KEEN Versacore Review

July 09, 2024

KEEN Versacore Review

The KEEN Versacore Speed is a light, comfortable, wide trail runner.

First thing to know about the Versacore Speed is that KEEN has managed to make a shoe that holds true to their wide toe box that they’re known for in hikers (like the Targhee II and IV) with aesthetics more reminiscent of common running shoes. The fit on these shoes sits wide, with ample room in the toe box for even the widest feet, while the mid and heel of the shoes manage to narrow down and hold the foot firmly in place.

Underfoot, the Versacore Speed offers a solid and rigid structure sitting atop a layer of soft foam. This provides cushion for those that need it when walking on hard surfaces like concrete, rock, or hard packed earth, while preventing aches and pain that can be found while wearing hard soled heavy hiking boots. The rigidity under foot meant that pronation was effectively not felt, even on rough or uneven terrain.

A light mesh upper allows for breathability and a small amount of give when lacing up, helping to improve fit-to-foot. The tongue on the Versacore Speed is not sewn along the sides like some modern shoes meaning that those with high volume feet have a bit of extra room to slide in when putting them on.

The lug on the sole gave reasonable grip without being excessively deep. Their mild rise meant that when dealing with puddles and shallow water they prevented the feet from becoming soaked. On the few occasions that the shoes were used in enough rain to become soaked, the light breathable upper allowed them to dry quickly enough that usually a change (or two) of socks after the rain was enough to have dry feet again.

Reviewers Note: When wearing for long periods of time the lateral section of the foot (outside, opposite the arches) ached. After trying multiple pairs this has not been a consistent issue with all shoes but I would recommend any potential buyer test the shoes indoors before attempting to take them out.

Recommended use: The Versacore Speed excels as a light trail hiker/runner with the design appearing to focus more on hiking/walking, than as a dedicated trail runner. With the rigid sole, the Versacore Speed also functions reasonably well as a trainer/exercise shoe, and combined with its Keen.All-Terrain lug sole it means you have a shoe for on trail fitness, or even a Tough Mudder regardless of the weather.

Who this shoe is recommended for:

  • Hikers
  • Dog walkers
  • Casual trail runners

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