Most helpful critical review
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Promising, but needs improvement
on April 4, 2014
First off, I should say that this is my very first pair of Keens, so I'm coming from a place of having zero experience with the brand and unique characteristics of Keen shoes. However, I'd heard many good things from friends who swear by them, so I opted to try the waterproof version of the Marshall as my entry point. I wanted a light trail shoe that would keep my feet dry, and after looking at various comparable brands' offerings, I was intrigued to try the Marshall simply because it's such a great looking shoe that seemed to get pretty good reviews. I'd also heard that Keen has a pretty good customer service dept that could address any problems with their products.
After lightly wearing the Marshall WP's around the house and on a few treks outside, the first thing I noticed was that these do not breathe very well, and within an hour or so of activity in them, my feet would start to get really clammy and uncomfortable feeling. Despite the fact that I always wear some sort of wool sock, my feet seemed like they were getting prone to hot spots in these shoes because of the friction caused by the sweat situation. I've never, ever dealt with sweaty feet before, so this was a bit unsettling. You can tell the shoe is waterproof also due to the "crinkly sound" the material makes as the shoe flexes with your feet. Secondly, the size seemed a bit off. The shoe didn't feel a full half-size too small, but maybe just under a half-size too small. My thicker wool hiking socks made the shoes feel cramped, so I had to wear thinner, less cushioned socks. One other thing about the size issue, was that the right shoe of my pair seemed as if it was even smaller than the left. After 10 days or so, I made the call to Keen customer service, and they issued me the return info.
I decided to give the Marshall a second chance, and opted to try out the standard (non waterproof) version. After a couple of days in them, I'm convinced the size issue I had with the first pair (WP) was just due to anomalies, or defects in the quality as the new pair feels really good and do not seem as small. The new ones breathe a lot better too.
It's a bit disappointing that the waterproof version did not work out for me, but I probably would've exchanged them for another of the same kind if the breathability issues weren't so noticeable.