Oh, the weather outside is frightful – but a cold weather front shouldn't mean you can't get out on a hike in comfort. Wearing warm, waterproof winter boots on your feet is a surefire way to enjoy being outside in the cold for longer, and Keen's Revel IV Polar High boot (£139.99/$196) is here to bridge the gap between hiking boot and snow boot.
This design is reliably warm and protective when you're walking in rainy, snowy and icy conditions, even if there is some compromise on weight and bulk, and it also offers excellent grip on slippery surfaces. If you're after a summerweight or all-season boot, head to our guides to the best women's hiking boots and the best men's hiking boots. But if a winterproof boot appeals, read on for our Keen Revel IV Polar High review.
Keen Revel IV Polar High review: Design and features
This is a boot designed with tough winter conditions in mind. Keen claim their Revel IV Polar boots will keep your feet snug down to a whopping -40°C, thanks to a hefty 200g of built-in insulation. While we weren't able to test them in such freezing temperatures, we did hike in the boots at -5°C, and were impressed with how warm they kept our feet even when we were striding through deeper snow.
A waterproof membrane keeps feet dry even when you're walking for hours in the midst of heavy rain or when you're out standing in a few inches of snow. If you suffer from poor circulation or chilblains, these workhorses are definitely a good shout, and they're also ideal for anyone working outdoors or spending whole days in the cold. The Revel IV Polar boots are also great to have handy for daily use on winter and ski holidays, or just for walking the dog in grim winter weather.
The other standout feature of the Revel IV Polar is the sole, designed with Keen’s own-brand Polar.Traction technology. These soles didn’t disappoint even when tested on slick ice, which adds a lot of confidence when you’re trying to walk on wet or icy trails or hike over packed down snow.
We always recommend buying from brands that use eco-friendly solutions when making footwear, and Keen's Revel IV Polar ticks this box, too – most of this boot is constructed from recycled materials and the design is PFC (harmful chemicals often used to waterproof boots)-free.
Keen Revel IV Polar High review: Performance and comfort
The Revel IV Polar boots offer decent comfort from the get-go, and don't need breaking in despite being made with tough leather. At 650g they do feel rather heavier than your average hiking boot due to that big dose of added insulation, and you won't be able to hike hours at a stretch in them without feeling a bit of drag. The boots also feel quite bulky underfoot – these are definitely not barely-there trainer-like summer boots, and they're not breathable enough to wear when the weather warms up.
The fit is quite roomy, which we liked as it makes it easy to wear thicker hiking socks inside, and this also suits anyone with wider feet or bunions. Despite the wider fit, the ankle can still be tightly laced to keep you balanced and supported, and the taller cut of the boot gives great protection from rain and snow.
Keen Revel IV Polar High review: Verdict
These weatherproof and warm leather hiking boots are a reliable choice for winter. If you already own a lightweight pair of summer boots, if you feel the cold or if you just love to get outside all winter long, they're a great addition to your hiking boot lineup, and offer good value for money.