Best Keen Work Boots- Reviews & Buying Guide

Keen, an American shoe manufacturing firm made its debut in the market in 2003 under  two   pioneers Martin Keen and Rory Fuerst in Portland, Oregon. Since then, Keen Work Boots have created a niche for themselves in the sector.

The qualities of the Keen work boots such as fit, comfort, strength, ease, puncture resistance, and above all the unfailing protection which they give to the leg and foot of wearer, true to the meaning of the word “boot”, are really great.

Keen Work Boots, including shoes and footwear are available for men, women and kids, all manufactured with honest work ethics for protecting every inch of the wearer’s feet and legs.

They are very strong, puncture resistant and tough boots that get jobs done safely and successfully.

KEEN Utility Men’s Milwaukee 6″ Steel Toe Work Boot

keen lightweight work boots

  • Abrasion resistant tough-tec leather
  • Comfortable right from the start
  • They are supportive and extremely comfortable

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Looking for a Keen Utility work boot that will give you steel toe protection, but is still comfortable to wear? The Keen Utility Men’s Milwaukee 6 offers an asymmetrical safety toe and a metatomical footbed for maximum protection and comfort. We put these boots to the test in our review to see just how comfortable, protective and durable they are.

A steel toe protects the foot from impact and compression. But unlike other work boots, Keen Utility’s Milwaukee boot features an asymmetrical safety toe that’s anatomically correct. What does this mean? It means you get more room in the toe box.

We felt that extra bit of space made the boots more comfortable. And all that extra space doesn’t take away from the safety of these shoes. These boots still meet or exceed F2413-11 I/75 C/75 EH and ASTM F2412-11 standards.

When it comes to work shoes, comfort and protection are the most important things. The steel toe of these shoes offers vital protection, but Keen takes things a bit further with the Milwaukee. These shoes feature KEEN Protect, which means the shoe’s outsoles wrap up and over the toe for maximum protection.

The outsoles of these boots are slip- and oil-resistant to help prevent slip and fall accidents. The forefoot flex grooves let your feet move naturally too, so you’re not fighting your shoes all day.

Protection aside, we thought these shoes were really comfortable. And that’s mainly because these shoes have a removable metatomical EVA footbed. Most of you are probably wondering: what exactly is a metatomical footbed? Simply put, it’s a support mechanism that’s designed to support the curves of your foot. So, you get fantastic arch support and extra cushioning where you need it most.

The interior of the shoe has a moisture-wicking lining, which keeps moisture at bay. The tough nubuck upper is water-, stain- and abrasion-resistant, so your feet stay dry and your boots look their best. We do have to note though that these shoes are really only designed for light rain. Don’t expect to run through puddles and have your feet stay dry. Keen notes this on their specs and features for these shoes.

If you’re looking for a work boot with exceptional steel toe protection and a comfortable footbed, the Keen Utility Milwaukee won’t disappoint. These are the perfect boots for construction and jobsite workers.

They may not be water resistant to tongue, but if you’re working construction, you probably won’t be working in heavy rain or wet conditions anyway. With natural arch support and maximum toe protection, these are boots you can wear all day without blinking an eye.

KEEN Utility Men’s Atlanta Cool Steel Toe Work Shoe (Best for Summer)

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  • 100% Waterproof leather and mesh
  • Mesh Liner provides breathability to help keep feet cool in warm environment
  • Impressively durable work boots compared to other brands

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The Keen Utility Men’s Atlanta Cool Steel Toe Work Boots are one of the best summer work boots made by Keen. Unlike other boots which are completely sealed, that is not desirable in summer boots. If no airflow is allowed, then sweat will start to occur in the feet, making the inside moist and uncomfortable and ultimately running the shoes. That is why, these Atlanta Steel Toe boots are specially designed to allow airflow. This will keep your feet cool and sweat free even in warm environments. Constructed from lightweight yet premium quality leather, the shoes have a mesh lining to allow airflow. The steel toe protects the toes from accidents.

The sole is made from superior rubber with treaded design which offers both oil and slip resistance, so that customers can continue his work without any fear of slipping. Besides, the midsole has been built using dual density compression technology to provide the maximum comfort. In fact, customers have reported that even after working for 10 hours continuously wearing these shoes, they didn’t experience a single bit of discomfort. The foot bed too has been built using dual density technology. It can be removed and is easily replaceable as well if required. Break in time is also quite low; for most customers it was below 5. Refer to my article on how to break in work boots fast if yours seem to be taking longer.

KEEN Utility – Men’s Braddock Mid (Steel Toe) Waterproof Leather Work Boot

keen steel toe boot reviews

  • The shoe outsoles wrap up and over the toes for ultimate protection
  • Features KEEN.Dry proprietary waterproof, breathable membrane that lets vapor out without letting water in
  • Oil- and slip-resistant outsoles that meet ASTM nonslip testing standards
  • Proudly Made in the USA

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Another top quality mens work boot from KEEN, it possesses all the features of the Atlanta boots along with a few extra features. These shoes are completely manufactured in America. 

The lightweight leather is extremely tough and durable and is completely waterproof too. In order to allow airflow to keep the inside dry and comfortable, the boots have a breathable membrane which is waterproof as well. To ensure that these boots are completely waterproof, there is another hydrophobic/hydrophilic 2-zone barrier which only allows the water to move in one direction – water can go out but can never enter the boots.

Support is an important feature in these shoes, especially if you work for longer periods. Keeping that in mind, these shoes are equipped with thermoplastic shank made from polyurethane which provides support to the midfoot.

The left and right toes are asymmetrical. These are extra durable as well, and you can be pretty sure that these shoes will last a long time even if you work long 8+ hour shifts. To prevent any accidents caused by slipping, there is a rubber outsole on the bottom, which makes the boot both slip and oil resistant.

