Sunday, November 6, 2016

American Keen Durand hiking shoes comparison with top European hiking footwear

After wearing European hiking shoes and boots for several years, I tried a pair of Keen, Durand hiking shoes. Their general specifications were similar to high quality European hiking shoes:

  1. Polyurethane (PU) mid-soles. This material adds to the durability of the shoe and is superior to EVA mid-soles. EVA mid-soles feel softer and more comfortable than the harder polyurethane when you try them on in the store, but after a long hike your feet will feel better on polyurethane.
  2. Good thick sole with deep tread.
  3. Quality leather upper.
How do the American Keen, Durand hiking shoes compare with the European shoes after 2,500 kilometers of use?
  1. The body of the shoe and especially the arch support remains in as new condition after considerable use. Some of the European manufacturers are going for reduced shoe weight and have compromised on arch support. The Keen Durand shoes had superior arch support that has been maintained after considerable use.
  2. Toe room in the Keen shoes enables toes move in shoe. This can help to increase stability if you like to press down with toes on rough trail sections. European shoes tend to be narrow and bind toes.
  3. The Keen shoes do not use Vibram soles like many of the European shoes. However, the material used by Keen provides better grip on wet rock and wood in the rain forests of the Pacific northwest. After 2,500 kilometers of use the tread of the sole is about half worn. This equals the European shoes with the advantage of better grip.
  4. The leather upper has good quality leather and it is standing up to wear and tear and winter use in the Pacific northwest as well as European shoes.
American Keen Durand hiking shoes are as good as top quality European shoes and are to be recommended. My favorite feature in European hiking shoes is glove leather lining now found only in a select few shoes. While you might expect glove leather lined shoes to be hot in summer, the glove leather absorbs moisture and keeps the feet dry and blister free. Keen Durand shoes have a durable synthetic liner, but the option of glove leather lining would make a very good shoe into a leader.