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LTR - Keen Obsidian Hiking Shoes - John Waters

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  • exec@bysky.com
    Chari, You can view my HTML for the Keen Obsidian Hiking Shoes LTR at; http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/LTR-Keen%20Obsidians%20-%20JRW/ I
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 30, 2009
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      You can view my HTML for the Keen Obsidian Hiking Shoes' LTR at;


      I await your edits.

      John Waters


      Over the last 2 months I've worn my Keen trail shoes on weekly 4 to 6 hours
      hikes in the public lands behind our property and I spent 9 days hiking in
      various locations in southwest Colorado as well as the Mesquite, Nevada area
      and in Zion National Park and Arches National Park in Utah. In all, I
      estimate that I put on another 50 to 60 miles (80-100 km) on these trail
      shoes and probably more because I also wore them for work for about a total
      of a month.

      Colorado one-day-each hikes took place in the Black Canyon area of the
      Gunnison National Park near Gunnison, Colorado and in Mesa Verde National
      Park near Cortez, Colorado. A total of 2.5 days was spent there.

      Mesquite, Nevada hikes included trails in the Valley of Fire State Park and
      Desert National Wildlife Range. Because of time constraints, only 2 days
      were devoted to hiking in Zion National Park and 1.5 days in Arches National
      Park, but I probably covered well over 10 miles (16 km) anyway.


      To quickly review, in my Field Report, I mentioned that these trail shoes
      were hurting my feet because of a crease being formed where the toe-box
      flexes. My left foot was okay, but my right foot felt like the area around
      the toe was being pressed in on and my sock around the toe was being stopped
      from flexing. I decided to set these shoes off on the side for 2 weeks and
      wore my most comfortable boots instead to give my feet a rest.

      After 2 weeks, I started to test the Keens again. My feet felt fine now and
      it was a chance to start over with fresh feet. I even decided to take the
      Keens with me on the 2 week trip mentioned above, but I was also going to
      bring along my favorite boots just in case.

      I had no trouble using the Keens at all for the first 4 or 5 days. The
      weather was very nice in these areas. Sunny, in the 50 F (10 C) range, low
      humidity under 30% and the trails were pretty well groomed because we were
      with another couple who are not into technical hiking. After 4 or 5 days
      though, I could feel that my right toe was feeling the same way as before.
      So I switched to my favorite boots for a few days. When I switched back to
      the Keens after 2 days of relaxing in my favs, I again had no issues until I
      was wearing the Keens for the next 2 days. Now, when I say wearing them for
      several days, I mean they were on my feet almost all the time for those
      days. I only had them off for sleeping and showering.

      Apparently I cannot wear these for an extended period of time. I checked to
      see if my socks were causing the problem, but my feet do not sweat and I
      wear the very same socks with all my other boots. So if I wear the Keens for
      a few days and put them aside all is well. If I were to have worn them for
      one day just for testing and not worn them continuously for days at a time,
      I may not even be reporting this toe issue. (I know this is projecting, but
      I want to make this point very clear) because after I take them off and wear
      something else then go back to them, my feet feel fine for a few days. In
      fact, the first day that I go back to them, they feel great; lightweight and

      I had the opportunity to wear the Keens in snow finally last week. Nothing
      deep. Just barely up above the edges of the footbed. But it was an icy kind
      of snow and slippery. As trail shoes, these do not perform like my winter
      boots that grip exceptionally well on icy snow. They did not give me a great
      deal of confidence and I was aware that I had to be careful not to slip and
      fall. Likewise, in slippery mud, they also did not grip well. The tread
      design is not very aggressive and the lugs are not deep. Also, the bottom is
      labeled "carbon rubber", which offers good cushioning and durability but not
      the grip of other outer sole material.


      In all:

      " When not worn for extended periods, these can be quite comfortable
      " These are not shoes that I would wear on icy trails or in slippery
      " They do allow mud to be removed easily from the treads and they clean up
      " The lateral support is excellent, keeping ankle twists to a minimum
      " The toe guard provides excellent protection
      " Waterproofing worked well
      " They look pretty hi-tech and have nice glow in the dark touches
      " After all the mileage, there is little wear shown on any part of the shoe.

      This concludes my long-term report on the Keen Obsidian Hiking Shoes. Thank
      you to BackpackGearTest.org and Keen for the opportunity to test these

      John R. Waters
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