KEEN-parison: Which Targhee Hiking Boot?
September 05, 2022Sep 05, 2022
5 MIN READ keen fitter tips making shoes
Some might say the ideal hiking boot is one you don’t think about. Just a piece of gear. A tool used to reach an overlook or summit. Here at KEEN, we think that boots are more than that. A hiking boot is your connection to the outdoors. A means of getting out there, savoring the trail, enjoying this big beautiful ball we call planet Earth.
Sure, when you’re wearing any of our men's, women's, or kids' Targhee boots, you’re likely not thinking about them (they’re so comfortable, why would you?). But after you get home following a long day on the trail, your thoughts may start to drift to your boots. Why? Because looking at those well-worn, mud-splattered boots by the back door, it's hard not to feel a tug of gratitude. And that’s what Targhee boots are all about.
Back in 2005, when the very first Targhee boot jumped off the drawing board and onto the trail, fans and their feet took notice. Out-of-the-box comfort, paired with some serious durability and trail performance. How could something so comfortable be so rugged? It’s not every day that a boot comes along that’s agile enough to make steep terrain more manageable yet rugged enough to stand up to miles of loose, sharp shale. But for new and experienced hikers alike, Targhee boots encourage people to push their limits, explore like they never imagined, and in some cases create music on mountain tops.
It could be the iconic Targhee fit with a supportive EVA midsole and roomy toe box. Or it could be the durable outsole built with soft and sticky multi-directional lugs for rugged traction. Our hunch, however, is that it’s more than just one awesome feature alone. Each Targhee boot has its own set of unique ingredients, a recipe designed to create boots and shoes perfectly suited for specific purposes and terrain. This is the Targhee boot secret.
Targhee II: The Fan Favorite
Perfect weather, surprise storm, or washed-out trail. The Targhee II boots for men and women can handle it. Grippy lugs add traction when you need it (which is pretty much always, right?) and the KEEN.DRY waterproof-breathable design keeps your socks nice and dry so that you don’t even need to pack a backup pair.
Fit tip: The Targhee II boot comes in our standard iconic Targhee fit and a wide version for those feet that need a little more room. No matter which pair you go with, the contoured heel lock system lets you adjust the heel so you can find that perfect level of stability and control as you descend the steeps.
Targhee III: The Rugged Pathfinder
Our men’s and women’s Targhee III boots have all the trail-hugging traction and KEEN.DRY waterproof goodness of our Targhee II boot, but with a slightly sleeker outsole and a more casual fit. What does that mean for your feet? It means it fits more like a sneaker, with a KEEN.ALL-TERRAIN rubber outsole that lets you feel the trail. No need to drive to the trailhead in different shoes, you’ll be able to feel the pedals no problem!
Fit tip: If you’re looking for a more traditional fit, you may prefer the Targhee II. Compared to the Targhee III, it has a slightly elevated heel more like a classic hiker.
Targhee Vent: The Heat Seeker
Some like it hot and some like it just a bit warmer than we typically see here in the Pacific Northwest. Regardless of if you’re hiking through the Grand Canyon or spending a late summer day exploring the Columbia River Gorge, a little extra ventilation can go a long way. That’s why we made the Targhee Vent boot for men and women. With the same easy-going fit and rugged KEEN.ALL-TERRAIN rubber outsole as the Targhee III boot, this version adds mesh vents to the upper creating a breathable design that keeps the air flowing.
Fresh fact: Worried that those warm temps could result in stinky feet? Don’t sweat it! Targhee Vent boots are made with a breathable mesh lining and infused with pesticide-free Eco Anti-Odor that uses probiotic technology to naturally control odor.
Targhee EXP: The Sleek Explorer
Trail-ready no matter the conditions. The Targhee EXP boot for men brings a more modern look to the Targhee franchise with all the same Targhee grit. No matter how big or small the adventure, these boots are primed for it. The KEEN.DRY waterproof construction and the synthetic upper (paired with a durable leather mud shield for splat-proof protection) makes them the obvious choice for weather extremes and follow-wherever-the-compass-leads adventure.
Fit tip: This style has a more narrow fit than a traditional KEEN shoe but fits true to size.
Targhee High Lace: The Ready-for-All-Conditions Adventurer
Backpacking, trail building, snowshoeing, or even accidental post-holing (you’ve got to get to that connector trail somehow!), the Men’s Targhee High Lace boot can’t get enough. Built on a KEEN.FREEZE rubber outsole designed for cold-weather conditions, this rugged high-top boot keeps your toes toasty and dry with lightweight KEEN.WARM insulation and a waterproof, breathable KEEN.DRY membrane. One of our favorite things about the Targhee High Boot? They are like the chameleon of footwear. They fit right in on the trail or strolling the winter light show.
Feel-good fact: This good-looking leather boot also helps preserve and protect our water. We source 100% of our leather from environmentally preferred, Leather Working Group-certified tanneries because traditional leather tanning can be a dirty process. LWG-certified tanneries are making it much cleaner with solutions that reduce chemicals, energy use, and water pollution.
Whether you’re planning the trip of a lifetime to Norway’s Loføten Islands or just hoping to get the whole family out into nature this weekend, our Targhee boot collection gives you the support, durability, and comfortable fit you’ll need.
Here are some of our favorite Targhee adventures you've shared with us over the years:
- 22 miles up and down Half Dome
- Cleaning up National Parks in Utah
- 60 hikes to 60 years
- Making music on mountains
- 3 generations in the Grand Canyon