The Keen Durand Mid WP is a new waterproof and breathable multi-use hiking boot designed with both comfort and performance in mind. We’ve been testing them from the humble leafy fields of Surrey in the UK, to the challenging and varied conditions of Alps in Chamonix France to see how they performed.
Comfort & Fit
Most boots (and trainers come to think of it) usually blister my feet the first few times I wear them – even with correct socks and fitting. The Durands have been the first that haven’t, and we haven’t started off with a gentle plod around the block in them either. So how is the fit? Well, on the basis that everyones feet are different, it’s hard to ‘report’ on the Durands other then they fit my feet very well – Keen recommended going 1/2 a size up from my normal boot and this turned out to be spot on.
The boots seemed to just gently wrap all around my feet, without being particular tight or loose anywhere (unlike some of my Scarpa boots, which although extremely confortable now – took much longer to bed in). The only uncomfortable spot I found initially was the tongue digging into my shins, this was relieved with a bit of messing around with (loosening near the top) the laces.
The bottom line as with all footwear, it’s certainly best to try before you buy. All I can say is that in my experience, with my foot shape, the Durands were supremely comfortable.
The American built Durands feature a PU midsole, dual compound rubber outsole and a waterproof Nubuck leather & breathable mesh upper (more on the waterproofing later). The build quality looks and feels very good, the softer parts of the boot are well protected with the outer rand (which runs over the toe). We’ve only been using the Durands for a couple of months, so it’s hard to say at this stage, but so far there is no signs of wear and tear.
Weather Resistance & Breathability
The Durands use Keen’s own ‘KEEN.DRY®‘ waterproof breathable membrane, designed to allow vapour (i.e. sweaty feet) to ventilate and disperse whilst keeping water out. When used in combination with some high quality wicking socks, the result is dry feet – important in blister and general trench foot prevention. In our tests, the Durands held out water from stream crossings and heavy rain with zero water ingress whilst breathing well keeping the feet almost bone dry, a very good performance.
With a wide footprint and reasonably stiff sole, the Durands performed well when hiking in a variety of conditions, from steep gravel tracks to wet leaves and mud ascending and descending with confidence, the heel and upper have good ankle support when the going gets a bit chossy.
As a non-specialist boot there are many advantages with the Durand, such a good all-round performance and comfort. Of course there are limitations with extremes where a specialist boot would be more appropriate, for example (we should mention this as a climbing magazine) if you’re mainly scrambling up easy sections of rock then an approach shoe (such as the Five Ten Guide) would be more suitable, but for long hiking approaches, which is often the case, these do a great job.
The Durand measures up as an excellent ‘go-to’ hiking shoe that won’t let you down, with it’s all-day comfort and excellent build quality it’s a boot that’s clearly been built to last.