Keen Oakridge

8.9
8.9 score
[Editors rating (8.9)] = (TheGearHunt) score (8.9)/10


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Keen Oakridge Review Facts

Hiking is a sport that is done in the outdoors with the use of different types of equipment that helps maximize the trip as well as keeps the hiker safe. There are easier day hikes that can be done that require less equipment than less intensive ones. Equipment is usually some sort of backpack or hiking stick, but the most important type of equipment required in order to hike effectively and safely is a proper pair of hiking shoes. Hiking shoes different from hiking boots in that they are much lower on the foot. A hiking boot will often cover the ankle while a hiking shoe will fall just below the ankle. Hiking boots are better if more support and stability are required around the ankle while a hiking shoe is better for lighter hikes that require a lighter shoe. A lighter shoe will slow down fatigue on longer hikes which is beneficial. Hiking boots also tend to be a little strong on top in order to protect the hiker from falling trees or objects. Regardless of the need, a hike alone requires some sort of supportive and protective footwear in order to get the most of your hike.

This article focuses more on hiking shoes, specifically the Keen Oakridge. This very popular hiking shoe is supportive and protective in nature. We wanted to find out more about what others thought of the shoe so we did some research on consumers likes and dislikes regarding the shoe. This included durability, breathability, and waterproofing. We also looked at the shoe’s construction, as well as the materials used in order to make the shoe. Finally, we looked at the shoe’s features to get an idea of how the shoe should and can be used. This is our comprehensive review of the Keen Oakridge. We hope that this review assists you with your next hiking shoe purchase.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Great for hikers with wide feet 
  • Regularly reviewed as being quite comfortable
  • Quite breathable 
  • Quite light (decreasing early foot and leg fatigue) 
Cons
  • The toe box appears to be quite narrow
  • Requires time to break in
  • Quite firm
BREATHABILITY

BREATHABILITY

This product offers leather and mesh upper. Typically with this type of product due to the waterproofing requirements- it doesn't tend to offer much in regards to breathability. Water is more common in trails due to the lack of natural light as well as the higher likelihood of being near streams means that hiking shoes tend to offer some sort of waterproofing. Waterproofing doesn't always help the breathability of a shoe as if water can't get in, sometimes air can't either. This product does offer mesh which is a very breathable material but mesh also does decrease a shoe's breathability as well as a shoe's durability (due to the lower structural integrity of the material). Those who wore this product found it to be quite breathable which is positive. The waterproofing, as a result, seems to be a bit of an issue, this is discussed in more detail below. Overall, though, between the quick-drying nature of leather and the mesh woven in throughout the upper, this product seems to offer hikers better ventilation and breathability to competitive products on the market which is positive. The mesh also adds a level of lightness. Many reviewers were impressed by the weight of this product, saying that they did not cause any additional foot or leg fatigue due to how truly light these hiking boots are in weight.
WATERPROOFING

WATERPROOFING

This product offers a hydrophobic mesh lining. Hydrophobic means that rather than absorbing into the product the water will bead on top and roll off. This is beneficial in that rather than soaking into the mesh lining, the water is repelled and therefore feet stay drier longer. The upper of this product offers both leather and mesh. Leather is a natural material which does tend to absorb water, however, does dry faster due to its natural nature. The mesh, however, is much better for breathability and less so for waterproofing. There were some mixed reviews about the waterproofing of this product. Reviewers tend to be split. Some found that this product did not offer waterproofing capabilities that they were looking for, and that they found their feet wet pretty quickly into their hikes/use, unless wearing waterproof socks. Others found after years their feet stayed cool and dry even when trekking through snow, sleet, and ice. The lining of this product also offers moisture-wicking which will also help with odor control of this product. Overall, there seem to be some fairly mixed reviews about this product and it's unclear whether they offer decent waterproofing or not. The mesh probably doesn't offer much in regards to waterproofing and it might be best if these shoes are worn in areas where water doesn't go high enough on the shoe that it touches the mesh. This could be where the mixed reviews come from.
COMFORT

COMFORT

This product offers stability shanks which cradle the foot up the sides in order to stabilize the foot. This not only keeps the foot in place but also ensures that the foot and ankle are safe when hiking. Proper stability (discussed in more detail below) offers a different level of comfort in that it decreases foot fatigue, it offers a more natural step and it keeps the foot safe (which offers a long-term level of comfort). This product also offers leather and mesh uppers so the hiker's feet stay cool and dry throughout their hike. The lining is hydrophobic, as mentioned earlier in this article, so they stay dryer (assuming water levels are low enough that it doesn't enter through the mesh). The issue that many reviewers had with this product is that they require a decent amount of break-in time, unfortunately. Those who wore this product found that at first the shoes are quite stiff which caused some pain throughout the bottom of their foot. They also found that the heel of the shoe is also quite stiff and would dig into their Achilles heel. This is especially prominent when walking up hills which people found to be quite painful initially. There were also issues with the toe box of this shoe. Many reviewers found that the toe box initially is quite tight and causes some pain around the ball and toes before the shoes are broken in. Overall, though, most found the shoe to be quite comfortable and supportive once broken in. The issue seems to be the time in-between.
DURABILITY

