Gear Review: Keen Ambler Mesh Lightweight Hiking Boots

A perfect lightweight hiker for people with a wide forefoot


Lots of lightweight hikers out there, right? This one rises above the fray because of its precision fit: snug in the heel, with a roomy toebox. It’s ideal for people with a wide forefoot or, in my case, an irksome bunion. My rearfoot felt wrapped and supported thanks to the molded foam heel cup, and even after a full day of hiking, I felt no painful pressure and zero slippage. The breathable mesh upper—reinforced with waxed suede and a rubber toe bumper—proved tough against knocks and scrapes, even when I raced my son up a rocky trail in Blue Hills, Massachusetts.

Best For

Traveling, dayhiking, and light backpacking in dry, warm conditions

Tester Data

> Kristin Hostetter

> Duration Jan. to March

> Locales/conditions CO, MA, NH, UT, India, Hong Kong; 40°F to 70°F; dry, packed, and rocky trails

> “Support and stability are best for loads of 25 pounds or less.”

The Specs

> $95

> 1 lb. 8 oz. (w’s 8)

> m’s 7-14;

w’s 5-11