Keen-Aphlex-Featured-Review

Keen’s New Waterproof Shoe – The Aphlex Reviewed

Travis Gneiting News, Reviews

Pro

  • Light Weight
  • Waterproof
  • Light Hiking
  • Good Traction
  • Breathable

Con

  • Still some moisture on foot
  • Not 4 season shoe
  • Made in China
Buy now from KEEN ($150)

GearChase.com tried out and reviewed the Keen Aphlex waterproof hiking shoe this summer and this is what we thought of them. As full disclosure we were sent the shoes from keen for testing, and it in no way influenced our review of the shoe.

If you are familiar with Keen Footwear, or have owned a pair of Keen shoes in the past, you know they have a distinct feel to them. Typically, the sole are very tough, with a stiffer flex than some might be used to. We prefer this feel for added confidence and sure footing when mauve ring over uneven terrain or unstable ground.

Fit

The overall fit of the Aphlex was pretty true to size. We typically wear a 10.5 and tested a size 10.5 in the Aphlex. They might be ¼ size bigger than normal sizing. If ordering online we suggest ordering true to size. With a good quality hiking sock they should fit perfect fit. The length of the shoe fit well, bet felt a tiny bit large in the toe box. The width of the shoe was standard as well. Out of the box they were surprisingly supple, very little break in period was needed. The waterproof toe box is almost like a Gore-Tex jacket, very soft flexing and surprisingly breathable for a waterproof shoe. Overall, they offer a very soft flex in the uppers, and don’t require any break in.

Wear

Lacing up the Keen Aphlex they hug the foot well, with no bulky creases, or extra flexing bumps. This is due to the light weight waterproof material easily flexing with your foot during movement. We paired the Aphlex with many types of socks from wool and synthetic to cotton and nylon. For obvious reasons they paired well with wool socks. With the idea that your feet may get wet, it’s nice to know you have some additional insulation if they do happen to get wet. Also, the friction and heat that come with a waterproof shoe seemed to be better dissipated with the wool socks better than a cotton sock. We put about a hundred miles on the shoes and they showed no signs of breaking down. The sole was extremely durable and the light weight uppers were still completely intact. We don’t see any issues with the shoe breaking down early. However, if there is an issue Keen offers a one year warranty on manufacture defects.

Build

The shoe feels very well constructed. While walking around, the sole of the shoe offers a strong platform for the foot. There is a outer skeleton that provides stability to the waterproof material the contains the uppers of the shoe. There is some padding around the heel pad that does absorb water as well as some light padding in the tongue.

The insole are also higher quality that expected. The insoles are KEEN branded, but have a high density closed foam that was very comfortable yet stable. The lace eyelets are very strong, alternating nylon webbing and heavy duty metal hoops. The toe box and heel counter also offer heavy duty protection from rocks and abrasions when hiking.

The low cut size 10.5 that we tested weight 16.65 oz. The high top in size 10.5 weight 17.65 oz. This is about average for a waterproof shoe in this category. For example the Lowa Renegade II weight is 16.15 oz. Most of the weight for the Aphlex is in the sole. The uppers are very light weight.

Performance

The shoe has a nice lug pattern that did a very good job of preventing slipping. The grip of the shoe was not too affected when the shoe was wet on river rocks. The added protection and height of the lowers protect the shoe from damage when in rocky terrain. A cross pattern under the ball of the foot provides good articulation when stepping on uneven terrain, while the heel is very solid and provides a confidence building footing. The shoe performed well in both up hill and downhill walking on mostly hard pack to semi loose trails. The lugs are about 4 to 5 mm tall and provide good traction in general hiking conditions. Even though the shoe is waterproof, it’s possible the shoe will become submersed or completely full of water. When it does it becomes very heavy because it wants to retain the water.

Competitors

The Merrel Moab Waterproof is a similar hiking shoe that is waterproof. It offers many of the same features as well as a breathable waterproof upper. It’s worth checking out if you are interested in the KEEN Aphlex.

Check for deals on Merrel Moab

The Merrel Moab Waterproof is a similar hiking shoe that is waterproof. It offers many of the same features as well as a breathable waterproof upper. It’s worth checking out if you are interested in the KEEN Aphlex.

Check for deals on Lowa Renegade II

Conclusion

While it’s not the perfect all around shoe, the Aphlex shoes is great for mellow hiking through wet terrain. I would not recommend it for hard or technical hiking, but it’s a great option for day hiking and light backpacking. It’s a light weight fast moving shoe that offers a bit more protection.

Buy now from KEEN ($150)