The Keen Revel IV Polar is a winter hiking boot with great comfort. The footbed is well structured, and the insulation provides a cozy interior. However, these boots aren't particularly warm, and they have a relatively low shaft height, making them more susceptible to water and deep snow than other boots. Their tread pattern could be better designed for more robust traction, and some components make us question the boot's long-term durability. On top of that, these boots are more expensive than other winter hiking boots that perform better. All in all, this is a nice boot, but can't fare well against other footwear offerings in our lineup.Editor's Note: This boot review now includes information on which boots we'd recommend to a friend depending on their goals. The update was on February 23, 2022.
Keen Revel IV Polar Review
Cons: Not protective or warm, expensive, traction could be better
Manufacturer: Keen Footwear
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|Pros||Comfortable, optimized for hiking||Great traction, excellent fit, very comfortable, warm, affordable||Extremely durable and weather resistant, excellent traction, easy on and off||Convenient slip on design, waterproof to 11.5 inches, good price||Great traction, very comfortable, inexpensive|
|Cons||Not protective or warm, expensive, traction could be better||Other boots are warmer, relatively low water-resistance height||Not that warm or comfortable, baggy fit||Handles let in water or debris, only come in single whole sizes, not as warm as some competitors||Not that warm, fabric eyelets, low height|
|Bottom Line||These comfortable winter hiking boots are more expensive than other similar options||These boots are the total package, with warmth, comfort, a great fit, and a fair price||These slip-on work boots are protective, durable, and convenient, making them perfect for outdoor winter chores||A convenient and protective boot with good weather resistance and a very wide toe box||This very comfortable and inexpensive winter hiking boot has excellent traction, but won't keep you dry in deep snow|
|Rating Categories||Keen Revel IV Polar||The North Face Chil...||Muck Boot Arctic Ic...||Bogs Bozeman Tall||Merrell Thermo Chil...|
|Weather Protection (25%)|
|Comfort and Fit (20%)|
|Specs||Keen Revel IV Polar||The North Face Chil...||Muck Boot Arctic Ic...||Bogs Bozeman Tall||Merrell Thermo Chil...|
|Maximum Puddle Depth Before Major Leaking||5.5"||8"||13.5"||11.5"||6.5"|
|Measured Shaft Height (from bottom of sole to top of shaft)||8"||11"||13.5"||13"||7.5"|
|Measured Weight (per pair, size 13)||3.74 lbs||4.14 lbs||4.48 lbs||4.88 lbs||2.74 lbs|
|Appropriate Activity||Hiking, town||Town, errands, chores||Chores||Chores||Hiking, town|
|Fit Details||True to size||True to size||Roomy||Roomy||True to size|
|Lining/Insulation||200g synthetic||400g PrimaLoft Silver Insulation Eco||5mm CR Flex-Foam Neoprene w/ Fleece Lining||7mm Neo-Tech Neoprene||200g M Select|
|Upper Material||Waterproof leather and mesh||Full-grain waterproof-leather upper||5 mm CR Flex-Foam Neoprene||Rubber||Waterproof polyurethane-coated leather and mesh|
|Toe Box||Rubber||Rubber||Spandura rubber||Rubber||Rubber|
|Outsole||KEEN.Polar Traction||TNF Winter Grip Rubber||Vibram Arctic Grip||BioGrip||Rubber|
|Company Claimed Cold Weather Rating||-25 F||-40 F||Not listed||-72 F||Not listed|
|Sizes Available||7 - 15||7 - 14||7 - 15||7 - 14||7 - 15|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Revel IV is a comfortable winter boot with good stability, but it falls short in some key metrics compared to other winter hikers.
The Revel IV Polar uses synthetic insulation to add warmth to the boot. Unfortunately, there isn't much of it, and our feet didn't stay warm in these boots when the temperature dipped below freezing. Even during our cold-water submersion tests in a local creek, our feet got cold quickly. We don't recommend these boots if your winter involves spending a lot of time outside in the snow or freezing temperatures.
The Revel IV Polar is waterproof and didn't let any water in through the seams during our submersion tests. However, the boot and tongue connect only 5.5 inches off the ground, allowing water to begin to seep in as soon as the depth of a puddle or creek reaches that height. This is lower than other winter hiking boots on the market. If you expect to spend time wading through swamps or stomping through puddles, we wouldn't recommend this boot for keeping your feet dry.
Comfort and Fit
These boots are comfy footwear! The footbed fit our testers' narrow-to-average feet well, but they also have some room to accommodate wide feet. The lace pattern allows for a wide range of foot widths. The sole has foam in the heel, reducing the stress of repeated impact, and the insulation provides a cozy cocoon for the feet. These are comfortable boots to wear mile after mile, similar to other hiking boots for winter use.
The tread pattern on the Revel IV Polar is just ok. The lugs aren't deep, but they are angular and provide a decent amount of negative space. The toe and heel pads have a lot of rubber without much negative space, producing good traction on dry and rocky terrain but not much bite on snow or loose gravel. We wish the traction on these boots were better for use across a wide range of surface conditions.
In general, this boot has a decent durability. The seams are mostly double stitched, and the lace eyelets are metal. However, the boot has a lot of exposed foam around the entire foot, just above the rubber sole. In our experience with footwear that has exposed foam, this material will chip and scratch off easily with normal use when scraped on rocks and branches. Foam is a fragile material but provides good cushioning for comfort, and we are disappointed to see this material on the outside of the boot. Other winter hiking boots have rubber around the entire boot up to the leather upper.
Should You Buy the Keen Revel IV Polar?
The Keen Revel IV Polar is a pricey winter hiking boot with a comfortable fit but not much performance in warmth, weather protection, or traction. We think there are better winter hiking boots on the market for a lower price. The Revel IV is expensive compared to other high-performance winter boots on the market, and it doesn't perform as well as some budget-minded competitors. As such, these boots aren't a great value. If they fit your feet perfectly, that might be worth the money, but otherwise, they aren't worth the price.
What Other Winter Boots Should You Consider?
The Merrell Thermo Chill Mid is a comparable boot that is warmer, more comfortable, and offers better traction compared to the Keen. This lower boot is good for snow that lacks significant depth and offers a good boot for hiking and going the distance. If you think your trek will include deeper snow or colder weather, we think the The North Face Chilkat 400 II is ideal with even greater warmth and weather protection with better traction and durability.
— Jeff Dobronyi
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