The Keen Targhee II has been a best selling hiking boot for years for many good reasons. One, they are comfortable out of the box. Two, they feature the reinforced toe box that KEEN is known for. Three, they work great, especially for the fair price. What is new on the KEEN Targhee EXP?
KEEN updated the look of the Targhee as well as made the fit a little wider. At first, the width surprised me, but after a quick hike in them, I appreciated the extra width. I usually wear Altra or other semi wide shoes so the wider fit was very nice. It is the first time I experienced that with a hiking boot. Usually, the boots are narrow and the toe box is more compact. Not so with the Targhee EXP. Besides the new, wider platform, the updates include leather mudguards and improved durability. I can not say whether or not they are more durable yet, but from the feel of the boot, they should last quite a while.
The look of the newer version Targhee is very aesthetically pleasing. Less grandpa and more kick ass. Although, if I am still hiking when I am a grandpa, then I will be pretty stoked and not care what my boots look like! KEEN reinforced the eyelets and added some new colors (5 colors compared to 3 for the Targhee II). The traction is still the same and provides plenty of grip in most conditions. I did not get to test these out on snow yet, but they did a fine job of off trail use during the summer and fall.
KEEN foregoes name brand waterproof membrane and uses its own proprietary KEEN.DRY technology. I’ve found the KEEN.DRY to be sufficient for my needs and have not noticed any degradation from the last pair of KEEN shoes we reviewed. The Targhee EXP is not the lightest pair of boots out there, weighing in at 19oz each (550 grams) for size 11.5. Though they do feature an ESS shank and lots of reinforcement in that 19oz package, just a slight bit heavier than the Targhee II.
The KEEN Targhee EXP is a great hiking boot for a wider fit. It strikes a good balance of form and function, providing waterproof protection and comfort in a stylish look. The updates to the classic boot should prove to be useful. For MSRP $140, it is a good deal.