Planet Shoes – Keen Bern High Boot

Posted on January 25, 2011 by Allie

I live in Rochester, NY.  Snow is often in the forecast here from October to May, and good boots are an essential part of staying warm and dry.  But I hate boot shopping.  With a vengeance. Trying to find boots that will fit over my ginormous calves is not my idea of fun.  I frustrate sales people, I frustrate myself, and I always walk away empty-footed handed.  For the past three or four winters, I’ve been wearing my hiking boots when it snows, because the idea of going to the store and going through the boot shopping process is almost more loathsome than bathing suit shopping.

When Planet Shoes offered to send me a pair of boots from their Eco Shop to review, I warned them about my ginormous calves.  They suggested I try the Keen Bern High Boot in Crouton.  I’ve been wearing a pair of Keen slip-ons as my primary shoes since 2008, and they are still in fighting form.  I love how durable and comfortable they are.  So, I agreed to give the Bern High Boot a try, even though I suspected they wouldn’t fit my problem calves.  I have never been so happy to be wrong before.  Not only did they fit, but they are fabulous.  

Planet Shoes sent the boots to me in a cardboard box with only the shoe box enclosed – no extra packaging or plastic (other than the tape on the box).

I was on the treadmill when the boots arrived.  I stopped to grab the package, and when I realized that they fit, I jumped back on the treadmill and walked another two miles at an incline to test them out.  There was no break-in period.  These boots are seriously comfortable.  So much so, that I didn’t want to take them off, so when J came home, I was on the couch reading in sweatpants, my ugly writing sweater, and my new Keen boots, looking utterly ridiculous.

But the next day, when I met a friend for coffee, and did a little shopping, I wore them with a dress and looked entirely not-ridiculous.  I actually got stopped by a complete stranger who wanted to know where I got my adorable boots!

They’re warm enough to keep my toes from freezing while I’m outside, but not so warm that my feet start frying when I wear them indoors.  They add a little height, but without any loss of stability – so important on icy sidewalks!  They’re water-resistant, and clean up easily.  I love the stitch detail on the front, and the side buckles.  They also have an inside zipper to make them easy to put on and take off.  And most importantly, I love the fit.  They fit my feet AND my calves!

The footbed is Keen.Cush, which is “a blend of recycled PU, cork, and memory foam that contours to your feet and adjusts to give you the cushioning you need throughout your day.”  Keen makes durable products, with concern and respect for the environment and community, and since 2004 has distributed more than $4.5 million to causes in line with their company mission.

When I get products to review, they have to pass my would I buy these? test before I’ll post about them,* and I would absolutely buy these boots.  I’m obsessively watching the site, hoping that they’ll get a pair of black Bern High Boots in my size in stock.  I also really enjoyed browsing on the Planet Shoes Eco Shoe Shop.  They have a huge selection – currently, 1,056 styles – in the Eco Shop alone, and lot of neat brands I haven’t seen anywhere else.  They have a Made in the USA shop as well, and the categories on the site make it easy to find what you’re looking for.  The Bern High Boots are leather, but if you’re in need of vegan shoes, you can easily find them at Planet Shoes.  The product photos and descriptions are great (and were very accurate for the Bern High Boot).  Many of the style descriptions includes video of models walking in the shoes, so you can see how they move and fit before you order.  Not only would I buy these boots, but I also plan to shop at Planet Shoes in the future.  These are making me long for summer.

*We have a strict if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all review policy at The Greenists, so while Planet Shoes sent me these boots to review, I was under no obligation to post about them or Planet Shoes, and my opinions are my own.

12 Comments +

  1. Those are some great boots! It’s so rare to find shoes that are eco-friendly AND made in the USA. I will most definitely check out Planet Shoes!

    January 25th, 2011 at 11:16 am
    Comment by Courtney
  2. I was so excited reading about these boots—until I realized they were leather. I’ve been having such a hard time finding decent vegan boots, mostly because I also have ginormous calves. It’s so frustrating to keep ordering boots from Mooshoes and then having to mail them back because they don’t fit. Any suggestions?

    January 25th, 2011 at 12:28 pm
    Comment by Brenda Pike
  3. I love those! It’s so hard to find a winter boot that’s warm and durable but also looks good. Those are a great option!

    January 25th, 2011 at 12:48 pm
    Comment by Stefanie
  4. Nice boots!

    More importantly (for me,) I clicked on the Made in USA link and discovered that New Balance makes some trail runners domestically! I had given up on finding American-made trail runners, because even New Balance’s website led me to believe that they didn’t make the shoes I need stateside. I’ve seriously been on a year-long quest and it looks like you’ve solved my dilemma!

    Also, I think all retailers should have a “Made in USA” search option on their websites. Just for that feature, I will definitely be giving Planet Shoes a good look and possibly some business.

    January 25th, 2011 at 2:18 pm
    Comment by mickey
  5. I love NEUAURA http://www.neuaurashoes.com for their fashionable and vegan footwear. They have so many styles and I love that they use an eco-conscious facility to make their shoes and donate 10% to worthy causes!

    January 25th, 2011 at 7:44 pm
    Comment by Jessica
  6. I have two pairs of these- they are great! Warm, weatherproof, and cute!

    January 26th, 2011 at 12:51 am
    Comment by Christinr
  7. I absolutely love these boots. I seem to have a problem with any boots, because my toes freeze all the time. But I guess I’ll give these a try. Thanks for posting.

    January 26th, 2011 at 11:18 am
    Comment by curele industriale
  8. OOOH. I love the boots! I’m off to look for some in a camel color!

    January 27th, 2011 at 11:54 am
    Comment by nancypearlwannabe
  9. Oh, Allie, I have those ginormous calves too, along with small ankles and small feet for me! I feel your pain. Finding boots is a major dilemma for me. I once ordered boots online and couldn’t get them past my heels! Never again from that store. I will check out your link for sure! Thanks for the info! We miss your doggies.

    January 27th, 2011 at 8:32 pm
    Comment by Dawn
  10. I’ve been eyeing these boots for awhile. I think your review was just the push I needed to actually go out and buy them!

    January 30th, 2011 at 11:50 am
    Comment by Diana
  11. I’m at once repelled and astounded by their knit tubeflops. killer boots, though, good call.

    February 18th, 2011 at 10:37 am
    Comment by rachel
  12. [...] you’re a regular Greenists reader with steel trap memory, you probably remember we’ve written about Planet Shoes before. But since they are a fabulous company and since they were kind enough to [...]

    September 1st, 2011 at 12:52 am
    Pingback by Earth Simplista – Planet Shoes Review

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According to Real Simple, if every American made an effort to launder less — cutting out just one load of laundry a week per household — we’d save enough water to fill seven million swimming pools each year.

So if it looks clean, and it smells clean, call it clean and wear it again. Consider hanging worn clothes out on your clothesline to freshen them up between wearings.


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