KEEN Men’s Summit County III Hiking Boot Review

The KEEN Men’s Summit County III Hiking Boot best hiking boots is the warmest technical hiking boot for KEEN’s winter season. The Summit County line has continued to innovate new technologies to provide more insulation and waterproofing while still having a breathable membrane. As with its predecessors, the Summit County III continues to receive top reviews for its durability and reliability, making it one of the best hiking boots on the market.

KEEN is an American shoe manufacturing company based out of Portland, Oregon. Founded by Roy Fuerst and Martin Keen in 2003, they have become one of the fastest growing footwear companies and now distribute their brand worldwide. The original popularity sparked from innovating outdoor protective sandals with a thick, black rubber bumper covering the toes. Since then, the company has expanded to encompass all manner of outdoor wear, including casual shoes, socks and backpacks. As of 2010, KEEN began manufacturing many of their products in Portland’s Pearl District and is headed by president Kirk Richardson formerly of Nike, Inc. When it comes to hiking boots, KEEN follows a philosophy that all footwear should be designed for work and play.

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KEEN Men’s Summit County III Hiking Boot

The Summit County III is built for cold, wet weather. One of the biggest changes from the previous Summit County II model was toward a new insulation material. A charcoal bamboo insulate provides lightweight, anti-microbial warmth throughout the boot. Wearers quickly find that this makes for a much lighter hiking boot than other manufactures, weighing half as much as competitors. The moisture wicking textile inside provides a breathable membrane allowing sweat and odors to escape easily. Because of the new construction technique in this boots, the Summit County III hiking boot is one of the best lightweight hiking boots that you can buy.

Overview of Specifications

  • Lace-Up
  • Insulated, Waterproof (All)
  • Waterproof materials: KEEN.DRY®
  • Insulation: KEEN.WARM® 450g toe, 300g upper
  • Upper: Leather
  • Lining: Textile
  • Removable insole
  • Midsole: EVA
  • Outsole: Rubber
  • Height: 8″
  • Heel height: 1-1/2″
  • Weight (pair): 3 lb. 8 oz.
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The waterproof Nubuck leather also keeps water from getting inside while providing the boot with an overall masculine look. The entire frame is eco-friendly, and a shellback heel support holds the foot in place for stability. The KEEN’s thick rubber extension in front wraps around, up and over the toes for extra protection. Extra padding cups the ankles for added protection, and the materials’ elasticity means there is little need to break in the boots before wear.

The dual climate outsole actually changes its grip in different temperatures, becoming ridged for extra traction in the snow.  With all these features, the shoe maintains a casual appearance, allowing it to be worn anywhere. It is available in brown and grey.

The Summit County line can be too wide a fit for some hikers’ feet, causing friction along the sole. The 400g thick insulation may sound like a lot, but the lightweight bamboo retains less heat than other materials and is known to cause discomfort in more extreme weather. The boot may also become too warm in hotter, non-winter climates.

The boot remains dry in up to 5.5 inches of water, but the exterior leather has a tendency to lose its breathability once soaked. Sweat and odors may accumulate inside in this situation, leading to chilled feet regardless of temperature. With proper socks and inserts, this can be avoided, but the additional purchase may seem a bit much for an already expensive boot. The leather also requires additional care in the form of cleaners and conditioners to keep from getting over scuffed and damaged. Most buyers report the boot runs a ½ size small.


The Summit County III is an innovative addition to the KEEN winter line. Many will find that the new model is worth upgrading to for its more stylish, masculine look. It runs more expensive than other competitors with similar features, but its lightweight, casual look might be just what you’re looking for. If your foot is wide and you’re looking for a one of the best waterproof hiking boots for snow and cold weather, look no further.