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Keen Ambler Mesh Shoe

I've been a fan of Keen shoes for a long time. The fit, stable sole, and light weight of their trail shoes keeps me coming back to test every new model! The Ambler shoe has become a favorite.

The thing I love most about the Ambler shoe is its thick, stable sole. With its nylon shank and ample cushioning, the Ambler provides great support and a very comfortable ride. The sole isn't as rigid as a backpacking boot--it has much more give than that--but it's much firmer than most hiking shoes I've tried. That means I can stay out on the trail much longer before my feet get tired. Yea!

I also like the chunky, trademark Keen soles. I get good traction on pavement (even when wet) and on the trail. Of course, the requisite toe bumper is a bonus, too. It adds life to my shoes since they don't get so torn up, and it protects my toes when I'm clomping around the trail. Thankfully, Keen has modified the toe bumper over the years; it's much smaller on the Ambler Mesh shoe than the previous bulbous styles of older model Keens!

Finally, I appreciate the simple, straight-forward design of the Ambler. The mesh upper is lined with a breathable, wicking material, so my feet don't overheat. The suede trim is a nice contrast and outline for the rest of the shoe. The Ambler isn't flashy, but it's not boring either. I don't like my hiking shoes to be too busy since I often end up wearing them most often for power walks and urban hikes.

I found the Ambler Mesh shoe to be true to size. I'm a men's size 9, but often go up a 1/2 size with Keen shoes. The size 9 Ambler Mesh fit perfectly, even when I removed the cushiony insole and replaced it with my full-length orthotic. The Ambler mesh comes in three colors, as does the full-suede Ambler (pictured above, in orange), in both men's and women's sizes.

Bottom Line: The Ambler Mesh has been a great shoe for me. I've worn it hiking, on the beach, around town, to the park, and everywhere in between. My feet feel great in these shoes--all day long.--E.D. (May 2012)

BUY ONLINE: $95, free shipping at Amazon.

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When hiking or camping, always carry the "10 Essentials":

Extra clothing, extra food and water, lighter or water-proof matches and fire starter, map in waterproof envelope, compass, pocket knife, sunscreen and sunglasses, flashlight or headlamp, first aid kit, emergency shelter.

Source: Seattle Mountain Rescue and Seattle Mountaineers.