The Keen Venture is a nimble, lightweight hiking boot that is a great choice for any kind of trail-based activity. They are lightweight and comfortable enough to lace up for a casual day hike around the local trails, and supportive enough to protect feet and ankles while carrying a moderate pack on an overnight adventure. It is a good choice for hikers who want a lightweight boot that is immediately comfortable, supportive enough to go on day hikes and short overnight treks, and is a bit more robust than a typical hiking shoe but is not as cumbersome as a heavier hiking boot.
Keen Venture Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Light, comfortable, fast break-in period
Cons: Wide fit, average traction
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|Pros||Light, comfortable, fast break-in period||Comfortable out of the box, fast and nimble, great stability, support, and water resistance||Best choice for rock and snow travel, durable, breathes well||Amazing comfort, stable, great traction||Comfort of a trail runner with more support and stability, good all around performance|
|Cons||Wide fit, average traction||Not as good for warm or hot environments, pricey||Wider fit, not the best lace locking system||Not as capable in off-trail terrain, rockered sole feels unnatural at first||Not as breathable in warm conditions, not great traction on smooth rock|
|Bottom Line||A great boot for day hiking and overnight trips, providing support and comfort for trails of all types.||Our Editors' Choice Award winner blends comfort, stability and traction in a boot that fits well right out of the box and provides top-notch performance.||For rock scrambling, alpine approaches and moderate snow travel, the Zodiac GTX is a light weight mountain boot disguised as a hiking boot.||Feels like you are wearing pillows on your feet. With cushy soles and hi-cut protection, they are a great choice for those who value comfort on the trail.||This boot brings the comfort of a trail running shoe but adds in the support you would expect from a hiking boot, resulting in a capable performer in all trail conditions.|
|Rating Categories||Keen Venture||Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX||Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX||HOKA ONE ONE Sky Kaha||Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX|
|Water Resistance (15%)|
|Specs||Keen Venture||Salomon Quest 4D 3...||Scarpa Zodiac Plus...||HOKA ONE ONE Sky...||Salomon X Ultra...|
|Weight per Pair (size 11)||2.40 lbs||3.30 lbs||2.65 lbs||2.50 lbs||2.28 lbs|
|Boot Type||Lightweight/ Day Hiker||Midweight Hiker/Backpacking Boot||Midweight Hiker/Backpacking Boot||Midweight/Lightweight hiker||Midweight Hiker/Backpacking Boot|
|Waterproof Lining||KEEN.Dry waterproof breathable membrane||Gore-Tex Performance Comfort||Gore-Tex||eVent||Gore-Tex|
|Upper||Performance mesh||Nubuck leather and textile||1.8mm Suede Perwanger||Waterproof leather||Waterproof PU coated leather|
|Last Board/Shank||Stability shank||4D Advanced Chassis||BZ last||None||Molded shank|
|Midsole||EVA midsole||Dual density EVA||PU + 3D EVA-MP||EVA||Injected EVA|
|Sole||Non-marking rubber||ContaGrip||Vibram Drumlin / Mont||Vibram MegaGrip||Non-marking ContaGrip|
|Warranty||1 year||2 year||1 year||45 days||2 year|
|Sizes Available||7 - 15 US||7 - 13 US||37 - 48 EU||7 - 14 US||7 - 13 US|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Keen Venture proved to be a quality boot with useful features and overall reasonable versatility and held its own amongst a field of strong competition, though did not stand out in any of the review metrics as a clear top performer.
Slipping into these boots for the first time, it feels like they could be laced up and taken for a hike right out of the box, although there was some discomfort around the toe as the material bends inwards towards the foot until it softens a bit. The soft and pliable performance mesh upper is generally unrestrictive and the EVA midsole bends easily and does not have the same stiffness as the clunky-feeling old-school leather boots. The last is described as regular, though we found them to be on the wider side. Those with medium-volume feet are able to cinch the traditional laces down enough, and the KonnectFit heel adjustment allows for a more custom fit as well, and wider feet will appreciate the extra room.
This is one of the softest hiking boots we tested. This light and nimble boot has a shoelike feel which aids in mobility and comfort when day hiking or carrying light loads, but we felt that despite the ankle protected offered by the cuff, it was not as appropriate to carry a large pack as the super stable heavyweight models.
Keen hiking shoes and boots use a proprietary rubber compound called Keen.All-Terrain+ to build the sole and this rubber felt sticky and grippy when on dry terrain, especially bare rock and packed dirt trails. In wet conditions like muddy trails or snowy patches, our reviewers did not have as much confidence, as the shape of the lug pattern on the sole quickly became clogged and failed to offer the anticipated grip. In more demanding conditions than on moderate trails, we preferred something with heavier lug pattern.
This pair has a verified weight of 2.4 pounds per pair in a size 11. This is lightweight by the standards of hiking boots, and in this metric, they competed with other much higher performing models quite well. While they are light, they pale in comparison to the Top Pick for Lightweight Hiking which is designed for fast and light missions.
With a flood height of 4.5 inches, there is ample protection to slosh through shallow puddles you might find on the trail. As with most Keen footwear, these use their proprietary waterproof/breathable membrane called Keen.Dry, a liner that effectively keeps water out. We had no leaking issues in our five-minute underwater test.
While we had no issues with these boots during our test period, the main concern we have with their long term durability is that the upper is made of a mesh blend that exposes a lot of the material to abrasion.
Keen has included a number of its advanced footwear technologies in the Venture, and its price tag reflects that. While we like the shoe on its own merits, there are many other higher-performing boots at a similar weight for less.
The Keen Venture is a hiking boot that is best suited for a hiker who wants a boot that is light and easy to break in, spends most of their time on dry trails, and wants a bit more support than usually available in a low cut hiking shoe.
— Ryan Huetter