It has been awhile since I owned a pair of light hikers that also offered good ankle support. Sure, I have a couple of pairs of light hiking shoes, which compliment my serious hikers used in places like the Himalaya or on Kilimanjaro, very well. But those are all low cut shoes, which breathe nicely in the hot Texas summer, but don’t offer much in the way of upper-ankle support.
It was because of this that I was looking forward to checking out the new Red Rock Mid hiking shoes from Keen. These shoes promised to be the best all around hiker possible in a lightweight, but highly durable package, while also offering comfort and performance in a variety of conditions. They also come with the KEEN.DRY lining which is designed to keep moisture out without making your feet too hot and sweaty.
Of course, those promises are all well and good, but if they your hiking shoes don’t live up to their claims, you end up with hot, tired, and blistered feet that are incredibly uncomfortable while out on the trail. Fortunately, that wasn’t the care hear, and although they required some time to break in, as most good hiking shoes do, once they loosened up some, the Red Rocks became a very comfortable shoe for light and medium duty on the trail. (I’ll still prefer my heavier boots for the longer treks in remote areas)
Made of nubuck leather, these shoes wear well and soften up nicely with a little use. The boots are also quite lightweight, which makes them perfect for everything from day hikes to the local park to weekend long backpacking trips to the backcountry. Even after a number of hikes, my Red Rocks look little worse for wear, aside from a little mud from the trail.
I was quite impressed with the grip that these shoes demonstrated on a variety of surfaces including dry, dusty trails, slippery mud, and even wet rocks. Stream crossings were a breeze in the Red Rocks as well, as the KEEN.DRY lining worked as promised, keeping the water out, while letting my feet breathe at the same time.
I’ve always been a fan of Keen shoes, and generally find them to be an excellent value. They are durable, wear well, and have a nice sense of style as well. The Red Rock Mid continues this tradition, as an excellent pair of light hiking shoes that will serve you well on many hikes in the years ahead. (MSRP: $120)
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