Keen.Welt Heavy-Duty Work Boots
The Keen.Welt boots have traditional welted stitching, but the toe is protected by a rubber cap that’s actually part of the boot’s outer sole
It seems as if every pair of work boots I’ve had over the years has met the same tragic end. As I hold a pair of sad-looking size 10s, their outer soles peeled away from the toes after years of kicking around job sites, I get the same solemn prognosis at the shoe-repair store: They can’t be resoled. If I want a pair of boots that can be resoled, I’m told, they should be welted construction. Welted construction relies on a stitch around the outside edge of the boot and ties the outer sole to the leather upper. This design makes the boots flexible and typically allows them to be resoled, but the threads can take a beating—requiring a trip to the shoe-repair shop. The new Keen.Welt series of work boots aims to fix that problem.
There are a lot of features to recommend these new Keen boots—they’re comfy right out of the box, they offer good support, and they lace up quickly. The big selling point, though, is their construction. The Keen.Welt boots have traditional welted stitching, but the toe is protected by a rubber cap that’s actually part of the boot’s outer sole. Although this one-piece rubber tread means that the boots can’t be resoled, their beefed-up toe should ensure that I have some more time for using the steel-protected toes of the boots to persuade walls and other stubborn objects into alignment. Besides, I can now use these new boots as an excuse to throw out all of my old beat-up pairs.
Keen.Welt boots are available in two styles, with soft or steel toes. The Milwaukee boot, shown here, retails for $140.