For the 50+ Traveler

1
Women’s Terradora II Waterproof Boot

Best Boot
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A favorite of our writers, the Women’s Terradora II Waterproof Boot is a new KEEN style that comes in seven nature-inspired colors. KEEN uses alternative, PFC-free chemistry to ensure these boots are water resistant, which means no known carcinogens, while KEEN.DRY technology means breathability, which is great, especially for strenuous hikes on hot days.

Emese Fromm, who does a lot of hiking in the Southwest, told us, “KEEN’s Women’s Terradora II waterproof boots are a great choice for hiking in the desert terrain I used them on. Lightweight and comfortable, they kept my feet cool and offered substantial ankle support that helped on the rocky terrain hiking up the hill. Their sole has the perfect grip, handy when hiking on slick rock found often in the desert Southwest, even when it’s wet or covered by a light layer of sand. Overall I am extremely happy with these shoes. They make hiking in the desert, especially on rocky terrain, safer and more enjoyable. They are a perfect fit with lightweight socks. This is great for the desert, but if I was planning on wearing in a colder environment with heavy socks, I would buy half a size larger than my normal size.”

Robin O’Neal Smith said, “I have narrow feet, and this shoe fits a bit snugger than others I have tried. The footbed has arch support that provides comfort for my flat feet. They are lightweight and don't feel clunky. I don’t like clunky shoes that weigh me down when going on long hikes. I have weak ankles, I like that this particular boot provides the perfect amount of support without being restrictive.”

Like Emese, she noted that “the tread on the bottom is wonderful for traction, even when rock surfaces are slippery,” and said the Terradora really is waterproof and “easy to clean up with a damp cloth.”

Sue Reddel told us, “I’m conscientious about how my feet look and don’t like boots that are too bulky. These boots are sleek and look really good. They’re stylish and comfortable with lots of support. They’re also really waterproof so when you’re walking through the morning dew or after a rain, your feet are still nice and snuggly inside. These are perfect for all kinds of hiking and walking.”

Erika Ebsworth-Goold said her Terradoras aren’t as heavy as other boots she’s worn in the past. “I did need a break-in period and had to play with the lacing a bit to ensure a custom, comfortable fit. But once that was done, it was off to the races, and the trail!”

Key Features

  • Water repellent
  • Eco-friendly anti-odor construction
  • Leather-free, suitable for vegetarians and vegans

Specifications

  • Available in women’s sizes 5-12
  • Stability shank for lightweight support
  • KonnectFit heel-capture system for extra-secure fit

Pros

  • Ample ankle and arch support
  • Good grip/tread
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Need to be broken in
  • May need to size up to accommodate thicker socks
  • Best fit requires playing with the lacing system

2
Men’s Newport Water Sandal

Men’s Pick
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If you’re more of a sandal fan, and after a men’s shoe, the Men’s Newport Water Sandal, which is available in four new colors for 2020, is a fantastic hiking boot alternative.

Robert Rosenthal told us, “I basically spend the entire summer in my KEEN Newports. Because of the toe cage, and because I can get them wet, I pretty much wear them everywhere I go. On a hike, I zip the strap tight, and they're just as good as my hiking boots. If we're on a boat, or if I'm headed to a restaurant in a polo and khaki shorts, the same pair of KEENs are always on my feet.”

The Newport is fully submersible and, like all of KEEN’s water sandals, can actually be machine washed and air dried. Their environmentally preferred leather uppers are sourced from Leather Working Group-certified tanneries that are committed to reducing chemical use and their impact on our watersheds. While ankle support is hard to come by in any sandals, the Newport’s secure fit customizable lacing system and compression-molded EVA midsoles mean a more secure and genuinely comfortable fit.

From hot dusty trails to slick creek beds, the Newport, and all KEEN’s water sandals (more below!) are an excellent warm-weather choice.

Key Features

  • Waterproof and fully submersible
  • Toe-protecting outsoles
  • Eco-friendly anti-odor construction

Specifications

  • Available in men’s sizes 7-17
  • Secure fit customizable lacing system
  • Non-marking rubber soles

Pros

  • Environmentally preferred leather uppers
  • Machine washable
  • Compression-molded EVA midsole

Cons

  • Not suitable for vegetarians and vegans
  • Not appropriate for cold-weather hiking
  • Minimal ankle support; ankle strap may cause chafing

3
Big Kids’ Targhee Waterproof

Kids’ Choice
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If you’re vacationing with kids or grandkids in tow, outfitting them with the right footwear is an excellent investment in a good time, whether you’re hitting the trails or headed to a theme park, and KEEN’s Kids’ Targhees, available in six colors, are a great pick.

