I’ll be honest, I have never been one for hiking, walking yes, hiking – not so much. However, during the winter just gone, I invested in a big, sturdy pair of hiking boots and used them quite a lot. The thing about them is they are big and chunky and fine for winter but not suitable for the summer months or for taking travelling abroad as they would seriously take up all the space in my carry on. Therefore, when I was asked to road test a pair of KEEN Terradora Ethos shoes (RRP £85) it seemed sensible to pack away the hiking boots and crack open the box fresh and extremely lightweight hiking trainers.
I really should have invested in a pair of hiking trainers years ago. I have a habit of buying a new pair of trainers right before taking a trip, wearing them without breaking them in and then hobbling for the rest of my trip with feet covered in blisters. Even though Forrest Gump is one of my favourite films, I have never heeded the advice of Lieutenant Dan – ‘take good care of your feet’. In fact, this is the woman who hiked 10 miles over rough terrain in a battered old pair of regular trainers; my feet paid the price for at least two weeks afterwards.
So, our recent jaunt into the Yorkshire Dales seemed like the perfect opportunity to pull on my KEEN Terradora Ethos shoes and see if they stood up to the test.
First things first, I had to choose the colour I wanted and I naturally chose the grape wine/grape kiss ones because they were the closest to pink that Keen offer and I am a magpie when it comes to anything pink. The other colour options available are mulch/blue turquoise and grey/gargoyle. When they arrived I was very pleased with my choice, the colour is great and very vibrant.
The first thing that I noticed is that they made from super soft material, not hard leather like most trainers, which was an instant sign that my feet were not going to be ripped to shreds. In fact, the top of the shoe is made of a stretchy fabric meaning that it slides on and actually felt like I was wearing a pair of socks. Also as they are fastening using a toggle rather than with laces, they felt totally secure on my feet.
Putting them to the test
I wore them on our day trip to Bolton Abbey. We have visited before; therefore I knew it was the perfect place to road test the KEEN Terradora Ethos shoes as we admired the ruins of the priory and surrounding area. I had however forgotten to pack socks, therefore, went sock free. However, as they feature an open-air design ensuring breathability and have a quick dry lining with Cleansport NXT ™ treatment which keeps feet smelling sweet and feel fresh and dry, I wasn’t sure whether socks were necessary anyway.
The shoes have a PFC free, durable water repellent upper features synthetic leather overlays for structure and protection, but I didn’t test the theory. At Bolton Abbey, there are stepping stones across the river, however, I took the sensible option and took the bridge before heading off on one of the hiking trails. We walked for miles and never once did I complain about my feet hurting or utter the usual words ‘I think I’m getting a blister’. In fact, I could complete the walk without issue and even though it was nice to let my feet loose once back at the car, I wasn’t dragging them off and vowing never to wear them again like I have done before with other trainers.
They did give me one tiny but not painful blister on my left foot, where one of the cut out bits rubbed a little too much. I have however worn them since and it hasn’t happened again. Maybe if I had worn socks it wouldn’t have happened at all. I also intend to take them to Italy with me later in the week where I intend on doing a lot of walking. I think they are going to be great for travel as they are super light and flexible meaning they will not take up too much room in my travel bag.
I would recommend these hiking trainers as they are the most comfortable pair of shoes I have ever owned. Granted they are slightly more expensive than most regular pairs of trainers but they are certainly worth it purely on the basis that they do not give you painful blisters – WIN!
- Synthetic leather overlays
- Secure-fit lace-capture system
- ESS shank offers lightweight support
- 4mm multi-directional lugs for traction
- Cleansport NXT™ for natural odour control
- Woman’s specific fit
- KEEN All-Terrain rubber outsole for higher-traction grip
- Low-density EVA midsole caters to a woman’s foot
- Quick-dry lining for active use
- Dual-density PU foam insoles with arch support
I was sent a pair of KEEN Terradora Ethos Hiking Trainers in exchange for review. Opinions are of course my own!