Combining adequate support with lightweight materials, the Marshall Mid boots are both supportive and very comfortable. They’re not as chunky looking as other Keen footwear but still have a wide forefoot, which means they fit me well. The heel is quite narrow. Strips of webbing run from the laces round the heel. When tightened these pull the boots in round the ankle and instep so they fit securely and there’s no heel lift when you walk.

The uppers are made from a soft fabric stiffened by criss-crossing thin supports. The toe and heel are reinforced with hard bumpers, the big external one at the toe giving the boots the typical Keen look. There’s a little foam padding round the ankle and top of the tongue but otherwise the uppers are quite thin. The inner lining is a soft wicking material, behind which is Keen’s proprietary waterproof/breathable membrane. The thinness of the uppers makes the boots cooler than some membrane-lined ones but I’ve still found them too hot in warm weather. In the snow of last winter they were fine. Like most of the boots tested these are best suited to autumn to spring use unless you suffer from cold feet.

The sole has a deep tread and grips well on all types of terrain. The midsole is made from ‘high rebound PU’ which gives excellent cushioning under the heel but is a little thin under the forefoot. However I didn’t notice this on long days out so it’s still effective. The sole is very flexible and has a slight rocker shape making the boots very comfortable to walk in.

First published: Sept 2014