Gear Closet: Keen Alamosa Mid Hiking Boots


Finding the right hiking shoes for long days on the trail is always a tricky matter. We want footwear that is comfortable of course, not to mention durable and rugged. The shoes should provide good traction on a variety of surfaces and it doesn’t hurt if they just so happen to look good too. That may sound like the Holy Grail of hiking boots but it also happens to be an apt description for the Alamosa Mid from Keen, a lightweight pair of boots that don’t compromise on build quality or protection for our feet.

I had the privilege of testing the Alamosa WP hiking shoes last year and came away very impressed with what Keen had to offer. The Alamosa Mids differ from those shoes in some key ways however, not the least of which is their ability to handle moisture. The WP version of these shoes are actually waterproof, while the Mid is just water resistant. An important distinction depending on how you’ll be using them. But the Mid is more of a full hiking boot, providing a lot more support for the ankle. That translates into a higher level of stability on the trail and better overall comfort on longer hikes.

Built from water resistant leather, with a breathable mesh upper, the Alamosa Mid is a nice mix of both classic and modern hiking boot design. These boots feature a flexible, yet durable, non-marking rubber sole that wraps up and around the toes to provide plenty of protection from the rigors of a rocky trail. That same outsole provides a solid level of traction for when the trail gets wet or icy, giving us the stability we need in variety of weather conditions.

I had the chance to test these boots extensively over the holiday season that has just passed and came away very happy with their performance. I wore them in both snow and ice, as well as on dry trails in warmer conditions, and in both cases my feet were very happy with the results. The Alamosa Mids kept my toes warm and dry in the snow and slush, and yet they were able to breathe well in warmer environments, wicking moisture away in those conditions too. The higher ankle support was much appreciated as well, particularly on the slicker surfaces and the more rugged trails and rocky trails found near my home in Texas.

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Wearing these shoes for extended periods of time is no problem as well, thanks to a comfortable (and removable) footbed that cradles the arch and provides plenty of cushion for the bottom of the foot. In fact, I found these boots to be so comfortable, that they were quite literally the only pair of shoes that I took with me on a holiday road trip back home to the Midwest. Their classic styling and good looks make them perfect for wearing around town or on a snow trail, and despite being exposed to a wide variety of weather conditions, they’ve held up exceptionally well and still look brand new.

If you’re in the market for a new pair of hiking boots that can perform well in many different situations than I highly recommend the Keen’s Alamosa Mids. They are an excellent entry into the lightweight hiking boot category, making them perfect for day hikes or backpacking in terrain that isn’t too rugged. They are durable and well built too, which means they’ll make good trail shoes for many, many hikes to come. The fact that they cost just $120 means they won’t put too much pain on  your pocketbook either.

Kraig Becker