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Keen Targhee III Open-Toe Review

An aesthetic every dad will appreciate with the traction, support, and comfort capable of handling any adventure
Keen Targhee III Open-Toe
Photo: Keen
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Price:  $120 List | Check Price at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Leather upper, solid stability and support
Cons:  Expensive, runs large
Manufacturer:   Keen Footwear
By Jacob Clark ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 3, 2021
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69
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 13
  • Comfort - 25% 7
  • Traction - 25% 7
  • Stability - 20% 8
  • Adjustability - 15% 6
  • Versatility - 15% 6

Our Verdict

The Keen Targhee III Sandal is built with high levels of comfort, support, stability, and traction. This sandal has the classic leather upper every dad will appreciate paired with top-tier performance. This sandal is ideal for those wanting a solid and stable footwear choice they can take anywhere. This sandal is an adaptation of Keen's Targhee boot line, featuring aggressive tread and a contoured footbed. If you are looking for the freedom of a sandal but the support of a boot or shoe, this sandal is worth a look and might be just what you need.

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Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award 
Price Check Price at Backcountry
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$105 List
$105.00 at REI
$135 List
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$65 List
$64.95 at Amazon
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Star Rating
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Pros Leather upper, solid stability and supportLightweight, versatile, excellent tractionVery comfortable, good support, grippy outsoleVery affordable, light, comfortableGreat wet traction, comfortable and stable, quick-drying
Cons Expensive, runs largeNot best for high archesPricey, dad-style designLess supportive than others, loses some traction when wetLack of adjustability, doesn't slip on
Bottom Line An aesthetic every dad will appreciate with the traction, support, and comfort capable of handling any adventureThis lightweight sandal is comfortable, durable, and capable of handling anything out on the trailClassic three-strap sport sandals that provide high-end comfort and solid all-around performanceImpressive comfort and solid all-around performance in a lightweight and affordable packageWith solid coverage and water friendly materials, this is our favorite closed-toe sandal for water sports
Rating Categories Keen Targhee III Op... Bedrock Cairn Adven... ECCO Yucatan Teva Katavi 2 Keen Newport H2
Comfort (25%)
7.0
7.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
Traction (25%)
7.0
10.0
7.0
6.0
8.0
Stability (20%)
8.0
6.0
8.0
7.0
9.0
Adjustability (15%)
6.0
9.0
6.0
6.0
4.0
Versatility (15%)
6.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
5.0
Specs Keen Targhee III Op... Bedrock Cairn Adven... ECCO Yucatan Teva Katavi 2 Keen Newport H2
Weight per Pair (pounds) 1.29 lbs (size 10) 1.10 lbs (size 10) 1.51 lbs (size 43 EU) 1.36 lbs (size 9) 2.01 lbs (size 12)
Width Options Medium Medium Medium Medium Medium
Footbed Material EVA Granite Grip rubber Dual-density EVA Contoured EVA EVA
Midsole Material EVA Rubber PU EVA Compression molded EVA
Sole Material ALL.TERRAIN rubber Vibram XS Trek Regolith Rubber Durabrasion rubber Rubber
Upper Material leather Premium webbing Nubuck leather Suede Washable polyester webbing

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Keen Targhee III is perhaps the most stable shoe-like sandal in the lineup. Based on the design of popular Keen boots, the tread and the footbed of this sandal remind us of a boot without the upper material. Keen brought the best of both worlds together in this sandal, including the freedom of open-toed footwear and the support and traction of boots.

Performance Comparison


With a leather upper and shoe-like feel, the Targhee III makes for...
With a leather upper and shoe-like feel, the Targhee III makes for one stable sandal.
Photo: Jacob Clark

Comfort


The Targhee III would suit those in need of the support and comfort of a boot with the versatility of a sandal. This sandal is rigid with a heavily contoured footbed made of an eco-friendly insert, providing the comfort of a boot in a sandal. The straps are wide with neoprene padding that hugs the foot nicely without any noticeable hotspots throughout testing.

The sandal's sole consists of a rubber tread and a thick medium density foam with a thin multi-texture footbed. The foam is rather firm and not as plush as other models. However, the shape and structure of the sandal make it quite comfortable. Those with flatter feet may find these sandals less comfortable and may require a longer break-in period.

The thick mid layer allows for the heavy contours that make this a...
The thick mid layer allows for the heavy contours that make this a stable and comfortable choice.
Photo: Jacob Clark

Traction


Keen utilizes multi-directional tread on the sole of the Targhee III. Specifically designed to handle a variety of terrains and built with hiking in mind, Keen uses their AllTerain rubber composite for the sole.

The multi-directional tread on these sandals packs quite the punch...
The multi-directional tread on these sandals packs quite the punch in terms of performance on various terrains.
Photo: Jacob Clark

The end result is a sandal just as capable on dry land as it is on wet terrain. The performance across stream crossings and on wet logs was superb, only slipping on slimy rocks, where the tread and rubber can only do so much. The traction provided with the Targhee III can be relied upon with confidence over anything you may throw at them.

Stability


When it comes to stability, sandals are often not the most stable footwear choice, or so we thought before this one. Keen designed the Targhee III utilizing components from their most popular hiking boots. The footbed of the sandal is stiff like a boot but heavily contoured and textured for a barefoot. This is one of the stiffest footbeds in our lineup and requires a break-in period, similar to a boot. Once broken in, though, these sandals form fit and provide some of the best stability offered in our lineup.

Even on a wet rotting tree, the Targhee III give the traction and...
Even on a wet rotting tree, the Targhee III give the traction and stability needs to cross with confidence.
Photo: Jacob Clark

Adjustability


The ease of adjustments for Targhee III is about as simple and convenient as it gets. All three straps create a comfortable fit secured by velcro. While the straps are adjustable at the heel, ankle, and forefoot, the footbed takes time to break-in, and the contouring may be too aggressive for some.

The three velcro straps, help to lock in the fit and provide...
The three velcro straps, help to lock in the fit and provide adequate adjustability for nearly any user.
Photo: Jacob Clark

Versatility


The Keen Targhee III can handle almost anything you may throw at it. The traction, stability, and comfort together provide one cohesive, versatile package. Waterproof leather uppers and the aesthetic of leather sandals keep this sandal casual around town and technical on the trails. Keen brought it all together, providing workhorse sandals that can do just about anything, just about anywhere.

These sandals submerged in water can tackle slippery rocks and...
These sandals submerged in water can tackle slippery rocks and foliage with confidence.
Photo: Jacob Clark

Value


While the list price of the Targhee III is one of the most expensive in our lineup, it is also one of the most stable options out there. For the right user, these sandals will provide the support and traction they need and makes the higher price tag these sandals carry one worth paying.

The Targhee III sandals are worth taking along on any urban or rural...
The Targhee III sandals are worth taking along on any urban or rural adventure.
Photo: Jacob Clark

Conclusion


Whether you want a technical sandal for trails, something casual for around town, or stability and support often lacking from leisure footwear, the Keen Targhee III is ready for whatever you throw its way. Even though the sandal comes at a hefty price, it does live up to its cost, offering boot-like performance in a sandal package. If you are focused on a performance sandal with high levels of stability and support, this one is worth trying out.

Jacob Clark

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