Keen and Oboz are two of the top hiking boot manufacturers on the market. Both create multiple lines of shoes that can be used for different outdoor purposes. Oboz shoes are designed for men and women, while Keen can design for men, women, and children.
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#1. Keen Hiking Shoes
Keen is a company that primarily specializes in footwear. In addition to making hiking shoes, they make shoes that can fit a wide range of different occasions and opportunities. Keen makes some apparel as well, including accessories for all ages.
Different Keen hiking boots have different features to appeal. One of the boots that has been top of the industry for several years is the Targhee hiking boot line. These are durable and high-quality hiking boots that are designed to handle all terrains and multiple kinds of weather.
The Targhee boots use Keen.Dry insole technology, which is a breathable and waterproof membrane that lets air circulate through the boot with each step without allowing water inside. There’s also a metatomical footbed design that provides arch support and conforms to fit the foot’s natural contours regardless of your foot’s shape.
A leather mud shield is built into the shoes to give them better durability. There are also speed hooks rather than eyelets, which means that it’s easy to adjust your laces. Stability is an important part of any hiking boot, and the Targhee rises to the challenge by incorporating a heel-capture system that holds your heel in place and prevents slippage.
As for the traction, the grippy soles and multi-directional lugs allow you maximum traction over asphalt, grass, rock, and mud. There’s also a removable, dual-density EVA foam footbed that offers increased support over long journeys.
The compression-molded foam insole cushions your pressure points to prevent your feet from becoming sore. Meanwhile, the upper is made from waterproof leather and high performance mesh.
On top of hiking boots, Keen specializes in a range of other footwear including average shoes, casual wear, sandals, and work boots.
One of their standard shoe options is the Austin, which is a modern lace-up design that’s built for walking around cities. It also incorporates the water-resistant leather and a compression-molded EVA foam midsole. You can remove the included metatomical footbed or leave it for increased support.
#2. Oboz Hiking Shoes
Oboz is a company that focuses exclusively on hiking shoes. They create lines for men and women. When you narrow down your options, the manufacturer divides the existing lines into three categories: trail shoes, casual shoes, and insulated shoes.
The insulated boots are designed for people in colder climates or those who are going to be wearing the shoes outdoors for significant periods of time. Trail hiking shoes are made for those who plan to spend a lot of time on trails and other terrain that requires traction. The casual shoes are designed more for walking than office wear, and they’re the kind of footwear you’ll want if you’re taking leisurely strolls in a state park.
When picking trail shoes, the categories are broken down even further. Some of the shoes are made for hiking, so they have special attention paid to their traction and durability. Ones that are made for backpacking have exceptional support for when you’re carrying your backpack on your back. There are also fast and light shoes designed for people who like to run with grippy traction on trails, and a few sandal options for those who do casual walks in parks and around lake trails.
One of the most popular hiking boots from Oboz is the Bridger. This is another place that the company’s versatility and range of options is clear. The Bridger is available in multiple design options ranging from low to high. The low design has the same silhouette as a sneaker and leaves your ankles free. The mid design has additional ankle protection and support. The larger design resembles a traditional hiking boot and supports the leg to midway up the calf.
The Bridger is designed using webbing eyelets that let you adjust the tightness of your laces and avoid toe pinch. There’s an integrated heel cup that hugs the foot, added padding in the midfoot, and a wide toe box and forefoot. This is the kind of hiking shoe you want if you have wider feet and find the fit of other boots to be too narrow.
Oboz is best known for the O Fit insole, which is integrated into every pair of shoes the company makes. Each insole is molded to match the construction and shape of the shoes, providing a fit that feels customized. The midsole of the Bridger also has a sturdy and cushioned construction that is ideal for both day hiking and intense backpacking.
Both companies make high-quality shoes that are durable enough to last for years.
Keen’s shoes are more versatile and can suit a variety of indoor and outdoor purposes. By contrast, Oboz focuses on outerwear.
If you have a wider foot, the fit of Oboz shoes tends to be roomier. However, if you’re going on hiking adventures in extremely cold conditions or extreme weather, Keen makes boots that can stand up to the cold.
Keen is a company that creates many kinds of high quality footwear for men, women, and kids. The construction incorporates padded foam and ideal cushioning for your pressure points. Each shoe is made differently depending on your needs, but the company’s commitment to quality is apparent in every pair.
Oboz also puts a great deal of work and quality control into their construction. The company tends to be more specialized than Keen, as they exclusively create shoes that are meant to be worn outside. For this reason, Oboz is the place to go if you want highly specific shoes that are designed for hiking, backpacking, light trail running, or casual trail wear.