1 Million Steps In KEEN Boots!

Filed under: Boots  Footwear  Hiking 

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It took a bit over two months. But after a cross-country journey that included hiking trails from the Ozarks to New Hampshire, Minnesota to the mountains of Montana, we have completed our ‘1 Million Steps’ project with KEEN!

The goal was to hike 1 million steps – about 500 total miles – in the company’s built-in-the-USA Durand boots.

Durand boots after 1 million steps (photo taken today at KEEN hq)

It started and ended in Portland, Ore., at KEEN’s headquarters. The Durand boots are built at a factory in the city. In July, our contributing editor Jeff Kish picked up a pair of the boots and headed to the eastern terminus of the Pacific Northwest Trail.

Kish hiked more than 100 miles in a week, and then he shipped the boots off to Minneapolis and the Gear Junkie main office.

Since then, the Durands have been passed from hiker to hiker, most all of them Gear Junkie readers who volunteered to take a shift on trails in the size 14 boots.

Durand boots on an Oregon trail

It was to be a test of the boots’ durability and KEEN’s 1,000,000-step guarantee. The Durand boots were touted to be able to withstand the abuse of hiking in any terrain for hundreds of miles with almost no wear.

We’re happy to report the claim held true. “Not a stitch was out of place, nor was the upper showing any signs of wear even after the million steps,” said Ryan Goodwin, a Gear Junkie reader and intrepid hiker who took the final shift this week in the ‘1 Million Steps’ project.

Ready for an overnight hike

Goodwin received the boots in mid-September from the previous hiker, and he headed out to tackle the final 52,000 steps in and around his home city of Portland.

He hit the trails to Punchbowl Falls for an initial 5-mile hike with his young son on his back. “My initial impression of the boots were that they were well-cushioned and very stable over uneven surfaces,” Goodwin said after this hike.

From there, Goodwin hit Jefferson Park to tackle 20 miles of trail. “We took in the alpenglow and the peaceful meadow setting before turning in for the evening,” he said of his wilderness campsite that night.

On the way out he said the Durands gave “great protection from a very rocky trail” and had a “solid foot-feel that was stable and secure.”

Scenes from Goodwin’s hike

The grand finale came today, Tuesday, September 30th, in Portland. Goodwin trekked the final steps from Portland’s Washington Park for last miles to KEEN headquarters in the city center.

He took a train to a city zoo in Washington Park, the largest urban park in the country. Then he hiked the Wildwood Trail back into downtown Portland.

He grabbed a cup of coffee and met up with the folks at KEEN to turn over the Durand boots for final inspection and hopefully inclusion in the company’s Hall Of Fame.

Photo of the actual (as far as we can figure) 1 millionth step in the KEEN Durand boots!

This project, which was sponsored by KEEN, was a blast for us at Gear Junkie. It was fun to see all the adventures readers took, and it was a great real-world test to put the boots through the literal paces for 1 million steps. (See the full list of hike segments below.)

Ryan Goodwin (in front) with members of the KEEN team

In the end, the KEEN claim of “1 million steps” of durability was solid. The boots show little sign of wear despite loads of abuse by more than 10 hikers. From the looks of this pair another 1 million steps is not unlikely.

Thanks to the readers and Gear Junkie team members who helped make this project a success. The boots, and our crew of hikers, can rest now after more than two months and 500 miles and 1 million steps on the go.

‘1 Million Steps’ Project

tagged: KEEN1Million
By
Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.
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