It seems like a very long time since I won the KEEN Playtime Tester prize… but it hasn’t been until this last couple of weeks that I’ve been able to give the KEEN Hoodoo High Lace snow boots a really good try. I will be honest and say I very nearly bought this pair of boots last year before we went skiing. I’d tried them on, found them at a decent price, but something stopped me. I’m not sure what. I loved them from the pictures, and wanted them badly. When I won the competition and was allowed to choose four pairs of KEENs it was an absolute no brainer, I had to have these.
The Hoodoo High Lace boots are calf length lace up hiking boots with a thick chunky sole and insulated sock. This is what the website says:
The Hoodoo High Lace tames snow banks and cold fronts with ease. Lined with plush synthetic shearling, the high shaft combines handsome oiled nubuck leather with a fast and easy lacing system for a stylish look that’s easy to get into. Inside, a KEEN.DRY waterproof/breathable membrane and 200g KEEN.WARM insulation keep feet warm, dry, and happy—so you can enjoy winter wherever you are.
I have to say, they only just fit around my legs. I really do have large legs, I hate it, really hate it, but because these are lace ups I can get away with it. Now they’re broken in I can get them laced up better too, the sides of the boot have softened up and they are easier to lace up now they’re not as stiff as when I first got them out of the box. That of course is generally true of any boot. They fit under my ski pants and my boyfriend jeans well, look great over leggings, but I couldn’t get them over or under my straight cut jeans – they wouldn’t do up when the jeans were tucked in and the jeans wouldn’t stretch over the top; I just had to choose my outfits to go with them.
Walking around in the snow was a doddle. The massive lugs on the bottom of the boot gripped onto the thick fresh snow in Finland with no problem at all. I did fall over twice – the first time I was running through the snow when all of a sudden it was at least twice as deep and I sank(!), and the second was when I was walking down a steep icy path – oops. So not fool-proof but better than standard hiking boots. They’ve also been great in the slush and ice this week at home; I walked up the hill into the village on Monday morning and felt very sure footed when others were wobbling around treading daintily. Don’t get me wrong, when it got really icy on the pavements I was careful – I’m not stupid (!), but I was confident that if there was grip to be found, these would grab onto it.
I can also confirm that they keep my feet warm and dry – even in deep snow and at -22C to -28C in Finland last week. I obviously wore them with ski socks while out there as I wanted to give my feet every chance possible, but I can honestly say that my toes were quite happy even when my fingers were moaning! The toe protection is great too, that solid area keeps my feet safe when I inevitably bash into things (so clumsy!), and also help the boots keep their shape.
We had great fun on a couple of walks in the snow in Finland taking in the scenery and snapping photos, having something decent on my feet made a big difference as I didn’t worry about them. Playtime is definitely back in these. I’m so pleased with them. They do their job as all-weather boots without a problem, and fit with my idea of what snow boots should look like. Let it snow!
Being a Playtime Tester has turned me into a proper KEEN fan. Put it this way, next time I need to buy a pair of shoes or boots for the outdoors then I would definitely consider KEEN. The shapes are just right for my feet, with plenty of space for me to wiggle my toes without them being sloppy. And they look great too – the range is full of rugged looking shoes suitable for wearing all day and for various activities. And yes, that’s a glowing review, I can’t help it! I now have my eyes on a pair of the canvas mary jane style flats for the summer.
So thanks KEEN. I’m looking forward to Spring to see what you come up with next.