KEEN Utility Manchester Boot

By Weston Bartosik on Tool and Product Reviews, Weekend warrior

KEEN Utility Manchester 6” WP (Aluminum Toe) Work Boot Review

I first started paying attention to KEEN Utility boots when I noticed entire crews of tradesmen in high wear and abrasion industries wearing them. Every member of a large highway marking company I worked with chose to spend their money on a pair of Keen boots. Now after having spent some time with the new Manchester 6” Style #1021324 work boot, I understand why!

These boots have the classic look of a leather mountain hiking boot, with a work boot sole and impressive comfort and features.

KEEN Utility Manchester Boot Features

• Left and Right Asymmetrical Aluminum Toes
• KEEN.DRY Waterproof and Breathable Membrane
• Waterproof Leather Upper
• TPU Shank For Midfoot Support
• KEEN.REGEN: A Lightweight and Compression Resistant Midsole
• Oil/Slip Resistant Non-Marking Rubber Outsole
• Locking Metal Lace Hooks
• Reflective Webbing For Additional Safety and Visibility
• Removable Metatomical PU Footbed
• Cleansport NXT For Natural Odor Protection
• Weight: 21.0 Ounces


KEEN packed a lot of technology into these boots. My pair came in the Cascade Brown/Brindle color pattern, and the leather upper resembles classic mountain hiking boots. The waterproofing makes water roll off of the exterior of the boot. The matte finish of the leather handles abrasion well and gains character with wear.

KEEN Tread Pattern

The non-marking sole is a work boot tread pattern instead of a knobby hiking or logger pattern. I noticed that the Manchester provides excellent traction on hard surfaces like concrete and tile, but will also grab in light mud and snow. It also does not “thud” while walking on hard surfaces. The tread is also not aggressive enough to cause you to track clumps of mud into your client’s house. My clients appreciate that!

KEEN Dry Membrane

The best technology in the Manchester can’t be seen from the outside. The KEEN.DRY membrane allows the foot to breathe while wearing the boot. This proprietary membrane allows vapor out without letting water in. Similar to using a vapor barrier between wallboard and insulation. The Cleansport NXT odor protection keeps the funk out as well. Even with heavy socks on in cold temperatures my feet were able to breathe.

When taking the boots off at the end of the day there was no lingering odor.

Let’s Talk About Comfort

I have owned a lot of different boots. The Manchester is the single most comfortable out of the box boot I have ever owned. My pair felt exact to size with no break-in required. The KEEN.REGEN midsole is supportive but offers almost sneaker like comfort. The toe box area is generous and I never experienced any rub from the aluminum safety toe. The TPU Shank gives stability when climbing a ladder, but still bends when crouched. This was noticeable when working in confined spaces or driving for extended periods.

Room for Improvement?

My only complaint about the Manchester is the laces. KEEN used a wide soft fabric lace material that is prone to snagging on the locking metal lace hooks. I managed to puncture through the laces several times while putting the boots on. At the time of writing this, I had broken the lace on one of my boots as well. This is not a deal breaker for me though. I view laces as consumable and often replace them on my own with some form of cordage.

The Manchester uses a combination of D-ring style eyelets as well as the metal locking hooks. These metal hooks work well, but can easily rip through lace material.

Overall Impression

Overall the Manchester boot from KEEN has been outstanding. They are perfect for any tradesman looking for a clean simple boot that performs.

It doesn’t matter if you are in an office, working on a highway, or a demanding job-site, you’ll appreciate the fit and feel of these boots.

The Manchester gives performance features along with impressive comfort. The classic hiking boot look along with construction specific features make this an outstanding offering from Keen. Check out their website for more information on the Manchester and to find the right fit for you!

The Manchester is available now for $160.00 through the KEEN Utility website

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About the author

Weston Bartosik

Wes Bartosik is a Connecticut native with strong family ties to the construction world. Wes’ father and grandfather both were builders and developers and taught Wes the values of doing things right from an early age and getting hands on experience with every facet of the construction industry. Wes apprenticed with a carpenter throughout high school and would later attend Central Connecticut State University earning a bachelor’s degree in construction management all while working for a large excavation contractor throughout. Wes would go on to work for a local heavy-highway construction company and gain further experience with all the skilled trades associated with large civil engineering and utility projects. Though working as a manager now, Wes’ true passion is working in the field alongside the tradesman and laborers on site. Wes has been involved in community based service projects throughout his life as well as emergency services. In his spare time he takes on serious DIY projects for himself, friends and family. He is a firm believer that with a quality tool in your hands and some grit, you can accomplish anything.

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