The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Keen Targhee III Low - Women's Review

A great hiking shoe cut for a wide foot.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $140 List | $139.95 at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
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
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 14
  • Comfort - 25% 7
  • Support - 20% 8
  • Traction - 15% 6
  • Weight - 15% 7
  • Water Resistance - 15% 6
  • Durability - 10% 8

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.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award   Top Pick Award 
Price $139.95 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$110.00 at Amazon
Compare at 3 sellers
$159.95 at Backcountry$135 List$149.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
100
0
70
100
0
85
100
0
82
100
0
79
100
0
79
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Comfortable for wide feet, rubber toe box is durableComfortable, stable, great traction, durableVery comfortable, lightweight, waterproofGreat traction and stability, durable construction except for the lacesLightweight, versatile, great all-around performance
Cons Lower cut can let water in, doesn't ventilate wellUpper absorbs water (but doesn't leak), a little heavyNot the best traction, questionable durabilityDifficult to tighten the toe box due to the speed lace system, release button got jammed, a little stiffQuicklace system not our favorite, didn't feel great with a heavy pack on
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 exceptionally cushioned shoe that is also lightweight and waterproof.An excellent all-around hiking shoe that is waterproof and supportive.A great option for fast hiking / running.
Rating Categories Targhee III Low Sawtooth II Low BDry HOKA ONE ONE Tor Summit WP Terrex Swift R2 GTX X Ultra 3 GTX
Comfort (25%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
6
10
0
7
Support (20%)
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
Traction (15%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
8
Weight (15%)
10
0
7
10
0
5
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
Water Resistance (15%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
Durability (10%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
8
Specs Targhee III Low Sawtooth II Low BDry HOKA ONE ONE Tor... Terrex Swift R2 GTX X Ultra 3 GTX
Weight per pair (size 7) 1.6 lbs 1.83 lbs 1.55 lbs 1.36 lbs 1.5 lbs
Width Options Regular Regular, Wide Regular Regular Regular
Upper Oiled nubuck leather Leather & textile Nubuck and suede leather Synthetic mesh Synthetic mesh
Midsole Dual density EVA Dual density EVA EVA and RMAT oversized midsole EVA Injected EVA
Lining KEEN.Dry waterproof / breathable membrane B-Dry eVent Gore-Tex Gore-Tex
Sole KEEN all-terrain rubber Sawtooth Vibram Megagrip Hi-traction with 5mm lugs Continental Traxion rubber ContaGrip rubber

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  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 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 (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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 as we saw on other shoes.

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.

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

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