KEEN Utility recently sent two distinctly different pairs of work boots to this branch of Home Fixated. Given that one of the pairs was a women’s work boot and in my wife’s size, I thought it would be appropriate, and far more comfortable for me, to have my wife do the testing and write the review. For her impressions, please read on for her take on the KEEN Utility Seattle Women’s work boots.
A New Concept in Footwear
When I was growing up there was no such thing as women-specific work or outdoor wear. I clearly remember ice fishing with my Dad with my waffled cotton long underwear with a fly. I thought it was kind of cool since I was not a pink, fluffy type of girl. In the bike industry and probably many others, early attempts to make women specific gear was known as “pink it and shrink it”. This approach was used to improve fit and to appeal to women, but doesn’t incorporate a redesign that takes all the differences in anatomy of the two genders into account. Well, those times are happily in the past as companies have realized that there are some gender differences that could be addressed by changes in design. KEEN has nailed it in these Seattle 6″ women’s work boots. Here are the particulars from KEEN Utility:
• Left and right asymmetrical aluminum toes weigh 35% less than steel and offer a sleeker appearance
• KEEN.DRY waterproof, breathable membrane
• Nylon shank for midfoot support
• Waterproof leather upper
• Electrical hazard (EH) or Electric Shock Resistant (ESR) footwear provides a secondary source of protection in case of accidental contact with live electrical circuits
• Locking metal lace hooks
• Oil- and slip-resistant non-marking rubber outsole
• 90° heel (5/8″ Height) provides stability and helps “catch or lock” the foot in place
• Heat resistant, rubber outsole rated up to 572° F / 300° C
• Waterproof Leather
• Heat resistant, rubber outsole rated up to 572° F / 300° C
• Compression-Molded EVA
• Quilted Mesh & Moisture-Wicking Textile
• Removable metatomical PU footbed
• Meets ASTM F1677-96 MARK II Non-Slip Testing Standards
KEEN Utility Seattle – Sharp Looking Work Boots
I have never had women’s steel toed shoes, only men’s, and while I don’t have dainty feet, these boots fit me much better, especially in the heel. My feet have seen their share of wear and tear. I once had a podiatrist ask if they hurt when he examined them. My son says it is because I kicked so many things. The toe box is high and wide enough to accommodate my feet with comfort, but they never tripped me or felt bulky. The aluminum safety toe is shaped left and right in these boots and it prevents the clumsy duck foot feel of many steel toed boots.
I also like the arch support and sturdy feel of the heel and soles. The generously-padded tongue is comfortable and stays in place. The waxed round laces stay tied, an important feature in any work shoe or boot. A real peeve of mine is when I get shoes meant to have hard use and you can’t take three steps without retying them.
All this, and they are a sharp reddish-brown color (gingerbread!) and the lining, laces, and edge of the sole are a brick color, thankfully no pink! You could even wear these to an outdoor concert to avoid the usual toe tromping and not look like you forgot to change after work.
Sturdy and Comfortable for All Day Use
I was thrilled to receive these KEEN Utility boots since I have been working in either rubber boots which aren’t warm enough for late fall in New York, or my winter boots with felt liners which are heavy, clumsy, and too wide to safely drive a vehicle in. I also worry about stepping on nails or glass where the former owners piled virtually everything they no longer used. To give you an idea of these areas behind the barn and next to the shop, we uncovered a bright orange snow blower that you couldn’t see in the debris pile when we started cleaning up these piles.
Waterproof is a necessity on our poorly drained land. It is impossible to avoid wet spots crossing the lawn, in the woods or any field. While safety toes are no longer legally required for my work, there are times they are a very good idea to prevent injury that could be painful or lead to expense and lost time for a doctor visit, or worse, leaving my spouse to handle all my chores.
KEEN Seattle – Work Boots That Do Just That
To put the boots to the comfort and utility test, I did every day chores. This included climbing over fences to feed the sheep, (we do have gates but hey, it’s a shortcut), going up a ladder to fix a light, digging the last of the Brussels sprouts out of the garden, and even splitting some wood.
I recently started a trap line since muskrats are damaging our pond banks and overflow. Fortunately, my son did some trapping as a teenager and I had some vague memories of setting traps. My husband was more than happy to turn this job over to someone with even minimal experience. Protecting your hands and feet is crucial here, no rubber boots, thanks.
Day two for the KEEN Seattle boots was brush clearing. The no-slip soles were absolutely that in the mud and on the slopes we were working on. I like the 6 inch height for support on uneven ground yet they were flexible and comfortable to walk in right out of the box.
On day three we now have some new snow and they are still non-slip and waterproof for building our new deer stand in the woods. With regular weight wool socks, they were plenty warm for the thirty degree temperatures, which seems pretty mild this year.
KEEN Seattle Safety Features I Hope to Never Use
The rubber soles are rated to 572 F degrees which I appreciate for welding sparks and the soles for electric shock resistance. I’m always queasy stepping over the sketchy wires that run between the rides at the county fair, I may finally be able to step directly on one this summer. Maybe. The aluminum toes are also a nice touch, lightweight and hoof proof as the sheep aren’t too careful where they step at feeding time.
High Praise for the KEEN Utility Seattle Women’s Work Boots
I can’t believe I never came across these aluminum toed boots when I was required to wear them for tractor operation at my last job. A boot built for hard working women (is there any other kind?) that is comfortable, waterproof yet breathable, light, meets safety codes, and is nice looking is a winner in my book. My feet may still show some age, but with the KEEN Seattle boots on, I can put many more miles on them with a smile on my face. And I can still kick stuff. KEEN Seattle women’s work boots can be purchased online directly from KEEN or at other fine purveyors of footwear, for around $160.00.
A little about Holly
While attending college at the University of Connecticut studying animal science, Holly spent summers as an Au pair on Martha’s Vineyard, and at a lobster hatchery on the same island. Upon graduation it was 23 years as a dairy farmer in upstate NY. After dispersing the herd it was on to work at a bike shop, the Cornell Ag research facility in Geneva NY and a country club as a waitress – all at the same time. Why three jobs at once? Because she couldn’t find a fourth at the time. She went on to earn her Masters in Plant Pathology at Cornell and spent 20 years doing lab and field work studying diseases of vegetables. She recently “retired” to an 80 acre farm and is happily raising sheep, riding her bike and generally enjoying life.