The Keen Targhee III Low is a great hiking shoe. It has a waterproof membrane that keeps water out, with a lot cushioning in the midsole and a durable rubber toe box. It is cut on the wide side though, so if you have regular to narrow feet, you might not get a good fit in this pair. Our Editors' Choice winner, the Oboz II Sawtooth Low BDry, is cut to a more standard width, and also comes up a little higher around the ankle, offering more support and water protection for about the same price.
Keen Targhee III Low - Women's Review
Cons: Lower cut can let water in, doesn't ventilate well
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Keen Targhee III Low - Women's
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|$110.00 at Amazon|
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|$139.95 at Amazon||$159.95 at Backcountry||$120.00 at REI|
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|Pros||Comfortable for wide feet, rubber toe box is durable||Comfortable, stable, great traction, durable||Great traction and stability, durable construction except for the laces||Very comfortable, lightweight, waterproof||Comfortable, waterproof, excellent traction|
|Cons||Lower cut can let water in, doesn't ventilate well||Upper absorbs water (but doesn't leak), a little heavy||Difficult to tighten the toe box due to the speed lace system, release button got jammed, a little stiff||Not the best traction, questionable durability||Needs breaking in, runs short|
|Bottom Line||A great hiking shoe cut for a wide foot.||The Sawtooth II excels at day hikes, longer adventures, and tricky terrain, making it an easy pick for our Editors' Choice Award.||An excellent all-around hiking shoe that is waterproof and supportive.||An exceptionally cushioned shoe that is also lightweight and waterproof.||Good at most things and great at some. It's an all-around solid hiker at a good price.|
|Rating Categories||Targhee III Low||Sawtooth II Low BDry||Terrex Swift R2 GTX||HOKA ONE ONE Tor Summit WP||Merrell Moab 2 WP - Women's|
|Water Resistance (15%)|
|Specs||Targhee III Low||Sawtooth II Low BDry||Terrex Swift R2 GTX||HOKA ONE ONE Tor...||Merrell Moab 2 WP...|
|Weight per pair (size 7)||1.6 lbs||1.83 lbs||1.36 lbs||1.55 lbs||1.69 lbs|
|Width Options||Regular||Regular, Wide||Regular||Regular||Regular, Wide|
|Upper||Oiled nubuck leather||Leather & textile||Synthetic mesh||Nubuck and suede leather||Suede leather, mesh|
|Midsole||Dual density EVA||Dual density EVA||EVA||EVA and RMAT oversized midsole||EVA|
|Lining||KEEN.Dry waterproof / breathable membrane||B-Dry||Gore-Tex||eVent||Mesh|
|Sole||KEEN all-terrain rubber||Sawtooth||Continental Traxion rubber||Vibram Megagrip Hi-traction with 5mm lugs||Vibram TC5+|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Targhee III Low has an oiled nubuck leather upper, and a waterproof lining. The rubber sole is a proprietary blend from Keen, with 4mm multi-directional lugs. It's available in sizes 6-11 and two colors.
Whether or not you find the Keen Targhee III Low comfortable depends on the width of your feet. While not quite as wide as the Keen Voyageur, they are still wider than most of the other models that we tested. So, if you have wide feet, this pair will alleviate the pinky toe squishing and rubbing that can make a fun hike miserable. Conversely, if your feet are narrow to regular width, you might find your forefoot swimming around, creating hotspots and eventually blisters. This shoe has more cushioning under the forefoot than the Voyageur, but not nearly as much as the Hoka One One Sky Arkali, our Top Pick for Comfort.
We did notice that our feet got a little hot in this shoe though. The membrane that keeps water out of the shoe is supposed to be letting your foot vent, but the full leather upper seems to trap it in somewhat. If you do hike primarily in hot weather, then a shoe without a waterproof membrane is probably a better choice.
We got reasonable support from this shoe, though not quite as good as from the Oboz Sawtooth II BDry. The Targhee does come with a well-structured insole, which we appreciated since so many of the models out there come with nothing more than a flat liner.
Keen uses their own proprietary rubber on this sole. The lugs are well-spaced to shed mud and are on the softer side. They provide great traction on the trails but are a tad slippery on bare rock.
This pair weighs 1 lb 9 oz in a size 7. That makes it heavier than some of the lighter synthetic pairs, but not the heaviest pair in this review either. The North Face Safien GTX, a very lightweight pair, weighs about quarter of a pound less than these, and the difference is noticeable. The extra rubber around the toe box is nice from a durability perspective, but it does add some weight to the shoe.
The "KEEN.Dry" waterproof breathable membrane works well at keeping water out of the shoe. We had no leaking during our bucket test, but the leather did absorb quite a bit of water, making the shoe heavier. The ankle opening is only 3.5 inches off the ground, which is less than the opening of other models like the Hoka One One Tor Summit.
We gave this shoe high marks for durability. The rubber toe box provides a lot of protection from toe stubbing and dragging. There is exposed foam on the midsole, but it wasn't separating as we saw on the Keen Voyageur. Overall this is a slightly sturdier upgrade from that shoe.
The Keen Targhee III Low is a great option for day hikes in cool weather. They're perfect for those with wider feet that can't get a good fit in other brands.
This pair retails for $135, about the middle of the pack for hiking shoes. The Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof, costs $120 and has a similar construction and comfort level. Note that the mid version of this shoe retails for only $10 more, and is our Best Buy winner in our Women's Hiking Boot review.
If you're looking for a comfortable pair of hiking shoes and have wider than average feet, the Keen Targhee III Low is an excellent choice. They offer good cushioning and support and will keep your feet dry in the rain.
— Cam McKenzie Ring