on November 14, 2007
Friends recommended these after I complained about not finding shoes that worked well and lasted. I about had a heart attack at paying $90 for sandals. They're worth every penny and I've ordered my second pair.
I live on a cruising sailboat in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico. My husband and I love to hike and try to hike for two to three hours a day when we're in an anchorage-- starting in the water as we wade ashore, across the beach and up to the peak of the nearest hill. Desert hiking, over sand, dirt and rocks of various sizes. In towns, we go all over on dirt and paved roads and sidewalks. Temperatures are typically in the mid-90's. Prior to getting a pair of Keens, I've never had a sandal or shoe -- even sneakers or hiking boots -- last more than three months; I've even had them fail on the second day of wearing them -- and these have been name-brand, expensive shoes marketed for this sort of activity. The biggest problem has been that the layers of the sole have separated, although there have been other problems as well.
In contrast, my Keen Newport H2's are still wearable after 8 months and about 1,000 miles on them. That's not a typo -- about one thousand miles (I log our hikes and estimated the town miles). They are starting to show wear in the tread, some stitching is pulling out and the webbing is just beginning to stretch in the heels. Note that while we've been over some rough terrain, I haven't taken them backpacking or true rock climbing. I'd guesstimate that half my use has been desert hiking, a quarter on beaches and dirt roads and the rest on pavement and concrete.
Several things that I like:
-- They can go from wading in the water to scrambling over rocks with no problem. They dry quickly and don't cause blisters when wet.
-- Heat hasn't caused them to fall apart as has happened with every other brand I've had (layers of the soles coming apart, etc.).
-- Where the stitching pulled out could easily be re-sewn with just a needle and dental floss -- very FIELD REPAIRABLE!
-- The toe guard is wonderful.
-- The footbed and straps work to give you solid footing and support.
-- The webbing does not stretch and cause the fit to become sloppy.
-- They hold up well to all sorts of abuse.
-- No smell!!
-- They do catch sand and pebbles and you can't easily shake it out without taking the sandals off. However, they're pretty quick on and off. Any sandal has this problem to some extent.
-- Don't wear them in deep, hot sand -- it will enter the sandal and burn your feet.
-- Maybe it's just my feet, but they rub a little notch in the big toe nail of each foot. It's not painful, but a little strange.
-- I had to play around with how tight to cinch up the shock cord for the best fit. Take a little time to get them adjusted to your feet.
BOTTOM LINE: These are great shoes for an active lifestyle and can stand up to all sorts of abuse. They last well and are worth their price.
on August 14, 2007
I resisted for a while (years) while my wife raved about her Keen sandals. I like Tevas (Terra Fi 2) and have owned many pairs over the past 10 years. Love them for warm weather hiking, around the water, and general warm/wet conditions. But, I finally gave these Keens a try after wearing out the soles of my Tevas.
The reviewers are right on. They feel like sneakers and I wear them all day with pleasure. These are a great buy. I'm going to buy another pair of Teva Terra Fi 2s also but I do love these Keens.
- Rugged build
- Great traction (I think the Tevas are a little better but I hardly notice the difference - that's the key detail)
- I bought the mostly nylon (not leather) version (brown/bison) and they do dry quickly. My wife has the leather version and they're significantly slower to dry - overnight at least.
- Extremely comfortable to wear all day
- I never have to adjust these - they stay on my feet in all conditions with no worries
- Look good with everything
- There is a nice sense of comfort with that toe protector on the front
- Wide toe bed - very nice
Cons if I have to name some (certainly won't deter me from buying these again):
- In the sun, the toe bed/cap does get hot on your toes if you hang out in direct sun for a while
- I agree with the other reviews (not necessarily on Amazon) that you'll read regarding the "funk". Yes, these do get funky/smelly very quickly - much more quickly than my Tevas ever did. But, hey, they're outdoor sandals. Throw them into the washing machine or go swimming with them every 3-4 days and you're set.
The "funk" reputation worried me a little so I held off buying these but I can live with it. It's not as bad as I expected. And, these are super comfortable!
