I was just about to write a rave review of the Keen Industrial “California” work boots that I’ve been wearing for more than a year. Now, I have a gripe instead: I just learned that the boots are being discontinued. With welt construction, a rubber toe guard, and an extra-wide front end that helps prevent me from twisting my ankles—as I am prone to do—­my California boots were comfortable right out of the box. Other Keen work boots also have those features, but only the California boot has wedge soles, which I consider mandatory. The soft soles don’t collect debris or mark floors, and they give me enough traction to sheath an 8:12-pitch roof. What’s more, the boots are still in great shape after I’ve poured several foundations under existing cabins, grinding my boots against rocks and tree roots. Based on that performance, I expect the boots to last at least another year, or about twice as long as my boots have usually lasted over my 37-year building and remodeling career. Keen says it is discontinuing these boots because wedge soles don’t sell well anywhere but in California. I hope it reconsiders, because the boots are the best I’ve owned. —Mitch Greenlaw, owner of Greenlaw Construction, Twain Harte, Calif.

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