A few years back I discovered the joys of Keen’s Growlers, a fantastic lightweight winter boot. But like all good things, they got canned.
This winter, Keen may just have redeemed themselves and brought in a replacement, the Delta.
Visually they’re very different to the Growlers, the upper is nubuck rather than synthetic, the ankle is a little higher, they look much like a regular boot. But, the detail gives the game away.
The outsole is the same, with Dual Climate rubber (gets harder in the cold to bite better, it looks like it works from experience) in what’s probably Keen’s most aggressive lug pattern, the whole unit has a nice easy flex for comfy walking. The upper is waterproof, lined with a Keen Dry membrane (for more reliability after some time with eVent in their footwear), and there’s 200g Keen Warm synthetic insulation in there too. I wondered about having an insulated boot for walking, but with a thinner sock on the move I’ve been fine, and at a winter camp it’s a joy when your feet don’t chill.
One brilliant little feature kept from the Growler is the metal D-ring at the toe end of the laces, your gaiters or trouser cuff clips here, is super-secure and doesn’t wear away your laces.
The insoles are all new, they are… Thermal Heat Shield Footbeds. What this means it it looks like a piece of fabric cut from a tweed jacket and stuck onto silver foil. But, it’s well formed, and it’s awfy nice under your feet, so they’ll be staying in there.
The rest is very Keen-esque, right down to that big bad toe bumper.
Flexible, lightweight footwear in winter is like a guilty pleasure. If you’ve crushed your feet in stiff heavy boots evey time the snows come for countless years like me, moving to something like this has you looking over shoulder wondering “This can’t be right, but it’s so good, I’ll get found out if I’m not careful…”.
I want these to work, so they’d bloody better do, there’s no size 9 Growlers left on ebay.