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Keen Ridge Flex Mid WP Review

This is a good hiking boot that will provide comfort and ease of use right out of the box
Keen Ridge Flex Mid WP
Credit: Zappos
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Price:  $190 List | Check Price at Amazon
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Comfortable and roomy, good waterproofing
Cons:  Questionable durability, average traction
Manufacturer:   Keen Footwear
By Ryan Huetter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Feb 23, 2022
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65
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#15 of 16
  • Comfort - 25% 7.0
  • Stability - 20% 7.0
  • Traction - 15% 6.0
  • Weight - 15% 5.0
  • Water Resistance - 15% 7.0
  • Durability - 10% 6.0

Our Verdict

The Keen Ridge Flex Mid WP uses an innovative new feature designed to improve walking comfort and reduce the amount of time to break in a pair of hiking boots. They are easy to walk in and comfortable right out of the box, making them a good option for those getting into hiking and wanting to hit the trails right away. They are good on and off the trails, though traction was an issue in wet and mucky terrain due to the lug depth. It is a bit expensive for an average-performance boot, though the Keen Bellows system might tip the scales if you favor a boot that is more efficient to walk in.

Editor's Note: We updated this review on February 23, 2022, with more buying recommendations and comparisons to help with your decision-making process.

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Comfortable and roomy, good waterproofingTop-level hiking boot performance, excels in all metricsIncredibly lightweight, comfortableWell-cushioned, waterproof, durableGood all around performance, lightweight, supportive and comfortable
Cons Questionable durability, average tractionExpensive, not as great for hot and dry climatesLess durable than heavier models, thin soleHeavy for their height, feet get especially sweatyCould be more breathable, not great traction on smooth rock
Bottom Line This is a good hiking boot that will provide comfort and ease of use right out of the boxThe gold standard of what a great hiking boot should be, and we heartily recommend it for those seeking the best possible performance on and off the trailThis mid-top hiking boot is ridiculously lightweight, though it offers excellent stability and traction for fast and light objectivesThis affordable boot is super comfortable right out of the box and has the durability to go the distanceThis boot brings a shoe-like comfort but with the support you would expect from a hiking boot
Rating Categories Keen Ridge Flex Mid WP Salomon Quest 4 Gor... Salomon X Ultra Mid... Merrell Moab 2 Mid... Salomon X Ultra Mid...
Comfort (25%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
Stability (20%)
7.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
Traction (15%)
6.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
Weight (15%)
5.0
4.0
9.0
6.0
7.0
Water Resistance (15%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
Durability (10%)
6.0
8.0
5.0
7.0
6.0
Specs Keen Ridge Flex Mid WP Salomon Quest 4 Gor... Salomon X Ultra Mid... Merrell Moab 2 Mid... Salomon X Ultra Mid...
Weight (per pair) 2.66 lbs (size 11) 2.90 lbs (size 11) 1.85 lbs (size 11) 2.48 lbs (size 10.5) 2.28 lbs (size 11)
Boot Type Midweight hiker/backpacking boot Midweight hiker/backpacking boot Midweight hiker/backpacking boot Midweight hiker/backpacking boot Midweight hiker/backpacking boot
Width Options Regular Regular Regular Regular and wide Regular and wide
Waterproof Lining KEEN.DRY Gore-Tex Gore-Tex M Select DRY Gore-Tex
Upper Water resistant leather and mesh Leather and nylon PU coated leather Suede leather, mesh Waterproof PU coated leather
Last Board/Shank Stability shank 4D Chassis Molded shank Nylon arch shank Molded shank
Midsole PU EnergyCell SensiFit EVA Injected EVA
Sole KEEN.ALL-TERRAIN Contagrip Contagrip Vibram TC5+ rubber Non-marking ContaGrip

Our Analysis and Test Results

We wore these boots on several rigorous hikes, including an early-season trek into the still snowy Sierra Nevada. The Keen.Bellows Flex system, a concept familiar to those who still telemark ski, replaces an area of the forefoot (and behind the heel) with a pleated flex zone that is designed to reduce walking friction and improve longevity. We found the Ridge Flex Mid WP to be a good overall boot that was comfortable and roomy, though it did not excel in any one metric.

