Hands-on Gear Review

Keen Targhee III Low - Women's Review

Price:  $135 List | $107.89 at REI
Pros:  Comfortable for wide feet, rubber toe box is durable.
Cons:  Lower cut can let water in, doesn't ventilate well.
Bottom line:  A great hiking shoe cut for a wide foot.
Editors' Rating:   
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Actual Weight per pair (size 10):  1.96 lbs
Sizes Available:  6-11
Upper:  Oiled nubuck leather
Manufacturer:   Keen

Our Verdict

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 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.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Cam McKenzie Ring

Last Updated:
Friday
November 17, 2017

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The Keen 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.

Performance Comparison


This pair is comfortable and an excellent choice for day hikers  particularly those with wider feet than average.
This pair is comfortable and an excellent choice for day hikers, particularly those with wider feet than average.

Comfort


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 Tor Summit, our Top Pick for Comfort.

The Keen's toe box (left) is cut slightly wider than the Oboz (right) - while it's only a quarter of an inch  that might be a welcomed difference for those with wider feet.
The Keen's toe box (left) is cut slightly wider than the Oboz (right) - while it's only a quarter of an inch, that might be a welcomed difference for those with wider feet.

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 sweat vent, but the full leather upper then traps it in somewhat. If you do hike in hot weather, then a shoe without a waterproof membrane is probably a better choice.

If you hike in cooler weather  you might appreciate that this shoe is on the warm side  but it might not be the best option for warm summer hikes.
If you hike in cooler weather, you might appreciate that this shoe is on the warm side, but it might not be the best option for warm summer hikes.

Support


We got reasonable support from this shoe, though not quite as good as from the Oboz Sawtooth 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.

We got good support in this pair. There's a supportive arch with a structured insole  and the wider foot-bed gives good lateral stability as well.
We got good support in this pair. There's a supportive arch with a structured insole, and the wider foot-bed gives good lateral stability as well.

Traction


Keen uses their own proprietary rubber on this sole. The lugs are well-spaced to shed mud and are on the softer side. They provided great traction on the trails but were a tad slippery on bare rock.

The traction on the trails was great  but this rubber felt a little slippery on bare rock.
The traction on the trails was great, but this rubber felt a little slippery on bare rock.

Weight


This pair weighs almost 2 pounds in the size 10 that we tested. That makes it heavier than some of the lighter synthetic pairs, but not the heaviest pair in this review either. The lightest pair that we tested, the Ahnu Sugarpine, weighs about half a pound lighter than this pair, 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.

Water Resistance


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 Oboz Sawtooth Low BDry.

The waterproof membrane will keep the water out of the inside of the shoe  but the leather material absorbs some water and gets a little heavy when wet.
The waterproof membrane will keep the water out of the inside of the shoe, but the leather material absorbs some water and gets a little heavy when wet.

Durability


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 like we saw on the Keen Voyageur. Overall this is a slightly sturdier upgrade from that shoe.

The rubber toe box makes this shoe more durable than others  particularly for the toe stubbers and draggers out there.
The rubber toe box makes this shoe more durable than others, particularly for the toe stubbers and draggers out there.

Best Applications


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.

Taking in the view in the Targhees. We're not sure what these circles are about though!
Taking in the view in the Targhees. We're not sure what these circles are about though!

Value


This pair retails for $135, about the middle of the pack for hiking shoes. Waterproof linings bump up the cost significantly, so if you don't think you need one you can save quite a bit without it. Our Best Buy winner, the Merrell Moab Ventilator, costs, only $100, and has a similar construction and comfort level. Note that the mid version of this boot retails for only $10 more, and was our Best Buy winner in our Women's Hiking Boot review.

Conclusion


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

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Most recent review: November 17, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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