KEEN Utility St. Paul Work Boots Manage Moisture in Style
KEEN Utility St. Paul work boots are waterproof with a carbon fiber toe and 6″ tall. That says a lot, but it doesn’t say everything you really need to know before dropping $190 on a pair. With the KEEN Utility Dover setting a new standard for my personal comfort, I wasn’t exactly ready to give them up for a season and try something else. In the spirit of objectivity, I agreed.
- Comfortable, true-to-size fit
- Left/right specific carbon fiber safety toes
- Moisture-wicking, breathable membranes manage moisture
- Premium price for a direct attach boot
Editor’s Note: Check out our best work boots review article for our favorite products for all applications.
KEEN Utility St. Paul work boots have a traditional KEEN fit to them. There’s plenty of room in the toe box and the midsection leaves a little room for slightly wider feet than mine.
Like the Dover, the St. Paul also uses KonnectFit for the heel capture to secure the fit.
As a size 12-1/2, I typically go with a size 13 in work boots rather than a 12. Occasionally, that comes back to bite me, but KEEN has the St. Paul dialed in as a true-to-size fit. I have a little extra room, but going down a size would definitely be too tight. When you’re ready to order, stick with your normal sizing.
KEEN Utility St. Paul works boots have a lot going for them in the comfort department. It starts with a good fit, of course.
My feet sweat a lot as it is and the current season’s oppressive humidity doesn’t help matters at all. KEEN’s waterproof, breathable membrane keeps moisture under control.
I normally turn to something like KEEN Utility’s Atlanta Cool when I know I have a long day ahead of me, but I decided to give the St. Paul a shot for a morning of chainsaw duty. There’s so much moisture on the ground between rain and humidity that I knew a waterproof boot was in order. I also wanted a safety toe.
Between the sweaty climbing work and rain-soaked groundwork, I was very happy to find I didn’t have raisin toes by lunchtime.
KEEN’s Cleansport NXT helps on the back end, killing odors that normally show up water or sweat do.
As far as general comfort goes, the St. Paul is great on soft and uneven surfaces. Its KEEN.Key-Tech torsion plate still leaves flexibility in the toe for climbing. However, it doesn’t have the Luftcell PU midsoles that make the Dover so much more comfortable on concrete and asphalt.
At 35.4 ounces for my size 13s, these are not the lightest boots I own. Their 6″ height contributes to that even as carbon fiber safety toes take some weight off. For a mid-height work boot, they’re still a reasonable weight.
I’m a brown boot guy. Always have been, always will be. So I’m not crazy about the St. Paul’s black and gray color scheme. But beauty is in the eye of the subjective beholder and we can move past that to take a closer look.
KEEN offsets the dark look of this hiker style with red and black laces that give the boot an aggressive “I’m here to kick some ***” look to it. If you have a hard time getting over KEEN’s slightly bulbous toe cap, it blends with the black in a much more subtle way than on other colors.
So I’m still not a black boot guy, but I can appreciate what KEEN Utility is doing for those of you that are.
KEEN Utility St. Paul work boots start with a leather/mesh/synthetic upper with a dual-density EVA and PU midsole. From there, it’s a direct attach (cement) to the rubber outsoles. As usual, the outsoles are oil and slip-resistant.
Inside each boot, you get a KEEN.Dry waterproof, breathable membrane and removable PU footbed. I find the footbed works well for me so I don’t change it out. However, you can swap in an orthopedic if you need to.
Like all KEEN Utility safety toe boots, the St. Paul has left/right specific ones, giving each boot a more natural shape for your feet.
- MARK II Non-Slip (ASTM F1677-96)
- ASTM F2412-17 F2413-17 M I/75 C/75 EH
- SATRA Non-Slip (ASTM F2913-17)
KEEN Utility St. Paul work boots have a retail price of $190 and that’s pretty close to where we see them online right now. That’s a premium price for a direct attach boot. It’s not out in left field for KEEN, though, and we find that the quality of their materials and the build are worth it.
The Bottom Line
I really like KEEN Utility St. Paul works boots best for work on soft and uneven ground. They’re great on construction sites and in the OPE/landscaping industry when you want or need a safety toe and prefer a waterproof boot. If you’re working on concrete or asphalt all day, something like the KEEN Utility Dover is a more comfortable bet.
Keen Utility St. Paul Specifications
- Model/Style: Keen 1021351
- Toe Type: Carbon-Fiber Toe
- Duty Type: Medium Duty
- Upper Material: Leather/Mesh/Synthetic
- Outsole Material: Oil- and slip-resistant non-marking rubber
- Midsole Material: Dual density compression molded EVA and PU
- Interior Material: Moisture-wicking textile
- Footbed Material: Removable metatomical PU
- Safety Rating: Meets ASTM F1677-96 MARK II Non-Slip Testing Standards, Meets ASTM F2412-17 and F2413-17 M I/75 C/75 EH Standards, Meets ASTM F2913-17 SATRA Non-Slip Testing Standards
- Weight: 31.4 oz / 888.8 g
- Calf Circumference: 2.5 in / 6.3 cm
- Collar Height: 5.8 in / 14.6 cm
- Price: $189.93
I’ve got the hiker version of this boot. No steel toe. They’re terrific boots, comfortable, durable. I wear smart wool socks and can walk all day in them. They hold up. A tip. They can lose their waterproof ability. For a while I thought there was something wrong with them. Then a helpful guy in Ullapool said, “You just need to put Nikwax on them” Got a bottle. Every couple of months, or weeks–if you’ve been in a lot of water and mud. I bought them for snow and muddy hiking, but as my more lightweight boots wore out I… Read more »