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Keen Terradora Review:
Is This The Best Trail Shoe
For You?

This Hiking For Her review of Keen's Terradora lightweight waterproof leather trail shoe will help you decide if these are the best pair for you. #hikingboots #hikinggear #backpacking #keenboots

This Keen Terradora review will quickly give you what you need in order to decide if this is the best trail shoe for you:

  • specifications
  • photos
  • tips on comfort
  • analysis of performance on the trail

But first:

Keen Terradora review
disclosures

The trail shoe being reviewed is the Keen Terradora leather waterproof Mid, in mushroom/magnet colors.

Hiking For Her received this trail footwear free of charge.

These trail shoes were worn on a 10+ mile hike on fairly easy terrain, over an 8 hour period on a 65F day.

All of the photos, opinions and comments in this Keen Terradora review belong to Hiking For Her.

If you purchase a pair of these performance hiking shoes using the links on this page, HFH will receive a small percentage of your purchase price but you pay nothing extra.

As a long time user of Keen, Hiking For Her is in a unique position to analyze and comment on this new trail shoe from Keen.

Keen Terradora women's hiking boots on rocks

Keen Terrador review:
specifications

Skip this if you're already on board with the way Keen rolls.

But if you want to know all the details, here are the Keen particulars on these trail shoes:

  • Available in women's sizes 5 - 11 U.S.
  • Weight: 12.8 oz / 362.9 g
  • Breathable mesh lining
  • ESS shank for lightweight support
  • Low-density EVA midsole 
  • Waterproof leather uppers for durability

This trail shoe is designed to hug your foot closely while giving you flexibility in the ankle area so you can respond quickly and safely to changing trail conditions.

Inside view of a KEEN hiking boot against gray rocks

Note the cushioned ankle panel, which transfers pressure from your Achilles heel to the shoe.

If you're prone to heel issues, these may be the best hiking shoes for you.


A few more notes
about the Keen Terradora

Keen highlights the woman specific fit, meaning the anatomical differences between male and female hiker's feet were taken into account when designing the Terradora.

In fact, this style has a narrower fit than a traditional KEEN woman's shoe, making it a good choice for women with normal to narrow feet.

  • A hiker with a wide foot (like me) would do well to go up at least a half size, while being aware that a snug fit is to be expected.

So let's be explicit here:

If you buy Keens because of the roomy toe box,

the Terradora is a departure from that focus on wide feet.

Be forewarned to avoid disappointment!

However, if your feet and/or heels are narrow,

these are a new style to seriously consider.

You can select from 3 color choices, including a yellow and red version which are more bold than the brown pair reviewed here.

The Terradora style is also available in a non-leather yet still waterproof version, for a lower price.


Keen Terradora review:
trail performance

I was carrying a fairly heavy day pack, loaded up with a big lunch plus second lunch, a full one liter metal water bottle, two cameras, my old pair of Keens (just in case these didn't work out), rain gear, ten essentials, and my phone (turned off).

These shoes were able to handle the load on the well packed, mostly level dirt hiking trail I was on, over an 8 hour period of hiking (and snacking).

Bright green spring time plant growth along a dirt hiking trailLots of fresh spring time growth along the trail, so I stopped often to take photos and do some botanizing


Trail tip:

I wouldn't recommend this choice of Keen for a heavier load, or to tackle an extremely rocky or root bound hiking trail.

  • While the arch support was adequate and the padding kept my feet comfortable on this cushy trail, I'm not sure that would be good enough if you were doing a more demanding hike.


Take the time for proper lacing

Keen is known for its out-of-the-box comfort, meaning zero break in time.

However, it's up to you to be sure you've got each trail shoe laced properly.

Fact: while your feet may appear at first glance to be a matched pair, they have individual quirks.

Let's use my well used hiking feet as an example.

  • The bones on the outer top area of my right foot near my ankle stick out a lot (note how I kindly spared you a photo).

On the left?

  • Not so much.

So I had to try three separate times to get the lacing just right:

  • Tight enough so my heel wouldn't slip around.
  • Loose enough to prevent too much pressure on those bones.

Yes, this interrupts your trail rhythm and may annoy your hiking partner.

So what?

Get the right fit, and you'll never have to limp back to the trail head, using your hiking partner for support.


Unsolicited but heartfelt lacing advice

If your boots or shoes are bugging you, and you've done a "debris check" to remove errant pine needles or pebbles, try lacing and re-lacing at least a few times.

Your feet may have changed a bit.

Or the shoes or boots might have gotten wet and dried in a different configuration.

Socks get thinner over time.

Or maybe it's the phase of the moon!

Just don't give up on things right away, without putting more or less pressure on the problem area with an inventive lacing approach.


Pivotal question in this
Keen Terradora review

So are these hiking boots,
or trail shoes?

A pair of KEEN hiking boots

Keen calls these trail shoes, but look at the ankle support and heel cushioning they offer!

The leather uppers, the well designed tread...

  • I'd split the difference and call these particular Terradoras a low cut hiking boot, due to the performance features built into them.

If you want traditional low cut trail shoes, meaning nothing around your ankles and as lightweight as possible, take a look at their Terradora waterproof shoes.

Do these grip the trail?

If you've read other Hiking For Her footwear reviews, you already know I'm obsessed with the soles on the trail shoes or boots that protect my tender soles.

Here's a close up of what to expect on the Keen Terradoras:

  • rubber outsole for higher-traction grip
Hiking trail shoe tread on the soles

You can see how this trail shoe is built to repel water and to keep trail debris away from your ankles.

Closeup of Keen Terradora hiking trail shoe toe box with gray rocks in background


Were they
truly waterproof?

I'm always up for a challenge, so I decided to wade into the shallows of the river I spent the day paralleling on my day hike.

Here's wading proof!

Female hiker walking on rocky river bank with boots in the water

I spent several minutes walking along the river bank of a convenient rocky gravel bar, being sure to avoid going deeper than the tops of the Terradoras.

  • See how I took the risk of wet feet for you in this Keen Terradora review? You're welcome!!
A hiker in waterproof hiking boots wading in a clear stream

At the end of my experiment, see for yourself how the water had just rolled right off!

Closeup of hiking boot and gray rocks along a river bank

So I predict that shallow stream crossings and short immersion in standing water won't get your feet wet in these Terradoras.


Last thoughts in this
Keen Terradora review

After getting the lacing just right on each foot, and wearing these trail shoes on a long and satisfying hike, I can truly say that you can't go wrong with a pair of Terradoras if you're looking for moderate support, all day comfort, and dry feet.

  • Just don't overlook the narrow fit, and adjust your sizing accordingly.
  • Or play around with the socks you wear.

Although I usually hike with two pairs of socks (liners + a thicker heel cushioned pair), I was able to cut that back to just one pair of socks, and had zero hot spots.

So I'll close out this Keen Terradora review with this:

These trail shoes are nice looking, breathable, lightweight high performance trail wear.

They're built for durability and waterproof protection.

And because Keen is a reputable gear company based in Portland, OR, you'll have no problems with customer service or shipping.


Need a higher cut hiking boot
for support and ankle protection?

If your hiking itinerary will take you across deeper water crossings, or into predictably wet and/or rocky terrain, you'll need a different choice on your feet.

Keen makes a waterproof high cut yet lightweight boot that I love:

the Targhee leather EXP Mid.

  • Read my review here.
  • Or check them out right now!


Home page > Best Hiking Gear Reviews >

Keen Terradora Review


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