- Review by Arnie P
Keen Erickson PCT boots
- The Erickson PCT men’s boots were provided by Keen for review purposes. Because I grew up in an era when all boot and shoes were made of leather, I have a fondness for leather products. These boots are a lot more attractive than those I had while growing up. They are a combination of the beauty of leather and the attributes of modern technology.
- I received size 9 boots in the color of Slate Black/Forest Night. The following parts in quotes are directly from the Keen web site.
- “A boot so well made, it should be called the eleventh essential. Built for serious backpackers, our finest technical boot is crafted from premium waterproof full grain leather, and finished with metal speed laces, a KEEN.DRY waterproof membrane and a cork an EVA heel cushion for unmatched comfort over long miles.”
- “Lining: KEEN.DRY™ Waterproof membrane and breathable mesh
Upper: Waterproof full-grain leather upper
Rubber: Non-marking rubber outsole
Type: Boots, Lace Up
Weather: Wet – waterproof”
- “Dual density compression molded EVA and PU midsole
– KEEN key-tech full length TPU interlocking torsion plate
– KEEN.DRY™ waterproof breathable membrane
– KEEN.Zorb Strobel
– Metal speed hook and eyelet lacing system
– Patented toe protection
– Removable metatomical dual density EVA footbed
– TPU stability shank
– Waterproof full grain leather upper”
Care for Waterproof Leather
“We’ve carefully selected leather uppers designed to last. Then again, if you’re wearing your KEENS daily, they won’t always be scuff and dirt-free. To treat day to day wear and tear, especially on lighter color leathers, we recommend using a leather cleaner and conditioner, found at most footwear dealers and/or shoe repair shops.”
- The Erickson PCT boots are available in three colors, Slate Black/Forest Night, Shitake/Yellow, Black Gargoyle. The sizes available range from 6 to 13 with half sizes from 7 ½ to 11 ½. The list price is $170.00.
- Some measurements I made:
- Left boot weight: 26.6 oz
- Right boot weight: 26.3 oz
The lacing system consists of 8 pairs of metal eyelets. The bottom 5 pair are closed. The top 3 pair are open at one end for quick lacing and unlacing. The lower pair of the open eyelets is set back from the others. When I first tried the boots with all the eyelets used I found the eyelets that were set back caused a bit of discomfort. I tried them not using the set back eyelets and the fit was very comfortable. I will retry that after I have worn the boots for a few weeks to see if there is any difference. The top of the boot is about an inch above my ankle. The laces are not overly long with all eyelets being used. During my initial try the laces stayed tied, which is somewhat unusual for me. I don’t like having boots that need to be tied while hiking on the trail. I like the pull tab at the heel of the boot. The hole is just big enough for my finger without gloves. I have large fingers for my hand size. The loop appears to be very sturdy. I use this feature a lot and I have had this loop tear off a few boots that I have. I am not expecting this to happen with these boots, but time will tell. The inner sole is removable. The toe end of the boot appears to have excellent protection for the ends of my toes, which I tend to bump into rocks a lot. My plan is to wear these boots in the house for several hours for the initial break-in. Then I will go on short hikes followed by longer hikes. With snow in the forecast, and if our snow season is like last year, I will be using these boots to go snowshoeing.
This concludes my introduction to the Keen Erickson PCT boot. Please check back in about a month when I will have more to say.
I have been using the Keen Erickson PCT boots for about a month and have enjoyed wearing them almost daily. The past month provided a variety of ways to use the boots, including a freak snow storm and a number of hikes in above normal temperatures.
The break in period
When I first tried the Erickson PCT boots they were so comfortable I did not realize that my comfort level would increase with use. It does take some time for the inside of the boot to mold to the shape of my foot and this improves the comfort level.
