logo Walking Britain
Home About Holidays FAQ Email MENU ☰

Gear Review - KEEN's Ambler Ladies’ Walking Shoes

Image of KEEN walking shoeThe Keen Ambler is advertised as a bit of an all-rounder hiking shoe, so to do it justice it needed testing over a variety of terrain. Taking into account that this is a shoe rather than a full-on walking boot, the rubber sole was certainly soft and sticky enough for a bit of boulder hopping, but also firm enough to still be supportive over rocky ground and long days out on mountain trails. The upper and tongue are quite stiff, and dug in a little until they were worn in; however, the inside structure of the shoe made for a comfortable, snug and supportive fit when worn all day long, which can’t be said for all walking shoes of this type. Without dunking the shoes in a bucket of water to test the water resistance to the maximum, they certainly kept dry when walking though wet grassy fields, and were breathable enough to keep the feet dry when walking in warm conditions. As for the style – perhaps this is the area they slightly lack. Keen seem to have opted for a very traditional colour choice (brown or grey), which - when you consider the ever-more brightly coloured and stylish selection of competitor options available - might act as a downside for the female market.

So is it an all-rounder? This shoe proved itself to be as comfortable ambling over Welsh mountain trails as for approach and descent in the Italian dolomites. For what it is – a hiking shoe rather than a boot - this is a comfortable and reliable choice for trails and fairly easy ground, also stretching into more demanding territory, in which other walking shoes might not be sufficiently supportive or comfortable. Another consideration for this shoe is the price - at £84.99 it isn't the cheapest on the market, especially considering that it is not fully waterproof, and given the availability of other (many more stylish) shoes on the market.

If you are looking for function as a priority, and don't mind the price, then you can't go far wrong.

Star imageStar imageStar imageStar imageStar image Rating - versatile footwear with perfect protection for your feet.

For further information visit www.keenfootwear.com

Review date - 3rd March 2012 - Reviewed by OJ

News & Reviews

A range of product reviews including books and maps are available. The following reviews are the most recent.

Wainwright Hill Bagging Map - A scratchable map showing all 214 Wainwrights in the Lake District. More info.

the people's poncho 2.0 - Lightweight, stylish and lightweight alternative to traditional waterproofs ideal for walkers. More info.

the people's poncho - A durable, lightweight, stylish and compact alternative to traditional waterproofs ideal for walkers with 10% Discount. More info.

AZ Adventure Series Maps - Convenient 1:25000 OS maps in booklet form covering the National Trails of Britain. More info.

Walking in the Aire - A new book by Lee Senior featuring 14 walks in the Aire valley. More info.

West Yorkshire's Wild Side - Two new books in the 'Wainwright' style featuring Calderdale and moorland walks. More info.

Follow Walking Britain for the latest news. Facebook  Twitter