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The Lab: Afton Keegan in review | ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine

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In the “The Lab” we present the latest products and put them through their paces for you. Some undergo long-term tests, while we check others out only briefly. This time we reveal how the Afton Keegan shoes fared.

Getting in and out of the Afton Keegan kicks isn’t exactly easy, and those laces are pretty reluctant to be pulled through the eyelets. That’s why it perhaps isn’t surprising that these biking shoes are on the tight side from the gun, although after three minutes of warming up they’re nigh on perfect. Your foot is snug inside and there’s great support around your heel – and the great fit stayed the same for the entirety of the testing. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for the gel-like insole, which got more and more worn over the months. What started off comfortably moulded too much to the foot and became too worn to provide any real cushioning on pressure points. This was exasperated by the thin soles, which didn’t add much cushioning to the equation. One option here would be to swap it for an aftermarket insole once it’s worn. In terms of ventilation and warmth, both elements are fairly mediocre, so the shoe is arguably in a decent position for a good six months of the year. You won’t get heat stroke, but they could be a little more breathable. In cooler periods of the year the Afton Keegans perform exactly as you’d demand. The upper surface looks suitably hardwearing and the PU coated toe cap reliably deflected trail debris without coming loose or getting damaged.

Thanks to its mono-directional sole, the Keegan suits the dual purpose of walking and riding. Stiff on the pedals, and like a standard trainer for walking. It does exactly what it says on the label!

The rubber is pretty hard, but the waffle tread grips well on pedals in the dry. Rain and mud are not favourable for the Keegan.
After just a few months the insole was totally worn down. As the main sole is pretty minimal, the overall cushioning of the Keegan isn’t up to much.

Pedalling is done with style and the soles remain super tight on the pedals – what is great to get a nice low center of gravity. The waffle tread grips perfectly in the dry, clings to the pins and lets you still shift position nicely. However, throw some moistness into the mix and the grip on the pedals will significantly decrease. The same happens to ground contact in the wet – the Keegans can’t copy with mud, and the waffle tread collects and clings onto dirt like it’s going out of fashion. One of its best features is their versatility: the sole is very agreeable for walking, but still able to deliver sufficient support and rigidity while pedalling. In short, the Keegans work well off the bike with the same comfort as a regular trainer, which means we’d agree with the brand’s marketing promises.

Conclusion

A comfy kick for dry periods of the year, the Afton Keegan is particularly suited for those who’re likely to switch between riding and walking fairly regularly. The cushioning is on the weak side, and the shoe’s grip is rapidly lost in the wet and the mud. For dirt jumping or bike park days that end with a BBQ, these are great kicks but we recommend that hardened trail and enduro riders look elsewhere.

Strengths

  • Good fit
  • Great for riding/walking
  • Walks like a standard trainer

Weaknesses

  • Loss of grip even in slightly wet conditions
  • Clings to mud on the sole
  • Insole wears out quickly

Tester Andi
Duration 5 months
Price € 99.90
Weight 926.8 g (pair, size 44)
More info aftonshoes.com



Words & Photos: Andreas Maschke