DOWN ‘N DIRTY: KEEN/SHERPA INNATE SHERPA BOOT

I treat my feet nicely for one simple reason: they take me where I want to go. 

So depending on the season, you’ll likely see me sporting a range of footwear – from colorful sandals to insulated hikers – with a common thread. Whether I’m hiking trails, biking single track or having a beer in the local pub, I look for a shoe that, above all else, offers comfort.

And speaking of, this fall Keen Footwear and Sherpa Adventure Gear collaborated to create a new boot: the Innate Sherpa. This waterproof, mid-height boot is available in men’s and women’s models and features some fun Sherpa-inspired designs. Plus, for every pair sold, a donation is made to the non-profit, Room to Read, to help support child literacy in Nepal.

MSRP: $160

Pros: The top three perks I found to this boot were their comfort, sustainable design and tried-and-true Keen fit. 

To kick it off, if comfort is on your “must have” list, this boot definitely makes the cut. Foot fatigue is real, and thanks to the lightweight nature of the Innate Sherpa, my feet felt comfortable each day I wore them, even after hours of hiking. I also appreciated their breathability. My feet tend to run hot, but I didn’t feel swampy after hikes or long drives to and from the trail.

On the sustainability front, the Innate Sherpa features environmentally-preferred leather, eco-friendly anti-odor technology and PFC (Perfluorinated Chemicals)-free water repellent protection. By using ethically-sourced hides from certified tanneries, infusing the footbed with probiotic (anti-odor) technology and utilizing a safer water repellency technology, Keen and Sherpa are staying true to their mutual interest in protecting the outdoor spaces so many of us love.

Finally, Keen has a unique footbed and toe box, and this collab falls right in line with what brand diehards come to expect. While it was nice and roomy in the toe box (which this wider-footed gal appreciates), it definitely hugged my foot in the heel and and had overall comfortable throughout, including the top of my foot, thanks to a cushioned tongue. 

Cons: It’s hard to go wrong with a boot that makes your feet feel good and gives back to communities. The only “con” might be if you prefer a leaner, narrower boot. The Innate Sherpa is wider and does sport a thicker tongue that some might find bulky. If narrower boots are your preference, this may not be your go-to.

Where we took it: Treeline hikes, creek-side hikes, and random ramblings around southern Colorado.

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