Added after owning for six months:
I think the Teva Terra Fi 2 probably have a slight edge when it comes to rafting/boating because they dry in record time and you can really tighten them so they don't shift on your foot. So, I'd give them a slightly higher score in terms of functionality for the very active or career outdoors folks.
Also, I do get annoyed at the gravel that gets stuck in the toe bed of these - I can't shake it loose so I have to take them off and turn them upside down. This wasn't an issue with the Teva open toe design and I kind of miss those days. Last pet peeve: despite what my wife says, (she has same kind of Keens) the tread just isn't as good as the Teva's. Conclusion, I have to buy both for the forseeable future - they're both solid products and I won't give up either.
Latest and Last Update: the sole gave out in less than a year - literally pieces/chunks fell off. I'm back to Tevas and happier with the much more reliable tread. The Tevas dry much much faster also. I think the Keens are really for wearing when you want to pretend you're doing something active outdoors - they were fine for just walking.
2013 update: I bought what must be my 4th pair of Keens now. This pair is holding up much better than the last ones. So far, no problems at all with the sole. And, the stink/funk isn't a problem with these. There does seem to be a new kind of coating on the soles (inside) and so maybe that's helping. Anyway no issues so far and I'm a happy camper.
on December 11, 2007
Ok, I confess, it kills me to spend $50 on shoes. But at 38, and on my feet all day, plus filling in the mid-drift...The shoes I wore in the young hottie days are getting their revenge. Worse yet...at a size 10.5-11 W, I canNOT find shoes to fit.
In need of some water wading shoes, I found a purple pair of this model (incorrectly shown as red on this site) that I thought was too "off color" for professional wear, but worthy of play shoes...for a clearance price of $30 comfort to please my desperation, who could deny the deal?
SHOOT. I don't care if they had bright flashing fuschia blinkers and a whoopie cushion to boot. These shoes rock.
I live 3 hrs from the Birkenstock place I found them in WA, and when I head back that direction, I am clearing the Keen sale shelf, and buying a reg priced pair that is appropriate in style for professional wear. The shoe is kind of weird looking..but I see Birkenstock's as weird looking (which didnt work out for me--very painful).
If you have plantar fasciitis (sp?) problems, here is a house shoe answer. See, I also drop these shoes next to my bed so I can make it to the bathroom in the middle of the night without tearing up my arches.They are SO comfortable.
And the shoe is breathable, but not cold, not hot, not prone to stretching with sock on, no sock wear.
It's years of shoe nightmares that have come to an end. I have had 'em for 6 weeks now, weigh 205 lbs (fluffy,buff amazon chick) and the shoe looks like it will hold its own--wet or dry. A challenge, considering size 6, 110 lb girl shoes are made with the same materials as the larger sizes...like harnessing up a chihuahua the same as a St.Bernard!
Hope this helps.These shoes are my hunt completed. Oh, it appears all shoes are made with the same funky, loveable sole.
on December 10, 2012
This past summer, while wearing 'open toed' water sandals, I accidentally pulled off the nail of my big toe while wading my kayak out of some shallow rapids just above Cochran Shoals on an urban stretch of Atlanta's Chattahoochee River. Several of the other paddlers regularly wore Keen shoes and highly recommended them. So, although expensive, I took the plunge and purchased a pair.
On the first pair I ordered and received at the end of August 2012, one of the pull loops above the instep was only sewn on the bottom of the loop, not the top. I returned those and promptly received a new pair. Since then, I've worn the replacement pair 6 or 7 times paddling other sections of the Chattahoochee River, basically getting in and out of the kayak at the put-in and take-out, as well as casual wear at home and around town 3 to 4 times a week for the past 3 1/2 months. They're very comfortable and I really like the support and, of course, the toe protection.
However, yesterday while eating lunch, I noticed the stitching on the left shoe was loose and pulled out where the outside foot-bed tab meets the back ankle strap just below the ankle.
These expensive shoes ($104.95 including original shipping) have not seen any strenuous use like hiking or extensive creek walking, etc. Given the first pair had a manufacturing defect right out the box, and this second pair starts falling apart in less than 4 months of casual use, while comfortable and great while they lasted, I recommend you find an alternative manufacturer's product.
