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The Oregon PCT boot by Keen arrived at my door in anticipation of cold-weather hiking; this is a substantial, durable, and comfort-oriented boot intended for multi-day adventures. I tested the Oregon PCT Boot on the trails in a hilly region of South Dakota. Climates have been milder than usual, so I was not able to test these in the snow (though I will comment on that once I am able to).
The Oregon PCT boot weighs 21.90 oz. The boot is lightweight enough for a multi-day hike, but sturdy enough to deal with the wear and tear your hiking adventures will put them through. Despite a lot of time on the trails here, the Oregon PCT has shown minimal wear to the bottom and top of the shoe. Minor scratches to the leather happens with all hiking boots, but the upper leather and abrasion-resistant synthetic material are strong enough to withstand the contact in your outdoor environment. The outsole is made out of a non-marking rubber, and the 4mm, multi-directional traction lugs offered great traction while I was hiking on uneven, dry ground. Forefoot torsion bars and a full-length TPU interlocking torsion plate give you solid footing with some flexibility.
Keen uses its own proprietary eco-friendly material to help reduce the impact on the environment. Keen.Cork is a cushioning that is specially molded for outdoor adventures. It offers extra cushioning using natural materials instead of synthetic. The Oregon PCT has the cork cushioning in the heel. In the pictures you can see a bit of the exposed, flecked cork on the side and bottom of the heel. I really like the cork concept; I found that it effectively delivered a great cushion feel in the Oregon PCT, especially when my heel was pounding into the hard, rocky ground in this region. Like every Keen shoe, the Oregon PCT has the signature Keen.Protect toe guard to ensure no stubbed toes happen along the way.
Another great feature about the Oregon PCT is that it is lined with Keen.Dry. Keen.Dry is a breathable, waterproof membrane that is intended to let your foot moisture out without letting water in. My feet in the Oregon PCT always felt toasty warm. Temperatures during my test period raged from 30-60 degrees, so my feet did tend to sweat, but never felt overheated.
I would say the Oregon PCT is a mid-cut boot. The collar height is 6.5 inches. On me, the boot sits about 0.5-0.75 inches above my ankle, so I have all the benefits of great ankle support, but I don’t have any limits to my range of motion. I am impressed with the connected tongue on the boots. With the tongue being connected to the boot I don’t have to worry about small rocks and gravel getting into my shoes. The upper part of the tongue provides a lot of additional cushioning and comfort. The Oregon PCT is equipped with speed lacing hooks, and a heel lock down webbing strap. The webbing strap is great because the tighter you tie your laces, the strap will become tighter to hold your heel into place. Just another great concept Keen has added to make your boot mold to your feet. With such a molded fit, I did not have to deal with any blisters or irritations to my feet, heels, or legs.
Speaking of fit: my shoe size is typically an 8.5. On the Keen website, it does caution potential buyers that this style does tend to run about a ½ size small. So to be safe, I ordered a size 9. When I slid my foot into the Oregon PCT boot for the first time, I felt that the size 9 was a little wide for my foot, and roomier in the toe box than I maybe would prefer. I’m not sure if I would say the Oregon PCT runs a true ½ size small. At first I wore a pair of lightweight Smartwool hiking socks. But given the roominess, I changed to a midweight sock, which made the size 9 fit more snugly. Before buying online I recommend going to a store and trying on the boot first with the hiking socks you typically wear, so you get the best fit for your feet.
The Oregon PCT is a well-rounded hiking boot that will keep your feet happy on those longer excursions. Happy Trails!
MSRP $170 For more information on the Oregon PCT Boot and other Keen footwear, visit www.keenfootwear.com.