Performance Comparison


Keen Ridge Flex Mid WP hiking boots - putting the keen ridge flex boots to the test in the palisades of...
Putting the Keen Ridge Flex boots to the test in the Palisades of the Sierra Nevada.
Credit: Ryan Huetter

Comfort


We have always appreciated Keen footwear for its outstanding comfort, and this boot is no exception. Straight out of the box, these boots are easy to slip on, have a secure lacing system that holds the padded ankle cuff in place, and use a cushioned PU insole.

Keen Ridge Flex Mid WP hiking boots - the keen ridge flex mid are well-cushioned for pounding out the...
The Keen Ridge Flex Mid are well-cushioned for pounding out the miles on trail.
Credit: Ryan Huetter

Built on a compression-molded EVA foam midsole, we found it quite comfortable to walk on trails without feeling much of the terrain underneath, though when scrambling over sharper rocks, the protection offered by the midsole and stability shank felt average.

Stability


The Keen Ridge Flex Mid WP uses a stability shank insert to provide torsional stability and give structure to the boot. Still flexible enough to allow for a free and unencumbered stride, it does add rigidity to the boot for kicking up loose scree or snow.

Keen Ridge Flex Mid WP hiking boots - the inner shank gives these boots the ability to have stability on...
The inner shank gives these boots the ability to have stability on uneven surfaces.
Credit: Ryan Huetter

The mid-cut boot height wraps around the ankle and gives the additional stability many hikers desire for longer hikes in rough country or when carrying heavy pack weight.

Traction


Keen has long used their proprietary rubber blends on their boots and shoes. For this model, they employ their Keen.All-Terrain compound. Not too soft and not too hard, this outsole gives good traction on smooth rock slabs in dry conditions and maintains grip on looser trails in wet conditions.

Keen Ridge Flex Mid WP hiking boots - the sole gives a lot of surface area contact, great for most trail...
The sole gives a lot of surface area contact, great for most trail conditions.
Credit: Ryan Huetter

We think the lug pattern and shape are adequate for most on-trail excursions and even some off-trail travel, though the lugs are quite closely spaced and easily become embedded with muck if hiking on muddy trails.

Weight


On our scales, these boots weighed in at 2.66 pounds per pair in a size 11 US. This is not ridiculously heavy, though when compared to other hiking boots that are of similar weight, these do not have the same performance.

Keen Ridge Flex Mid WP hiking boots - weighing the ridge flex mid boots on our home scale.
Weighing the Ridge Flex Mid boots on our home scale.
Credit: Ryan Huetter

Water Resistance


The Keen Ridge Flex Mid WP uses another in-house Keen technology, Keen.Dry, to ensure that feet stay dry and comfortable. This waterproof/breathable membrane works as advertised, and we had no issues during our hikes. Traipsing through snow, wet trails, mud, and stream crossings, these boots held their own. Even during a longer submersion test in a creek, we did not experience any leaks.

Keen Ridge Flex Mid WP hiking boots - no issues here other than cold feet in this snowmelt-fed stream!
No issues here other than cold feet in this snowmelt-fed stream!
Credit: Ryan Huetter

Durability


The upper material of these boots is comprised of treated waterproof leather, which will be very resistant to wear, and a very small amount of mesh, inconspicuously located around the tongue, which we are not very concerned about degrading. The Keen.Bellows Flex area on the top of the toes, marketed as being able to withstand 1 million steps, is where we have questions about long-term durability and will continue to monitor as we test these boots further. Using a soft rubbery material that is sewn to the rest of the leather upper, we will remain interested to see if this solves durability issues or creates them.

Keen Ridge Flex Mid WP hiking boots - a close-up of the keen.bellows flex system.
A close-up of the Keen.Bellows Flex system.
Credit: Ryan Huetter

Should You Buy the Keen Ridge Flex Mid WP?


This comfortable boot is a great choice for hikers who desire an easy to use boot with no breaking in period, or for those who have wider feet and desire a wider fit. The innovative Keen.Bellows Flex makes it easier to flex this boot, making them something to consider for longer trail-based adventures.

What Other Hiking Boots Should You Consider?


This is a great and comfy boot, but there are overall higher-performing boots in this same price range. Keen's Targhee II is a comfortable and lighter weight model that runs a bit less, price-wise. The Salomon Quest 4 Gore-Tex is our favorite recommendation and does well in many types of terrain.

Ryan Huetter
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