Most boot soles follow the same general pattern, with the forefoot and heel separated by a curved arch. The Bryce Mid sole is not like this. Unusually it’s a flat sole with no arch and just slight curves at the toe and heel. Above the tread is a cushioning wedge that is only slightly thinner at the forefoot than the heel. This doesn’t just look different, it makes walking different. I found that in these boots my heel strike is briefer and less forceful and I walk more on my forefoot. I wore these with a standard boot on the other foot to check and found it really is different, but I didn’t notice any specific advantages or disadvantages. The sole grips well and the tread doesn’t clog while the cushioning is more effective than on most of the boots tested. The sole is rigid side-to-side but flexes fine at the forefoot. The footbeds are quite supportive, unlike those in most of the boots tested.

In other respects these are typical Keen hiking boots with a chunky toe bumper and a hard external heel cup. The fit is just wide enough for me but not as wide as other Keen footwear I have tried. The uppers are more leather than mesh and should last well. The membrane and some internal padding make the boots quite warm. The weight is quite low and the price reasonable.