Guest post by Heather Balogh. Want more Balogh? Check out her website: www.justacoloradogal.com
Keen Revel II Boots, $160, KeenFootwear.com
The Good: At 18.8 ounces, the Revel II is insanely lightweight for an insulated winter boot
The Bad: It runs a bit wide in the foot which works great for me, but may not accommodate all foot widths
The Awesome: The versatility. This boot can be comfortably used in a variety of temperatures
In the past, I’ve always snowshoed in my regular hiking boots and just accepted that my feet were going to be cold. Imagine my delight when I realized that insulated boots could be lightweight enough to ‘shoe comfortably while still keeping the little toes warm!
The 23-ounce Keen Revel II hiking boots feature the patent-pending Heat Trapolater insulation system. Basically, the shoe is comprised of three different layers that trap heat inside to help keep those toes from freezing on extra-chilly adventures. However, overheating isn’t a problem since the boots also flaunt Keen.Dry, their proprietary breathable membrane that lets vapor out without letting water in to soak your feet. When all of this is combined with Keen.Warm, their lightweight insulation made out of charcoal bamboo, you have one versatile winter boot on your hands (or feet, as the case may be!)
I spent a few days tromping around in the snows of Denver as well as snowshoeing on the Grand Mesa of Western Colorado. I was amazed at how comfy the Revel II’s fit directly out of the box. There was no rubbing, hot spots or discomfort which is unusual for heavier winter boots. I even wore them to work with jeans on a cold and wet day in the city and was pleasantly surprised with their lack of clunkiness.
As expected, the Trapolater insulation system kept my feet perfectly warm on a sunny-yet-brisk day of snowshoeing. Temps hovered around 20 degrees and my feet were completely cozy. I did notice that my toes were tingling with a bit of cold when we were just standing around afterwards, so I suspect the boots run cooler when there is a lack of activity.
Personally, I have gorilla feet-complete with bunions!-from years of dancing and running, so I always prefer a wider toe box. To that effect, the Revel II’s were wonderful. However, if you have narrow feet or just don’t like a loose fit in your shoes, you may struggle with this boot.
Bottom Line? If you’re searching for a pair of insulated hiking boots that will take you from the snow-covered trail to the city and back again, I’d definitely check out the Revel II shoes. They would also make a great addition to any winter backpacking trip!