With a new look and new features, the Targhee III hits another summit

Keen has reengineered one of its most iconic boots, the Targhee II, with updates to its look and features. The new Targhee III Waterproof Mid kept the best of its sturdy, lightweight predecessor and elevated the boot with good, rugged looks and an oiled nubuck leather outer.

Built tough

The Targhee III is built for abuse. For a lightweight all-season boot with ankle support to endure the abuse of long hikes under heavy loads, mud, water, and rugged terrain, Keen was put to task on the Targhee. After tossing the kitchen sink, Keen assembled the boot using panels of the waterproof leather and a performance mesh upper. As a bonus, the leather used in the boots comes from tanneries that process hides in ways that reduce chemical use and thus the impact on watersheds. The outsole is an All-Terrain rubber for higher-traction grip. Inside contains a dual-density, compression-molded EVA midsole, a breathable mesh lining and a removable dual-density EVA footbed.

Keen Targhee III
A lightweight book with ankle support, the Keen Targhee III is loaded with features that provide the best of performance and technology.Jan Nesset

To get techy, the waterproof, breathable membrane built into the Targhee III is KEEN.DRY, a proprietary waterproof, breathable membrane that lets vapor out without letting water in. For arch support and to cradle the natural contours of the foot, Keen employs a metatomical footbed design and an injected heel-capture system. Also, the footbed is infused with probiotic technology that naturally breaks down odor in sweat. And it does it without the use of heavy metals or hazardous chemicals.

In the field
Keen Targhee III
Comfy, durable, waterproof, secure, the Keen Targhee III is in its element regardless of the element.Jan Nesset

Our tester was fully aware that a sturdy boot often takes a spell to break in. Then, once broken in, a good boot remains comfortable until it begins to wear out. Fortunately, a first test of 12 miles with a 30-pound load held a pleasant surprise. No hotspots were detected anywhere on the foot or discomfort around the ankles. The tester has a pesky neuroma in his right foot, but it did not flare up during the hike. In the second test of 8 miles, the same.

“The boot provides good, secure, comfortable footing throughout my hikes,” said the tester. “Part of my second hike took me over a rocky crest of a ridgeline. I felt sure-footed over the rocks. They’re light, they’re grippy. I like these boots.”