Keen Tucson Low Work Shoot – Where Shoe Meets Boot

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What’s a “work shoot” you ask? It’s a cross between a shoe and boot of course! Like many HomeFixated technical terms, it’s completely made up. However, I think it pretty accurately describes the Keen Tucson Low PR, a new Keen Utility footwear model that’s far too burly and technical to be classified as a mere shoe. Keen sent a review pair our way, and I’ve been checking out the Tucson for a few weeks now. If you find yourself wishing that you had footwear a little lighter, cooler and more nimble than your old work boots, read on for the Keen Tucson Low PR review.

Durable double stitching
If you’re a DIY’er or even a pro that likes light and nimble footwear, you may have found yourself tempted to wear tennis or running shoes on the job site. That might fly if you’re a painter, but for most other trades and DIY tasks, tennis shoes (or in the case of some California contractors . . . flip-flops), are not really advisable. Typical construction environments are usually hazard-filled areas just waiting to cause some pain to your instep, toes or the bottom of your foot. That’s where nimble yet durable footwear like the Keen Tucson come in.

Keen Tucson Low Safety Features

Rusty nails less likely to result in an ER visit with the puncture resistant midsole

keen-tucson-oil-resistDon’t let the low ankle of the Keen Tucson fool you. The Tucson sports several details to keep you and your feet safe. First off, there’s some serious tread on these. Keen’s oil and slip resistant tread keeps you on your feet rather than on your tailbone. The Tucson outsole exceeds ASTM F1677-96 Mark II slip resistance standards, just in case you’re a stickler for slip resistance spec’s. If you’re like many folks and aren’t quite sure if your Tetanus shots are up to date, or you just don’t like rusty nails puncturing your feet, you’ll be happy to hear that the Tucson conceals a puncture resistant plate. And, while the Tucson Low PR doesn’t feature a steel toe, it does have that signature Keen toe guard that does a great job of thwarting much of the jobsite abuse that might affect your toesies.

Not a steel toe, but still lots of signature Keen toe protection

Keen Style

keen-tucson-casual-wearWith a lot of work boots, there’s no doubt you just came from a jobsite. Rather than a fashion statement, they tend to make more of a unfashionable statement. The Tucson Low, on the other hand, is like a work boot in stealth mode. Got a hot date or game to head to after work? No sweat, the Keen Tucson Low can make the transition without your footwear screaming “I just came from a jobsite” or “I like to wallow in mud!” Of course, your shirt and pants might tell a different story, so you may still want to change out of those and consider a shower before that hot date. Despite protecting your feet from many of the perils of the jobsite, the Tucson sports a very stylish exterior. Assuming they’re not caked in several inches of mud and debris, they actually would blend in very well anywhere casual footwear would be acceptable. Leather with some high-tech finish details contribute to the Keen’s stylish vibe.

Durable metal eyelets

Fit and Comfort

keen tucson-drySometimes a big, massive, bulky work boot is just overkill. For those times, the Keen Tucson provides a great alternative that still protects your feet and keeps you comfortable. At about 1 lb 6 oz each, the Tucson is no Nike featherlight, but it’s still much lighter than many work boots on the market. The Tucson also features KeenDry, a waterproof membrane that is still breathable. The boot in general has quite a bit of ventilation built in. Most of the ventilation is wisely pretty minimal in terms of hole size, but the Tucson doesn’t sport the easy to spray off design of many smooth, all leather work boots. But those same smooth, all leather work boots will likely have your foot hotter than a Turkish steam bath.

The Tucson also available in a not so low mid design

I found the Keen Tucson Low PR comfortable on my feet. The first thing I noticed was how free the ankle area felt. At first I worried that would mean my heel would slip. Instead, I actually found the heel very secure. . . it just didn’t have a bunch of bulky boot material around it. Naturally, the up side to this is that your foot feels very unencumbered. The down side, is that if you’re doing any work where you want additional ankle support, the Tucson Low PR is not a good choice. Luckily, if you love the style of the Tucson, Keen also makes it available in a mid design that provides more ankle support at just a few ($15) bucks more.

Get a Pair of Keen Utility Boots Free!

If you’re reading this review in October, 2013, you have a great shot at getting a pair of Tucson’s (or another Keen Utility work boot of your choice) without spending a dime! All you need to do to enter is post a funny and/or useful comment on any article, or, subscribe to very useful weekly updates via email. Check out our Monthly Free Stuff Giveaway details, conveniently sponsored by Keen this month!

Loops at the heel making pulling the Tucsons on a breeze


The Keen Tucson is a unique work boot that combines some of the comfort and wearability of casual or sport shoes with the durability and ruggedness of a good work boot. Since it doesn’t have a steel toe, we obviously wouldn’t recommend it for commercial environments where toe crushing is on the list of hazards, but it’s a great shoe/boot/shoot for many contractors and weekend warriors. You can find the Keen Tucson for $145 – $160 via Amazon if you miss(ed) out on winning a pair here!

Photo of author

About Marc Lyman

Marc grew up under a brave single mom who "encouraged" home improvement on the family home. Early toddler gifts included a tool set, and even a cordless Bosch drill when cordless drills first came out. In grade school (give or take a few years), Marc's mom said, "We need to cut down some trees. . . . here's a chainsaw." A father figure also involved Marc in many home improvement projects, including a summer of home remodeling in Palo Alto, CA. Toss in some Obsessive Compulsive personality traits researching everything home improvement related. The end result: a genetically pre-disposed, socially sculpted home improvement machine! For his complete profile, please visit our About page. Really, it's worth it.

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4 thoughts on “Keen Tucson Low Work Shoot – Where Shoe Meets Boot”

  1. Need to try try them I am a carpenter 35 yrs wear sears low die hardship. The use yo last 9 mts but now they are made so cheap they start to fall apart at the seams in three months.tried the dewalt shoes no support kep them for painting but it has to be a short project because the arch support is so bad it is hard to stand on a ladder really need to try thease

  2. I just saw this monthly prize and thought how nice it would have been to recieve a pair of keen work boots , I have a pair of keen hickers and they are by far an excellent shoe , and the winning design of these shoes are the wide forefoot area , it is so awesome and comfortable

  3. Sounds like a pair of shoes I could use, so far. My issue with most steel-toe shoes is the durability of the sole. I’m not hard on shoes, but I am consistent – a couple miles each day, occasional heavy lifting, in an urban environment. Timberland’s failed every test I’ve given them – usually within about 6-8 months. (And when I say fail, the shoes still work great, when the ground isn’t wet.) Here’s what I can give you: give me those shoes, and I’ll give you a bi-monthly update on how they’re wearing, and when or if they fall apart, and how.


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