Recommended Price: £120
Weight (per boot): 363g
This is a lightweight fabric mid-height boot with a waterproof membrane specifically designed for women. I’ve been testing it on a wide variety of walks and all-day Munro hikes over the last few months.
Founded in 2003 by Martin Keen who wanted a comfortable sandal that would protect his toes whilst sailing, the US company has grown into a footwear giant and is known amongst walkers for its high protective rands, wide toe-box and comfortable fit.
This women’s Terradora model moves a little from that original image with the focus on a lightweight, flexible soft boot. Narrower than other Keen walking boots (particularly the Targhee with its forgiving wide toe-box) you may want to size up when trying on – these boots are available in half sizes from UK 3.5 to 8.5. Whilst initially slightly tight on the toe area, the soft knitted-look mesh upper is very forgiving and the lacing system allows a fair bit of flexibility. The boots quickly adapted to my shape and have never rubbed or pinched. Having suffered from achilles problems in the past I found the flexible cushioned panel perfect for relieving pressure at the back of the ankle.
After a few months of Scottish wear including a fair amount of bog trotting, the waterproof membrane has performed well so far and the uppers have proved reasonably breathable without the undue sweatiness of some membrane shoes, although I’d still always prefer non-lined footwear in dry, hotter conditions. As with most low cut waterproof footwear these are best for dealing with puddles and occasional bog rather than continuous wet. The boots are made with Cleansport NXT, a sweat-eating microbe technology designed to reduce odours naturally. Having soaked the boots throughly on numerous occasions, they are now a little smelly when dry, but without a direct comparision its hard to say categorically whether this treatment makes a difference. My main concern is that a small hole has started to form on the upper of one of the shoes where it flexes with the foot, probably partly as a result of the boots getting wet on virtually every outing. I had hoped they would be more hard-wearing given the price.
These are incredibly flexible boots, the sole easily folds in two, but I didn’t find the sole was too thin, you don’t feel rocks through it like some other lightweight footwear; this made them extremely comfortable. However the sole was not as grippy as I would have liked; it has 4mm multi-directional lugs, and whilst adequate for most trail and moor walking, I’d want a more robust sole for wet rock or muddy slopes.
The Terradora is available in a wide range of 8 colours and they wipe clean once dry after muddy outings to return to the original colour. With their mid-height profile and stylish looks they can easily be worn around town as well as out on the hill. In general they are an extremely comfortable boot for trail and moorland hiking in decent weather conditions.
Pros: Very comfortable, achilles cusioning, stylish
Cons: Sole could be grippier, long term durability