Keen Utility Baltimore Work Boot Review
If you're looking for an excellent work boot that delivers with performance and comfort, you won't be disappointed with the Keen Utility Baltimore Work Boot. Staying below $150, Keen gives you the premium features at a big value.
The classic look and style of the Keen Utility Baltimore work boot are what originally caught my attention while at the World of Concrete Show in January 2018. Available in a soft toe or safety toe boot, the Baltimore offers flexibility, regardless of the environment. The question remained, would it deliver the classic un-comfort of a work boot or be the “best-in-class comfort” they claim to be.
When it comes to boot size, I’m a pretty standard men’s 11-1/2, but my feet tend to like arch support, especially in work boots. Tipping the scales north of 250# and a height of 6’3”, I tend to apply quite a bit of pressure to the soles of a shoe or boot.
These 11-1/2 Keen Utility Baltimore work boots fit my foot very well, so the sizing seems to be true. Just understand that if you’re over a 12, then you no longer benefit from half-sizes, which is typical with most work boots.
Even with my higher arches, the soles and inserts are quite comfortable. Included in the Keen Utility Baltimore work boots are the metatomical footbed inserts. This is anatomically engineered to provide excellent arch support, and it proves to do just that, even after extensive use.
The leather upper, even at the first fit, secures all the right areas to keep movement within the Keen Utility Baltimore work boot to a minimum. The last thing you want in a work boot is to have your ankles and/or heels moving around, making those beloved blisters. To ensure the best comfort, I took the pleasure of wearing these around the house and yard a few times, just to get them broken-in. A week later, I put them to the test, wearing them more than 10-hours a day, walking, working, and bouncing in an out of meetings.
Keen offers the Baltimore work boot in Wheat, Brown, or Black colors for the steel toe. Only Wheat and Brown colors are available with the Soft Toe. Knowing that I can’t keep a clean shoe or boot, I opted for the darker Brown color to hopefully conceal some of the crud that I get into. I chose this pair of Keens with the soft toe, so they travel well – no airport triggers when I go through the TSA-Pre security line.
Most of the Keen Utility boots I’ve owned and seen in the past have a very pronounced toe. Reminds me a bit of Olive Oil’s boots (Popeye). However, these Keen Utility Baltimore work boots don’t seem so extensive. It may be the soft toe, or maybe the Baltimore conceals this better.
Keen Utility Baltimore Work Boot Features
Toe Types – Soft or Steel
The safety toe on the Keen Utility Baltimore work boot is steel. Other Keen Utility work boots offer safety toes in composite and aluminum as well. As mentioned prior, mine doesn’t have a safety toe, thus called a soft toe. One unique feature of Keen is the different left and right safety toes, so there’s a more natural fit for the corresponding foot.
Don’t mistake the word “waterproof” as a feature allowing you wade in 6-inches of water without wet socks. The leather itself is waterproof, however, the big hole in the top where your foot goes in is not. Also, the slits beside the tongue allow for water intrusion.
Lined on the inside of the Keen Utility Baltimore work boots is the ‘Keen Dry’ membrane. It’s not only a barrier for water coming in, but it’s also a wicking membrane, allowing the water to escape. With the laces tight, I had no problem trekking through streams and snow without getting wet. Even though the Baltimore is not water-tight all the way up, it does do a great job resisting moisture. If your path requires depths above the tongue, enjoy testing Keen Dry membrane for wicking.
The leather uppers on the Keen Baltimore include double and quadruple stitching, holding the leather panels together. This heavy duty stitching mitigates the possibility of separation in these areas. With riveted and reinforced lace hooks, these should keep your boots laced for years to come.
Attaching the uppers to the lower is Keen’s direct attach method using a polyurethane midsole. Weaker boots have only a glue bonding, although more premium boots use welting. These Keen Utility Baltimore work boots fall in Keen’s Medium Duty category, yet are priced at only $140 for the soft toe. Safety steel toe Baltimore boots add 10-bucks, selling for just $150.
With quadruple stitched leather uppers, a dry membrane, bonded polyurethane midsoles, and a price of less than $150, these Keen Utility Baltimore work boots are a real bargain. Add to this the aforementioned comfort and performance, and you’re getting a higher end work boot, priced much lower.
With the industrious leather upper and the multi-directional lugged outsole, the Keen Baltimore look very much like a classic rugged work boot. On the flip side, the comfort, fit, and performance very much differ from the boots of old.
In the end, with the Keen Utility Baltimore work boots, you’re getting the performance of a premium work boot, with the comfort and price on par with a hiking boot.
To check out the Keen Utility Baltimore Work Boots, and other models, click here.
Keen Utility Baltimore Work Boot Features
- Weight: 29.4 oz
- Full-grain waterproof leather upper
- Left and right asymmetrical steel toes
- KEEN.DRY Waterproof, breathable membrane
- TPU shank for midfoot support
- Removable metatomical PU footbed
- Multi-directional lugged outsole
- 90-degree heel
- Cleansport NXT natural odor protection
- Meets ASTM F2412-11 and F2413-11 M I/75 C/75 EH standards
- Moisture-wicking textile lining
- Oil and slip resistant outsole