DURABILITY

This product offers leather uppers. Leather is a highly durable and breathable fabric that not only stretches naturally without losing much of its structural integrity but also is weatherproof due to its natural nature. Leather is typically used in this type of product due to its ability to stretch across the foot- offer a more natural hold to the top of the foot- as well as its ability to withstand the elements without breaking down too easily. The mesh, however, can be an issue with some shoes due to meshes low level of structural integrity. This product also offers a non-marking rubber outsole which offers 4 mm multi-directional lugs. This type of material also tends to be quite durable because it needs to face sharper objects like rocks. Those who wore this product found it to last a long time despite the products lightweight nature which is impressive and positive. There weren't many complaints about the mesh wearing down too easily. In fact, these shoes tend to have more positive reviews after longer periods of time as the hiking shoe seems to get far more comfortable and easy to wear with time. This is positive. This also helps justify the price. This is discussed in more detail below.
HEEL

HEEL

The heel of this product offers external heel stabilizers which are supposed to stop the ankle from 'rock and roll'. This means that the shoe offers support throughout the sides of the ankle in order to stop the heel from rocking back and forth (causing wear and tear on the bones) and from rolling (causing a sprang). The heel needs to offers support and stability to the foot and it also needs to offer better locked in control to the hiker. The hiker will rely on the heel in order to push off especially when going up hills. This aspect of the shoe is extremely important and there tends to be more focus on heel support and 'locking' abilities with this type of product over other products like traditional running shoes. Though this product does offer both proper locking and multi-directional lug (throughout the outsole in order to offer traction), there seem to be some issues with the stiffness of the heel. There were a couple reviewers that found the heel of this shoe to be quite stiff. This would cause the heel of the shoe to dig into their heel and cause some pain throughout their Achilles. This, of course, would be a real issue for those with Achilles heel issues. This does seem to decrease with time, in that breaking them in does eventually soften the heel. This should be taken into consideration especially if the hiker has heel issues.
MIDSOLE

MIDSOLE

The midsole of this product is a molded EVA midsole. This means that the midsole of this product contours to the bottom of the foot in order to provide a more natural, comfortable step, as well as offer a better level of support and stability. The entire footbed of this product is also entirely removable which is positive because this means this product supports custom-made orthotics to those who require additional, medical related support. The EVA midsole also offers cushioning to the foot in order to offer comfort as well as impact reduction. Impact reduction is also important because this means the bones and joints are protected. The midsoles of this product work with the heel of the shoe in order to stabilize the foot. The contoured nature of this product also offers a more natural step which means that there will be less focus on the placement and alignment of the foot and the hiker can focus more on their hike. This also means that when in sticky situations like rocks sliding, the hiker will feel more supported and will more than likely avoid injury which is positive. Overall, this product seems to offer a little bit of customization, as well as proper support and stability through the outsole which is positive.

OUTSOLE

OUTSOLE

The outsole of this product is made of a non-marking rubber material which means that not only will they offer a decent level of traction but also not damage floors. The material is also thick and strong enough to withstand any sharp objects on the trail. The outsoles also offer 4 mm multi-directional lugs in order to offer a greater level of traction during hikes. Traction is important because rocks can be slippery especially when wet. Proper traction will protect the hiker from slips along the trails and the traction of this product seems to be pretty good.
THE BOTTOM LINE

THE BOTTOM LINE

The bottom line is this product seems to be a fairly good one. The primary issue that reviewers have with this product is that the tongue and heel of this product tend to dig into the top of the foot and the heel which causes some pain. The shoe is also a little stiff in nature and requires time to break it in, especially throughout the midsole. These are all issues that reviewers found decreased in time as the shoe softens and breaks in which is positive. This issue may be one that just does not work for those with heel issues though as this could cause issue long term. The other issue that some found is that the shoe isn't entirely waterproof as a result of the mesh upper, however, the mesh upper does offer proper ventilation and breathability. It might be wise to avoid these shoes if hiking through areas of a lot of water and streams as this could lead to some discomfort and potential blistering during longer hikes. The positive of this product is that it is decently priced, the upper is a durable and quick-drying leather material and they are very supportive through the heel, upper and midsole. They are also attractive in design and seem to be the type of shoe that will last you a long time. Overall, after breaking in, this product seems to be worth the cost associated with and definitely worth a try.