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Now that the first signs of spring are here and the cold, wet and muddy winter months are behind us, I’m looking forward to some drier hikes in warm weather. And, after a good few months of wearing winter hiking boots, I’m excited to wear something a bit lighter on my feet for those hikes. I’ve been a fan of Keen Shoes for a few years, and for the last few weeks I’ve been testing out the Keen NXIS Evo hiking boots – and they might just be the perfect boots for these upcoming warmer months.
Tech and Spec
- Performance mesh upper with TPU overlays for durability
- Compression-moulded EVA midsole for cushioning
- KEEN.ALL-TERRAIN rubber outsole for higher-traction grip
- Breathable textile lining
- Removable PU insole for long-lasting comfort
- 4mm multi-directional lugs for traction
- KonnectFit heel-capture system for a locked-in feel
- A speed-lace webbing system with top collar hooks for a comfortably snug fit
- KEEN.DRY waterproof, breathable membrane
- Eco Anti-Odour for natural odour control
- 8mm heel-to-toe drop
- PFC-free, durable water repellent
- KEEN Comfort Heel Control for Achilles padding and a more secure fit
Keen NXIS Evo Features
The Keen Nxis Evo is a hybrid between a trail running shoe and a hiking boot, making it a great option for those who want to feel light and agile on the trail without sacrificing support and protection. One of the main reasons for its lightweight design is the mesh upper that provides a trainer-like look and feel.
But don’t let the lightweight design fool you – this boot is still built to withstand tough terrain. The ankle has a solid structure that’s nicely padded around the cuff and tongue, and the toe bumper and laminated TPU overlays provide structure to the rest of the upper.
The lacing system is also well thought out, as it combines with a heel capture and internal heel lock that hugs the Achilles tendon to keep your heel from lifting and your feet from sliding within the boots.
Underfoot, the Keen Nxis Evo features a removable dual-density footbed treated with Keen’s eco-friendly anti-odour solution, providing additional comfort and hygiene.
The outsole looks and performs like the kind you’d find on a trail running shoe, with multi-directional chevrons and a lug depth of 4mm. This provides reliable traction on a variety of terrains, including mud, grass, and rock.
Keen NXIS Evo Performance
When it comes to performance, the Keen Nxis Evo hiking boots do not disappoint. The lightweight design, combined with ample padding and support, make them an excellent choice for long-distance trail walking. The outsole, with its multi-directional chevrons and 4mm lug depth, provides reliable traction on most terrains, including muddy hills and wet rocks. However, as with most lightweight boots, they do have limitations on extremely slippery and slimy surfaces.
The waterproof membrane does an excellent job of keeping your feet dry, with the gusseted tongue and full membrane extending throughout the boot. Although I haven’t had a chance to test the breathability during hot weather yet, the mesh upper suggests that the boots should be fairly breathable. In terms of the waterproof capabilities, I’ve always found that the Keen Dry lining performs well in other Keen shoes that I’ve owned, and the Keen NXIS Evo should be no different. I certainly had no problems when I traipsed through a shallow stream and thick mud on a recent walk in the Peak District.
The Keen Nxis Evo is available in both boot and shoe styles, so you can choose the best option for your hiking needs. And with men’s and women’s styles and fits available, there’s a pair for everyone.
The Bottom Line
The Keen Nxis Evo hiking boots are a fantastic choice for those who prioritize lightweight design and comfort on the trail. Like most lightweight hiking boots, the Keen NXIS Evo boots combine the benefits of a trail running shoe with the support and protection of a hiking boot, making them an excellent option for both long-distance hikes and casual, after-work adventures.
While they may not be the best choice for extremely technical terrain, they perform well on most trails and provide ample traction and waterproofing. And with the option to choose between a boot or shoe style, as well as different sizes and fits, the Keen Nxis Evo is a versatile option for any hiker looking to invest in a reliable pair of boots for a summer of adventure.
Our Top Pick
Keen NXIS Evo Hiking Boots
A comfortable and high-performing hiking boot that offers the lightness and agility of a trail running shoe with the support and durability of a hiking boot.