We love it when a classic boot gets better. The Keen Targhee Mid III is comfortable, durable, and stylish. The leather upper is heavy-duty and waterproof while still allowing for some room for your foot to breathe. This boot is also comfy right away, requiring very little break-in time, which we love. It's a great all-around hiking boot, suitable for long days on the trail. The Targhee III scored reasonably well in all metrics while also remaining on the more affordable end of the spectrum when compared to other hiking boots with more substantial features.Editor's Note: This product review was updated on May 18, 2022, to include additional boot recommendations and some new perspectives.
Keen Targhee III Mid - Women's Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Comfortable, durable, supportive without being too stiff
Cons: Lacks support of larger, heavier boots
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Keen Targhee III Mid - Women's
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|Pros||Comfortable, durable, supportive without being too stiff||Lightweight, comfortable, breathable, great traction, reasonable price||Wide toe box, lightweight, padded ankle support, durable lacing system provides stability, excellent traction||Lightweight, stylish, supportive, comfortable||Improved traction, great for a wide foot, inexpensive, well-padded ankle|
|Cons||Lacks support of larger, heavier boots||Not as supportive as a traditional leather hiking boot||Pricier, 0mm drop heel takes some adjustment time||Lacks ankle support for extended backcountry travel||Lacing system lacks durability, not enough ankle support for heavier loads, Achilles isn't well padded, heavy|
|Bottom Line||These are the right choice for folks after a top-tier hiking boot at a more reasonable price||A lightweight, breathable, waterproof, and supportive hiking boot that excelled in multiple testing metrics and offers maximum control when moving through technical terrain||These hiking boots have a similar design and feel to your favorite running shoe while also offering a durable outsole, grippy lugs, and a spacious toe box||A sleek, stylish, and lightweight hiking boot that doesn't sacrifice backcountry performance, though is better for shorter trips||These boots offer improved traction and comfort right out of the box, though they underperform in terms of durability and support for extended backpacking trips|
|Rating Categories||Keen Targhee III Mid||La Sportiva Ultra R...||Altra Lone Peak ALL...||Teva Grandview GTX Mid||Merrell Moab 3 Mid WP|
|Water Resistance (15%)|
|Specs||Keen Targhee III Mid||La Sportiva Ultra R...||Altra Lone Peak ALL...||Teva Grandview GTX Mid||Merrell Moab 3 Mid WP|
|Weight (per pair)||2.09 lbs (size 9)||1.68 lbs (size EU 40)||1.60 lbs (size 8.5)||1.86 lbs (size 8.5)||2.06 lbs (size 8)|
|Upper||Oiled nubuck leather||AirMesh, microfiber, TPU||eVent fabric||Leather, synthetic, textile||Leather, mesh|
|Width Options||Regular||Regular, Wide||Regular||Regular||Regular, Wide|
|Water Resistant Membrane||KEEN-Dry||Gore-Tex||eVent||Gore-Tex||Waterproof membrane|
|Midsole||Dual Density EVA||MEMlex||Altra EGO||EVA||Super Rebound Compound|
|Sole||Rubber||FriXion XF 2.0 Rubber||DuraTread Rubber||Vibram Megagrip rubber||Vibram TC5+|
Our Analysis and Test Results
With a stiff and supportive design, solid soles, and an upper that protects and provides comfort, the Targhee Mid III are boots that have it all. This version is a bit sleeker in design than previous models, though they weigh nearly the same. Their profile is elegant and makes them feel light on your feet, even though the Targhee III are supportive enough for an all-day hike or a multi-day backpacking trip. We would take these boots anywhere.
The Targhee III rank rather well for comfort. After a full day of hiking, our feet still felt great in these boots. Additionally, they require very little time to break in and felt comfortable even in their first few hours on the trail. The Targhee have a wide toe box, so if you have wider feet, these boots will not constrict in the broadest part of the foot.
In addition to their shape, the Targhee also provides stiffness in the ankle, supporting the ankle bones while remaining flexible underfoot. The insoles are sufficient and offer support underfoot as well, making the boots more comfortable to walk in for long distances. The leather construction also adds to their ability to last on long days and molds to the foot over time.
Much like the older version of the Targhee, the Targhee III has a relatively low heel shaft. This didn't seem to be a problem for us, as the low heel allows for more movement and breathability while still providing ample support. The sole and heel-capture system is wide and supportive, also providing lots of stability underfoot. Unlike the Targhee II, the III's have the same stability in the sole, but the profile of the rubber is still quite bulky, which made our testers feel less agile and nimble on the trail. The sole is stiff enough for the boots to be worn with a heavy pack but still flexes with the foot when stepping. The Targhee III provides just enough support to endure hard days on the trail without constraining the foot the way a more traditional hiking boot does. However, the bulky design is a bit difficult to get used to, especially when compared to other models that we tested, which offer similar or better support within a sleek and high-performing design.
The soles of the Targhee III do a great job of maintaining traction on the slipperiest of surfaces. This boot kept us upright from loose gravel to wet moss and lichen on boulders. The combination of the 4mm lug depths and the intricate tread pattern add to this boot's ability to stick to these kinds of tricky surfaces.
Though the Targhee III still has the beefy rubber toe cap that is a signature of this line of boots, the toe is not as bulky as that of the Targhee II.
Water resistance is another metric where the Targhee III shines. The Keen.Dry waterproof, breathable membrane does a great job of keeping the feet dry while still allowing for adequate breathability and ventilation.
The uppers are mostly leather, which we found didn't breathe as well as other synthetic models; however, these boots also feature a mesh tongue, which allows for some airflow in key spots in addition to water protection in the main portion of the boot. The seams are burly in their construction, which should allow the boots to be water-resistant for a long time.
The Targhee III didn't score as well in this metric as they are some of the heavier boots that we tested. They weigh 2.09 pounds for a women's size 9 US and 1.8 pounds for a 7.5 US. They are relatively heavy due to all the leather in the upper, though that provides more support and durability than a lighter model.
The same features that make the Targhee III stand out concerning water resistance also make the boot incredibly durable. The leather uppers are substantial and burly in their design, and the boots showed very little signs of wear and tear during our testing period.
This boot also has a durable lacing system, with its laces going right through the leather that makes up the upper. This seamless design allows for lots of tension to be placed on the lacing system without risking blowing out an eyelet.
Should You Buy the Keen Targhee III Mid?
As one of the better options for a more traditional hiking boot with a reasonable price tag, the Targhee III Mid is a great option. They scored well across our test metrics of the best hiking boots for women. They're easy to break in, supportive, waterproof, and durable. While not as comfortable, lightweight, or sleek as some of the other high-performing hiking boots that we tested, these boots feature a stiff and supportive design, as well as a protective leather upper that successfully defends against the elements. If you're not entirely focused on lightweight performance, it's hard to go wrong here, especially if you have a wider foot.
What Other Hiking Boots Should You Consider?
For a more traditional hiking boot at a reasonable price, we don't hesitate to recommend the Targhee III, but there are other boots in our lineup worthy of consideration. For example, for a little more investment, the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX is available and bests the Targhee in all metrics. Another alternative that our wider-footed testers love is the lightweight and comfy Topo Athletic Trailventure 2 WP or the Altra Lone Peak ALL-WTHR Mid.
— Jane Jackson and Trish Matheny
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