you do, Keen- the difference being that I check materials, density, continuity and quality. Not just the 'look' out of the box.
I was so pleased with these that I bought a second pair for when the first ones wear out – and they will, because I'm wearing them all summer now, even when I’m not hiking.
These are tough shoes with a thick sole that provides good support (unlike my Salomons). The rubber on the toe wraps over so that getting snagged on a branch won't ruin them (as many a White Ledge owner can lament).
I'm a pretty avid hiker. My feet have not gotten hot in them. The laces are ribbed so that they don’t need to be double-knotted.
The shoes also clean off well. It helps that they’re "waterproof" and can be sprayed – although I think I'd describe them more accurately as "water-resistant."
These are my second pair of Keen products. The first pair were Keen Targhee Mid's, which lasted me two years and were the most comfortable pair of shoes I have ever purchased (not to mention the longest lasting). They went from a work shoe (hiking up Idaho mountains) to being an everyday shoe. The first pair did not have any issues even though I put them through hell.
My second pair, however, were a bit different. Everything fit well, but my heel was a bit loose. I was alright with that since a retailer told me that it would be like that until I wear-in the shoe. Unfortunately, not even two weeks into wearing the shoe on a consistent basis, the rubber heel on the rear of the shoe started to peel away (I hope I have the terminology correct). If the shoe is starting to fall apart now, I'm not going to expect them to last two years, let alone one. I am currently awaiting a response from the retailer (through amazon) about how to remedy the situation.
In my experience of Keen shoes (many, many pairs of sandals and boots) and I hike about 4 days a week and have for decades, they have many fine features, but are JUNK. This is my 2nd pair of these low "Potato" shoes (Why did they name their shoes for a potato?) and they are much more durable than the first pair. In fact, they seem as durable as the much cheaper Hi--Techs and have better grip on wet rock. Maybe they are trying to repair a reputation for good design, but awful execution. Congratulations!
I really loved these shoes when I first bought them at EMS, so I ordered a second pair through Amazon. After 5 months, of using the first pair for three 30 minute walks a day, the black rubber/plastic outer sole over the heel area has completely been worn down and pieces of it have broken off. I have only been using the second pair that I bought from Amazon for about 3 months and the same thing is happening and I used the second pair of shoes even less. Spoke with a friend who said she has bought the Keen women's version of hiking shoes in the past and had the same problem with the bottom soles deteriorating quickly. This is the first time in...probably 20 years that I have bought a pair of hiking shoes that were not made by Merrell. I don't know what I was thinking. Merrell puts Vibram soles on the bottom of their shoes. Every pair of Merrell hiking shoes or boots that I have ever bought has lasted 5 or more years. For the same money, just get Merrells.
Haven't used them yet as they run a half size small, so just buy a half size up from your regular size. Do not listen to anyone saying they run true to size, they are listed on Keens official page as running a half size small. Other than that though, they seem very well constructed, are extremely light, and quite comfortable. Can't wait to put them through their paces when my right size comes in.
The quality of Keen footwear gets worse with each new pair I buy, and I have been using their shoes and sandals for over a decade. This last pair literally started coming apart at the seams after just 6 weeks and less than a dozen uses. Keen did honor their warranty with a new replacement pair (a thumbs up there), but a new POS is still a POS. It's sad that the quest for profit precludes continuing to build a quality product.
The shoes are comfortable out of the box. However, the colors don't match the images on line. I got the "Dark Earth/ Madder Brown" (a soft reddish brown) and that is what it says on the box but it looks more like a mix of all the other shoes. I like the shoes but I am not sure what I will get if I return them. Function is more important than looks. Anybody else have this problem?