Keen Alamosa Review
As Keen continues to grow outside its popular original Keen Newport water shoe, I decided it was time to see how their hiking shoe line holds up. With a number of my friends wearing Keen hiking shoes on the trails and noticing a number of hikers wearing these shoes, I thought to myself, they must be doing something right.
I’ve been testing out the Keen Alamosa over the past couple months to see how they hold up as far as durability, comfort, fit, and style. When I am looking a hiking shoe, I look for a few things. I personally like a lower cut hiking shoe for non-winter excursions as I find it provides enough support for about 90% of hikers out there. A lower cut hiking shoe also reduces weight vs. a mid or high top hiking boot. Next, I look to see that the hiking shoes midsole is stiff enough to hold up to longer hikes. If a hiking shoe is super flexible, then that means your foot will flex just as much as your shoe is flexing. On shorter hikes, this is okay, but if you are going out on 10 mile + hikes, I find it important to have a shoe with some rigidity to it. A shoe that has a shank in the midsole or firm EVA takes some of the impact from rocks other obstacles on the trail. I also find that I just feel a little more stable with a firm midsole or shank. The tread on a hiking shoe is important for a couple different purposes. One, it allows for traction on both uphill and downhill hikes. The second important factor when it comes to tread is the longevity of the shoe. Most treads on hiking shoes will last a lot longer than the midsole, so this is usually not a problem. And while it is not something I worry about too much, there are a few bad apples from time to time when checking out hiking shoes. This is typically in lower end and lower priced hiking shoes, something you might get at Walmart. Last, I like to have a hiking shoe that is either up with the current trends or has a classic look as far as styling goes. If you don’t like the look of a shoe, you typically won’t want to wear it all that much.
Now on to the Alamosa… I found the Keen Alamosa to have a roomy fit, so if you have a real narrow shoe, I would stay away. If you have a normal to wider foot, I think the Alamosa is a great option for a hiking shoe. I have a normal sized foot, and I found it to be a little roomy, but on a longer hikes my foot started to swell and the shoe fit like a glove. The midsole has a 2/3 shank that allows the shoe to bend at the start of the toe box. This is something I was very happy with. I felt stable on my hikes and it was very rare that I would feel any rocks coming through the shoe. The tread of the Keen Alamosa has held up great after many hikes and it offers plenty of traction or snow, mud, rock, and dirt. I personally think the Alamosa has a nice clean look to it, a look that I have been comfortable with.
The Keen Alamosa has an upper that is made of nubuck leather and mesh. The tongue of the Alamosa is attached to the shoe helping keep out rocks and dirt. And while Keen claims this shoe is good for wet conditions, I would disagree. If I am going to been in wet conditions and slogging through puddles, I like to have a shoe that is waterproof. Since the toe box has mesh incorporated into it, I found my foot getting wet in deeper puddles and when it was raining out. If you are running into a puddle here and there or not getting into anything deeper than an inch and a half, your shoes and feet should stay dry. As most hikers kick a rock or two while hiking, a thick toe bumper is a nice addition. As with most Keen shoes, the Alamosa has a nice beefy toe bumber
After talking with a number of hikers about Keen hiking shoes and testing the Keen Alamosa out for myself, I comfortably reccommend the Keen Alamosa to hikers and other outdoor enthusiast. For more information on the Keen Alamosa, please visit KeenFootwear.com