On the first day of fall, Torontonicity was invited to try the new KEEN Aphlex hiking boots on the Bruce Trail. I have hiked many sections of the trail, which follows the edge of the Niagara Escarpment. I know a few people whose goal is to hike the whole trail, which is almost 900 km. I looked forward to exploring this part of the Bruce Trail.
We took a bus ride from downtown Toronto to Hamilton on September 22, 2016, and received a complimentary pair of KEEN hiking boots and socks to test out. I loved the purple shoes right away. They are attractive and roomy – I have slightly wide feet, but I can still wiggle my toes when I have the Aphlex on. They feel really light for their size. I take a size 8.5 or a 9, but the 8.5 fit very well, allowing room for a thick sock, if I want to wear one.
We started off at the Great Falls, also known as Grindstone Falls, an attractive terraced ribbon falls that is six metres high, with a crest of 4.5 m carrying the water of Grindstone Creek over the escarpment. Grindstone Creek is in the Waterdown community of Hamilton, just off Mill Street. This area has free parking, just steps away from the waterfalls, and a viewing platform has been built beside the waterfall – so it is convenient to get to. Just a tip: It is near Borer’s falls, Tews Falls, Webster’s Falls, and Tiffany Falls if you wish to combine the viewing of several falls in one day.
We were guided through the hike by Adam Brylowki, a Land Stewardship Coordinator & Ecologist from the Bruce Trail Conservancy, who gave us a lot of interesting information about the Bruce Trail, trees and the environment.
After viewing the falls we headed along the Bruce Trail heading downstream to the rapids. The rapids are impressive and strewn with large boulders. We took some interesting twists and turns which people called switchbacks. The landscape is just beautiful. I texted my boyfriend that we must come back together.
After we warmed up with some hiking and stretching, Melissa Hetu put us on a fitness challenge in a clearing in the middle of the woods. We raced each other, we played Melissa Says (a version of Simon Says) and very importantly, we performed a plank challenge where I did a plank for 2 minutes and 41 seconds — a personal best by far.
The flexible, yet stable structure of the KEEN hiking boots ensures we are fast and nimble on the trail. It disperses shock across rugged terrain and variable trail surfaces. The multi-directional lug pattern for increased traction means that I can comfortably and quickly move around rugged terrain and up steep hills. We all seemed very happy with our KEEN boots. We kept up with the brisk pace, no problem. We dealt with the rough terrain and didn’t develop any sores. Pure comfort.
We had a great workout so we were so ready for food. The organizers took us to Shawn & Ed Brewing Company in Dundas where we had a flight of beer and all you can eat pizza of various types. Their sign outside said “for adventurous mouths” — we definitely were an adventurous group from head to toe.
There I am, front row, third from the left, photo credit Heather Taylor
About the KEEN Aphlex hiking boots:
- stability shank
- natural odor control
- dual density compression molded EVA mid-sole
- waterproof breathable membrane
- speed lacing hooks
- TPU Phlexoskeleton for weightless lockdown
KEEN Aphlex hiking boots are great hiking boots. I was very comfortable the first time I wore them so I wore them again to hike that weekend at Riverwood Conservancy in Mississauga, which has rugged terrain. I then wore them to the Word on the Street, Christie Pitts Crawl, and Pedestrian Sunday in Kensington Market – I walked in total comfort from event to event.
They are also smart looking and I have received many compliments 🙂
Keen to hike again!
Check out another KEEN event Torontonicity attended at the Richmond.