We were super chuffed to get the lovely Gillian in from Keen recently, firstly because she is so cool she brings us cake to eat each visit (yum yum), but also because this time she brought in loads of lovely new Keen for us to look at for Winter 2011!
Keen have always been associated as a summer brand but we were seriously impressed by the attention to detail they have made on their Winter products this year. We’re not going to go through everything, but there are a couple of items that have really tweaked our interest. First up, the return of a favourite we have not seen for a couple of years, the Summit County. When the weather outside makes the UK look like a scene from a winter wonderland, these boots are going to keep your toes rather warm.
We really like the 350g of insulation just for the toes with the rest spread elsewhere, as it’s the toes that usually get the coldest. The insulation features Keen’s legendary attention to the environment, being made from charcoal and babmboo. The Summits use Keen’s Dual Climate Rubber on the soles, this is a technology where the sole of the shoes or boots harden in the cold weather to get better grip in the snow and ice, and soften when you go inside or get warmer weather for improved stickiness.
Next up are the Gypsum’s, some rather impressive shoes and boots that are designed as winter Targhee replacements. The main difference is that the sides of the soles are not rounded, giving a larger surface area for grip and more oomph when digging in to mud, snow or ice. You also have a moulded heel cup which gives a more positive action gripping the back of your foot. Below you can see men’s and women’s versions of the mid boots.
The Gypsum’s also feature the Keen Zorb Strobel, an addition to the footbed that gives an extra spring, the zorb referring to the yellow bouncy patch you see below, and the strobel to the type of stitching you see around it.
Keen have also addressed some of the feedback that their shoes can run a little hot, and you now have ventilation holes that run up through the tongue, that pump out the hot air from the bottom of the boot.
If the Gypsum isn’t winter orientated enough for you though, then the Revels definitely will be. Starting at the bottom, they have a sole with a unique patent pending on them. What Keen have done is to mould their soles on the treads you find on snow tyres to give fantastic grip in snow, slush and mud. They have also nabbed their own technology that they use for their waterproof sandals, with razor siping added to the tread on the bottom, this gives improved grip by displacing water.
If this wasn’t enough technology, they then went and re-designed the mid sole unit with a new footbed called the Trapelator. Ignore the fact it sounds like an 80’s action movie hero, The Trapelator gives you a serious blast of warmth in your feet with some cool use of technology. You have a reflective heat shield that faces down to the ground bouncing the cold away, a honeycomb loft layer to trap air, insulate and a wool felt layer for comfort and to build up instant warmth as soon as you put the boots on.
So far we have just looked at the Trailhead offerings from Keen, but Lucy also made me take photos of the Clara as well……. can’t really think of much to say on it except that Lucy loves the look of them!