Helping you discover the world & share your experience.
Login    Sign Up

Travel Gear: Keen Hiking Boot, Keen on Comfort

  • Photo courtesy of Keen
  •   (Photo by Sarah Sekula)
  •   (Photo by Sarah Sekula)
  •   (Photo by Sarah Sekula)
  •   (Photo by Sarah Sekula)
  •   (Photo by Sarah Sekula)
by Sarah Sekula
From Adventure + Outdoors
March 18, 2012

When my friend invited me to hike the NaPali Coast in Kauai, Hawaii, I knew I needed a good, sturdy waterproof shoe. We’d be hiking during rainy season, and fast-drying shoes were key. Sure enough, as we drove from Kapaa to the northwestern coast, it began to drizzle, then fatter raindrops appeared until I started to think this could definitely be a dismal, overcast day. Once we arrived it stopped, though, and within the first ten minutes we spotted a rainbow. 

 

The scenery was as breathtaking as I’d expected. If you’ve never been to the NaPali Coast, just think Jurassic Park. That classic film and dozens of others like Raiders of the Lost ArkSouth Pacific and The Descendents, were all filmed in the area. With it’s 3,000-foot-tall cliffs, accented with lush green valleys, cascading waterfalls and sea caves, this is known as one of the most scenic hikes in the world.

The trail, however, was still super muddy. The perfect test for my Keen Targhee II boots. I splashed through rust-colored puddles, stepped up and over boulders and traipsed up steep inclines that were so mushy that a normal shoe could have been sucked right off. Other parts were so slippery that a regular shoe would have been like wearing a pair of roller skates. 

The 2-mile hike to Hanakapiai Beach shuttled us through ethereal rain forests with view after view of the fluted sea cliffs. After about 45 minutes on the crumbly terra-cotta trail, we reach a small river crossing, where we leaped from boulder to moss-covered boulder. And there it was. Hanakapiai 

Beach, perfectly flanked by volcano cliffs and lava-rock boulders.


Now, it was time to explore the sandy expanse. Luckily, my boots were lightweight enough for this part of the adventure, too. And despite the fact that my shoes were completely soaked by now, my socks and tootsies were still dry. That is, until I decided to scramble my way up a small waterfall on our return trek. That’s when my socks got drenched. 

But no matter. What I appreciated most about the boot was the comfort factor. Because I am flat-footed, I definitely appreciate the fact that it’s soft and cushiony on the contact points of the foot. Plus, it has the company S3 heel support system that provides awesome support along the edges. And beyond the pure functionality of the shoe, I love that it’s not your typical brown hiking boot with ugly laces. Instead, it’s a stylish gray with a combo of leather and mesh uppers and hints of pink thrown in.

Now, the only thing left to do is head back to the NaPali Coast and hike the entire 11-mile route. I’m up for it, and I think these boots are, too. 

Price: $155

Weight: 12.5oz/354 grams

Upper: Leather/Mesh

Lining: Keen-Dry waterproof membrane

Sole: Keen S3 shock suspension/Non-marking rubber

www.keenfootwear.com


Thanks to Keen for providing the boots. 

 

Share and discuss this story with your friends

Sarah Sekula icon

Sarah Sekula

When I’m not zigzagging around the planet — scaling the steps of Chichén-Itzá, carving up Costa Rican waves or roaming through the remote jungles of India — I’m writing about my adventures, the environment, fitness, health/wellness, extraordinary people and social injustice issues. My writing appears in USA Today, ISLANDS, Caribbean Travel & Life, Cayman Airways Skies, American Eagle Latitudes, Orlando Sentinel, abcnews.com, Where Orlando, Where Jacksonville, Upscale and Wild Blue Yonder.



Located: Orlando USA
Likes: Adventure, health/wellness, nature, sports, festivals, dance, music, etc.
Website: http://www.sarahsekula.com

More stories by Sarah Sekula

Ukrainian New Year at the Jasper Park Lodge

Ukrainian New Year at the Jasper Park Lodge
There are plenty of reasons to visit Jasper, Alberta, in January. Malanka is one of them. It’s a festive weekend gala that celebrates the Ukrainian culture and is about experiencing all of the Ukrainian Christmas traditions in one weekend. I was there last January when I stumbled upon it....

VIDEO: Swanky Switzerland: Badrutt's Palace Hotel

VIDEO: Swanky Switzerland: Badrutt's Palace Hotel
Photos and video by Ken Lopez (www.kenlopezphoto.com) Not only is Badrutt's Palace one of the ritziest hotels in all of St. Moritz, Switzerland, it's also surrounded by extreme beauty in every direction (caught by expert cameraman Ken Lopez). Watch as I learn the art of cheese making, explore...

Choose You Own Adventure in Peru

Choose You Own Adventure in Peru
Many head to Peru because Machu Picchu has long been on their bucket list. It was definitely on mine, so I was thrilled to finally check it off. But beyond this epic archeological treasure, however, there is much more to love about this geographically diverse country. May I suggest carving up...

VIDEO: Getting pampered at Grand Hotel Kronenhof

VIDEO: Getting pampered at Grand Hotel Kronenhof
I recently visited the Grand Hotel Kronenhof, a five-star hotel in Pontresina, Switzerland. It's the perfect jumping off point for exploring the Swiss Alps and a peaceful place for a Switzerland spa vacation. Check out the video, and you'll see what I mean. I've included things to do in...

VIDEO: Quidditch World Cup VI comes to Orlando

VIDEO: Quidditch World Cup VI comes to Orlando
The spellbinding sport featured in the Harry Potter books and films has a Muggle (or non-magical) version that is part rugby, part soccer and part dodgeball. It’s not only a captivating spectacle, it’s a serious sport sweeping the nation. But, don’t worry if you missed the...

Zappos.com: A traveler's best friend

Zappos.com: A traveler's best friend
Zappos! A zippy little word, indeed, and a worldwide phenomenon for the apparel and footwear obsessed. For the ranks of the uninitiated, zappos.com is a nontraditional kind of company — inspired by the Spanish word for shoes, zapatos. Consumers choose from a vast selection of products...

Florida Film Festival Kicks Off in Orlando

Florida Film Festival Kicks Off in Orlando
The Florida Film Festival (April 5-14) is hands down one of my favorite events in Orlando. Of course, the selection of films is grand (this year there are 167 from 31 different countries), it’s somewhat likely you’ll rub shoulders with a celebrity or filmmaker, and there’s the...

Maui: Below the Surface

Maui: Below the Surface
It was a picture-perfect day off the shores of Maui’s Makena Beach as our group of six paddled an outrigger canoe through the calm waters. It had been about 10 minutes or so since we left shore, but already we had arrived at the perfect snorkeling spot. I was still putting on my mask and...

Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort

Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort
The Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek has a lot going for it. For starters, it’s super close to the major theme parks in the Bonnet Creek Resorts area. And it’s a four-star property with endless things to keep you busy. Let’s start with my favorite, the Blue...

GIVEAWAY: Win a SmartWool Jacket

GIVEAWAY: Win a SmartWool Jacket
Hi everyone! If you dig SmartWool as much as I do, this is something to get super excited about. I’m giving away one men’s SmartWool jacket ($220) and one women’s SmartWool jacket ($220). So, how do you go about scoring a prize? It’s pretty darn easy: 1)...

Recent Activity & Recommendations