The Duality’s contemporary streetwise looks – with what appears from the outside to be a low profile sole and topped with a fashion-orientated leather upper – belie the level of functionality and performance these smart boots offer. That ostensibly thin outsole actually features a good set of grippy lugs, and inside the boot there is a whole lot more going on than is outwardly apparent.
The boots come with a double set of removable midsoles – a green pair that supplies extra support for tackling more technical trails, especially when carrying a backpack, and a lighter pair of red midsoles for more casual outings, when you want a relaxed fit. This modular approach makes them extremely versatile, and with a quick sole switch the Duality is ideal for everything from Sunday afternoon pub walks to multiday peak-pocketing escapades.
Other features include dashing red laces, a high-quality leather upper with an integrated sock made with a stretchy Gore-Tex membrane, which prevents the ingress of trail debris, and a set of heel hoops, which come in very handy, as these are not the easiest boots to get on. Made from responsibly-sourced materials, the Duality is expensive, but offers the functionality of two pairs of boots, and the midsoles can be replaced without forking out for new shoes. PK
For more expert walking boot reviews head across to our list of the best walking boots.
Facts at a glance:
- RRP: £240
- Uppers: Leather approved by Leather Working Group
- Outsole: Includes AHAR Plus (ASICS High Abrasion Resistance Rubber) on the outsole heel for durability
- Midsole: Two removable options, one with extra cushioning
- Waterproofing: GORE-TEX Extended Comfort
- Fitting: Standard
- Weight: 394 g per boot (UK size 8)
Keen NXIS Evo mid hiking boot
Great looking and with a low impact footprint, this lightweight boot (418 g) is hike-ready out of the box. It’s instantly comfortable, with cushioning around the heel, arch support in the insoles and a compression-molded EVA midsole. The boot is free of harmful PFC chemicals, has an anti-odour treatment, and a waterproof and breathable membrane.
Keen’s famously substantial toe protection features, but scaled down and with a split-toe design. The outsole’s horseshoe pattern has the kind of bendy lugs found on trail-running shoes and will suit those who want to travel fast, rather than walkers heading for really technically difficult, wet and rocky terrain. PK
Reviews by Pat Kinsella