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Keen Targhee III Mid - Women's Review

The Targhee III are the latest iteration of the Targhee model, and the best one yet; Keen has made some small changes, making these boots the full package.
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $150 List | $149.95 at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Comfortable, lightweight, durable, inexpensive
Cons:  Lacks support of larger, heavier boots
Manufacturer:   Keen
By Jane Jackson ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 31, 2019
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75
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 18
  • Comfort - 25% 9
  • Support - 20% 7
  • Weight - 15% 6
  • Traction - 15% 7
  • Water Resistance - 15% 8
  • Durability - 10% 7

Our Verdict

We love it when a classic boot gets better. The Keen Targhee Mid III are comfortable, durable, and stylish. The leather upper is heavy-duty and waterproof, while still allowing for some room for your foot to breathe. Also, the boots are comfy right away, requiring very little break-in time, which we love. To top it all off, the Targhee III's are inexpensive as well. They are a great all-around hiking boot, suitable for long days on the trail. These boots impressed us in all metrics, while remaining affordable, adding up to make them our Best Buy Award winner this season.

Keen still makes the Targhee II alongside the Targhee III. The II is less expensive and has the classic, broad look that Keen's are known for.

Color Updates
See one of Keen's current colorways for the Targhee III Mid in the photo above. The color we tested is no longer in production, but nothing technical has changed on these Best Buy winners.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award  Top Pick Award Top Pick Award 
Price $149.95 at REI
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$170.00 at REI
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Comfortable, lightweight, durable, inexpensiveGood traction, very comfortable, ankle padding, waterproofVery water resistant, durable, incredibly lightweight, sleek designLightweight, comfortable, break in easily, supportiveComfortable, stable, incredibly well-padded, low weight
Cons Lacks support of larger, heavier bootsRuns big, excess padding in tongueProblematic fitMinimalist design could result in durability issues, fairly costlyLack breathability, large sole, short collar
Bottom Line The Targhee III are the latest iteration of the Targhee model, and the best one yet; Keen has made some small changes, making these boots the full package.It's difficult to find any short-comings in this fantastic product, which even comes at a fair price.This boot is designed for mountainous, technical terrain where lightweight and durable footwear is key.A lightweight, high-performance boot that excels on everything from long, technical trails to short jaunts.These boots are some of the most comfortable and supportive models we have tested, making them our Top Pick for Comfort.
Rating Categories Targhee III Mid X Ultra Mid 3 GTX Alpenrose Ultra Mid GTX Breeze LT GTX Sky Toa
Comfort (25%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
5
10
0
8
10
0
10
Support (20%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
Weight (15%)
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
7
Traction (15%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
Water Resistance (15%)
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
5
10
0
6
Durability (10%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
6
10
0
6
Specs Targhee III Mid X Ultra Mid 3 GTX Alpenrose Ultra... Breeze LT GTX Sky Toa
Boot Type Lightweight/Midweight hiker Midweight hiker Lightweight/Midweight hiker Lightweight hiker Lightweight hiker
Weight Per Pair (Size 7.5, in lbs) 1.80 lbs 1.83 lbs 1.47 lbs 1.38 lbs 1.64 lbs
Width Options Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular
Upper Oiled nubuck leather Suede leather, nylon Breathable mesh/ coated fabric Microfiber mesh Synthetic
Heel height (mm) 35 mm 32 mm 32 mm 29 mm 45 mm
Shaft height (mm) 125 mm 121 mm 127 mm 114 mm 102 mm
Midsole Dual Density EVA Dual-density EVA EVA Dual-density EVA Rangi
Sole Rubber Contagrip rubber Michelin rubber Vibram MegaGrip Vibram MegaGrip

Our Analysis and Test Results

With a stiff and supportive design, solid soles, and an upper that protects and provides comfort, the Keen Targhee III are boots that have it all. This year's boots are a bit sleeker in design than previous models, though they weigh nearly the same. Their profile is elegant and makes them feel light on your feet, even though the Targhee III are supportive enough for an all-day hike or a multi-day backpacking trip. We would take these boots anywhere.

Performance Comparison


We loved the Targhee III for their comfort  durability  and sweet sticky soles.
We loved the Targhee III for their comfort, durability, and sweet sticky soles.

Comfort


The Targhee III rank highly in comfort for a lightweight hiker. After a full day on the trail, our feet still felt great in these boots. Additionally, the boots require very little time to break in and felt comfortable even in their first few hours on the trail. The Targhee's have a wide toe box, so if you have wider feet, these boots will not constrict in the widest part of the foot.


