The Keen Utility Kansas City Work Boot: Blending Comfort and Durability Effortlessly
Over the years, I’ve tried numerous work boots, and one thing that always stood out was the lack of comfort. Work boot technology has certainly improved, but they were not known for their superior comfort. That’s where the Keen Utility Kansas City Work Boot comes in. It combines the durability of a traditional work boot with a lightweight wedge shape and a unique design approach to provide unmatched comfort. I put it to the test to see if it lived up to the hype.
Pros and Cons
- Exceptionally flexible toes
- Cushioned footbed for extended wear
- Aggressive tread for loose terrain
- Slightly bulky
Editor’s note: Check out our best work boots review article for a comprehensive list of our favorite products for various applications.
Finding the Right Size
Typically, I wear a size 10.5 to 11.5, depending on the brand. I ordered size 11 for the Keen Utility Kansas City Work Boot, and it fit perfectly. If you’re unsure about the size, Keen provides a comprehensive sizing guide based on other boots you’ve worn, including those from other brands.
My first experience with Keen’s bellows system was with the Utility Troy work boot, and it was truly eye-opening. As a fan of Red Wing boots, I was impressed by the advantages of the bellows design. Firstly, it allows for easier bending of the toes. Secondly, it eliminates leather in areas prone to cracking or weakening over time.
The built-in multi-directional flex points enable the toe box to collapse while kneeling, reducing pressure on the instep. This design feature eliminates the need for a break-in period, unlike traditional work boots. Though they may take a few days to loosen up, it’s nothing compared to the discomfort of breaking in leather boots.
KonnectFit Heel for Maximum Safety
The KonnectFit technology secures your heel firmly in place, preventing any slipping, especially when working in muddy or softer terrains. This feature reduces fatigue and ensures you don’t lose your shoes during demanding tasks.
Superior Build Quality
The Keen Utility Kansas City Work Boot deviates from the traditional leather upper and instead utilizes a synthetic mesh material. It offers exceptional breathability, with a concealed breathable waterproof membrane for added protection.
Outsole and Tread: Unmatched Performance
The boot features a wedge-designed outsole that distributes your weight over a wider area, significantly enhancing comfort. It boasts a slightly aggressive tread pattern, similar to hiking boots, while providing the necessary oil and slip resistance properties required in a work boot.
The soft KEEN.ReGEN midsole, made from a lightweight and compression-resistant material, returns 50 percent more energy than standard EVA foam. It is attached to the outsole through a cement (glue) connection. These boots offer a soft feel, minimizing fatigue and soreness in your legs and knees compared to traditional work boots.
Safety Toe for Maximum Protection
Internally, the Keen Utility Kansas City Work Boot features an asymmetrical carbon fiber safety toe cap that meets ASTM safety standards. It provides toe protection while weighing 15 percent less than steel alternatives. The design also offers additional protection from side impacts on the outer edge, ensuring your toes stay safe.
- KEEN.Dry waterproof technology
- Moisture-wicking liner
- Removable ergonomic PU footbed
- Nylon midfoot handle
- EH/ESR rating
- Synthetic/textile upper
Keen Utility Kansas City Work Boot Prices
You can purchase a pair of these boots online or from your local Keen dealer for $180. While this price may be on the higher side for a cement construction boot, it’s justified considering the unconventional design and exceptional performance.
The Bottom Line
The Keen Utility Kansas City Work Boot with its wedge sole design is perfect for long days on hard surfaces. Its aggressive tread pattern and secure lace capture system make it ideal for working on loose terrains where traction is essential. These features, combined with its durability and comfort, make it an excellent choice for a variety of tradesmen and challenging environments.
Keen Utility Kansas City Work Boot Specifications
- Height: 7 inches
- Color: Black/Gun Metallic
- Sizes: 7 – 15 (Half Size to 12)
- Width: Regular or wide
- Safety Toe Cap: Carbon Fiber
- Safety Rating: ASTM F1677-96 MARK II and ASTM F2913-19 SATRA (non-slip), ASTM F2412-18 and F2413-18 MI/75 C/75 (electrical hazard)
- Responsibility Level: Medium Responsibility
- Weight: 26 oz (Size 11)
- Price: $180
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