Because Amazon's full refund return date has expired, I'm out the $104.95, I'm unsatisfied with Keen's products, and now I need to find and purchase a replacement product in time for our traditional New Year's Day paddling trip.
on March 19, 2013
i saw some of the negative reviews about keen's and the slide in quality in only a few years, and brushed them off as maybe cranky buyers or people who were just unhappy with what they got.
i was wrong :(
ive worn keens for at least 6 years now, and bought my last pair about 2 years ago, in the last month, i have bought and subsequently returned, via amazon, 5 pairs of keens all different models that i have had before. And the change is incredible, shoes and sandals that used to fit, are now made of obviously lighter cheaper material, and run smaller in size that they used to. i am really upset, i loved this company and recommended them to all of friends. i dont know what caused the decline in quality and the change in manufacturing, but its horrible.
i will never try to buy another pair again.
on September 19, 2008
I have had this shoe for a couple of months and have been using it this summer in the humid East coast, deserts of New Mexico, and tropics of Hawaii. It's a great sandal and alternative to regular shoes if you know the caveats. This is my opinion:
SIZING: I normally wear 9.5 W shoes. Keens are fitted to be snug with no sloppiness of a traditional sandal. I bought first a 9.5 then as a backup a 10 because I didn't want the hassel of returning it. I thought at first the 9.5 was too snug. I was wrong. After a month of break in, the shoe fits like a glove. My recommendation however is, if you want a sandal to replace a hiking shoe and you plan to be very active with it, buy your regular shoe size and let it break in and mold to your foot. My toe is very close to the end of the shoe but not touching. I thought I would be jamming my toe after awhile. That never happened. The shoe is snug and my foot doesn't move around. If on the other hand, you want a more traditional, casual, looser fitting sandal for walking around the mall but a closed toe to prevent the occasional toe jam, buy a half size up.
CLOSED TOE: I wasn't used to it in a sandal. At first I thought the snug fit would start to bug me because I can occasionally feel the top of my toe touch the top of the shoe. It hasn't. As you break in the shoe your toes get a smidgen more room, but not sloppy more room.
TEMPERATURE: This sandal is more like a hiking shoe with a lot of ventilation slits. Your foot is very well covered and protected with this sandal. However, this makes your feet warmer than most sandals and perspire more, hence the comments of foot odor over a period of time. Still cooler than a hiking shoe but warmer than the open toe sandals. This sandal is useable in cooler seasons like early spring and late fall knowing it could keep your feet warmer than other sandal types.
PROTECTION: Can climb and walk on nearly any terrain with confidence. Only real caution is climbing volcanic rock and jamming your foot into crevasses. The sandal still exposes some of your skin.
DEBRIS: Dirt, sand, twigs, seeds, etc. that gets in the sandal stays there until you take off your sandal. Walking into a fast moving stream can clear it out without taking it off.
WASHABLE: All synthetic and no leather so I have washed them with no concerns. Does dry slower than most, so if you wash them at night and want them dry in the morning, put them under a fan at low setting overnight to dry it out. I have not yet put them in the dryer, but seems at low temperature it should be ok.
LOOKS: Kinda looks like I went to Spiderman to make me a pair of sandals. It has that very busy, webbing, stringy look. Wife's immediate first reaction was: "That's really ugly!" I probably won't wear these to any weddings in the near future. However she is getting used to them. Besides, attractive sandals won't be on my mind when I am suffering from a painful or cut-up foot... FYI I have a nice pair of leather Ecco sandals for casual social events...but those will NEVER see an intentional salt water immersion no matter what Ecco's ads say.
