Review and repairs: Keen Targhee III walking boots

I have been using these fabric boots for 26months now. Mainly for dog walking on a mix of pavement, asphalt, grass, forest, gravel tracks. I do about 10-15km a week dogging and they have been used for a number of family holiday SOTA activations. I guestimate they’ve done about 1300-1500km in that period.

The Targhee III replaced a pair of TNF Hedgehog Goretex lined trainers with a Vibram sole. The Hedgehogs list for about £150 but I got this pair from the TNF outlet shop, last years colours, so only £50. Bargain. I wore them for nearly 4 years 3 days a week dogging and they did SOTA in DL,DM,F,I,HB,HB0 & OE. I wore away the soles so about half was smooth but they were still waterproof after 1500+ km walked. They are now my MTB shoes.

I was going to replace them with another pair but had read a few poor reviews of TNF’s own version of Goretex. I “won” a £100 voucher for Cotswolds Outdoors and came across the Targhee III on offer for £125. With my voucher these cost £25… my kind of price.

The boot has Keen’s own Goretex clone and own sole. It’s a mid height fabric boot made from Nubuck and some Nylon materials. Wow are they comfy… like wearing slippers. They really are supremely comfortable and were properly waterproof at first. Now they are showing a lot of wear. The heels have worn down fast and the sole is getting thin. They still have a tread but it’s a fraction of its former self. You can also feel rocks etc. as it gets thinner. Still comfortably on non-lumpy ground. The waterproof got dodgy just after the 1st year. I’m not sure if that’s typical and the Hedghogs were exceptional but I thought it was a bit pish on a £145 pound boot.

The biggest problem has been flex fatigue in part of the rand area on 3 sides just here the boot flexes for my toes. The material here is some kind of plastic material similar to what training shoes get made from.

The yellow X markes where the rand material has fatigued and split on 3 of the 4 side of the boots.

There’s still life left in them for dogging and non-serious walks but I wanted to try to save the failures from getting any bigger and so I have patched this area with some tough nylon fabric typical of that used to make the corners/bottoms of rucksacks etc. It came from some kind of equipment pounch I found when we were clearing out the office and I immediately went in to Womble mode as I was sure it would be useful.

I cut some patches about 3cm x 1cm and covered one side with Evo Stick Impact adhesive. On the boot I cleaned all around the hole/cracks and then applied a 3cm x 1cm blob of glue. This is the important bit, you have to let it dry, I left it for 30mins. Then you apply the patch to the hole… you get one chance coz’ it sticks like thing to a blanket. Then you really need to apply pressure. I used the handles of a pair of pliers inside the boot and the handle of a screwdriver to burnish the patch onto the boot. Then you leave everything for 24 hrs.

The patch is flexible enough it can take the bending when walking and if you glue it right it doesn’t come off.

This picture shows one of the patches after 20km of walks with the dog. Still well stuck and it is flexing well.

So would I buy these Keen boots again? For £25 yes :slight_smile: but not for £145. I think when they need replacing I’ll be looking for more Hedghogs at a good price. We shall see if the repairs hold out longer than the boots.

Is the distance they covered for the wear seem reasonable to people. The Vibrams sole on my Meindl Bhutans has worn after 9.5 years but not to the same degree as here.


“Pair ups” are a new-ish company that sell kits for repairing the uppers of running shoes. It’s very similar to what you have done but uses KT Tape.
I found that repairs to holes such as the ones you had seem to patch reasonably well and last, but mine have also split where the rand meets the upper due to flexing and the patches are starting to come unstuck already (but it is a difficult location to repair).


I do a lot of walking more so now I’m retired, from 3 or 4 dog walks daily to SOTA summits most weeks, and – like a lot of folk reading this – get through walking shoes and hiking boots quicker than your average Joe. I have a theory – unsubstantiated – that the constant wet-dry-wet cycle my leather footwear endures (due to the very changeable climate in NW Britain) accelerates the cracking on the sides of the shoes/boots near the toes. Once the cracks start to leak, I consider the boots a safety issue especially in winter, get a new pair ASAP and demote the old pair to gardening boots. I’ve tried fixing the leaking cracks with various sealants but it doesn’t last long. As an old mate of mine says, they don’t owe me anything. Forget the Caribbean cruise. Forget the new bathroom makeover. You won’t appreciate them as a much as a pair of dry & comfortable boots.

Re foot care: it’s a mistake to compromise on quality if you value your ability to keep walking in old age. Also, I discard the standard insoles that come with walking shoes / hiking boots and replace them with ones with high-density memory foam and gel pads. For several years now I’ve rubbed 10% urea cream [purified from pedigree cocker spaniel pee?] every morning on my feet and since then rarely get corns or other foot problems.


I’ve tried fixing wear failures before and it’s only because I had something suitable to make patches from that I feel this may work. That and seeing the proper way to use contact/impact adhesives.

As a diabetic, foot care is paramount to me which is why I have spent enough on boots/socks since I started SOTA to buy a fully loaded KX2 :frowning:


Very interesting, I bought a pair of the very same boots. They were what I referred to as my urban boot. The hardest wear they got was on grass at the park and over a few metal roads. The ‘flex fatigue’ hit my boots - both of them - after only 5 months. I took them back, the manufacturer wouldn’t repair or refund for some reason, but the retailer, not impressed with the manufacturers attitude have given me a full refund. The only thing that I can say about this boot is it is the most comfortable pair of boots that I have ever worn, however, apart from that I rate the materials used in them as rubbish.

Stay well clear of them

Phil ZL3CC


Same boots, exact same issue!
The design is significantly different from the earlier generations of the same boots so looks like Keen have changed something in the material/construction to the detriment of the resilience of the boot. Shame as the earlier gen boots were good but alas no more.
Currently wearing a pair of Oboz Sawtooths on an almost daily basis (for the last couple of years) and the resilience is much better.


Call me cynical but I think manufacturers (of boots, clothes, smartphones, transceivers, …) feel the need to ditch a perfectly-good product after a few years and replace it by a new model, not always better, sometimes not as good, but always more expensive. My wife and I have often said, we wished we had bought a second one before it disappeared off the market.


Everyone should have a hobby…:wink: