I have a pair of the Keens you mentioned and they are very nice, well made, quite cushioned, and decently light. They do tend to be a smidge warmer than I prefer and make sure you take the advice that they tend to run a 1/2 size too big.
You won't get ankle support with any shoe/boot under 1kg. So, you will have to choose between the two. Either a light boot/shoe with no support (even if it has the appearance/illusion of support), or heavy boots that actually have ankle support.
Who knows, maybe I am wrong, and there actually is a boot out there that is light weight and actually provides ankle support. I carry an ankle brace just in case I need real support.
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I've found that a well-built trail runner, with pronation control and stability control, provides far better ankle support than any heavier boots I've tried. The problem is that boots support the ankle front and back but don't resist sideways ankle-turning. It's a solid footbed that does that. I resisted going to trail runners for years until I found out that I couldn't turn my ankles in mine no matter how hard I tried. That is not true of my 48 oz. per pair boots, in which I've turned (although, fortunately, not sprained) my ankles numerous times! I took ankle braces along on my first few trips last summer just in case, but never needed them. I've been hiking in my boots this winter and find that I have to watch my step a lot more carefully than in the trail runners.
Admittedly, I only do easy cross-country stuff, and stay out of scree for the sake of my dog. It's nice to have some kind of ankle protection when you're in scree! But some of the trails I've been on with the trail runners were steep, rough and rocky to the point of having to use my hands now and then. Here in the NW we have lots of really rough hiker-only trails and many regard the PCT as "Interstate 2000," fit only for wimps. Admittedly, at my age, the PCT is just about my style!
In the end, it's whatever fits, supports your foot and is comfortable, which only you can decide--everyone's feet are different! I tried a pair of Keen mids and found no foot or ankle support at all. Your Mileage WILL Vary!
Montrail has just come out with a model called "AT Plus" which their customer service tells me is "just like the old Hardrock." I can't confirm this because they are not available for sale yet. There will be a high-top version. If it has the support features of the old Hardrock and otherwise fits you, that might be ideal for what you want. This is pure speculation, though!
Edited by OregonMouse (02/03/1003:52 PM)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey
Loc: East Texas Piney Woods
Merrell Moab Ventilator might fit the bill. I wear them and like 'em. But as FinallyME says, you may need to carry an ankle brace. If you go that route, you may be able to wear trail runners. I stick with the mid's. My right ankle tends to roll in a low cut boot/shoe but the Merrell's have helped prevent that.
UPPER/LINING • Dura leather and mesh upper • Bellows tongue keeps debris out • Synthetic leather toe cap and heel counter • Breathable mesh lining treated with Aegis® Antimicrobial solution maintains foot comfort • Ortholite® Anatomical Footbed
MIDSOLE/OUTSOLE • Molded nylon arch shank • Compression molded EVA footframe provides cushioning • Merrell® air cushion in the heel absorbs shock and adds stability • 5mm Sole lug depth • Vibram® Multi-Sport Sole/TC5+ Rubber • Weight: 1 lb 15 ozs.
If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, you can't. Either way, you're right.
I'll concur with that statment, but realisticly, I don't believe for a minute it is about "ankle support" - realisticly most of us with a tendancy to turn ankles (myself included) just need a shoe that offers some lateral stability - boots do thie with a wide sole, so do most trailrunners with a nice wide grip that doesn't make it easy to "roll over" on them.
I do very nicely in a pair of Montrail Hardrocks, I don't tend to go over on them even though they offer no "ankle support".
To some extent, I'd even say because I "know" I'm in lighter shoe, and I am aware of it and think with the brain a little more. The other possibility is that when I'm in the light trailrunner, I know if I get into goo, my feet are just gonna get wet, so I don't end up doing acrobatics and little bits of trail ballet and triple sowkows just to not get the feet wet. So some extent it's a lot safer to just walk through it.
I have done long, very rough trails (west coast trail on vancouver island) successfully in trailrunners.
I have Moab Ventilators... I can't wear them with heavy loads or when the trail is very rocky. They are so flexible and comfortable and ventilated, but do nothing to protect feet from pointy sharp rocks. Love them for dayhikes and light pack trips.
Off trail I have gone to Asolo FSN 85 (NO GORETEX FOR ME) - the sole is sturdy enough to protect my flat, girlie feet and Superfeet add a little extra. They are a good compromise between heavy boots and light hikers.
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki