Looking for your next hiking shoe, especially one that can also be a trail runner? Or do you need an awesome every-day shoe with ortho support that’s high quality and can take a beating? That is the KEEN Women’s Tempo Flex.
Let me start by giving you a little info about me: My opinions come from my experience with trail running shoes more so than hiking shoes or boots; I like to call what I do a Hiking-Trail Run lol Kind of like interval Run – Walk, so I do not like the stiffness of a hiking shoe: That is why I typically get a trail running shoe instead of a hiking shoe. To date I have tried multiple hiking & trail running shoes from varying companies like Salomon, Adidas, New Balance, Salming Running, Inkkas, Merrell, Oboz, and more.
Things I consider when looking at shoes: Weight, Flex, Grip, Water Resistant/Proof, Toe Box, Arch, Tongue & Lacing, Side Walls, Materials, can it be worn for Everyday Use (because I cannot afford a different shoe for every activity, and I know I am not the only one out there), and obviously Comfort is a big factor.
To keep things simple, I am going to share the description KEEN gives for the Tempo Flex Waterproof on their website, give my two cents on their description in green, and then I will continue with sharing my thoughts on the Tempo Flex Waterproof Shoe.
“When you want to hike light and fast, the less resistance the better. That is where flex can help. So we took our proven hybrid hiker-sneaker platform and added KEEN.BELLOWS FLEX at key flex points. For a women's waterproof hiking sneaker that flexes where you do.”
As they say on Letterkenny (if you do not know the show & like dry humor for sure check it out), Can Confirm.
• Flexes Easier: KEEN.BELLOWS FLEX requires less energy to bend, making each step feel easier.
This feature is one of the reasons I feel this shoe works well as a trail runner – the flex is amazing! I was very and pleasantly surprised by this. With that said, it is still a hiking shoe, so it is stiffer than a true trail runner. >> It is the perfect hybrid (in my opinion)! If you hike or hike & trail run, grab yourself a pair of the KEEN Tempo Flex Waterproof before hitting the trails.
• Light and Fast: The performance ripstop mesh upper is durable without any bulk.
Totally agree. The KEEN Tempo Flex Waterproof gives you flex, and the material (reinforcement) is such your foot does not slip over even though it is lighter weight with the use of the ripstop mesh; People who wear trail runners know what I mean by your foot slipping: Super annoying when that happens! That quality right there made me fall in love with the KEEN Tempo Flex Waterproof Shoe. You can be running or walking on the side angle of a mountain and your foot stays where it should (in the shoe). No slippage inside the shoe that I found. And the Tempo Flex is durable even with the use of lightweight materials – these shoes took a beating and came out with no rips, tears, holes, or damage of any variety.
The Tempo Flex is light for a hiking shoe, in my opinion, which is another reason I have no issue making these my new go-to; They are light enough to be comfortable running or hiking – even rocky trails. The 4x4 trails of hikers lol These shoes are great for those adventures! And the Tempo Flex is also light enough to be an everyday shoe.
I do not know how to judge feeling fast in shoes <wink> but I can tell you the KEEN Tempo Flex Waterproof did not slow me down! It felt great to hike, run, walk, and scramble with this shoe.
• For All Conditions: Ready for anything with KEEN.DRY waterproof protection and KEEN.ALL-TERRAIN traction for better grip on a variety of trail surfaces.
KEEN.DRY: Testing this feature was fun. Who does not love being a kid stomping in puddles?
Well, puddle stompers, you can walk through water in the KEEN Tempo Flex Waterproof and stay dry so long as water does not go over the cuff, which any shoe (not boot) will let water in at the ankle.
I also did some tests in the tub: Water flowing, standing in water, spraying all over, completely soaking all outer fabric, and the outcome was me being extremely impressed.
The Tempo Flex Shoe will stay dry, but the KEEN.DRY tongue gets wetter on the inside before it dries. So, know upfront if the tongue gets saturated, your (sock and) foot will be damp eventually.
Impressed! We did some loose rocky trails, rocky mountain sides, scrambling, and a little trail running, and the only issue was my footing lol It was not the shoes’ fault.
I also moved a friend for almost a week wearing the KEEN Tempo Flex: Feet were comfy, the grip helped huge, the breathability was nice given it was near 100 degrees, and my feet did not hurt at the end of the day – which is unusual as I have Osteoarthritis and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Happier feet for sure at the end of the day than if I had worn one of my other shoes.
Did some yard work and a landscaping job in them – Same as moving my friend: Comfy, Grip, Breathability, and Feet Were Not Tired at the end of the day. The same has been true for everyday wear.
Other Features I Feel Are Very Important To Note:
Arch Support & Comfort
If you are one of the millions that need orthopedic shoes you should definitely try the KEEN Tempo Flex!
As I mentioned before, I have Osteoarthritis, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and I also have an Extremely High Arch. I have a pair of custom insoles because of this. Guess what? I did/do not have to use my custom insoles – Mind Blown! The KEEN Insoles are perfect (for me)!
Overall, I found the KEEN Tempo Flex to be extremely comfortable!
One of the reasons I love KEEN Shoes is their Toe Box, which all their shoes have their awesome toe box.
Why do I like a good toe box? (That sounds dirty hehehe)
I like to be able to grip with my toes and I do not like when my feet slip over the edge of my shoe. So, I want and need a Durable & Stiff Toe Box, but Comfortable with a Little Flex also: The toe box can make or break a hike/run for me. Well, KEEN has nailed the Toe Box! That is one of the reasons my feet did not get as tired with the Tempo Flex – My toes & feet did not have to do as much work because the toe box did its job.
Tongue & Laces
The KEEN Tempo Flex Laces are great in my opinion. I did not find they stretched out, and they stayed tied, unlike most soft round laces.
The Tongue on the Tempo Flex is the only part of the shoe I have issue with, and it is purely because of the arthritis in my feet that causes the joint top-center of my foot to be enlarged, and it swells & gets painful when I have my feet tied into shoes for longer lengths of time. Some days just putting my foot in a shoe is painful, so I do not think the problem I have with the tongue is an issue for most people.
My Wish: The Tempo Flex opened all the way up (it does loosen some), but because of the tongue design I know it is not possible for it to open like a normal shoe. BUT, If the shoe were designed differently, it would not be waterproof, so it is necessary for the tongue to be designed the way it is (sewn in).
The tongue is just something to keep in mind for people that have bone/joint “deformations” or feet that swell.
Another thing to consider is when the tongue gets really wet, water/liquid will soak through, and then your socks/feet will become damp. So long as the tongue is not saturated this should not be an issue.
One more thing to note: They are a great fit for people who have a wide foot upfront, but narrow in the back.
And you cannot deny the KEEN Tempo Flex Waterproof looks GOOOOD!
Have you tried or do you own the KEEN Tempo Flex Waterproof? If so, please share your feedback with us: LUE Outdoors and KEEN would love to know what you think!
Do you have questions? Want to know more? Do not hesitate to ask! I am very excited to share this shoe with people!
Annnd, I am not done yet <wink> I am going to share the technical mumbo-jumbo.
(Look for the comments/highlights on items not already discussed in green.)
I do not know what else to say other than,
You seriously need the KEEN Tempo Flex (Waterproof) On Your Feet!
I highly recommend them.
Until next time friends,
Live Life Outside.
Keep Your Kicks In Shape:
Gently brush with a soft, damp sponge to remove loose dirt. Treat stains right away with a gentle cleaner. Air dry away from heat.