Keen Bryce Mid WP Walking Boots
Product Review / Walking Gear Test
Bryce Mid WP Walking Boot
Colours: Shitake/Burnt Orange, Java/Tawny Olive, Gargoyle/Strong Blue
Sizes: UK 7 - UK 12
Weight: 560 gms per boot (UK size 10.5)
Features to Note:
- Lining: KEEN.DRY ™ waterproof, breathable membrane
- Upper: Nubuck and textile upper
- Outsole: Non-marking rubber
- Dual density compression-molded EVA midsole
- KEEN.PROTECT - keen patented toe protection
- Board lasted Keen.Zorb strobel
- Removable metatomical dual * density EVA footbed
- TPU stability shank
- Made in China
The Bryce is a 2012 addition to Keen's growing 'Trailhead' collection. It comes in a very smart looking Nubuck leather with a small mesh fabric area around the tongue. Afficionados of Keen footwear will recognise the distinctive toe bumper and wrap-around heel protector which add to what is a pretty good looking boot.
The sole, too, has a distinctive look - featuring as it does a series of dual-coloured, 4mm, 5 sided lugs.
I've been wearing them for some low level walking around Cheshire as well as some (wet and muddy) days around the lumps and bumps of the North Pennines.
Although having some lateral stiffness, they are overall quite flexible, true to size and were really very comfortable from the start. The padding around both the ankle and in the sole area is pretty generous and I haven't experienced any 'hot' spots on the soles of my feet even after long periods on tarmac. The grip on mud, peat bog and wet grass has been pretty good too.
My experience in wet conditions, though, has been a bit varied. During my recent North Pennines trip I found myself (inevitably during this rainy Autumn) tramping through long (and very wet) grass and also plodding in some energy sapping bog. My feet were certainly wet after this. However I wasn't wearing gaiters and it's possible that - given the relatively low cut of these boots - the moisture went in over the boots' top. I've worn them subsequently in light yet persistent rain and my feet have been dry and warm. I've not yet tried them in warmer conditions!
I had a more minor problem with the lacing system. The laces go through material loops all the way and there are no metal lugs at top. I could tighten them ok - and they didn't loosen (which is good). However I found that they were difficult to unlace/get off. So at the end of a wet, cold day, I found myself tending to force them off without undoing the laces fully. The laces themselves could do with being a tad longer too.
So far there's no obvious sign of wear and tear.
Whilst I'd want stiffer and higher cut boots for high mountain walking, Keen's Bryce are a good option for valley walking, and for enjoying lower hills and moorland. With a shorter cut style like this, consider gaiters for use in persistent, heavily wet conditions.
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