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Keen Targhee III Low - Women's Review

A great hiking shoe cut for a wide foot
Keen Targhee III Low - Women's
Photo: REI
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Price:  $140 List | Check Price at REI
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Pros:  Comfortable for wide feet, rubber toe box is durable
Cons:  Lower cut can let water in, doesn't ventilate well
Manufacturer:   Keen
By Cam McKenzie Ring ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 17, 2017
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64
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 13
  • Comfort - 25% 7
  • Support - 20% 6
  • Traction - 15% 7
  • Weight - 15% 6
  • Water Resistance - 15% 5
  • Durability - 10% 7

Our Verdict

The Keen Targhee III Low is a great hiking shoe. It has a waterproof membrane that keeps water out, though the leather absorbed quite a bit of water in our tests, rather than shedding it. While the traction was mostly good, we did find them to slip somewhat on bare rock. They have a good amount of 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.

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Pros Comfortable for wide feet, rubber toe box is durableSuperb traction, supportive, waterproof, comfortFeels fast, lightweight, waterproof, great tractionComfortable, stable, great traction, durableComfortable, waterproof, excellent traction
Cons Lower cut can let water in, doesn't ventilate wellMay be less durable, expensiveAverage durability, not as protective underfootUpper absorbs water (but doesn't leak), a little heavyNeeds breaking in, runs short
Bottom Line A great hiking shoe cut for a wide footA high-tech hiking shoe that delivers in every category, outperforming the best shoes we've ever testedThis high-performing shoe is impressively lightweight and suited for hard-charging missions across versatile terrainThis beefy shoe features rugged durability and excels at day hikes, longer adventures, and tricky terrainGood at most things and great at some, this solid hiker meets most needs at a surprisingly low price
Rating Categories Targhee III Low Spire GTX X Ultra 4 Gore-Tex Sawtooth II Low BDry Merrell Moab 2 WP -...
Comfort (25%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
Support (20%)
6.0
9.0
7.0
9.0
7.0
Traction (15%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
Weight (15%)
6.0
6.0
8.0
4.0
5.0
Water Resistance (15%)
5.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
Durability (10%)
7.0
6.0
5.0
9.0
6.0
Specs Targhee III Low Spire GTX X Ultra 4 Gore-Tex Sawtooth II Low BDry Merrell Moab 2 WP -...
Weight per Pair (Size 7) 1.60 lbs 1.61 lbs 1.37 lbs 1.83 lbs 1.69 lbs
Width Options Regular Regular Regular Regular, Wide Regular, Wide
Upper Oiled nubuck leather Abrasion-resistant mesh Synthetic/textile Leather/textile Suede leather, mesh
Midsole Dual density EVA EVA EVA Dual density EVA EVA
Lining KEEN.Dry waterproof / breathable membrane Gore-Tex Surround Gore-Tex B-Dry Mesh
Outsole KEEN all-terrain rubber Vibram XS Trek Contagrip Sawtooth 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.

Performance Comparison


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

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 other Keen shoes we tested, they are still wider than most of the other models. 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 is middle of the road for the amount of cushioning under the forefoot.

The 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.

The Keen's toe box (left) is cut slightly wider than the Oboz...
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.
Photo: Cam McKenzie Ring

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, dry weather, then a shoe without a waterproof membrane might be a better choice.

If you hike in cooler weather, you might appreciate that this shoe...
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.
Photo: Cam McKenzie Ring

Support


We got reasonable support from this shoe, though not quite as good as others in the test. 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...
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.
Photo: Cam McKenzie Ring

Traction


Keen uses their 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.

The traction on the trails was great, but this rubber felt a little...
The traction on the trails was great, but this rubber felt a little slippery on bare rock.
Photo: Cam McKenzie Ring

Weight


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. Other models weigh about a 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.

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 noticeably heavier. The ankle opening is only 3.5 inches off the ground, which is lower than some, meaning water could splash in the top of the shoe.

The waterproof membrane will keep the water out of the inside of the...
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.
Photo: Cam McKenzie Ring

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 as we saw on other shoes.

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

Value


This pair retails about in the middle of the pack for hiking shoes. Note that the mid-height version of this shoe retails for only a little more, and is our Best Buy winner in our Women's Hiking Boot review.

Taking in the view in the Targhees. We're not sure what these...
Taking in the view in the Targhees. We're not sure what these circles are about though!
Photo: Cam McKenzie Ring

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