Comfortable boots for cold weather
Keen’s distinctive chunky-looking boots have been some of my favourites in recent years, partly because of their functional design and partly because the wide fit suits my broad feet. The latest model, the Wanderer WP, is made from nubuck and suede leather with a synthetic well-padded ankle cuff. There’s a Keen.Dry waterproof/breathable membrane inside and a hydrophobic mesh lining. The sole unit is Keen’s own and has a deep tread and a PU midsole. Keen says that the sole is attached to the upper with a unique direct-injection construction technique that gives ‘incredible durability’. Only time will tell how long they last but I’ve found other Keen footwear to last well. The removable footbeds are better than most being semi-stiff around the heel though they don’t compare to ones like Superfeet. As with other Keen boots the Wanderers have a hard toe bumper and reinforced heel.
Keen also describes the boots as ‘semi mid-cut’ and says they combine the ‘flexibility of a shoe with the support and comfort of a mid-cut boot’. It depends which shoes you compare them with of course but the Wanderers are not actually that flexible and I’d say they’re much more like boots than trail shoes. At 1342 grams for my pair of size 9s the weight is more like that of boots too.
I have found the Wanderers comfortable though. The wide fit is just right for me and the soft ankle cuff prevents any rubbing. The PU cushioning is good. The sole grips well on a variety of terrain. I’ve worn them on muddy, snowy, rocky, and grassy terrain, most of it quite wet. The solid toe is good for kicking steps in snow and the side to side stiffness makes the boots okay for doing the same with the edges. I’ve been wearing the boots a great deal this winter and they’ve kept my feet warm and dry. My experience with Keen.Dry in other boots suggests they’ll be too warm once the weather warms up. Walking crampons can be fitted but these aren’t boots for steep snow and ice. Otherwise they’re excellent for cold weather walking. If they fit of course.
Sizes: Men’s 6-14, Women’s 3.5-8.5