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KEEN Venture Mid WP MSRP $180

Last week, amidst the heat wave that took over much of the mountain region, I set out on a journey with two things in mind. Escape the 100 degree heat, and do some Tenkara fly-fishing in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. This led me to hit the trails in Colorado's historic Lincoln Hills, a mountain resort turned fly fishing club. Tenkara fly-fishing requires almost no equipment compared to conventional fly-fishing, and in the interest of moving fast I decided to take a bare bones kit and just enjoy nature. This meant no waders or wading boots. Instead I wore KEENs Venture Mid hiking boot in Steel Grey & Magnet color.

While KEEN clearly designed the Venture Mid to be a hiking boot, the fit and feel of this shoe is more like a go anywhere cross trainer with sticky lugs. The KEEN ALL-TERRAIN sole was comfortable and had just enough rigidity to keep my feet from getting fatigued which meant that neither rocky outcrops nor wet boulders were cause for concern during this trek.

This boot is perfect for everything outdoors really, from burning man playa hikes to full blown technical hiking trails. 

JL Vaden puts the Venture Mid to the test photos by Jonas Tempel (Above)

JL Vaden puts the Venture Mid to the test photos by Jonas Tempel (Above)

The trails were dry, as we have been in the thick of a heat wave, but the sustainably made waterproofing materials, free of PFCs (Perfluorinated Chemicals), showed off during the multiple stream crossings. These boots were waterproof from the outside and breathable from the inside, and with the exception of a little water around my sock line from an unfortunate slip, my feet stayed cool and dry all day.

I didn't catch any fish because, let's face it, Tenkara fly-fishing is crazy hard, but I did enjoy putting these boots to the test. And best of all, when I got back to the city, I simply wiped them off with a wet cloth to remove the dust and dirt then put them right back on to go hang out at the park. That is the mark of a truly versatile boot. 

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