I always thought walking boots were a bit pointless unless you were the sort of person that spent all weekend climbing massive hills with a flask of tea and a dog in tow. I was wrong.
There’s nothing worse than having cold, wet feet when you’re out for a walk – be that a big old stomp up a hill, a meander down the coast or even just an afternoon in the park with the kids. I’ve had a few pairs of walking boots in recent years and whilst I’ve totally been able to see the benefits of them in terms of providing my feet with support and protection, I’ve never loved them. My first pair were fairly traditional boots – big and clumpy. They rather reminded me of Dave’s safety boots at work. They did the trick but I never particularly enjoyed wearing them. Last year I swapped them for a pair of walking shoes which were more trainer-like in shape and style. They were much lighter and easier to wear but I still found them a bit cumbersome and not very attractive! I have a bit of a weak ankle which tends to swell randomly and doesn’t cope well with uneven ground – this meant that when I was wearing the walking shoes for festivals etc and spending the whole day treading uneven paths, I missed the ankle support a boot would give.
When I was offered the opportunity to try a pair of Keen walking shoes for Chloe and I, I was excited to see if I might finally find “the ones” . . .
Keen, founded in America in 2003 with the creation of a toe-protecting sandal, are keen to push the boundaries of protective footwear which allow us to explore and really live in the world around us – whilst donating over $15 million to non-profit organisations and causes around the world. This is a brand with a clear purpose and integrity. Keen offer a range of footwear from boots to sandals for the whole family as well as a smaller range of clothing and accessories.
I have quite large, wide feet and often find buying shoes a bit of a pain so was apprehensive, particularly when the boots I picked out clearly stated that they were a narrower fit than their standard range. However, I was pleased to see the option on a 8.5 as often an 8 fits but can start to pinch my toes by the end of a long day. I chose the women’s Terradora waterproof mid hiking boots (£109.99) – I was particularly drawn to them because they just seemed so neat and tidy compared to some of the other bulkier styles. The Terradora waterproof mid hiking boot comes in a range of 8 colours from a bright and bold bluey purple shade to a more subtle shades of black or grey. I wanted something that would go with anything so almost chose the plainest dark grey pair but then something caught my eye in the Raven / Rose Dawn – and yes, I know, pink detailing!? But I just thought they looked really nice.
I had hoped to be able to go full matchy matchy and pick out Chloe the same pair of shoes in her size but unfortunately the older kids’ Terradora waterproof mid hiking boots (£59.99) don’t come in the same colour ways as the women’s ones so we have the same pair of shoes but hers are a much brighter blue with coral detailing.
As I’ve mentioned I was a little worried that my boots wouldn’t fit due to my wide feet so I was absolutely thrilled when I popped them on easily and they fit like a glove with a slipper-like comfort straight from the box. There was going to be no need to wear these beauties in for weeks on end! And as I had hoped, they really are a very neat and tidy looking pair of boots. When you have size 8 feet, the last thing you need is something which adds bulk to your feet! (And I’m clumsy too, if my shoes are too heft I just end up tripping myself up!) The pink detailing isn’t too obvious or girlie, it just adds interest making them a really attractive pair of walking boots that I’m happy to wear all day long at a festival or just doing the school run when the weather isn’t too kind! The first time I wore the boots to take Mum’s dog for a walk, I felt like I’d had them on forever – they’re super flexible and so easy to wear with the padded angle, providing my stupid wobbly ankle with exactly the sort of additional support it needs. Oh, and not once did I have to stop and retie my shoes laces!! The Terradora boots are an out and out win – I’ve now passed my old walking shoes on to Mum (though I think she’s going to be investing in a pair of boots like mine pretty soon anyway!)
Chloe’s boots have all the same features as my own so I was confident that she’d be comfortable and supported wearing them for our outdoor adventures. We particularly liked that the laces don’t fasten in the traditional way but have a toggle which pulls them nice and tight. She had no complaints from the first time she wore her boots and I know she’s going to get plenty of wear out of them over the coming months before hopefully passing them down to her little sister!
*We were sent the Terradora hiking boots from Keen Footwear free of charge for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions remain our own*