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 who want 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 on par with the best hiking shoes, these are some of our favorite sandals offering that combination.Editor's Note: This Keen gear review new includes two new sections to help you find the right sandals for your goals and budget. It was updated on March 25, 2022.
Keen Targhee III Open-Toe Review
Cons: Expensive, runs large
Manufacturer: Keen Footwear
Compare to Similar Products
Keen Targhee III Open-Toe
$77.97 at Amazon
|$115 List||$135 List|
$134.95 at Amazon
$57.65 at Amazon
$77.89 at REI
|Pros||Leather upper, solid stability and support||Lightweight, versatile, excellent traction||Very comfortable, good support, grippy outsole||Very affordable, light, comfortable||Great wet traction, comfortable and stable, quick-drying|
|Cons||Expensive, runs large||Not best for high arches||Pricey, dad-style design||Less supportive than others, loses some traction when wet||Lack of adjustability, doesn't slip on|
|Bottom Line||An aesthetic every dad will appreciate with the traction, support, and comfort capable of handling any adventure||This lightweight sandal is comfortable, durable, and capable of handling anything out on the trail||Classic three-strap sport sandals that provide high-end comfort and solid all-around performance||Impressive comfort and solid all-around performance in a lightweight and affordable package||With 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|
|Specs||Keen Targhee III Op...||Bedrock Cairn Adven...||ECCO Yucatan||Teva Katavi 2||Keen Newport H2|
|Weight (per Pair)||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)|
|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, this sandal's tread and footbed 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.
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 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 relatively 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 require a more extended break-in period.
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 result is a sandal just as capable on dry land as 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.
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 sandal's footbed is stiff like a boot but heavily contoured and textured for a barefoot. This is one of the stiffest footbeds in our sandal 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.
The ease of adjustments for Targhee III is about as convenient and straightforward 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 Keen Targhee III can handle almost anything you may throw at it. The traction, stability, and comfort 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.
Should You Buy the Keen Targhee III?
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. 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.
What Other Sandals Should You Consider?
The Teva Katavi 2 has the same overall score as the Targhee with a similar design and similar metric results. It is also about half the price, making it the better buy unless you are married to the Keen brand. With the same style of straps, the Teva is more comfortable and versatile. While it has a slightly lower traction test result, we think the saving make the performance worth it.
— Jacob Clark
Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.
GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.Learn More