GREAT pick over Durand (and others) for FIVE - possibly 7- REASONS! By: Jessica Eckstein
I bought these instead of Keen's Durand style for two reasons - because a previous reviewer noted the Durand weren't roomy enough (or insole removable) to accommodate different insoles AND because they were lighter in weight than the Durand style.I'm quite please so far! A few things that make them especially nice for me (but may not work for others):FIT - as recommended by almost everyone, order *at least* a 1/2 size larger than typical. I already do this in running shoes, so it was any different for me to do this on these. (For example, I can wear anything from a 4.5 to 5 (35 EU is ideal) if I want sandles or heels to fit and not slide, but in "regular" shoes, I go up to a 5.5 and in running shoes, I'm a clear 6 in Nike's and New Balance and apparently, these). There is not only plenty of room for my toes to not bump the front in 1/2 size up, but also plenty of room for insole insertion...INSOLES - I have very high arches and am currently dealing with plantar fasciitis in one foot. So this was huge for me. Not only are the insoles here easily removable, they are actually pretty decent quality... meaning, if I wasn't dealing with fasciitis, I'd probably have kept them in. As a comparison, I inserted the "pinkberry" from SuperFeet brand inserts and there was no noticeable different between those "special" insoles and the ones Keen already puts in the boot. FURTHER, I was worried my super-high arch ones wouldn't fit, because they're so stiff, but I easily (without even trimming, in my case!) replaced them with the SofSole high-arch inserts (available at sporting stores) with no problem.ANKLES - I have very tiny ankles and so worried these wouldn't properly hug them. But the snugness is so perfect on these without being tight that I actually feel like I'm wearing a little armor around my ankles.LACES - I *despise* round laces for always coming untied no matter how many (and how) times I tie them. And so despite all hiking boots having them for strength/durability issues, I planned on replacing these as soon as they came, with typical flat laces (okay, I also wanted to insert prettier laces too). However, the two hooks on the upper ankle that you round before you tie the lace? They are rubberized and slightly expand - so your laces don't actually move! I even pulled the loops at the top of the footbed as I was loosening them up and they wouldn't budge until I removed the laces from the hooks! It's that good! This may wear out over time, but for now, it's impressive enough that I'm not even going to replace the laces yet!TREAD - The picture online didn't show very well how deep the tread would be on these, but it's satisfyingly deep enough to actually make a difference in hiking up tall hills, mud, and slippery leaves. I have not yet determined how quickly the tread gets gunked/filled up (or how easily the mud falls out) to prevent grip, but I"ll update later on that.I'll update on the following after testing:*WATERPROOFING: As I got the leather version, I'll be spraying waterproofer over it, even though it's already supposed to be waterproof (as you'd do with any camping gear).*TOE STRENGTH: I'll be kicking stones and such to test not only how strong the toes remain, but also how much the foot moves around inside when the toe is exerted.