OVERALL: These are an extremely comfortable, all purpose sandal if you only want to bring along one pair of shoes to hike, slog in mud, run, dive into the surf, climb rocks, traverse a stream, or just walk around the mall and to be able to just wash them out at night and start anew in the morning.
on July 9, 2015
I discovered these sandals on the feet of some friends who I know to research everything, so I wanted to believe. I bought myself a pair ($100 plus, forget exactly) last November 21, 2014. They fit and looked great for about 3 months...then the stitching started to fall apart on one shoe. A month later, the stitching on the other side began to unravel. The sides of both shoes have now completely separated and it's too late for Amazon to take them back. If someone from Keen is reading, I'd be interested to know if my experience is something of which you already knew.
on June 18, 2013
I wear a size 10 1/2 in my running shoes (Go Fasters, USMC !), I ordered a size 10, and they fit perfect and are true to size,
I also have wide (see photo), These are my third pair of Keens and the last two were a 1/2 size too big.
So once they broke in, walking to the mailbox and back they fit like a well worn glove, or sock. LOL !! Brad B. (Winston-Salem, N.C.)
on September 21, 2013
This is my second pair of Newports. The first lasted for years. This pair is falling apart after six months of moderate use. The seems on the logo panels on both shoes have torn apart. Disappointing.
on November 4, 2005
By far the most comfortable sandal I have ever owned. I first saw these on some ultralight backpackers I met, they swore by them and I had to try them.
Now that summer is over, and it is late Fall, I find myself still wearing these even now that it is cooler because they feel good and I am used to them. They really are tough to give up. Any reservations I had that they look funky went away when I wore them a couple of days and got hooked on the feel and how they protected my toes.
SIZING ISSUES: If they do not feel right when you put them on, you may have the wrong size. Most people that buy Keens find that they need to buy a half size larger than they do with other shoes, so try that.
COMFORT: The sandals have a wide toebox so that your toes are not cramped together. The protective toe guard does the job, I never stub a toe or catch a toe on anything with these, plus I can hide my ugly toes. It also has a little rise on the rear heel that cups your heel, but also helps protect you against those people that step on the back of your foot in line. It feels very secure once it is on and does not slip. There are no straps to fool with or Velcro to adjust, it has an inner lining on all the straps that looks like the neoprene on a scuba suit, it stretches to fit and is comfortable against my skin. It has a no-lace closure and you adjust it once, from then on it slips on easy. The footbed cradles my foot really well. It has a little ridge on the inner sole that runs behind the toes and in between your big toe and other toes. The first time you feel it, it seems like a defect. But that ridge seemed to shape to my foot, giving me my own custom fit. I hate to gush about this, but the shape of this shoe allows my bad feet to stand longer and walk longer. I actually enjoy running in them, and for a sandal that is a definite first with me, as they usually slip and flop all over on my feet. You can even wear it into the water like a Teva. If it gets wet, for some reason you don't feel it due to the material that wicks the water away.
GRIP: It has an outer sole that is very grippy, it gives good traction on sand, boulders, mud, you name it. It has not been slippery on wet surfaces, including a boat. The sole does not leave any marks on my floors, and does not hold dirt in the grooves to track indoors.
ODOR: It has an anti-microbial treatment so I do not get odor issues nearly as much as with Crocs and other sandals.
DURABILITY: It has held up to daily wear and repeated wettings. When they get dirty, I throw them in the sink, under the hose, in the shower or even in the washer. I wore these almost daily for 4 months straight with no evidence of wear. This includes standing in line all day on vacation at theme parks and scrambling at the beach. Like other sandals, when they were new they left marks on my socks from the dye but I almost never wear a sock with them anyway.
SUMMARY: These come in a few colors and in Mens and Womens styles. I have tried 2 pairs of tennis shoes from this company, and the footbed is similar, although the one with a suede type finish (the Targhee) looked like crap in one month. It is still a great hiker, but I can't wear it anywhere else but the great outdoors. The other pair is for urban use, it is called the Austin, and it is has a really nice finish. My other favorite sandals are Rieker Anti-Stress Jens 09176, and the Dunham Moose Fisherman(designed by New Balance). I used to wear Teva's, and they make good sandals as well.
UPDATE March 2010: I do not know if they still make these to the same quality as the model I reviewed here in 2005, but it is now 2010 and my original pair of Newport H2 sandals are still in use so I can't tell. The only issue is they look a little faded now in the straps and one of the stretchy tie strings lays a little crooked. But they still feel great and my sole has held up. I still feel they were a great deal for the price, about $100 back in 2005.