Freak snow storm
In October, we received a foot of heavy wet snow. Shoveling my driveway was like shoveling semi-solid water. I put my boots on and started to shovel this mess. What I soon discovered was that there was a thin layer of ice on the surface of my asphalt driveway. It was slippery but I was not sliding enough to feel I needed to put traction devices on my boots. Since I don’t like the feel of using traction devices on asphalt or solid rock for long periods, I was thankful that I did not require them. I was able to shovel the driveway with very little sliding and did not fall down. This was a very unusual set of conditions that did work out well in these boots. A few days after this storm, I helped my son in New Hampshire free his power line from a fallen tree. He has about 38 acres of wooded land and I made several trips to his barn for equipment to free the power line. I had no trouble going up and down the snow covered hill carrying a chainsaw or other pieces of equipment. Even though I had to hurry since this work had to be done before sunset, I did not fall or slip. The Erickson PCT boots made this job a lot easier.
On the trail
I have been in several forests in the area including Warren Manning in Billerica, and Great Brook Farm in Carlisle to mention the main ones. This is the time of year when leaves cover the ground, hiding many things, making it easy to slip. I did not have any slips or falls. The performance of the Erickson PCT boots on leaves exceeded my expectations. There were some fairly steep hills which I managed easily. I did quite a bit of bushwhacking since there were so many trees and large branches on the trail. I did have a little more trouble maneuvering with the larger outline of an above the ankle boot. The number of damaged trees is unusual for autumn.
Warm weather use
I did hike in these boots when the temperatures were in the low 70’s F. I was surprised that my feet were not sweaty, even when wearing heavy wool socks. I would think this is a good indication of the ability of the boot to ventilate well.
In the water
I went hiking after a heavy rain a couple times. The trails were full of puddles, which, in most cases I could have walked around, but since these are waterproof, I walked through. I even stood in the puddle while my picture was being taken. There was no leakage and my feet did not feel the cold. The temperature of about 50 F that day was not that cold, but I think without the insulation in the boot I would have felt the cold.
I am really pleased with the traction, comfort, ventilation, and insulation qualities. The downside is that the boots are slightly heavier than some of the boots I own, but I think the advantages outweigh that disadvantage. Please check back in about a month when I will have more to say about the Erickson PCT boots.
A last look
December, with the holidays and the shortest daylight hours of the year, make for a very busy and hectic month. My activities have continued to be about the same this period, with weather colder than earlier, but still warmer than normal for this time of year. I continue to wear the Erickson boots almost daily.
This fall, while I was attending a couple clinics on snowshoeing, the topic of “boot shelf” came up. I was surprised to learn that this is a ridge or indentation on the heel of the boot; however, the usefulness of a “boot-shelf” is probably more myth than fact. The presenter said that a “boot-shelf” was not needed if the snowshoes were properly secured. This makes sense to me since there seems to be no standard to the indentations on the heels of boots that I own that have “boot-shelves”.
In my last report, I mentioned that I found the weight of the boots a little more than most of my boots. I have found that these boots are giving me a more comfortable walk than lighter boots, especially on very hard surfaces like rock, asphalt, and frozen ground. They also have given me better traction when hiking on frozen surfaces and I feel better isolated from the irregular surfaces of the frozen ground. The added weight is compensated for by this greater comfort.
Although I have been retired from my last company for about 10 years, I am still invited to many of their social functions. When I wore my Erickson boots to the office Holiday party, I was comfortable and did not feel like I was all feet. It was almost like wearing a pair of loafers, but warmer on the rug covered concrete floor. Maybe it’s me, but usually I find wearing boots in a house or office a clumsy experience.
I revisited the same hiking places, but mostly with the temperatures a lot colder. One morning I started out on a hike in a lightweight low cut hiking shoe. Because my feet were so cold and the ground felt painfully hard, I changed my mind on my choice of boot almost immediately, and returned home to put on my Erickson boots. The difference was drastic, I was warm within minutes and was not feeling the very hard surfaces of the ground.
I have encountered wet conditions a few times and my feet stayed dry under those conditions. I am very pleased with the ability of these boots to keep my feet warm and dry under wet and cold conditions.
The hiking I do is not easy on my boots and these boots are showing negligible effects due to the abuse that I have metered out to them on the trail. In conclusion, the Erickson PCT boots are becoming my favorite boot for the colder weather. I wish to thank Keen and 4alloutdoors.org for the opportunity to test these boots.