Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Meshy and breathable, lightweight, comfortable toe box.
Cons: Sole won't last long.
Best Uses: Dayhikes, light backpacking in hot and dry conditions.
Due to its mostly mesh upper, the Keen Voyageur is a highly breathable shoe, and is most ideal for hiking in hot weather or a desert landscape. They also weigh on the lighter side and have a particularly comfortable and protective toe-box. The primary downside of them is that the exposed EVA foam on the sole does not last over multiple hiking seasons. For an equally comfortable boot, which has the same sole and toe-box but with the addition of waterproof protection, try out the Keen Targhee II Mid - Women's. for another similar shoe with a slightly more durable sole, check out the Keen Alamosa.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
At 1.66 lbs per pair, the Voyageurs fall right in the middle for weight. They are lighter than the high cut shoes like the Adidas Terrex Fast X, but are heavier than the Salomon X-Over.
With Keen's proprietary roomy toe-box, the Voyageur is a very comfortable light hiker. At 1.66 lbs per pair, these are one of the lighter shoes we reviewed, not putting extra weight or stress on your legs, and making hiking feel easy.
Available in a mid and low-cut version, this shoe can offer more ankle range of motion or more ankle support, whichever is preferable to your endeavor. The toe protection on the front makes them more durable and feel more supportive around the front of the foot.
The multi-directional lugs on the sole provide good traction on moderately technical terrain, however if you plan on carrying a lot of weight or plan to hike through extremely technical terrain, you may want something a little beefier.
Overall, the Keen shoes seem sturdy and durable. The extra rubber on the toe holds up to as much toe-stubbing as the sloppiest hiker can manage. However, the first thing to wear out would be the exposed EVA foam on the sole, which is fragile compared to rubber. We polled other outdoorsy women to see is they have opinions of the boots in this review, and one female Forest Service employee showed us her pair of Keens that she wore in the back country for one season. The sole was deteriorating, having been banged up by rough terrain. The EVA makes them light and cushy, but the sole will not last as long as the burlier shoes with Vibram soles, like the Patagonia Drifter.
The Voyageur does not comes with the option of a waterproof lining, instead it is lined with a moisture-wicking textile and mesh on the exterior to make it more breathable. The moisture-wicking textile is fantastic at repelling water without being waterproof. When completely submerged in a water-resistance test, it took a couple full minutes before water penetrated to reach the socks. If you are hiking a trail with a couple shallow stream crossings, or through dew coated tall grass, these boots would stand up quite well to a moderate dousing while being more breathable than a waterproof shoe the rest of the time.
We find the look of Keens to be a bit funky. However, the looks are dictated by function, providing an especially comfortable and protective toe-box, so it makes the unusual looks excusable. If you like the Keen performance and fit, but hate the looks, try the Keen Alamosa - Women's, which has a slimmed down and more stylish toe-bumper.
Due to its breathable, meshy construction, this is ideal for day-hiking or light backpacking in hot, dry conditions. The gusseted tongue keeps sand and pebbles out from under the laces, and the toe bumper protects the foot in uneven and variable terrain.
In the low-cut version, these are on the lower end of the price spectrum. For a breathable and especially comfortable offering, these are well worth $110.
Keen Voyageur Mid Women's ($120) - we low version because it is lighter and breathes better. But the Mid version offers a little more ankle support for an extra $15.
Keen Voyageur Men's Version
Keen Voyageur Mid - Men's
— McKenzie Long
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: November 24, 2012
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