Keen Circadia vs Targhee Hiking Boots

Last Updated: January 05, 2024 | Author: Jake Thompson

Over 60 million people in the U.S. alone identify as regular hikers, a number that underscores the importance of reliable footwear in the great outdoors. As someone who's been part of this statistic for years, I've come to appreciate the subtle yet significant differences between hiking boots. With unusual designs and close-toe sandals, the Keen is gaining immense popularity.

Keen Circadia Mid VS Keen Targhee II - hero

The Keen Circadia vs Targhee have both been under my scrutiny on various trails, each boasting features that cater to different preferences and needs. The Circadia Mid's environmentally friendly construction and comfort-focused design have intrigued me, particularly as we increasingly look toward sustainable options.

On the other hand, the Targhee II's renown for its enduring build and supportive fit remains a strong draw for seasoned hikers. I'm eager to share with you a comprehensive comparison based on firsthand experience, and perhaps together, we can uncover which boot truly stands tall when tested against the elements and time.

For a broader view of Keen's offerings, explore our detailed review of Keen Voyageur vs. Targhee, which offers insights into these popular hiking shoes

Table of Content:

  1. Key Takeaways
  2. Table: Keen Circadia Vs Targhee Hiking Boots
  3. Performance
  4. Breathability
  5. Traction
  6. Comfort and Fit
  7. Durability Insights
  8. Stability
  9. Waterproofing Capabilities
  10. Weight
  11. Frequently Asked Questions

Key Takeaways

  • -The Keen Circadia Mid hiking footwear features Keen. Fusion technology, simplified pattern design, computer stitching, LWG-certified leather, and PFAS-free water repellency.
  • - The Circadia Mid Polar version, available in September 2022, is waterproof, vented, and insulated with 200g of Keen. Warm insulation, and suitable for temperatures down to -25°F (-32°C).
  • - The Circadia Waterproof Boot and Shoe have environmentally preferred leather uppers, Keen. Dry waterproof, breathable membranes, Keen LuftCore technology for shock absorption, and higher-traction rubber outsoles with multi-directional lugs.
  • - Keen's approach to making hiking more accessible includes delivering important features at a more accessible price, consciously creating manufacturing, and making hiking accessible to more people.

Table: Keen Circadia Vs Targhee Hiking Boots

Keen Circadia Mid Keen Targhee II
Features Keen Circadia Mid Keen Targhee II
Comfort KEEN LuftCore technology for a comfortable feel KEEN.DRY waterproof, breathable membrane and leather mud shield
Durability Waterproof leather and performance mesh with a PFAS-free, durable water repellent (DWR) finish Waterproof leather and KEEN.DRY waterproof, breathable membrane with leather mud shield
Weight 21.16 oz / 600 g 15.4 oz / 436 g
Material Waterproof leather and mesh upper with KEEN Dry technology Waterproof leather and KEEN.DRY waterproof, breathable membrane with leather mud shield
Width Suitable for both wide and narrow feet Suitable for both wide and narrow feet


In comparing the performance, I'll focus on breathability and traction, two critical factors for hiking boots.

The Circadia Mid's vented design suggests an advantage in breathability, which is essential for long treks to prevent moisture buildup inside the boot.

Meanwhile, the Targhee II's reputation for excellent grip, with its high-traction rubber outer sole, indicates that it might provide more stability and security on varied terrains.

Related: Merrell Moab 2 vs Moab 3


When considering the performance of both hiking boots, breathability stands out as a crucial factor for hiking.

The Circadia Mid features the KEEN.DRY waterproof, breathable membrane, which aims to protect against water while allowing moisture from the foot to escape. This ensures a comfortable hike, even during vigorous activity. However, the leather upper may offer less breathability compared to some other materials.

In contrast, the Targhee II incorporates a Targhee vent system that's designed to optimize airflow. Although both boots are equipped with technology to prevent overheating, in terms of sheer breathability, the Targhee II may have a slight edge over the waterproof mid-design of the Circadia.


While breathability is essential for comfort during hikes, the boots' traction capabilities are equally critical for safe and efficient navigation across varied terrains. The Keen Targhee II, in particular, boasts a rubber outsole with multi-directional lugs that provide substantial grip on slippery or uneven ground.

Let's dive into the details:

  • - Rubber Outsole: Offers strength and adherence to surfaces, reducing the risk of slips and falls.
  • - Multi-Directional Lugs: These ensure a firm grip in various directions, adapting to different types of terrain with ease.
  • - Midsole Technology: Works in concert with the outsole, contributing to the overall cushioning and protection, which indirectly supports better traction by maintaining foot stability.

In my analysis, it's clear that traction is a vital aspect of any hiking boot's performance. The Keen Targhee II delivers on this front, providing confidence on the trail through its well-designed outsole and supportive midsole structure.

Comfort and Fit

Assessing the comfort and fit of hiking boots involves examining their ergonomic design, cushioning, and adaptability to various foot shapes.

When I slip my feet into these comfortable hiking boots, the first thing I notice is the footbed. It's designed to support the natural contours of my feet, providing a stable base that's crucial for long treks. The insole of both boots is thick and cushioned, yet it doesn't compromise the responsiveness I need on uneven ground.

With its reputation for a wide fit, the Targhee II offers a generous fit that's especially beneficial for a person with broader feet. The heel is snug, reducing slippage and preventing blisters, a testament to Keen's attention to detail.

Meanwhile, the Circadia Mid cradles my feet with its midsoles that absorb shock and return energy with each step, making it feel like I'm walking on clouds.

Both Keen boots feature an ergonomic design that emphasizes a natural foot position, thereby enhancing overall comfort. Keen has invested in creating hiking boots that offer a balance between a snug fit and room to move, ensuring that hikers can focus on the trail ahead rather than their footwear.

