Peter Macfarlane tested the Keen NXIS EVO Waterproof boot for The Great Outdoors’ September 2022 issue. Here’s his verdict.

The Keen NXIS EVO Waterproof Boot is a boot that’s on the trail shoe end of the spectrum and has previously appeared in our guide to the best hiking boots but has since been replaced by the Keen Ridge Flex Mid WP. The NXIS Evo has a light and flexible construction, with have enough solidity to retain a boot-like feel.

  • Price: £140
  • Weight: 936g (pair, size 9)

Materials: Synthetic mesh upper, overlay and reinforcement, EVA midsole | Features: KEEN.DRY waterproof lining, speed lacing, moulded insole, heel lock feature | Sizes: 6-10.5 including half sizes, 11-14 | Women’s version: Yes

The upper is synthetic mesh with reinforcing overlays, a big toe bumper and a plastic cradle around the heel, which has channels through it containing a thin cord, placed under tension when the boot is laced, since the cord also runs through a lace hook on either side.

As I’ve worn them in, the cord moves a little more when I tighten the laces, so seems to be adding tension and retaining the heel/ankle shape. The padded ankle cuff has an internal patch labelled Heel Lock. It abraded of my socks, and it’s unnecessary; if you’re getting heel lift the boot doesn’t fit you, your laces are slack or the boot’s worn out. The fit is excellent, with a fitted heel and wide forefoot: fantastic on long days.

Underfoot there is a good amount of padding, but the midsole isn’t as thick as it looks – most of the grey EVA is external to provide side protection. There’s a nice flex at the forefoot and a firmer flex at the heel, which gives me a good mix of stability and dexterity.

The grip is good, until I get onto mud or wet rock; and the KEEN.DRY waterproof membrane works well with the breathable upper to keep my feet comfy.