Neat and solid new trail shoes from KEEN Footwear just in time for autumn.
New for autumn 2012, KEEN Footwear's new Bryce WP is a nubuck leather and fabric trail shoe with a KEEN.Dry waterproof liner, grippy sole unit and neat styling.
The first thing we noticed about the Bryce is that it's subtly slick. It's still recognisably a KEEN shoe with the signature toe bumper and a honking great heel protector out back, but it's also leaner and slicker looking with modish green colour contrast trimming making it a great match with a lot of recent clothing using the same shade of green. Not that we're fashionistas here, but hey...
Nubuck And Fabric
The bulk of the upper is a quality-looking waterproof Nubuck leather with fabric mesh just in the tongue area. Togther with the rubber bumpers front and back, we reckon that means less vulnerability to rocky terrain and scree abrasion.
It's a solid bit of kit too, our test size 9s (43) weigh in at around 510g per shoe, but they don't feel particularly heavy once they're on your foot. Fit is, we reckon, ideal for the medium broad British foot. The lasting seems slightly closer than some past KEEN models, with neater forefoot fit, which we really like and they were instantly comfortable thanks to supple leather and just the right amount of internal padding.
They seem good underfoot too. Plenty of lengthways bend but lateral stiffness thanks to a moulded TPU shank and a whole bunch of cushioning courtesy of a dual-density EVA mod-sole - the stuff used widely in running shoes. Dual density is good as it matches the stiffness of the cushioning with the biomechanics of your foot to give better stability.
Finally, the non-marking rubber outsole feels reassuringly grippy and, we think, what's a new to KEEN grip pattern featuring five-sided stud-type lugs looks as if it should give better soft terrain traction than previous more wavy designs.
Comfortable And Solid
Overall first impressions are of a comfortable, solid-feeling, all-round, knock-about shoe that we reckon will be comfy for wandering around town as well as more outdoorsy stuff and look good into the bargain. Price is £109.99 in men's or women's versions and there's also a Mid version, the Bryce Mid WP at £114.99 if you prefer a bit more ankle coverage.
More details at www.keenfootwear.com.