Bruce Trail Hike with KEEN Aphlex Hiking Boots

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Wearing my KEEN hiking boots on the Bruce Trail.
Stopping for some water and taking a foot shot of my KEEN hiking boots on the rocky terrain.

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.

Wearing my KEEN hiking boots on the Bruce Trail.
Stopping for some water and taking a foot shot of my KEEN hiking boots on the rocky terrain.

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.

Grindstone Falls on the Bruce Trail near Hamilton, Ontario
Grindstone Falls on the Bruce Trail

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.

Marsha Russell and Adam Brylowski lead us through McNally Side Trail, photo credit Heather Taylor
Marsha Russell and Adam Brylowski lead us through McNally Side Trail, photo credit Heather Taylor

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.

We took in fresh air and sunshine as we hiked Smokey Hollow Side Trail on the Bruce Trail wearing our KEEN Aphlex hiking boots.
We took in fresh air and sunshine as we hiked Smokey Hollow Side Trail on the Bruce Trail

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 β€” a personal best by far.

Exercising outdoors with my KEEN Aphlex hiking boots on the Bruce Trail, photo credit Heather Taylor
Exercising outdoors with my KEEN Aphlex hiking boots, photo credit Heather Taylor

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.

Climbing over this wooden ladder was a snap wearing KEEN Aphlex hiking boots.
Climbing over this wooden ladder was a snap.

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” β€” we definitely were an adventurous group from head to toe.

Enjoying the beer and friendly service at Shawn & Ed Brewing Company
Enjoying the beer and friendly service at Shawn & Ed Brewing Company

Group shot of participants on KEEN hike on the Bruce Trail on Sept. 22, 2016

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
The lightweight KEEN Aphlex hiking boot has structure, stability and suspension.
The lightweight KEEN Aphlex hiking boot has structure, stability and suspension.

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 πŸ™‚

Keen to hike again!

Check out another KEEN event Torontonicity attended at the Richmond.

keenfootwear.com

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