KEEN-parison: Winter Work Boot Traction

KEEN-parison: Winter Work Boot Traction

The arrival of winter is unstoppable, but so are KEEN Utility work boots. Good thing, too, because work doesn’t stop for a little snow, or even a lot of it. We’ve put a lot of work into our outsole designs, making them versatile enough to handle jobsite conditions of all types — winter included. Read on to explore the options.  

There are no snow days for the men and women who keep the roads plowed and the heat on. For them, the only workable solution is showing up to the jobsite ready for anything. Dockyard to construction site to transfer station, outdoor work is hazardous and demanding on the best of summer days. Winter weather only complicates things. The traction you take for granted on a dry day goes out the window. Even a little snow—let alone ice—can make every step a hazard waiting to happen.     

If you spend your shift walking catwalks, climbing scaffolding, operating heavy equipment, or navigating icy ground or pavement, KEEN Utility puts you on good footing in the wintertime. We make work boots that can handle low temps and slippery surfaces. Not sure which boots to choose? This chart gives a quick overview, and we’ll go into more detail below.

 

WATERPROOF WINTER WORK BOOTS KEEN.POLAR TRACTION   EH-rated rubber outsole EH-rated KEEN.TOUGHSOLE outsole KEEN.WARM insulation 
Davenport optional X   optional
Independence     X optional
Troy   X    
Portland   X    
Kansas City   X    

 

Davenport: Max Traction For Icy Conditions 

First up, the KEEN Utility Davenport 6” insulated waterproof work boot. This is one of the burliest, but also one of the lightest, insulated boots we make. Packed with 400-gram KEEN.WARM insulation and protected by a KEEN.DRY waterproof, breathable membrane, these will keep your feet in a good spot in bone-chilling temperatures. 

Warm, dry feet are working feet, so that’s good. But what if there’s slick, compacted snow or ice on the ground? The Davenport features KEEN.POLAR TRACTION in the outsole. This is made by embedding micro-glass filaments into an oil-resistant rubber outsole compound that’s flexible at low temps. Even if it’s freezing outside and iced over, your boots keep working, with biting, non-slip traction that offers confident grip across icy, uneven ground.  

Independence: Like Winter Tires for Your Feet

Construction workers, mechanics, roofers, and landscapers, take note. If you need a work boot that lets you work without thinking about your feet, the KEEN Utility Independence family lets you get after it without missing a step. Full-grain leather and KEEN.ToughSole outsole technology give them top-to-bottom durability, and a KEEN.DRY waterproof, breathable membrane keeps your feet dry in inclement weather or standing water. 

Part of our American Built collection, Independence work boots are proudly assembled in our Portland, Oregon, factory using responsibly sourced materials from around the world. Made with carbon-fiber safety toes, a 90-degree heel for keeping a firm foothold on ladders or scaffolding, and a roster of other safety and performance features, the Independence treads confidently at tough, rugged worksites.

In terms of traction, the rugged outsole has deep, blocky lugs with angular edges that help your foot grip the ground when moving over slippery surfaces. Additionally, the tread blocks that run down the middle of the boot are carved with zigzag sipes—little grooves that channel water out to the sides—for improved grip. Think of them like winter-traction tires for your feet.   

Troy + Portland: Triangular Traction

Portland Work BootNeed a waterproof work boot that’s no slouch on comfort and can take a thorough beating? The choice of many electricians, linemen, carpenters, HVAC technicians, plumbers, and other tradespeople, Troy 6” waterproof work boots and men’s Portland 6" waterproof work boots are two more hardworking options for wet, snowy weather.

Made from durable leather with a KEEN.DRY waterproof, breathable membrane, Troy and Portland work boots are tough stuff and keep your feet dry from the inside out. Both boots are American Built with (15% lighter than steel) carbon-fiber safety toes, a 90-degree heel, and KEEN.BELLOWS FLEX—an accordion-like insert between the toes and the laces that lets the boots bend when you’re crouching or crawling through tight spaces. 

Troy Work Boot

Outside on slippery surfaces, Troy and Portland work boots help you secure a foothold thanks to beefy, triangular lugs that are positioned down the center of the outsole. Similar to those on the Independence work boots, the lugs are siped to help channel water and keep you on your feet, even when it’s slick out.     

 

Kansas City: Great Grip, Indoors or Out 

Equally capable to wear for stacking pallets as they are for shoveling your driveway, KEEN Utility’s Kansas City family of work boots brings some hybrid versatility to your task at hand. A work boot you can wear indoors and outdoors during the winter, roofers, carpenters, plumbers, and other workers appreciate the Kansas City’s combination of safety and performance with a modern, technical-hiking-boot look. 

Since we’re talking traction, the Kansas City is made with well-spaced, chevron-shaped outsole lugs. Like other boots you’ve read about, the Kansas City’s lugs are siped (straight grooves rather than zigzags), giving you the wet-ground traction you need to work safely.  

For winter work, the Kansas City+ waterproof mid with carbon-fiber safety toes can handle whatever the day throws at you. The KEEN.DRY waterproof, breathable membrane keeps your feet comfortable in any weather, while KEEN.BELLOWS FLEX technology lets the forefoot of the boots bend naturally with your feet.  

If your job doesn’t require safety toes, consider the Kansas City+ waterproof mid with a soft toe. Great for delivery drivers, landscapers, warehouse workers, and for DIY projects around the house, the soft-toe Kansas City+ gives you the same rugged, outdoor performance and traction in a lightweight, versatile package. 

Whether you’re in construction, resource extraction, transportation or landscaping, you’re bound to encounter slippery surfaces when working outdoors in the winter. Don’t mess around with ground that can quite literally sweep you off your feet. Look to KEEN Utility for work boots with rugged, reliable traction that you can count on to keep you upright and moving when you’re on the clock.

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