KEEN Madison Low CNX Trail Runner Review

Top-notch ventilation, stability, and traction in a low-profile, super-light shoe.
Madison Low CNX Trail Runner Review

Specs

Comfort/Fit 4.1
Ease of Break-in 4.1
Support/Protection 3.1
Breathability 4.2
Sole Construction injected

 

Membrane No membrane
Men's Sizes Start 7
Men's Sizes End 14
Women's Sizes Start 5
Women's Sizes End 11

Why we like itGet top-notch ventilation, stability, and traction in a low-profile, super-light shoe.

Traction Hitting Costa Rica in the fat part of the rainy season, our tester was expecting to slip and slide all over mulchy, wet trails. Instead, she enjoyed lizard-like traction, thanks to the Madison’s beveled, textured lugs, which delivered lots of trail-biting surface area. Grippy rubber wraps up around the outsole’s rounded perimeter and boosts traction on technical terrain. Footing is also enhanced by a flat profile—only a 4-mm drop from heel to toe—which helps maintain good ground feel. “Hiking off-trail to a hidden waterfall, the terrain was steep and slippery, but I was able to cross without falling on my butt, unlike other members of our group.”

Protection While cushioning is minimal, impact protection underfoot is impressive for the weight class, thanks to an all-PU midsole and a TPU arch shank.

Breathability Our tester found the Madison ideal for extremely hot, humid conditions in Poas and Arenal Volcano National Parks. Her feet never overheated in temps that reached the high 90s with nearly 100-percent humidity, thanks to large panels of mesh venting the forefoot and toes, plus thin panels of nylon and synthetic suede.

Comfort A sewn-in footbed gives these shoes a smooth interior that’s great for going sockless, and the fit is on the snug side.

Downside If you’re looking for a springy feel underfoot, you won’t find it in the minimalist PU chassis. 

$110; 1 lb. 3 oz.; m’s 7-14, w’s 5-11; keenfootwear.com