Keen Utility Men’s Tacoma Waterproof Work Boot

keen winter work boots

  • High Quality Leather
  • Dri-Lex Footwear Lining With Hydrophobic/Hydrophilic 2-Zone Comfort Technology
  • Goodyear Welt Construction

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If at any point there was a boot that is simply made for work, the Keen Tacoma steel toe work boot is it.

The Tacoma’s waterproof upper keeps the outside of your boot from getting wet, while the Dri-Lex covering keeps feet dry within.

One of the greatest criticisms that is scrutinized about safety toe boots is their weight. All things considered, work boots are sufficiently heavy without adding steel to them. This is an issue that Keen has attempted to tackle with their Tacoma boot. Rather than covering a full fifth of the boot in steel, they just cover your toes i.e. it’s greater over your big toe than it is over your smaller ones. The skid-safe sole keeps you from slipping in oil and water, while strengthening the boots toughness. 

You can use the Tacoma for standing, walking and jumping. It is one of a kind boot, which will give you comfort and durability throughout the day. Good boots are imperative for not only comfort but your health as well and indeed it keeps your posture and body alignment correct while working. The Tacoma is like your onsite right hand man. You won’t regret spending the money because these boots are worth every penny.

Use of Keen Work Boots:

  1. High boots called waders extending upto the hip are worn by anglers.
  2. There are also boots  made to protect steelworkers against injury from pools of molten metal, and to protect from a variety of chemical exposures.
  3. Insulated and inflatable boots are designed for use in snow and in icy lands. For use during summer, some special boots are available with Keen.

Sizes for Keen work boots range from 1 to 15 in 21 sizes. Lace-up, pull on, shearling and winter lifestyle are a few styles, while waterproof, non-insulated, insulated, non-waterproof, and safety boots are some features of Keen work boots.

The work boots appear in various colors suiting users’ tastes such as blue, black, purple, brown, pink, sky blue, orange, white and green.

7 Best Keen Work Boots in 2020

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KEEN Utility Men’s Milwaukee 6″ Steel Toe Work Boot

I’ve always liked the Keen Boot Company. I believe they make boots which are durable, stylish, and also comfortable. And these are all the factors that you’d need and expect from a good quality shoe. So, today we’re going to review the company’s Milwaukee 6 inch Steel toe. Going by the boot’s name,the product itself is quite rugged and tough looking.

Comfort levels

Just like any other Keen Boot, the Milwaukee also feels great when you try them on for the first time. There is absolutely no need for a break in period. In this particular Keen Utility Men’s Milwaukee Work Boot, the shoe has a snug fit, and it also possesses a detachable dual density EVA foot bed, which can provide you with the all important impact safe protection. However with the weight of 2.6 pounds, the shoe is a tad on the heavier side.

You can either select steel or a soft toe variant of the Keen Utility Men’s Milwaukee Work Boot. The steel one is just a bit heavy; however both the variants come with the fabulous slip resistance sole and are covered with electrical hazard safety protection. But sadly both the shoes variants don’t come with puncture resistant and avoiding soles.

Critical Reviews

With just a single look you will understand that the Keen Utility Men’s Milwaukee Work Boots are designed for the rough weather. The ‘top tech’ allows the shoe to be pretty much bullet proof. The waterproofing on the Keen Utility Men’s Milwaukee Work Boot is excellent and during a rainy day, it can totally live up to the mark. The insulation levels are also good. It would keep your legs warm in the cold but using it with light socks would be advisable during the summers.

After months of use, I could still say that my Keen Utility Men’s Milwaukee Work Boots look just like new to me. The build quality looks good however this facility only comes with the Steel toe version. Many people have criticized the build quality of the soft toe version. There might be some kind of design defect also.

The Steel toe version of the shoe has got all the accolades, unlike the soft toe version. In hundred reviews the steel variant has gained around 4.4 stars out of the maximum 5. The people and the users have loved its comfort levels and the lack of break in period. However, the users have mentioned disadvantage about the shoe’s heavyweight.

If you are looking for a comfortable, insulated and stylish work boot, then the Keen Company’s Milwaukee can be your automatic choice. However with the price tag of 150 dollars, you may be overspending a bit. Still thanks to the build quality of the Steel toe variant, the money might be well spent after all.

Keen Utility Brief Company History

Although beginning as a revolutionary sandal manufacturer, Keen has branched out into various styles, including work boots.

Keen’s design team set the company apart from the rest with their unique approach to the design of shoes. They mixed both their extensive knowledge of shoes and research and engineering to create some of the most comfortable shoes on the market.

Within the industrial line, the boots are soft-toed, steel-toed or composite-toed. The boots may look like hiking shoes, but they offer foot protection comparable to the other leading companies in the industry. Boots within Keen Industrial include:

  • The Pittsburgh (available in soft toe and steel toe)
  • The Portland (composite toe)
  • The Detroit Mid (available in soft and steel toe)
  • The Cleveland (steel toe)

A number of technologies are employed in each style. The Keen grip ensures you “hold your ground” with its slip and oil resistant outsoles, which meet, sometimes exceeding, the American Society for Testing and Materials F1677-96 MARK II non-slip standards.

The left and right asymmetrical steel toe provides a roomier toe box with its anatomically correct steel-toe design. It meets ASTM F2412-05 and F2413-05 I/75 and C/75 standards. The Keen waterproofing system has a waterproof, breathable “membrane that lets vapor out without letting water in.”

Most importantly, all of the boots have the metatomical footbed design, which offers superior arch support and cradles the contours of the foot. Anatomically engineered, the footbed makes wearing work boots more bearable.

The work boots come in sizes 7-15. Extra wide widths can be ordered.