Gear

Keen Howser II Boots Review

by Daniell LaFleur

keen howser ii review

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I pretty much knew nothing about “inside-outside” hybrid shoes before the Keen Howser II, and now I’m obsessed! Bridging the gap between slippers and full-on adventure boots, the Howser II boots are perfect for in between adventures.

Either as camp shoes, or comfy travel shoes, or the shoes you stash in your car to throw on after an epic backpacking or hiking trip, these boots do it all. Even around the house, these boots have become my go-to yard activity or dog-walking boots. What makes these boots able to do it all? They’re made with eco-friendly durable materials made to last years.

The Pros

Non-marking and high traction rubber outsole

Warm fleece lining on the inside

Durable textile and soft leather upper

Eco Anti-Odor insole

Easily slip on, while maintaining a secure boot-like feel rather than feel like slippers

Lightweight

Lots of cushion and arch support

The Cons

Need to size up

The Specs

Easy slip-on design<

Non-marking rubber outsole leaves no trace

Eco Anti-Odor insole for natural odor control

Environmentally preferred premium leather from a LWG-certified tannery

Cushioned insole with arch support

Fleece lining for warmth

Soft leather and textile upper

Higher traction rubber outsole

The Verdict

keen howser 2 review

I’m convinced…Keen is the master of hybrid shoes! These boots take the inside outside. Their outsole and upper are made of eco-friendly durable materials that let you do just about everything you wish you could do in slippers. From yard work to camp shoes to pretty much anything else you can think of, you can do it in the cozy Howser II boots.

These boots are great for travel in just about any capacity. They’re perfect for wearing in the car and around rest stops on a road trip. They are just about the warmest camp shoe I’ve ever had while car or RV camping. I’d probably even wear them to the airport if given the chance.

Wearing the Keen Howser II Boots

keen howser ii boots

Due to some wildfires that are pretty close to where I live, I haven’t had the pleasure of truly testing these boots out in the wilderness yet, so for now, they have replaced my “around the house” activity shoes. You know, the shoes you slip on real quick to do just about anything outside.

With fall creeping in, it’s pretty chilly here in Colorado — all the more perfect timing for me to wear these boots for just about every yard project we’re trying to get done before winter. The fleece lining might look thin, but it sure does what fleece is great at…keeping those toes warm! That warmth is perfect for some late-night backyard fire pit shenanigans with neighbors and friends.

I generally have to size up half a size for Keen shoes, and I did that with the Howser II boots. They fit just right with my normal socks, but if you are wanting to wear heavier socks, I recommend sizing up a whole size, or maybe even a size and a half depending on how you’ll want them to fit. The fleece lining is warmer than I expected, so wearing thinner socks honestly hasn’t been an issue.

Another thing I love about the Howser II boots is how easy it is to clean them off. The outer material is hard to stain to begin with, but whenever something does linger on the upper, all it takes is a quick wipe down.

Construction and Design

keen howser ii boot review

Keen has always had an “inside-outside” slip-on boot, but the Howser II was reconstructed with a new agenda: to use the most sustainable and eco-minded materials they could find.

As with most newer Keen shoes, the outsole is non-marking to Leave No Trace while outside. Even the Anti-Odor insole is made with eco-friendly materials to naturally keep foot odor from lingering. The same Anti-Odor insole is complete with some serious cushion and arch support.

The boots have a leather trim and heal that are sustainably sourced by a LWG-certified tannery. The textile outer shell is made from some extremely durable materials to add insulation and stand up to any projects and endeavors.

The boot is roughly modeled after the popular “Chelsea” style boot; it has the same type of easy slip-on design that doesn’t impair how the boot fits. By that, I mean the boot still feels secure and fitted while on.

Howser II Vs. The Competition

There aren’t too many “inside-outside” boots on the market, but for around the same price point, Teva has the Ember Mid Boot. The Ember Mid’s are more sneaker-like and don’t have a high-traction outsole like the Howser II. They still look like cozy travel or house shoes, but wouldn’t be the best camp shoes.

Chaco’s Ramble shoes are very similar to the Howser II. The Ramble also has an outsole that is high traction and adventure-ready. These boots are also fleece lined and offer rip-stop nylon on the outside to handle the elements. While these are at a lower price point and offer a couple more color options, I couldn’t find any information about the use of eco-friendly or sustainable efforts that went into this product.

Merrell has the Hut Moc casual shoe that is a low profile version of the “inside-outside” hybrid shoe. These sneakers offer a quilted upper for some warmth, but have a lower-traction outsole. These shoes have more of a slipper profile, and stop below the ankle.

Keen Howser II Rating

For this type of shoe, I rate the Howser II a 5 out of 5! Their comfort, warmth, and durability makes these boots extremely functional in so many aspects of life. From yard work, travel, and camp, I can’t think of one pair of shoes I have ever had that can do it all like these can.

My one recommendation to anyone wanting to purchase the Howser II boots is to size up! I think if I would have ordered my normal size, these would be pretty tight fitting and uncomfortable. But sizing up allows you to wear those thick, cozy socks you’ll want to wear with these cozy boots!

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This post is sponsored by Keen – learn more about their Howser II Boots here.


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