In addition to their shape, the Targhee also provides stiffness in the ankle; this provides comfort for the ankle bones while remaining flexible underfoot. The heel-capture system cradles the heel, and the insoles offer support underfoot, making the boots very comfortable to walk long distances. The leather construction also adds to their ability to last on long days on the trail and molds to the foot over time.

The substantial heel cup and rubber sole of the Targhee III provide support and stability for the entire foot.
The substantial heel cup and rubber sole of the Targhee III provide support and stability for the entire foot.

Support


Much like the older version of the Targhee, the Targhee III has a relatively low heel shaft. This didn't seem to be a problem for us, as the low heel actually allows for more movement and breathability, while still providing ample support.


The sole and heel-capture system are wide and supportive, providing lots of stability underfoot. Unlike the Targhee II, the Targhee III's have the same stability in the sole, but the profile of the rubber is much sleeker, which we appreciated. The sole is stiff enough for the boots to be worn with a heavy pack but still flexes with the foot when stepping. The Targhee III provides just enough support to endure hard days on the trail, without constraining the foot the way a more traditional hiking boot does.

The Targhee III are an average boot in terms of weight. They are not the lightest boot out there  but for the durability and protection they provide  the boots are relatively lightweight.
The Targhee III are an average boot in terms of weight. They are not the lightest boot out there, but for the durability and protection they provide, the boots are relatively lightweight.

Weight


The Targhee III scores highly in this metric as a mid-weight boot that has a light feel out on the trail. They weigh 1 pound 13 ounces, which is pretty great for all the leather in the upper.


This is an average weight for a full hiking boot, and each of these boots provides the support and durability that a lighter model will not. The Targhee II weighs one ounce less than the current model, which was entirely unnoticeable to us. In fact, the lower profile design of the Targhee III makes this new model feel lighter when they are on; it was their bulkiness that detracted from the overall score of the Targhee II in past years.

Traction


The soles of the Targhee III do a great job of maintaining traction on the slipperiest of surfaces. From loose gravel to wet moss and lichen on boulders, the Targhee III kept us upright.


The combination of the 4mm lug depths and the intricate tread pattern add to these boots' ability to stick to any surface we encountered on the trail. Though the Targhee III still has the beefy rubber toe cap that is a signature of this line of boots, the toe is not as bulky as that of the Keen Targhee II. Boots provide plenty of traction and protection due to their burly rubber sole construction.

The soles of the Targhee III are grippy  with 4mm lug depths and a well-designed tread pattern.
The soles of the Targhee III are grippy, with 4mm lug depths and a well-designed tread pattern.

Water Resistance


Water-resistance is another metric where the Keen Targhee III shines. The Keen.Dry waterproof, breathable membrane did a great job of keeping our feet dry, while still allowing for breathability and ventilation.


The uppers are mostly leather, save for a mesh tongue, which allows for airflow in key spots and water protection in the main portion of the boot. The seams are burly in their construction, which will allow for the boots to be water resistant for a long time.

We particularly liked the lacing system of the Targhee III. The laces go right through the leather that makes up the boots' uppers  making this system one of the most durable we tested.
We particularly liked the lacing system of the Targhee III. The laces go right through the leather that makes up the boots' uppers, making this system one of the most durable we tested.

Durability


The same features that make the Targhee III stand out concerning water resistance, also make the boot incredibly durable. The leather uppers are substantial and burly in their design, and the boots showed very little signs of wear and tear during our testing period.

The protective toe box that is a signature feature of the Targhee line of boots has a more streamlined look in this updated version of the boot. This small change pleased us  as the previous model felt fairly bulky because of the excess rubber.
The protective toe box that is a signature feature of the Targhee line of boots has a more streamlined look in this updated version of the boot. This small change pleased us, as the previous model felt fairly bulky because of the excess rubber.

The Targhee has a durable lacing system too, with its laces going right through the leather that makes up the upper. This seamless design allows for lots of tension to be placed on the lacing system, without risking blowing out an eyelet.


Value


While high scores in all other metrics earn the Targhee III recognition, they wouldn't be an award winner if they were not so reasonably priced as well. The Targhee III is not the most inexpensive boot we tested, but they are the highest performing boot with a reasonable price tag.

Conclusion


There is not much we didn't like about the Keen Targhee III. The boots are comfortable, easy to break in, supportive, waterproof, and durable. They are constructed with just the right about of leather and mesh to allow the feet to breathe while still providing the stiffness and protection of a classic all-leather boot. The soles provide great traction, with their 4mm lug depths and tread pattern. The boots have an ESS shank that provides stiffness underfoot, but also flexes with the foot on uneven terrain. With all of these top-notch features, it was impressive to us that the boots still ring in with a reasonable price tag. All of this adds up to make the Targhee III the obvious choice for our Best Buy Award.


Jane Jackson