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Keen Ridge Flex Low walking shoe Outlet review

keen Ridge Flex hiking shoe

Our review

A chunky trail-walking shoe that performs much better than it looks
Pros: Innovative bellows helps foot flex freely
Chunky tread
Weatherproof
Excellent heel-lock system
Cons: Not for technical rock or via ferrata
Heavy

The first thing you notice about the Ridge Flex is the big bit of concertinaed plastic on the forefoot, just below the laces. This is the ‘bellow’ feature around which this innovative walking shoe has been designed. Keen’s theory is that most pieces of hiking footwear fail in this area because it’s constantly under stress while the foot inside attempts to bend, while walking up or down hills – which also causes the wearer discomfort and wastes loads of energy. To fix this, they have built in the bellows, which flex extremely easily when you’re walking up and down steep gradients. Keen claim to have tested it a million times on one boot without any sign of material fatigue. It works well on most terrain, but you wouldn’t want to wear these shoes on technical rock or via ferrata (choose an approach shoe for that sort of thing).

These heavyduty (541g per shoe, men’s size 10.5) shoes are basically boots – similar to the Keen Targhee – with the collars removed. They retain tyre-like soles, armed with 5mm-deep tread, and enormous toecaps – both signature features on Keen footwear. They’re also reliably weatherproof, thanks to Keen’s own breathable and waterproof membrane, and have an excellent heel-lock system, cleverly integrated to the laces for a really secure fit.

All this means they offer more protection, control and support than many other shoes, and they’re made with sustainable and ethical materials and methods.

Facts at a glance:

  • RRP: £145
  • Weight: 541g per shoe (men’s size 10.5)
  • Outsole: Keen.All-Terrain rubber with 5mm lugs
  • Midsole: EVA
  • Upper: Leather
  • Waterproofing: KEEN.DRY waterproof, breathable membrane

Scarpa Mojito Trail GTX

The handsome shoes are tough enough for mountain hikes, but lightweight enough for less challenging trails. With a fairly rigid shank, great protection at toe and heel, and a grippy Vibram outsole, the Mojito GTX copes well with rocky sections of trail or scrambling over boulders. They are also comfortable and light enough (at 507g per men’s 10.5-sized shoe)  to wear on much less technical trails and country paths. A Gore-Tex membrane keeps them waterproof.