Adryn Miller told us there was some “serious excitement” when her son opened the KEEN box “revealing his super cool pair of blue hiking shoes, which he tried on immediately. He proclaimed them super-hero cool, comfortable, and -- the highest praise in 7-year-old circles -- really fast.”

“On a hike later in the day, they held him steady on the rocks, supported his little feet, and kept them dry even after the typical Southern summer afternoon rain showers.”

Adryn said the fit seemed true to size as she ordered a slightly larger size for him “to allow for growth, knowing that KEENs hold their wear extremely well and he will likely be wearing these for quite some time to come.”

Key Features

  • Water repellent
  • Padded, comfort-fit tongue and collar
  • Eco-friendly anti-odor construction

Specifications

  • Available in kids’ sizes 1-7
  • TPU heel-capture system
  • Secure fit customizable lacing system

Pros

  • Environmentally preferred leather uppers
  • All-terrain traction
  • Easy, slip-on construction with lacing-system support

Cons

  • Not suitable for vegetarians and vegans
  • Leather may scuff; consider using cleaner and conditioner
  • Run narrow according to some reviewers

4
Women’s Targhee III Waterproof Mid

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This is another TravelAwaits writer favorite. With a slightly more rugged look than the Terradora, the Women’s Targhee III Waterproof Mid, available in four new 2020 color combinations, boasts environmentally preferred leather uppers, well-padded tongues and collars, and KEEN.DRY membranes for breathability.

Diana Laskaris told us, “This boot is so lightweight. It’s sturdy and grips the ground well. The wide toe box is perfect for hiking because you can comfortably go up and down all kinds of terrain, including spots with lots of roots or uneven ground. There’s also a lot of ankle support. If you want to walk on trails of all types as well as more pedestrian routes, these will treat your feet like royalty.”

Sandi Barrett said, “I have bone spurs in my feet, but because of the support the KEEN soles offer, I had no pain at the end of my hike,” and called them “perfect for moderate to difficult hikes or any hikes that involve tree roots, gravely surfaces, or rock scrambling.”

Sara Broers told us, “They are true to fit, have great traction, and they have been great while hiking in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in June. My feet have not been too hot. In fact, they have been just right.”

Sandi did share a word of caution: “The KEEN Targhee III rides high on your ankle, so make sure to wear socks that are above the sneaker line to avoid rubbing.”

Key Features

  • Water repellent
  • Eco-friendly anti-odor construction
  • Classic hiking boot look

Specifications

  • Available in women’s sizes 5-11
  • ESS shank for lightweight support
  • TPU heel-capture system

Pros

  • Environmentally preferred leather uppers
  • Supportive soles
  • Good grip/tread

Cons

  • Not suitable for vegetarians and vegans
  • Must be worn with appropriate socks to avoid ankle chafing
  • Require upkeep; see webpage for cleaning suggestions

5
Women’s Targhee II Waterproof Mid

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Perhaps the most rugged women’s hiking boot on our list, the Targhee II Waterproof Mid is similar to the Targhee III in that it has environmentally preferred leather uppers, KEEN.DRY waterproof breathable membranes, and well-padded tongues and collars. The Targhee II, which comes in two color combinations, also has what KEEN calls an “aggressive outsole” that will bite into whatever terrain you choose to tackle.

Adryn told us, “These. Are. Awesome. They provide wonderful stability and support throughout the foot but particularly in the arch, which feels like I’m resting on a cloud. While they are clearly well-made with a solid construction, they aren’t bulky and, in fact, are incredibly lightweight! The waterproof component was key both in Alaska and South Carolina given the wet, rainy and cold climate in the former and soggy marshlands in the latter. If all of that wasn’t enough, I love the esthetic -- great look and color choices.”

Adryn does note that while the Targhee II width is perfect, they might run a smidge short lengthwise. She ordered up a half size -- which is in line with KEEN’s recommendation -- and said her boot fits well.

