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Need Walking/hiking Shoe Advice

Hello REI Shoe Person,

I have chronic pain back injuries from so many years in the Marine Corps.  The last time I was in we settled on the Keen Targhee III SIZE Eleven (11) shoes as the best for me.  I did try the Hoka's One One (Hupana Flow Road and Bondi 6 Road-Running Shoes) but they just did not work out for me as I could not adjust to the slightly forward slant. 

So I have four (4) questions;

1.  Are the Keen's Men's Targhee III Closed Toe Sandals (size and fit) the same way as the shoes and boots?

2. Are the Keen's Men's Highland Shoes sized like the Keen Targhee III shoes and boots?  Are they comfortable for walking considering my back injuries?

3. I have been told by other shoe personnel and website research that ASICS makes walking & running shoe that might fit my needs. Which is, comfortable, stable, well cushioned support.  If so, which one(s) and what size?

4. Any other suggestions or comments?  All of you have been great in getting me into the KEEN shoes that help me walk with reduced pain.

I am looking to buy some products before the April 6th coupon deadline.  Thanks so much for your help!

Thanks again and see you when the store opens!


3 Replies


Hey there!  Let me start by saying that I am glad you have found some success and relief with the Keen shoe brand. I almost exclusively wore Keen for many years. Sad to hear that the HOKA’s weren’t a great fit for you, as I also love that brand!  But that is enough about me. Let’s answer some of your questions. 

1. In terms of fit....for many years I found Keen sizing to be tricky. Sometimes I’d go a half size up or down depending on the style. I do not find that to be the case anymore. I think trying the same size you have in the boots would work. The only exception to this is if when you were fit for the targhee, you knowingly increased your size to account for something like foot expansion, or to accommodate a heavier sock, or something of that nature.

2. We of course can’t truly confirm what will be best for your back injuries. We just aren’t trained to give health advice. However, some tips would be to look for the same attributes in a shoe as the one that you have had success with. For example looking for the same type of footbed as described in shoe descriptions or looking for the buzz words that indicate it won’t be a good fit for you. In the case of the HOKA’s it seems that it was that type of rocker bottom, so I’d say it is safe to stay away from anything that alludes to that type of technology. 

3. Let’s talk about ASICS! Great shoes for many. If you are looking for comfort and stability take a look at the ASICS Gel Kayano .


4. Lastly, we look forward to seeing our customers again too! Also, please if you find something that really works out for you, please let the broader community know!

Hope this helps or at least gets you started in the right direction!


At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Sorry to hear about your injuries @TimS. You may check this i guess you will get the perfect one for you.


@TimS thanks so much for reaching out to us for advice on new shoes! We just wanted to make sure you knew that even though you posted this question on the "Ask an REI Employee" board, you may get ideas and suggestions from other community member who are not employees. You'll be able to identify all REI employees by our usernames and our titles (like in @REI-AlyS's response to you, you'll see she has the REI Employee title; or in my response, you'll see my title as REI Community Manager). Hope this helps!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.