Some hiking boots look like they belong in the trail. Others look like they belong in the streets. Then there are those that manage to mix the aesthetic just enough that they’ll wear nicely in both the trail and street corner. The KEEN Innate LTD definitely belongs in that category.
Yes, it looks like a sporty, old-school hiker that will pair perfectly with your rough and rugged hiking pants, making it ideal for slipping on when exploring trails, parks, and other backcountry spaces. Except, it’s one of those shoes that just look so nice with your everyday pair of jeans, too, with an aesthetic that harkens those old-school basketball sneakers before everything went the 3D-knitted route.
The KEEN Innate LTD is a midrise hiking boot with an all-leather upper, a beefy midsole, and a high-traction outsole – all pretty standard elements for trail-bound footwear. Designed for use in the rainy days of the coming months, it gets a waterproof nubuck leather upper and a waterproof membrane to keep water out completely, all while being reasonably breathable to allow vapor to get out without allowing any moisture in. That leather, by the way, looks thick and heavy, ensuring it provides the necessary protection from the hazards of the trail, all while being completely PFC-free, eliminating the powerful water-repellent agent in favor of alternative chemicals that don’t carry the same potentially hazardous footprint.
A high-grip rubber outsole will let you pass through wet and slippery terrain in a stable and even-keeled manner, ensuring you’ve got a perfectly viable footwear for those wet days on the trail. That same outsole, by the way, uses 4mm multi-directional lugs to deliver the necessary traction, while a stability shank adds necessary support without tacking even more weight onto the hiking boot down. A thick, compression-molded EVA midsole provides plenty of rebound and cushioning, providing the necessary shielded while walking through rocks and hard debris along the trail, while a removable EVA insole supports the arch of your foot for all-day comfort.
The KEEN Innate LTD has an upper that the outfit describes as being inspired by retro European silhouettes, making it quite a good-looking footwear for those who appreciate more old-school designs. It has an endless knot design embossed on the upper, as well as low-profile multi-colored prayer flag accents on the laces, making for unusually attractive accents that are not all that common in footwear. Suffice to say, if you appreciate unusual elements in your kicks, you’ll probably love those little details.
If you’re a little iffy about wearing religious symbolism on your hikers, you might appreciate that the shoe is intended to support a child literacy program in Nepal. According to KEEN, €15 from every pair of the shoe that’s sold will be donated to the Room to Read foundation, which carries out programs for literacy and gender equality in education around the developing world.
The KEEN Innate LTD is available in a root brown colorway. Price is €159.95.