Key Features

  • Water repellent
  • Eco-friendly anti-odor construction
  • Classic hiking boot look

Specifications

  • Available in women’s sizes 5-11
  • ESS shank for torsion stability
  • Non-marking rubber soles

Pros

  • Environmentally preferred leather uppers
  • Lightweight
  • Aggressive outsole

Cons

  • Not suitable for vegetarians and vegans
  • Leather may scuff; consider using cleaner and conditioner
  • May run short; consider ordering a half size up

6
Men's Targhee III Casual Shoe

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If you like the Women’s Targhee II and III specs but need a men’s hiking option, meet the Men’s Targhee III Casual Shoe. This new style has less of a classic hiking boot look and more of a hybrid aesthetic but also boasts environmentally preferred leather and non-marking rubber outsoles. It comes in two color combinations and has a breathable mesh lining.

Mike Owens said he’s been “rocking the Targhee III Casual brogues, and they are incredibly comfy, even at the end of a six-mile, rocky road. The shoes fit well, even with my extra heavy-duty inserts, required because of my plantar fasciitis. My feet didn't experience a twinge of pain. The shoes aren’t unduly hot and made a rough road less so.”

Key Features

  • Hybrid look
  • Eco-friendly anti-odor construction
  • High-traction grip

Specifications

  • Available in men’s sizes 7-17
  • Breathable mesh lining
  • Non-marking rubber soles

Pros

  • Environmentally preferred leather uppers
  • Removable EVA footbed
  • Compatible with heavy-duty inserts

Cons

  • Not suitable for vegetarians and vegans
  • Less ankle support than traditional hiking boots
  • Leather may scuff; consider using cleaner and conditioner

7
Women’s SOLR Sandal

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Similar in design to the Men’s Newport Water Sandal, the Women’s SOLR (Sea. Ocean. Lake. River.) Sandal checks off a lot of boxes for those who relish outdoor activity. An added bonus: Because these sandals have a TPU upper instead of being made of leather, they’re vegetarian and vegan friendly.

Sage Scott told us, “I've been sporting the women's toe post sandal, and I am absolutely in love! They slide off and on as easily as a flip flop, but they offer so much more comfort and support. After years of wearing high heels to work, I recently had foot surgery on both feet. I can walk for miles and miles in these KEEN sandals without any discomfort. And if that’s not enough, they are machine washable! Just toss them in the washing machine with a touch of detergent, let them air dry, and they look as good as new.” That’s right, these shoes are fully submersible and can be machine washed and air dried.

Cindy Barks said, “With the abundance of sandy beaches and tide pools on Hawaii’s trails, they are the perfect place for KEEN’s lightweight SOLR sandals. For hot-weather hiking, I love the airy feeling of a supportive sandal like the SOLR. The grippy sandals also support your feet on rocky hikes.”

Cindy was already a big fan of hiking sandals when she got her SOLRs. “For me, there's no better footwear option for hot-weather hikes than the light and airy feel of a supportive sandal. The SOLRs tick all the boxes for me: vented sides and heel along with a protected toe and great arch support. They seem to be a perfect hybrid of a sandal and a boot.”

She has yet to take them on a true river hike, but told us she thinks they’d be perfect for The Narrows in Zion National Park, “where you need soles with a good grip, along with sturdy protection against the river rocks.”

Key Features

  • Waterproof and fully submersible
  • Eco-friendly anti-odor construction
  • Toe-protecting outsoles

Specifications

  • Available in women’s sizes 5-12
  • Cushioned EVA midsole
  • Non-marking rubber soles

Pros

  • Leather-free, suitable for vegetarians and vegans
  • Good grip/tread
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • Minimal ankle support
  • Not appropriate for cold-weather hiking
  • Ankle strap may cause chafing

8
Men’s Uneek

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Uneek, indeed! These only-at-KEEN two-cord sandals come in five colors and have a completely different aesthetic that has us thinking warm-weather walks, al fresco dining, and hitting the water on a kayak or paddle board.

David Hopkins told us his Uneeks are his favorite summer shoe, and he’s on his second pair. “They are easy to put on, I don't need socks, very comfortable, and my go-to weekend shoe for hiking around the lake I live on. These are the first shoes I’ve owned that can take me from the dock and out on the boat to on-shore excursions. At first, my wife was skeptical about the look, but they look great on your feet, and she’s since gotten a pair.”

Note that these are not KEEN water sandals, so they’re not designed to be fully submersed or machine washed. Instead, they’re best thought of as a flip flop or boat shoe alternative that guarantees better arch support thanks to an engineered footbed and a snugger fit compliments of KEEN’s innovative secure fit lacing system.

