Customer Reviews: KEEN Women's Clearwater CNX Sandal
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on May 22, 2013
Color and size are true to description. The CNX does not have as much support as the newports. I prefer the newports or whisper-better arch support.
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on March 31, 2013
I bought these in advance of a trip to Thailand and Cambodia. This is my first pair of Keens and the fit was just right. I did a lot of walking and trekking up stairs at the many temples we visited. I couldn't be happier with these shoes. They held up great and were quite comfortable. In terms of appearance...I like these better than most other Keens because the plastic toe guard is much smaller.
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on March 7, 2014
Three years ago I discovered KEEN. I suffered from plantar fascitis and was willing to do anything to ease the pain - even spending $100 for a single pair of sandals, the Newport H2. I couldn't believe the relief the sandals gave me, so naturally, I purchased a good many more pairs of KEENs so as to have a pair for almost any occasion.

Over time, my favorite sandals became the Venice H2 because it was strappier and lighter than the Newport and just hit my arch perfectly. But they ARE clunky looking, and there's no denying it. Then KEEN created the CNX line. I received my pair of magnet/hot coral Clearwater CNXs yesterday and have rarely taken them off since. I am a 9 in almost all footwear, but in many models of KEEN shoes, I need 9.5. Don't judge the fit by how much room you have in the toebox - pay attention to where the arches match up. In the 9, I had lots of room for my toes, but my foot felt like it was being pushed off the back of the sandal. In 9.5, the heel cup and arch were a perfect fit. There is not too much room in the toebox, despite sizing up. I plan to live in these all spring, summer and fall. I hope next year KEEN revamps the Venice into CNX style.
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on June 12, 2015
First off Amazon asked if it provides good arch support. I answered no. Read the end of my review for an explanation of that.

This review is based off finding a fit and buying two pairs of CNX Clearwater in two different sizes for two individuals:

Pair 1:
I am a male with a narrow fitting heel and an average or narrower forefoot (toes). My bone structure is slight and I am very thin and I have no “meat” on my feet or ankles (or anywhere for that matter). I have a difficult time finding clothes that fit my frame and finding shoes that are long enough for my foot without being loose and sloppy in the width especially the heel.
I owned a pair of Keen Men’s Newport (original from the first model year not H2) size 10.5 and found them to be rugged for working outdoor and great for slip on ease and airport travel. When the Keen Company was just getting off the ground they focused on ruggedness and roominess. The Newports were just too heavy, roomy in the width and clunky for my slight foot and I could not stand to wear them for any great length of time. Also I had to cinch the heck out of the bungee fastener to get the shoe to stay on and not slip off my heel when I walked. The original Newport ran small in length and I had to go up one size or half size to get the proper length.

Then years later Keen introduced the CNX line, a lightweight and fitted (narrower) series of shoe. I originally got the Men’s 10 CNX Clearwater and found them to have too much material over the top of my foot. This was because the shoes was just too roomy for my skinny foot. I had to cinch the heck out of the bungee fastener to make the shoes stay on and not slip off my heel when I walked. This had the effect of folding over excess fabric in the mono-sock collar design of the shoe and would dig into the top of my foot uncomfortably. I tried the Men’s CNX Clearwater size 9.5 and found they were just not long enough for my foot and my toe just slightly hit the toe cap of the shoe in an uncomfortable way. The 9.5 however was a much better fit in the ankle and did not have as much excess material around the mono-sock collar when the bungee was cinched. I found the Clearwater to be about true to size where the Newport ran small.

In recent years I have found that women’s shoes are often narrower than men’s. They usually are more colorful too and that isn’t bad for someone like myself that likes colors other than black, red, brown and white. I tried the Women’s Clearwater size 11 and found the fit was spot on. I still have to cinch the heck out of the bungee but the fold over of the mono-sock collar is minimal and is not enough to dig into my foot. The width of the Women’s size 11 is still roomy but not excessively so. So far I have had great luck wearing this shoe all day with no issues.

Pair 2:
My wife was a huge Keen Whisper fan. She had previously tried the Keen Newport H2 and Venice and found them to be too roomy and slipped off the back of her heel. Her Keen Whisper size is 8. She does not like to or have time to shop and found the Whisper fit to be good enough and stuck with that. With my revelation that the Keen CNX Clearwater fit almost true to size I ordered her a 7.5, her usual dress flat size. It was in her favorite color and I knew she would give it a try because of that. It fits her perfectly, and she finds it very lightweight and comfortable and better fitting around the foot compared to the Keen Whisper. Her only point to note is that she likes the Whisper bungee cinch system better than the mono-sock collar of the Clearwater. She finds that to cinch the Clearwater tight enough to where there is no heel slip the material folds over and if not positioned just right, can dig into the top of her foot.

