KEEN Aphlex Waterproof Boot Review
Presenting the KEEN Aphlex Waterproof boot
Keen has always been known for its super comfortable footwear. I’d say it has an almost cult-like following amongst my friends who’ve been wearing the sandals for nearly a decade now. Keen has ventured into many sides of the footwear game, but its comfortability has never really wavered. Nor has its signature toe protection piece. It is this highly publicized “Waterproof” feature woven into the title that has me really intrigued. Redcloud Mountain and Sunshine Peak in Colorado were mountains I had climbed this summer before the arrival of these Aphlex Boots. Contrary to the second peak’s namesake, it was a rainy slosh fest. I was soaked and chilled to the bone over every part of my body including my hiking boots, socks, and feet. I am very intrigued by the Aphlex, and couldn’t wait to hit the mountains.
Upper Features and fit
I have to say that the Keen Aphlex Waterproof boot has a sort of stealth-like look to it. Mainly in part to the TPU Phlexoskeleton that also provides a nearly weightless lockdown mechanism to prevent slipping and shifting. The boot has a synthetic upper, and is constructed of a lightweight mesh. Mix in some KEEN DRY, a proprietary technology that let vapor out without letting the water in, and you have a waterproof yet breathable hiking boot.
That signature toe piece is matched in the back with molded TPU protection heel to reinforce those high impact areas. We’ve had a relatively dry late summer, so my testing included lots of dry bouldering and sharp rock scrambling. I finally decided to just start barreling through creeks and streams to test out the waterproof claim. For the most part, I stayed dry except for a misstep that put me knee deep in ice cold mountain run off. Water just came in over the top to pretty much soak one of my feet. Aside from that though, I was able to comfortable cross streams stepping on wet rock without any water filtering through.
True to size is pretty accurate for these boots. A 10.5 usually gives me a comfortable fit. Not too tight or loose while still providing a snug enough fit to eliminate any sliding. The first real hard core downhill is always the best indicator for me, and these stood up to the test. The lacing keeps my foot in place, and I did not experience any hot spots on the toes. These Keen Aphlex Waterproof boots are immediately comfortable. They did not really need a long break-in period to get the boot to fit and lose some of that stiffness. Supple and foot fitting from the very beginning.
My one negative experience came with the inside rivet feature. See top rivet on the photo below. It actually cut my finger. An anomaly for sure as one edge was slightly raised. The others eyelet rivets are all fine. I simply used a pair of pliers and a small file to fix the issue, but since it drew blood I wanted to mention it. We were able to save the finger, so I’ll be ok (please, do note my sarcasm here).
Midsole and Outsole of the KEEN Aphlex Waterproof Boot
The dual density compression molded EVA midsole is really where the comfort comes into play. It feels like I have a very solid base with my foot settling in nicely. I guess I am trying to say that it is not super soft and squishy which is not really what you want anyway. The outsole provides for really good traction because of the multi directional lug pattern. I have appreciated this most of all on my unusually dry fall Colorado hikes as leaping and bouldering over rocks provided me with confidence that I wouldn’t slip.
I encountered some snow and ice on a high alpine hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. These conditions were maybe about an hour total and 3-4 miles, but I experienced good traction, dry feet, and no slipping even over some icy rock patches. I can’t wait for some winter hiking to push these a bit further, but I anticipate a strong performance from my Keen Aphlex Waterproof boots. And if you do happen to stumble into your favorite coffee shop or restaurant, the rubber soles are non marking.
Specifications and Features
– Approximate weight per shoe: 17.6 oz/499.2 g
– Cleansport NXT™ for natural odor control
– Dual density compression molded EVA midsole
– High traction rubber outsole
– KEEN.Dry waterproof breathable membrane
– Lightweight mesh and synthetic upper
– Molded TPU heel and toe protection
– Multi directional lug pattern for increased traction
– S3 for structure, stability and suspension
– Stability shank
– TPU Phlexoskeleton for weightless lockdown
Final Thoughts On The KEEN Aphlex Waterproof Boot
The KEEN Aphlex Waterproof Boot will be my main go-to come winter time to take snowshoeing. With some snow pants to cover my ankles, the boots will provide strap and buckle support all the while keeping the snow and water from infiltrating. As far as the spring, summer, and fall months, these Aphlex will easily be able to tackle many of the obstacles you’ll face. For $160, you expect a good return on your investment. I’d say, for many of your outdoor adventures, these KEEN Aphlex Waterproof Boots will fit the bill yet not break the bank.
For more details and purchase please visit www.Keenfootwear.com