Key Features

  • Casual-meets-sporty aesthetic
  • Flip flop or boat shoe alternative
  • Eco-friendly anti-odor construction

Specifications

  • Available in men’s sizes 7-14
  • Secure fit customizable lacing system
  • Non-marking rubber soles

Pros

  • Leather-free, suitable for vegetarians and vegans
  • Footbed engineered for arch support
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Not a water sandal and not meant to be fully submersed
  • Minimal ankle support
  • Not machine washable

9
Women’s Explore Waterproof Boot

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For a lighter and sportier look, KEEN’s Women's Explore Waterproof Boot is a go-to. This boot, which is available in four color combinations, is leather-free and water repellent thanks to its PFC-free membrane. Its notched back promises increased achilles comfort, and it’s designed with a lightweight stability shank for support without the weight of heavier-duty hiking boots.

Wendy Lee says her Explore Waterproof Boots are very comfortable, and she would highly recommend them to others. “They did not require any time to break in. After my first hike with my new KEENs, my feet felt great. Typically, I purchase insoles for my hiking shoes, but I don’t think I’ll need to do that for these. I also love the color and style -- wish I had these for my trek in the Cotswolds last year!”

Key Features

  • Water repellent
  • Eco-friendly anti-odor construction
  • Leather-free, suitable for vegetarians and vegans

Specifications

  • Available in women’s sizes 5-12
  • KonnectFit heel-capture system for extra-secure fit
  • Stability shank for lightweight support

Pros

  • Lightweight, sporty aesthetic
  • Notched cuff for achilles comfort
  • Good grip/tread

Cons

  • Not as rugged as traditional hiking boots
  • Less arch support than some other KEENs
  • May run large

10
Men’s Pyrenees

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If you are looking for a classic men’s hiking boot, here it is. The Men’s Pyrenees, one of KEEN’s best sellers, comes in two colors, both of which have environmentally preferred leather uppers. Enjoy excellent toe, ankle, and arch support, plus KEEN.DRY membranes that will keep your feet comfortable for miles and miles.

Note that the sturdy ankle support can cause chafing if these boots are not worn with the right socks, so pack and dress accordingly. Also, KEEN recommends special care for these and all its leather boots to keep them looking good and performing well for years to come.

Key Features

  • Water resistant
  • Eco-friendly anti-odor construction
  • Classic hiking boot look

Specifications

  • Available in men’s sizes 7-17
  • ESS shank for torsion stability
  • Non-marking rubber soles

Pros

  • Environmentally preferred leather uppers
  • Good grip/tread
  • Compression-molded EVA midsole

Cons

  • Not suitable for vegetarians and vegans
  • Must be worn with appropriate socks to avoid ankle chafing
  • Require upkeep; see webpage for cleaning suggestions

11
Little Kids’ Newport H2

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If the Men’s Newport Water Sandal and the Women’s SOLR stood out to you, but you need a hiking shoe for tiny feet, meet the adorable Little Kids’ Newport H2. Like all KEEN’s water sandals, the Little Kids’ Newports, which come in a whopping 20 color combinations, are fully submersible and machine washable, which means all the sea, ocean, lake, river, and -- let’s be honest -- mud fun followed by quick-and-easy cleanup.

We love that these water sandals have a fully enclosed back, which means less achilles chafing than ankle strap models. The hook-and-loop system makes them almost as easy to get into as slip-on shoes but far more secure. And the Velcro strap and toe cage afford just a little more protection. Note that the open design and lack of mesh means rocks can sneak into these shoes.

Key Features

  • Waterproof and fully submersible
  • Toe-protecting outsoles
  • Eco-friendly anti-odor construction

Specifications

  • Available in kids’ sizes 8-13
  • Secure fit customizable lacing system
  • Non-marking rubber soles

Pros

  • Available in 20 color combinations
  • Machine washable
  • Easy to get on and off

Cons

  • Not appropriate for cold-weather hiking
  • Minimal ankle support
  • Open design does not keep rocks and pebbles out
Related:

Whether you’ve never had a pair of KEENs before or are overdue for a new pair, these are our top recommendations. We appreciate that KEEN is committed to making what it calls Consciously Created shoes, meaning your KEENs will be free from PFC -- a fluorinated “forever chemical” -- and pesticides. The hiking shoes you choose could feature Certified Better Leather, which means cleaner water, upcycled and recycled materials, American-spun wool, and plant-based cushioning for more biodegradable insoles.

Once you’ve picked your hiking boots, it’s time to hit the trail. Get inspired with our Best Hikes In Your State guide, presented by KEEN Footwear.

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