The coming of a new season brings a turning of the leaves, a new chill in the air, and the dusting off of cold weather hiking gear. Maybe your patched rain-jacket is good for another go-round or two, and even those old wool socks with holes in them, but if you are rocking damaged boots you are going to be in serious trouble. If you want to properly jam through snow and tromp through streams, then you need kicks as durable as Keen’s new Aphlex waterproof boots.
These are more than just a new pair of hiking boots from the Portland, Oregon based company – they feature an entirely new set of technologies. Aphlex, as Keen outlines, addresses three main pain-points for hikers. First is waterproofing. It’s pretty standard in most boots – but what sets the brand’s dry tech apart is its ability to keep water out while allowing for breathability on the shoe. Another must-have is a well structured mid and outsole. Keen achieves that and then some with the S3 technology that provides structure, stability, and suspension via a versatile midsole. What is really unique about this boot, however, is its upper. It is covered in a kind of rubberized armor, something the brand is calling ‘phlexoskeleton’. This rubber upper designed to provide more protection while still allowing all the flexibility you want. Pick up a pair for the trails for $160. [Purchase]