Karraig. It sounds a bit gaelic right? It’s actually a made-up word, but it sums up what Oregon-based footwear brand Keen are going for with this walking boot. It’s made for Scotland-type conditions; those muddy, boggy, scrambly and generally rough walks we’re all very familiar with. And you can tell that just by looking at it. There’s that high ankle, the burly toe bumper, and sizeable heel brake to keep you upright when descending steep, grassy fells, and that classic look that the leather upper provides. While previous trekking boots from Keen like the Wanderer and the Targhee had a modern, perhaps American look to them, the Karraig, which is made in Europe, would certainly look right at home on a munro.
So what about its performance? It might blend in aesthetically over here, but can it walk-the-walk? I took it to the Carneddau mountains of Snowdonia to find out.
Before I detail the performance, I’ll just fill you in on the Keen Karraig’s specific features.
The upper is made from a combination of leather panels and mesh placed around the ankle and laces. There’s a good bit of padding on the tongue, as well as around the ankle cuff, plus there’s a fairly hefty toe bumper.
Underneath there’s a waterproof membrane – the brand’s own Keen.Dry lining. This integrates with the tongue to prevent any leakage when you put your foot in it. It being a bog.
I’ve tried out a number of Keen boots that use this lining and I’ve never had any problems with it. It’s always done the job and seems to last well. It’s good stuff.