The Terradora Ethos is part of KEEN’s now well-established women’s specific range of shoes. Designed as footwear for all-terrain use, the idea is that you can put them on for pretty much any activity you fancy doing that day. Described as being lightweight, breathable, and ready for action on warm days, I have certainly had plenty of opportunity to wear them thanks to the amazing summer we’ve had in the UK this year (although you wouldn’t know it looking out of my home office window right now – it’s bucketing it down!).
KEEN Terradora Ethos hiking shoes – for women only.
You already know that I love my Terradora hiking boots (waterproof version review here, leather version review here, and I was fully confident that the Terradora Ethos would become my favourite summer shoe. The all-terrain versatility would mean I can put these any and every morning without worrying about what kind of activity I was taking part in during the hours following. You know, like the coat you always wear despite having a selection of ten to choose from, or having one bag that is fit for all occasions.
Over the course of the last few weeks, I’ve used these for some light hiking, urban wandering, dress down days at work, as my campsite shoe of choice, for some beach walking, and even a skydive. Because skydiving is an excellent test of a shoe’s durability, right?!
The perfect shoe for skydiving?!
The KEEN Terradora Ethos look like a pair of trainers rather than a pair of trail shoes, and they feel like that when you put them on. They are low-bulk around the top of the foot and have a low profile when you look to the side, and look perfectly good with shorts, walking trousers or even jeans.
Technology wise you’re looking at a pair of shoes with a very similar chassis to the other products in the Terradora range, altered slightly to provide something good for summer. There’s an ESS shank for lightweight support, a rubber outsole with 4mm multi-directional lugs to keep you from slipping over, cleansport natural odour control (no-one wants smelly shoes…), a low density EVA midsole with a women’s specific shape, and dual-density PY foam insoles with arch support.
Admiring the view…
As for lacing, well that’s a bit easy thanks to the elastic lacing system (which they call “secure-fit lace-capture”) and stretchy upper; basically you get them fitting right once and then just slip them on and off. They have a bit of give to allow your foot to move and breathe, but they feel good and secure even when walking really really fast (clearly not running, this is me we’re talking about!). Very convenient, especially when camping. Oh, and I’m wearing my normal size; they fit just right, as I would expect from KEEN.
Of course the main feature here is that these are shoes designed to keep your feet cool when outdoors in the summer. You’ll notice that the upper has holes in – so literally designed to keep you cool as the air can get right in. The Terradora Ethos are not sandals or water shoes, they’re shoes, but the super lightweight upper and the quick-dry lining, along with those holes, means that these are good for very hot days, walks along the beach, and even a spot of paddleboarding or canoeing. I haven’t – wouldn’t – wear these on a rainy day.
Great camping shoe. Fit once, slip on daily.
The big question is… socks or no socks?! I have certainly found them more comfortable with socks. I know – controversial! I have worn them a lot without and they’re fine, but they are simply that little bit more comfortable with a pair of socks underneath. It comes down to the one little niggle I have with these. The end seam of the neoprene-like upper, the super lightweight upper, sits right over my little toe. It doesn’t rub in so much as it blisters, but where it finishes does become annoying and irritating after a while, and when I take the shoes off after a couple of hours, I feel a sense of relief and have a red toe. If these shoes didn’t have the ventilation holes in them, so if they were normal hiking shoes, this wouldn’t be a problem for me. I guess my advice is to try these on and be very conscious over where that seam sits on your foot before you commit to wearing these for a long day out.
Perfect for summer trig bagging.
If you’re pottering around close to home, on family walks in nature parks, doing light hikes in the heat of summer, or want something easy to slip on for beach or campsite days (especially if you’re going in a canoe or on a paddleboard as part of your day…), then the KEEN Terradora Ethos are an excellent choice. They are comfortable, lightweight, easy to pack, and a very good combination of trainer and trail shoe. But if you want something with great support for miles and miles on your feet, or want to walk on tough terrain or on a particularly rainy day, then I think it goes without saying that you should consider a normal trail shoe. In fact, you should probably consider the full trail shoe version of the Terradora – they’re on my list.
Find out more about the Terradora Ethos over on the KEEN website, available for £84.99.
With thanks to KEEN for sending me a pair of the Terradora Ethos for my summer outdoors fun.