Keen Bryce Mid WP Hiking Boots
The new KEEN Bryce Mid WP hiking boot is a go anywhere, do anything lightweight, waterproof, breathable hiker. I’ve taken these out on several short adventures and have been pleased with their comfort, support, and stability. Each time I wear them they seem to conform more and more to my feet, making them extra comfortable.
From the moment I took the KEEN Bryce WP out of the box, I was really impressed their quality. The nubuck leather upper was soft, the mesh tongue was tough, and the outsole felt plenty hearty.
I wore the Bryce WP for several shorter to mid-distance hikes and the two standout features were both supported by the KEEN.DRY waterpoof breathable membrane. After wearing them on a rather soggy hike and through wet brush, they didn’t let any moisture in and the water rolled right off of them. This isn’t to say they weren’t breathable though, on warmer sunny days, my feet stayed relatively cool and dry, so I wasn’t ever concerned about blisters developing.
The midsole of the Bryce Mid WP boots is a dual density compression EVA foam that was firm, but not harsh. It did seem a bit more cushioned and softer than many other hiking boots I’ve worn. The midole also features a TPU stability shank which provides important support and protection.
The outsole is a non-marking rubber material with multi-directional and varying shaped lugs. The sole felt more flexible than I would have expected of such a durable boot, but it also allowed my foot to move naturally throughout my stride and didn’t feel clunky. Another feature that is unique to these boots is that the areas where there are generally contours such as the arch is filled in. This provided more ground contact and I would think more traction.
The combination of the softer feeling midsole and less stiff feeling outsole felt great on day hikes, but I may be concerned about it if I were carrying a heavy load over a long distance.
Over a variety of terrain including rocks of all sizes, wet and dry trails, packed and loose dirt, the Bryce Mid WP boots had excellent traction and felt extremely stable. The one time I noticed the traction give on me a little was descending on rocky sections of trail.
While the lugs provided great traction most of the time, I think some of the problems with traction on wet terrain arose because the lugs didn’t shed mud well. Even after stomping on pavement and taking them off and clapping them together I couldn’t get the mud off the soles.
A favorite feature of the outsole, as with all KEEN footwear, was the protective toe caps. I benefitted from these multiple times when I didn’t pick my knees up high enough over a rock and my food slammed into the face of it.
The mid-ankle height provided good protection and on some may provide good support for the ankles. However, I found that, combined with the lacing struggles, it was a bit of an awkward height for me. They weren’t quite high enough to support my whole ankle and if the upper section was a bit loose it forced my ankle to almost roll on uneven surfaces. This is just something to keep in mind when trying them on as it may be different for everyone, not a problem with the design of the boots.Overall, I really liked the KEEN Bryce WP hiking boots for the short to mid-distance day hikes. They have become a staple in my hiking boot/shoe rotation and will likely become my favorite once I get around to changing out the laces to something that I am able to manage a bit better. To learn more visit keenfootwear.com