Monday, December 21, 2015

Keen Gorgeous Boots

I loved Keen's Gorge Boots and was hugely disappointed when they discontinued them.  Mine lasted for over 3 years (probably over 400 days on the water).  Fortunately I managed to buy another pair before they were discontinued.
Keen Gorge Boots showing some wear but still holding up after 3 years of heavy use.
When the 2015 Gorgeous Boots were released, I had to get a pair.  At first glance, one realizes that these are 2 very different boots.  The Gorge Boot is more of a hiking water boot, and the Gorgeous Boot is more of a neoprene booty.
Keen Gorgeous Boots
Review of Keen Gorgeous Boots
The Keen Gorgeous Boots have thick soles for watersport booties and a toe guard that protects the front of the toes. This are important features for those of us who have tender feet and are often climbing around on rocks in the water environment.  The Gorgeous Boots are highly adjustable with a cinching strap system and they appear to be well made (no loose threads or splitting seams).  Traction on the soles seems adequate for walking on wet surfaces - walking on kelp is slick no matter what shoes one is wearing.

Keen makes the Gorgeous Boots in sizes 8-14.  The size 8 is definitely a size too big for me.  I make it work by wearing wool socks and neoprene socks in them.  The adjustable straps accommodate different thicknesses of neoprene socks and when I only wear wool socks in them.

On the Water:
The slimmer profile of the Gorgeous Boots fits in most of my kayaks.  I wish that the heel was slimmer, but I wish this about most boots that I wear in kayaking (except for the Astral Hiyak).  The snug ankle fit keeps sand and gravel out.  They are surprisingly warm for only a 2mm neoprene (couple that with wool socks and neoprene socks and they are down right toasty).  My favorite use for the Gorgeous Boots has become Coasteering and abalone diving.  I like the thick soles for protection from rocks when we are traversing along rocky reefs.  I don't find that they have enough support for teaching days when I am schlepping kayaks or for trips that involve a bit of portaging or hiking.  (perhaps my opinion on this might be different if I had a smaller size).
Coasteering on the Mendocino Coast in the Keen Goregous Boots
We will see.  After 8 months, they have faded a little but otherwise don't show much sign of wear.  I expect these boots to hold up for several seasons like my old Gorge Boots.

I think that these are worthy booties for paddlers who are not doing a lot of hiking and for those with a size 8 foot or larger.  For the price, I am not sure that I would purchase them again especially since they are not available in a size 7.

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