Keen Verdi Mid WP ReviewMarch 15, 2013
- Athletic shoe-like comfort
- Very lightweight (lightest in the test)
- Speedy on mellow trails
- Very flexible upper compromises support and control on uneven terrain
- Small shank allows more flex on heel-toe transitions
- A bit high volume – I had to crank down the laces (wear thick socks)
This shoe has the body of a hiker but the soul of a running shoe. I found that it performed well on mellow, short trails but fell apart on rocky, steep, or very long hikes. This boot is designed for speedy, playful excursions and this is precisely where it shined.
Support & Stability
The Verdi is a super light (only 11 ¾ oz.!), playful shoe that is best left to mellow, ambling trails due to a lack of support and stability. Although the arch shank provides some torsional stability, my foot was pretty fatigued from the flexing allowed by the supple sole. The low-profile lugs are also a sign that these shoes are really meant for groomers.
The dual density compression molded EVA midsole and EVA footbed make for a cushy ride with smooth trail underfoot. I did find the Verdi to lean more towards the high-volume end of the scale, which caused some pressure points when I had to crank down the laces.
Quality and Construction
Although the leather overlays theoretically provide more support, I didn’t notice a significant boost in control as a result. They do look pretty wild, though.
The lifespan of the mesh upper is probably going to be limited: a good sharp rock could bust through fairly easily. However, the sturdy heel and toe bumpers do add some defense for the most vulnerable areas of the boot.
A brief note on our durability ratings: Because we rarely have enough time in a field test to actually wear out a boot, durability is determined by the materials used (ex: full-grain leather lasts longer than mesh); features such as rubber toe and heel caps; and whether or not the upper is constructed out of one piece of leather, or multiple pieces and materials sewn together. Our ratings are based on general wisdom and we cannot guarantee that a boot with a higher durability rating will actually outlast those with lower ratings.
The price seems right-on for what this boot is built for. However, when compared to the relatively competent and super affordable Hi-Tec Sienna, the extra $25 may cause some hesitation.