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Keen Work Shoes/Boots - Opinions?

Gents, I am getting ready to buy some new work footwear. A few provisos first. I do electrical and commercial maintenance. I do not have to have a steel or composite toe and will avoid it if necessary. My work is typically not around crush hazards but like most things in life, if you knew it was coming you would have avoided it in the first place. Second, and really the most important, size. I need wide shoes. It is not a good idea or suggestion but a necessity. I am currently wearing Merrill low cut shoes in size 9.5W. They do not distinguish widths by the old American letters such as a, aaa, d, c, e, ee, etc. In years gone by when I work Red Wings Pecos pull on boots they were size 9.5E. Chippewa pull on were 9.5EE and my Allen Edmonds Walnut Strands fit perfectly at 9.5EEE. I also have a pair of Nike 'wide' athletic shoes that fit pretty well too.

So with that comparison to go by, where do the Keens fall in the fit area? Also, what are your opinions on how well they wear and last? Comfort? I need something fairly soon and I have gotten way past trying to save two dollars on good work wear. Here is a model I picked from their lineup. I may go to the mid height tops but for coolness I tend to stick to the lower cuts. Thanks.


I have backpacked many, many miles in my Keen Targhee II's with loads up to 50 pounds and some very rough terrain here in NC and in New Mexico and Washington. I love them. Very roomy, especially in the toe box.

Go low cuts and skip the Gore-tex. Mine are Gore-tex lined and they just get too hot. Skipping that saves you some $$ also.
This is the pair I currently wear at work, Todd:


I like Keen footwear. They're genuinely comfortable, and I use them as my casual, everyday shoe, as well. As far as work goes, my work shoes take a real beating; a lot of flexing and chemical exposure. I've had this pair for a good two years now, and the molded, composite parts of the boot are taking a beating. Rubber is starting to peel around the toe cap, and the sole is starting to flake off, too, but nothing that has hurt the integrity of the boot itself. Keens have a wider toe box, which doesn't really matter to me because my foot is somewhat narrow. I find them pretty comfortable. I'm generally standing on concrete for twelve hours straight but these boots aren't making the ordeal any worse. The insole will actually form quite well to the bottom of your foot; right now this pair has my bare foot impression permanently pressed into them, more so than any other shoe I've owned. I'm thinking of replacing them with an Oxford style like your link is showing. They'd be a little lighter than the Pittsburgh model, but even they aren't overly heavy. My work almost requires that I get a stitched sole for a boot. Composites or molded boots have never had a good history for me where I work.

Thanks gents. Sounds like Keen is good and better than many when it comes to fit and comfort. I have a local store that carries the line but not one of the soft toe models. I don't like reinforced toes. They make the shoes stiff and hard on your feet when you are kneeling to work on things which I have to do a lot. And the steel models get COLD in the winter.

I will also look at the Clark's as well. That is one brand I have had a hard time finding wide sizes in. They have some nice looking shoes I would use for casual wear but the stores never have the wide sizes to try.

As for the wide feet, it is not exactly linear so to speak. Those of use with wider feet typically have what I call Hobbit Foot. The foot is wide through the toe and ball area and tapers back wedge shaped toward the heel. I blew out every pair of athletic shoes I had as a kid. Typically right along the outside edge of the ball area of the foot. No one made wide tennis shoes in those days. Wide feet are a pain in bum. On the other hand, I can remember when the Red Wing and Florsheim shoe stores had just about every width from C to EEE in stock in their more popular models and common sizes. Those days are long gone. I did notice the Keen's are assembled in the U.S. I try to support the companies at least making an effort to employ Americans whilst selling products to Americans.
Oh, agree about the Gore-Tex linings. I know they are supposed to wick away the moisture but I find them rather hot most times. A good soft leather lining has always been a big plus for me.
I got this pair this past weekend for a couple of upcoming trips. One is to Disney where I will be standing on concrete for the entire day so decided it was time for something doctors and chef's wear. http://www.keenfootwear.com/product/shoes/men/ptc-slip-on-ii

I bought this partly because my Newport H2O's are to date the most comfortable shoes for long day standing and I needed something as good but in a real shoe, not a sandal.

I have 2 other pairs of Keens and love them.
Tried a pair of Keens once, too narrow in the toe for me, had to return them. But for the average wide foot, I'd say they would do fine.
I purchased a pair of Keens with this year's boot allowance. Cannot remember the model but they are low top and composite toe. I work for the SC DOT as an engineering inspector and walk several miles every day inspecting asphalt. One month in I love them. Cost was $106 before my $100 deduction from the state. Can't beat a great $6 pair of boots.
I do electrical and commercial maintenance. I do not have to have a steel or composite toe and will avoid it if necessary.
  1. View attachment 702958That model doesn't appear to be available any more.
  2. It conspicuously lacks the orange and white "Omega Rating" tag, for electrical insulation.
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