Keen’s Tempo Flex boasts new technology from the brand in the form of something called Flex.Bellows. The upper has a series of four rubberised ridges or bellows where the toe meets the foot, which are designed to improve flexibility, and perhaps help ‘pop out’ or unflex the boot when straightening the foot. The effect is not something I can measure scientifically, and without everything else working well, new tech would not matter, but thankfully elsewhere there’s a seamless blend of comfort and function.
The boots are low mid cut and feel very trainer – like on the foot – unobtrusive, light and comfortable with plenty of room in the toes, but still holding the heel snugly in place without slipping. The lacing is simple and very quick to tie, whilst the sole unit is wide but with a clean profile and is soft and grippy… with the possible exception of ice, where the more widely spaced, star-shaped lugs can’t quite keep up. For a wide, trainer-style boot there’s lots of cushioning and lateral support too – the Tempo mid may look like a casual shoe but clearly a good deal of thought has gone into them. They are comfortable, supportive, easy to wear and made from recycled PET.
I usually find that Keen’s proprietary ‘waterproof’ liner eventually gives up the ghost, but in that sense it’s no different to most others in flexible boots. In the meantime, they remained waterproof and breathable in a wide range of weather. Overall, this is an excellent new product that I found myself wanting to reach for again and again during the test period – one more natural way of demonstrating over time which might come out on top as a Best Buy.
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David Lintern awarded the Keen Tempo Flex Mid ‘Best Buy’ in his review of three season boots for Spring 2021’s issue of The Great Outdoors. Here’s how the boots performed on the hill.