Whether you are through-hiking the Appalachian Trail or just a casual day hiker, the most important piece of equipment for trekking is a comfortable pair of shoes. My current favorite is the Keen Targhee III Waterproof Mid.
In with the new
Out with the old
When we left for Europe back in September 2019 I had just added a new pair of Targhee III’s to my suitcase. I have trekked with them in Hungary, Romania, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Italy, Germany, and England. They were my work shoes during a house renovation in Madison, WI and served me well on mountain trails in Colorado, Montana, and Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.
These are literally my everyday shoes when traveling. After a year and a half and over 1500 miles (according to my phone) I’m retiring my Keen Targhee III. Despite them tearing out around the toes they remained waterproof and still had decent tread. My new ones just arrived and I literally took them out of the box, sitting on the bumper of my car, and hiked seven miles. Very comfortable, I love these shoes!
What I love about the Targhe III
More room in the toe
Compared to other hiking shoes I’ve had, the Keen Targhee III have more room in the toe box. That little bit of extra room make these the most comfortable hiking shoes I’ve owned.
The waterproofing is fantastic! I’ve had other shoes that start out with good waterproofing but after just a few months moisture begins to seep in. My last hike with my Targhee III’s after a year and a half was in wet snow, and even though the seams around the toes had started to tear out, my feet were completely dry at the end of the day.
I’ve hiked in rain and snow, forded small streams and splashed through puddles, and walked through dewy fields in the morning. Through it all my feet have remained warm and dry.
While the Targhe III comes in a low version, I really like the ankle support I get from a mid boot. I tend to roll my ankles easily and these help stop that and avoid any serious injury. What makes them even better are the “Speed Hooks” that make them easy to slip on and off and adjust the tightness of the laces.
The outsole of the Targhee III has a great design with lugs that help grip in all conditions. I’ve also been impressed with the durability. My old pair still had plenty of tread left to go another couple hundred miles.
The compression molded EVA midsole provides great support and cushioning for the foot and gets better with age as it molds to your feet.
They Look Good!
I don’t know how else to say it, they just look good! On the trail they are stylish but even while touring cities in jeans or chinos they are still fashionable. As a light traveler, I appreciate that kind of versatility and functionality. As a bonus, there are multiple color schemes to choose from.
They are big and bulky and because I travel light I often can’t fit these in my suitcase. They are not the most comfortable on an intercontinental flight, but I end up just slipping them off on long flights.
They are a little hot and heavy. All the support and protection I like just adds a little more bulk than running shoes.
All things considered, these “cons” seem minor compared to the support, security, versatility, warmth, and dryness this shoe has to offer. That is what makes the Keen Targhee III my favorite hiking shoe.
Would you like help planning the perfect hiking trip? We can help with that! We are here for your custom trip planning to Italy, France, Ireland, the UK and all of Europe. We are experts in creating custom travel itineraries and leading small group trips to European destinations. We also book European cruises! Feel free to reach out via email — We’re always available to talk about travel!
We can also help with trips in the US while we wait for Europe to open up. We’ve traveled extensively throughout the US and visited many of our National Parks as well as wine regions, major cities, and tourist destinations. We just love to help people travel!
Greg Ball – Greg is co-founder and partner of Euro Travel Coach (ETC), which crafts custom European vacations for independent travelers and leads small group tours to Europe. In his previous life he taught Woodwinds and Jazz at the university level for 30 years. As a professor he took his bands to England, Ireland, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, and England. Since “retiring” he and his wife/ETC co-founder Betsy travel Europe nine months out of the year. Together they have visited over 40 countries and counting! He loves cooking, hiking, listening and playing music, and wine and holds a Level 3 certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust.
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