Durability Insights

Regarding durability, I've found that both models exhibit robust construction that withstands rigorous trail conditions. From my experience and analysis, I've highlighted some key points:

- Leather Working & Materials: Both boots utilize environmentally preferred leather, which speaks to their toughness and Keen's commitment to sustainable practices. The leather working isn't only durable but also adds to the overall longevity of the boots.

- Break-In Period: The Targhee II, from my mid-hiking boot review, has a reputation for minimal break-in time, which means it's ready for the trails almost out of the box.

- Resilience to Trail Conditions: In testing both boots, I've observed that they hold up well against abrasion, flexing, and exposure to water and mud, maintaining their structure and performance over time.

Both our selected hiking shoes have proven to be reliable in terms of durability. Their tough construction is evident in the quality of the stitching and the choice of materials, like LWG-certified leather, which ensures that these boots are built to last while being kinder to the environment.

Whether you're crossing streams or tackling rocky paths, these boots are designed to endure the demands of the great outdoors.

To understand how Keen's different models cater to various outdoor needs, check out our comparison of Keen vs Oboz hiking shoes.


When I'm trekking across challenging landscapes, the stability of my footwear is paramount.

The Targhee II, known for its Targhee III Waterproof Mid iteration, boasts a design that emphasizes support and a secure footing, making it a reliable choice for varied terrain. Its multi-directional lug pattern provides significant traction, which is essential when navigating slippery or loose surfaces.

On the other hand, the Circadia Waterproof Boot incorporates a lightweight foam technology designed to absorb shock and enhance stability. This feature, in conjunction with its high-traction rubber outsole, also features multi-directional lugs, ensuring that I maintain a stable stride even on the most unpredictable trails.

Both boots offer commendable stability, but it's their unique features, like the Targhee's robust construction and the Circadia's innovative core technology, that cater to different preferences. Whether crossing a rocky path or ascending a muddy incline, the importance of a stability pattern and supportive design can't be overstated.

Waterproofing Capabilities

While stability on uneven terrain is crucial for any hike, it's equally important to consider the waterproofing capabilities of boots to keep feet dry in wet conditions. When I'm out on the trail, I can't afford to have soggy socks slowing me down, so I pay close attention to how well my boots can fend off water.

The Keen Circadia Mid features the proprietary KEENDRY waterproof membrane, which is designed to keep moisture out while allowing my wide feet to breathe.

Keen Targhee II boots are equipped with a similar waterproof membrane, but some versions also boast a GORE-TEX liner for enhanced waterproofing in extremely wet environments.

Both utilize leather that's treated for water resistance, adding an extra layer of protection against the elements.

I've found that the waterproofing effectiveness largely depends on the membrane's quality and the boot's overall construction. The KEENDRY and GORE-TEX membranes in these boots are tested under rigorous conditions to protect them against water ingress.

Related: Keen Vs Merrell


In terms of weight, both offer different advantages, with the former generally being lighter, fostering greater agility on the trail, while the latter provides a sturdier, albeit heavier, construction for potentially enhanced durability. As a hiker who pays close attention to the details of my footwear, I recognize that weight is a critical factor in determining comfort and endurance on long treks.

Feature Keen Circadia Mid Keen Targhee II
Weight Lighter build Heavier build
Construction Keen LuftCore Technology Sturdy design
Impact on Hiking Experience Agility on the trail Durability underfoot

The Keen Circadia Mid utilizes Keen LuftCore technology to absorb shock, which contributes to a lighter hiking boot that doesn't sacrifice underfoot protection. On the other hand, the Keen Targhee II, known for its long-lasting performance, offers a heavier and more rugged construction. As someone who analyzes the nuances of hiking gear, I appreciate that both boots cater to different needs: the Circadia Mid for those who value lightness and the Targhee II for hikers who prefer a durable, supportive boot for challenging terrains.

Gain more insights into the world of outdoor activities by exploring our article on Best Waterproof Work Boots, which discusses the essential features for rugged outdoor work

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Do the Aesthetics and Style of Circadia Waterproof Boot Compare to the Targhee II, and Which Is More Appealing for Casual, Everyday Wear?

I'd say aesthetics are subjective, but the Circadia Mid's sleek design might edge out for everyday wear, offering a modern appeal that fits casual styles better than the rugged Targhee II.

2. Are There Any Differences in the Environmental Impact of Producing the Keen Circadia Mid Versus the Targhee II, Considering Both Use Sustainable Materials?

I'm not sure about the specific environmental impacts of producing each boot, but both brands emphasize sustainability, which suggests they're likely minimizing their ecological footprints in similar ways.

3. Can Hiking Footwear Accommodate Orthopedic Insoles or Custom Footbeds Without Compromising the Fit and Support of the Boot?

I've found that both boots can accommodate orthopedic insoles, maintaining fit and support, provided the insole thickness matches the original footbed's dimensions to avoid altering the boot's internal volume and design ergonomics.

4. How Do the Keen Circadia Mid and Targhee II Perform in Terms of Breathability and Air Circulation, Especially in Warmer Climates or During Strenuous Activity?

I've found that both boots offer decent breathability, with the Circadia Mid performing slightly better in warm climates due to its vented design, ensuring air circulation during strenuous hikes.

5. Are There Any Notable Differences in the Ease of Maintenance and Cleaning Between the Keen Circadia and Targhee, Given Their Respective Materials and Construction?

I've found that maintenance ease can vary between Keen Circadia Mid and Targhee II due to their materials. Some require regular treatment, while others just need a simple wipe-down, influencing cleaning convenience and time investment.

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Jake Thompson

Jake Thompson

I am Jake, a sports enthusiast, love everything about sports, particularly basketball and volleyball. I've played both sports at a local level. Here to share my passion for sports and sports gear experiences with you.