Keen's Boulder Canyon Crew Socks - Gear Review

Friday, October 07, 2011

Until recently I did not think of socks as a piece of technical gear.  I mean, how creative can you get with a tube of fabric you stick your foot into?  Well, I had no idea.  As I delve deeper into the science behind how a sock is constructed I find that the difference is huge.  Materials, placement of seams and shape of the sock all play a huge role in comfort and performance.


The brain wizards over at Keen found an amazing blend of mostly merino wool and nylon yarns, and built in added cushioning underfoot to max out breathability and long range comfort. Yet, they went a step further.  Have you ever been out and about and realized that in your rush to get ready you put two different socks on?  Yeah, I have too.  Well, these Keen socks may just have you taking an extra second to double check.  To provide optimal fit and help ensure your sock stays where it is supposed to, Keen makes these socks foot specific.  Each pair is labeled on the toe for Right and Left foot.

Once you put them on, it is one of those "why has no one done this before" moments.  The fact that each is tailored to the profile of your foot is something you simply must try for yourself.  Slip your foot into a traditional sock, stick them in a boot, and head out for a day on the trail.  Inevitably you will end up yanking on your socks to get them back where they belong.  The Boulder Canyon's stay right where they are supposed to.

At first I thought this was nothing more than a marketing ploy.  Something new and different to talk about.  How exciting are socks, really?  But this is far from the case.  Why spend hundreds of dollars and hours of your time to get the best shoes or boots you can find, then sacrifice performance because your socks drop the ball.  I was surprised to find that the added cushioning and support these provide made my old school Chuck Taylor's wearable for more than just a couple of hours.

I never thought of myself as a sock snob, but I now find myself digging past sock after sock looking for the little "L" or "R" on the toe of the Keens.  If I am lacing up my hiking boots, I will have these on my feet.

MSRP: $16.95


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