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Review: Keen NXIS EVO Waterproof Boots

Keen NXIS Hiking Boots


A lightweight, comfortable and waterproof, 3 season boot that excels on the trails.

The Keen NXIS EVO Waterproof Boots are lightweight, nimble and built for speed. The boot offers excellent support, waterproofing and all-terrain tread. Plus, the sole is unbelievably cushioned and feels flexible enough to run on. All in all an impressive 3 season trail boot.

Keen NXIS EVO Waterproof Boots: The stats

Best for:Fast hiking and scrambling
Weight:14.7 oz / 417.9 g
Uppers:Synthetic with waterproof membrane
Outersoles:KEEN.ALL-TERRAIN rubber
Eco-conscious:PFC-free DWR coating
Overall rating:4.5 / 5

Features of the Keen NXIS EVO Waterproof Boots


Close up of shoe fabricMade from KEEN.DRY, the waterproof, breathable membrane lets vapour out without letting water in. The upper is PFC-free and seems to be durable, so far.


Soles of walking bootsThe all-terrain rubber outsole has 4mm multi-directional lugs for traction offering good grip in all but the muddiest of conditions. The heel-to-toe drop is 8mm and the EVA foam in the midsole is extremely comfortable; feet feel well-protected from rocks. Additionally, the flex in the sole makes it an excellent all-day trail boot.


Boot lacesThe NXIS Evo boots have a speed-lace webbing system with top collar hooks for a comfortably snug fit.

Toe box

Toe of bootsWith generous space for toes to spread out, the toe box also offers high levels of protection around and under the front of the foot. The split toe design is a bit of a curve-ball on the classic Keen bumper design.


Boot cushioningA heel-capture system and Achilles padding create a locked-in, supportive, and secure fit. There is TPU reinforcement for added stability in key zones. There are also removable inner soles that are made from PU and offer extra comfort. Crucially, they benefit from a natural anti-odour treatment to keep the stink at bay!

Soles of shoes on the trail

Keen NXIS EVO Waterproof Boots review

I have always worn 3/4 season leather walking boots which are perfect for my winter walks across Dartmoor but less well suited to long summer days on trails. I was therefore delighted to get the opportunity to try out these EVO boots from Keen.
My first impressions were good. They are obviously high-quality boots and I was amazed by their low weight relative to my leather boots. I enjoy scrambling on rock and was pleased to see the toe protection and reinforced panels.

Comfort and fit

The boots’ first outing was a cold February day out on Dartmoor. I was able to wear the boots straight out of the box with no rubbing or hot spots on my feet. The boots proved extremely comfortable – you can really feel the cushioning in the sole – and they genuinely feel light and flexible enough to run in. Despite the room for my toes (likely too much space if you have narrow feet) my heel was held comfortably and there was no heel rubbing on steep ascents.


The grip is impressive on wet grass, mud and rock. On the Granite Tors of Dartmoor the sole did a good job at protecting my feet from sharp edges, and the toe guards offered excellent toe protection.

Standing in a stream

Waterproofing and durability

One feature I am particularly impressed by is the waterproofing. The membrane runs throughout the boot which means you can submerge your feet in water up to the heel line and stay 100% dry. I have only been wearing these boots for a couple of months so it is difficult to make a comment on durability – they do, however, look well-built and have a high-quality feel.


So how good are these boots? Well I own a lot of footwear: running shoes, cross-trainers, walking shoes, pumps and leather walking boots. These are now my go-to outdoor shoes! Why? Well, it is because they just do everything. They are ridiculously comfortable, you can walk for hours in them and still have fresh feet, I could run in them, and if it takes your fancy you can stand in a puddle, up to your ankles for hours on end and keep your socks dry! Unlike my leather boots, they do not need cleaning and waxing after every use which makes them low on maintenance.

Are there any negatives I hear you ask? If I am honest I am not 100% sold on the styling. They look fine with walking trousers but I am not sure I will be wearing them to the pub. Will I be going back to my leather boots? Yes, when it is the winter and I am carrying a fully laden rucksack and I am after more insulation and ankle support. The rest of the time I will be in my Keen NXIS EVO Waterproof Boots! Awesome bits of kit.

Man walking down slope

What I love the most about the Keen NXIS EVO Waterproof Boots

They are lightweight, nimble, 100% waterproof and a super comfy cushioned sole.

What I don’t love so much about the Keen NXIS EVO Waterproof Boots

The styling is not particularly to my taste. The split toe design is a little bulky and looks a little strange being split across the big toe. I think this would look a lot better if it were one continuous toe protector. I’m also not a huge fan of the general colour design, with the grey soles contrasting with the red writing.

Man standing looking out to sea


The Keen NXIS EVO Waterproof Boots are best for 3 season trail walking and come in all sizes, for men and women. I am hugely impressed by these boots. I love their low weight, excellent grip, high levels of comfort and waterproofing. I also think that they are very reasonably priced, given their quality and comfort and especially being waterproof.

Find the latest price at:
Keen Footwear

Disclaimer: Cool of the Wild received this product free in return for an honest review. We only recommend gear that we love from companies we trust and we are under no obligation to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are that of the reviewer and we are in no way influenced by the brand or company.


About the author


Jon lives for the phys (physical activity). When he's not boring his pupils with the latest economic principles he'll be pushing their limits on the cross-country course (pretending he can keep up!). He is a keen cyclist, surfer, and seeker of adventure who loves to reminisce about the good old days jumping out of planes as a paratrooper. He is also very accomplished at lighting fires and likes to talk about the satisfyingly ergonomic grip of his newest axe.

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