Keen Targhee IV | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Keen Targhee IV | Review

We put the fourth generation Targhee from U.S. footwear brand Keen through its paces

Originally released in 2005, the Targhee has since become a mainstay in the Keen collection and it’s now in the fourth iteration. It’s a hiking boot that’s mid table in weight and in height and as such it’s one that’s angled at wide-ranging three-season use; it’s that workhorse that’s made to cater for everything from long-distance walks through to countryside rambles and simply for just day-to-day wear too. 

Will using the Keen Targhee IV on the rocky hill tops of Carningli, Pembrokeshire. Photos: Dave Macfarlane

First of all, what’s interesting about the Targhee IV is that Keen have managed to fuse the sole to the upper without the use of any glues or stitching and they have such confidence in their method that they’ve said they’ll refund anyone who has any issues there. Delve into reddit forums and delamination does appear to have been an issue for some people who owned the Targhee III so it appears Keen have looked to tackle this head on. 

Comfort

I’ve worn the Targhee IV over five separate days out hiking in the mountains and my pair have held up exceptionally well. Of course some more testing is needed to determine that long term durability, but early signs are good. 

As expected, these have that classic Keen fit with a wide toe box and then a standard fit throughout the rest of the boot. I’ve seen another reviewer suggest going down half a size if you like a very close fit and I’d agree with that, particularly if you’re looking for something for short and sharp hikes over uneven terrain. I tested the Targhee IV in my usual size, a UK size 10, and I quite liked the spacious fit; it feels relaxed and gives space for my feet to swell and splay when I’m putting in long distances. I did find myself having to pull the laces in more when I was on rocky terrain though, just to create a bit more stability. 

The outsole uses Keen’s proprietary rubber compound. Photo: Dave Macfarlane

There’s plenty of cushioning and shock absorption from these, particularly under the heel, and it feels like there’s a decent shank that blocks out sharp rocks and roots well. The tongue has loads of padding and there’s a good level of padding around the ankle too. All in all then, I’d say the Targhee IV is a boot that’s very high on comfort. 

Keen Targhee IV Performance

The Targhee IV uses Keen’s own membrane called Keen.Dry for waterproof protection. I’ve found this does its job well though if I was being picky I would’ve liked to see the tongue gusset going just a little bit further up the ankle to bring the waterproof protection just a little higher. I’ve not noticed any issues in terms of breathability from the membrane and in hot temperatures the Targhee IV performs as you’d expect any membrane lined boot to.

Will using the Keen Targhee IV in the hills of North Pembrokeshire. Photos: Dave Macfarlane

The outsole performance has been good. It has relatively deep lugs which bite well into soft stuff and the compound, which is another proprietary material from Keen, does have enough softness and stickiness to grip onto rock too – there are limitations on wet rock though, which I tend to expect from all but the most technical boots out there.

Other Details

You can also expect a removable footbed – always good as it means you can replace it easily once it wears out – and an eco-friendly anti-odour treatment. On the subject of sustainability, Keen have used a PFAS-free water repellent coating (they phased out PFAS in 2018) and they’ve also carefully sourced their leather from Leather Working Group approved tanneries. Only the laces feature any recycled materials.

Keen Targhee IV Verdict

Overall this is a very comfortable boot that offers good three-season performance. We can see it being ideal for long distance walking from spring through to autumn and for more general excursions too. Where it has its limits is with really rocky and scrambly stuff where you’d be better off with a boot that’s stiffer and more precise at the toe.

So far it’s withstood our testing period and held up well. It’s still a relatively new boot though so we’ll try to update this review after a year’s worth of testing.

A low cut version of this is also available and all of the options in the Targhee family come in men’s and women’s fits.

What I Liked: comfortable fit, good cushioning, grips well
What I didn’t like: has its limitations on high-level technical trails, wide toe might not suit everyone.

Keen Targhee IV

Selected for the Outdoor 100 Sping/Summer 2024 guide
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