In short this Keen Women’s CNX Clearwater fits us both better than any Keen shoe we have yet tried. Keen has made an attempt to welcome those with narrow or medium width feet into the Keen wearing flock. We would both say that the width fit for us is the as our regular athletic shoes fit. For length she fits into her regular dress shoe size with in this shoe. Of the Women’s shoes I do own this fits like some 11’s do and like some 12’s do (I do not own any 11.5).
To compare the fit more universally, for me the Clearwater 11 fits like Men’s 9-9.5, Women’s 11-11.5 Converse Chuck Taylor and for her the Clearwater 7.5 fits like Men’s size 5 Women’s 7 Converse Chuck Taylor.

Arch Support:
Everyone thinks of arch support differently so I really don’t like the question. I have noticed most people confuse arch support with stability and motion control. Look up “pronation shoes” on google for more information. Most people that want arch support really mean they want “motion control” or “stability” shoes. These shoes force the feet to roll outward when running, walking and standing. The majority of people have feet the roll inward naturally and feel only the insides of their feet are bearing the weight and pressure. This has nothing to do with arch support.
I have been told by two doctors I have a high arch on my foot. I am a light runner and use minimalist or barefoot shoes for running. I suppose I have somewhat strong feet. I was told arch support comes from within the foot and is provided by muscles and tendons of the foot. I was told flat feet can be hereditary or come as a result of wearing stiff inflexible shoes over a period of time that cause atrophy of the muscles. I was told no amount of upward arch curve in a shoe will correct flat feet. Exercise and flexible shoes, barefoot shoes or actually being barefoot while doing exercise to strengthen foot muscles may help return an arch to the natural shape or keep an arch strong. The arch curve of this Clearwater shoe does not even come close to contacting the bottom of my foot in the arch area. In fact only once every few years will I ever find a shoe that the built in arch “support” bump actually contacts the arch of my foot. When I do find that, it creates a great amount of artificial pressure on my tendon and is painful and torturous to walk or stand in. Again everyone is different.
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on April 18, 2013
I tried on several Keen models and this one fit the bill. I originally planned to buy the whisper model as it is light and less bulky looking, but my heel kept sliding out the back of the shoe, just walking around the store and I couldn't slide my foot all the way forward. The Venice model rubbed my feet instantly and made them sore. The clearwater fit my foot true to size and I have a very wide foot/narrow heel. No heel problems and no areas of soreness. I have only worn them around the house, but will be using them for hiking in beach areas. Wish it was available in more colors like the other models, my husband ended up ordering the exact same pair.
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on July 7, 2014
Wanted to love this and had high expectations but after a few months of wear (city sidewalk, beach, rock climbing, hiking, river trekking, music festival), I've concluded that these shoes are really not great for anything. Ouch.

-Shoe is not adequately ventilated enough! Even though it looks like your feet will stay nice and dry, my feet always get way too sweaty and stick to the sole. And for some reason, my feet smell terrible in these!
-Spaces are big enough to let in pebbles and dirt but not big enough to let them out! If you're anywhere dusty or sandy or rocky, you will find yourself emptying your shoes often. And that's not an easy task...while they are slip on/slip off, the shoe is not very stretchy.

The grip on the soles are pretty good and I've been able to climb rocks. And they look pretty cute...but overall, sadly not worth it.
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on January 14, 2015
A few years ago, my roommate would rave about Keen sandals. I took one look at hers and decided they were the most hideous shoes to ever exist on this earth and vowed I would never own a pair. Keen has since expanded their styles and released sandals like these, that are a little less bulky. I saw a girl on the subway wearing a red pair recently, and I decided it was time to give these guys a chance. Turns out my roommate was right. These are some of the comfiest shoes I own, and I wish I could wear them year-round. Alas, the Chicago winter is not kind to Keen sandals or the feet in them. I wore these all last summer, including while volunteering on a homestead/farm in Montana. I think they look cute with skinny jeans and shorts, haven't tried to make them work with dresses or leggings, that might look weird. I've worn them with and without socks. I am OBSESSED with these shoes now, just like my roommate, and would recommend them to anyone who is considering buying a pair. These are especially cute, the ruby slippers of Keens, and I like that they aren't chunky like the traditional Keens. However, you have to keep in mind that with a more flexible footbed, these aren't really suited for serious hiking, and you'll sometimes feel rocks under your feet. I would say these are more of a city shoe.
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on May 9, 2014
the sandals were fine. I exchanged them for another style only because they were lighter weight than I expected. I will be walking on uneven ground a lot and felt a sturdier sole would be better. There width was a little narrower than expected so I just ordered a half size larger.
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on February 6, 2014
I have no complaints about my CNX Sandals! They came very fast. Are true to size and help me get traction on the pool bottom as I do water aerobics at least 4 times a week. You won't be disappointed!
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on August 16, 2015
I bought these shoes for a multi-day canoe trip, and they did not disappoint! Even though I had never broken them in, they were comfortable right from the start. They were perfect for getting in and out of water and walking on rocky surfaces. I even like the little reflector tags so you can spot them quickly with a flashlight outside your tent at night. You can cinch them up very tightly if walking in muck. My only wish is that they dried a little faster, but really, I can't imagine any shoe of this type would dry any faster than these would. All in all, they seem very well built, and I hope they last me for many river trips to come! They are also nice enough for wearing around town.
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