KEEN Women's Terradora Leather Waterproof Mid Hiking Boots Review

Photo courtesy of Caroline Hsu.

Photo courtesy of Caroline Hsu.

The KEEN Women's Terradora Leather Waterproof Mid ($150) is an attractive, lightweight hiking boot intended for year-round use.

KEEN provided the hiking boots, free of charge, for testing and review.


These boots feature a waterproof leather upper, KEEN's all-terrain rubber outsole, and a waterproof, breathable membrane. They weigh in at 1 lb 12.2 oz per pair.

Testing Conditions

It's definitely winter here in Park City, UT. Over the last couple weeks, we've been blessed with a few amazing storm cycles. Just about everything is covered in snow, so I tested the boots on a few winter hikes around town:

  • 3 mile hike on a trail with powder that was packed down by previous hikers

  • 2 mile hike around the dog park in slushy snow in warming conditions and rain

  • Walking around town in wintry conditions

Safety note: I tested these on trails that were mostly flat. If you're planning to tackle more mountainous terrain for the first time, please consult someone with expert knowledge of winter mountaineering before you invest in gear.

First Impressions

Comfort. My initial thought about KEEN's leather Terradora boots is that they are super comfortable straight out of the box. I usually do a few pre-hike walks around the house with the intention of breaking them in and preventing blisters. I was pleasantly surprised when I started walking around my house to find that the boots felt broken in already. I’m typically pretty annoyed with my feet the first couple of hikes in a new pair of boots, and that was not the case this time around. The KEEN Women's Terradora Leather Waterproof Mid were hands down the most comfortable boots I've tried right out of the box.

Photo courtesy of Caroline Hsu.

Photo courtesy of Caroline Hsu.

Weight. I really appreciate how light these boots are. Weighing in at 1 lb 12.2 oz per pair, the Terradoras were great for my energy levels. I felt energized throughout my hike because my feet weren't weighed down—you could say I had a pep in my step. I look forward to testing these on longer 5-10 mile hikes.

Use. The Terradoras were great on a little bit of fresh powder as well. They also kept we warm and dry while walking around a mountain town. The soles have enough grip to step confidently in these conditions.

However, if I have the opportunity, I do like to push gear to its limits before committing to any longer trips with it. I tested the boots on a warmer day when conditions included melting snow, rain and slippery surfaces. I ended up sliding around and felt hesitant while walking downhill.

In the future, I plan on wearing these out on longer hikes to see how supported my feet and ankles feel. Because these boots provide lightweight support, I'd also be curious to see how they fare with the added weight of a multi-day pack.

I also plan to test these boots out in dry/summer conditions—looking at the soles of the boots, I anticipate they'll do best in relatively dry conditions. My feet tend to generate a lot of heat pretty easily too, so I'd like to see how breathable these boots are in the summer given their leather construction.

Water resistance. My observation is that the boots repell water well right out of the box. My feet stayed dry during my snow hikes on relatively flat terrain. I intentionally stuck the toe of the boot in a snowdrift for around a minute and brought them inside to test this further. The water beaded up and most of it evaporated, while a small amount soaked into the leather.

Photo courtesy of Caroline Hsu.

Photo courtesy of Caroline Hsu.

These boots have a waterproof leather upper, as well as KEEN's proprietary waterproof, breathable membrane. In my experience, hiking boots with similarly water resistant membranes eventually break down with time and use, leaving you with a non-waterproof boot. I’m very keen to see how the water resistant design performs over time. My general thought is that a waterproof wax might supplement the water resistant design.

Fit. I got these in 8.5, a full size up from my street shoe size. I did this because I like to wear thicker socks during the winter, plus my feet tend to swell when I hike for extended periods of time. Some reviewers on the KEEN website have recommended going only a half size up, and KEEN also notes that these boots run narrow.

Overall, I really enjoyed testing the KEEN Terradora Leather Waterproof Mid boots. PROS: water resistant upper, a comfortable fit right out-of-the-box and no break-in period required. CONS: the traction is poor in slipper, wintry conditions. Further testing is needed to see how they perform on longer hikes, with a multi-day pack, and in summer conditions. Happy hiking!