Keen Pittsburgh Boots

The therapist fiancé will tell you that I have more of a shopping addiction than she does. This of course is a bit of female propaganda, because men don’t have shopping addictions. Some of us however, do have gear addictions. For some guys its the newest, sleekest, lightest, guaranteed to make you taller and more attractive gear. Some on the other hand are just very picky about their kit, and it takes a while to find things they really like. I fall into this second group, I go through a decent amount of gear finding what is just right for my kit. However once I take a liking to something I will generally wear them, use them, drive them into the ground. Some good examples being my primary sea kayaking paddle, Werner Ikelos, I don’t want to use anything else. Mine is several years old, has more than a few dings on it and enough miles to make most Volvo station wagons blush. Another good example are my north face snow boots, I have had them since sophomore year of college, and have never had the urge to replace them. They are well made, very comfortable, exceedingly warm, and still in once piece.

That brings me to the title of my post, the Keen Pittsburgh boots. The Therapist fiancé will probably also tell you I have more shoes than her, which is not entirely accurate, its boots not shoes. Hint, ask her about her boat shoe collection! The amount of boots in my closet come from my liking of having specific boots for certain things, as well as the search for an all around pair of work books I really really like. The Keen Pittsburgh’s have solved that equation!

The Pittsburgh’s are available in soft and steel toe, and needing a work boot mine are of course steel toe. Most likely due to Keens patented funny looking toe design I find they are far more comfortable than the average steel toe boot, especially while kneeling. The are fairly light feeling, very comfortable out of the box and required next to no break in. A departure for me from slip on boots they are fairly easy to lace up, and once laced up snuggly stay firmly in place on your feet, the major downside of the pull on boots I had been wearing. For mariners in more temperate climates they are quite breathable and non insulated, a much for the Gulf of Mexico most of the year. The soles are oil and slip resistant, and the whole boot itself is waterproof. While not quite high enough for being on a wet deck in rough weather, for a guy that spends most of his time in the wheelhouse they are more than enough. After four 28 day hitches they don’t show any wear and I have faith that they will get quite a few miles on them, sea or otherwise. All in all for me they just work, and have been come an essential part of my work kit and sea bag.

You can find these great boots at any number of online stores, I purchased my pair at a Workin Gear store as I wanted to try them on first before I plopped down the $180 plus tax for them. They are at the higher end of the mid price range, however I think you will be able to get every dime out of them. Like any true gear head I can only say you get what you pay for.

Now for the images!


easy to use eyelets

easy to use eyelets

side view

side view

No slip oil resistant souls

No slip oil resistant soles

comfortably padded ankle area, and excellent insole

comfortably padded ankle area, and excellent insole

About newenglandwaterman

1600 Master Near Coastal, Master of Towing Vessels, and a whole binder full of other pieces of paper. You can find me at the controls, hooked up and hard over, when I'm not at home playing with the dogs
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5 Responses to Keen Pittsburgh Boots

  1. R says:

    Have you thought about putting a set of lace in boot zippers into these boots? Might be the best of both worlds (lace up vs. slip on) and shouldn’t cost more than $20 if it is a failed experiment.

    • I did at first, but to be honest where I have gotten over my pull on speed need. If I am off watch and just need to slip something on to step outside I have some ankle high bog steel toes for the winter months, and some nautilus safety toe sneakers for the summer. Great suggestion though!

  2. Paul says:

    I don’t see how guys can do the $20 wally world special. Back in ’91, John E Graham would send us to Redwing before our first hitch. Have been wearing the 953 8″ ever since, wether at sea or construction. Your comment about the toe is good info. Their QC has been going down the past few years. Insole isn’t as good and the sole tends to degrade faster, the nubs litterally ripping out of the soles. Maybe my extra 30+/- lbs has something to do with it, at 6’2″ and 240, Will have to check these out. My fav army/navy store carries them, so I can avoid the shopping malls. Hope your staying warm and the seas are flat.

  3. I will agree with you there Paul. I can be a whiner when my feet are uncomfortable so I like good boots.

  4. bowsprite says:

    Dear TF:
    My closet is 80% mens working boots, durable thick work pants, heavy coats, foul weather gear, gloves, hats: all excellent quality, american-made when possible;
    15% womens work gear, and 5% nice dresses for interviews. Is there some sort of certificate or medal we can get and give to ourselves when we open the closet door and push the large mustang vest out of the way to get to the handbag?
    thank you,
    oh, and, my little leather strap sandals are all crushed by big steel-toed boots.

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