My Arroyo II's just arrived today. I want a good pair of hiking sandals for my first Grand Canyon trip this August, yet something that can get wet for Havasu Falls. I heard so many good things about Keens that I decided to try them for myself.
First, some things to consider. At first I was settled on the Keen Newport H2's, but after speaking to an associate at REI I learned that the tread of the H2's is not suited for hiking, and that the Arroyo II's would serve me better for mostly hiking. This point was obvious after examining the tread of both models; the Arroyo II's have a thicker tread for greater traction on dirt and rocks. They also seem more durable overall and are made of leather instead of nylon. The way he put it: The Newport H2's are mostly for water activities and some outdoor activities, and the Arroyo II's are mostly for hiking and some water activities. This is because the Arroyo II's won't dry as quickly as the Newport H2's because of its cushioned insole for better support, which is nonexistent in the H2's. Although both models of sandals seem great, you have to decide for yourself what you need them for before making a purchase. I figured I'd be hiking mostly, with some treks across rivers, streams, etc., so I went with the Arroyo II's.
My first impression after trying them on is a good one! They fit well, are comfy, and have good arch support for walking. These shoes really feel tough enough to handle the rugged outdoors, with a thick toe and sturdy coverage on all sides. I'm questioning the ankle support these shoes will provide, although there is some support. Some people weren't happy with the drawstring for tightening the sandal. I could maybe see it not holding well and coming loose after long hikes, so I will keep an eye on this. I love the colors (I went with Slate Black/Bronze Green, which is a nice medium-brown color with forest-green detailing -- very camo-looking). I will update my review after my 5-day Grand Canyon trip and detail how well they held up while hiking and in water.
A word of caution about sizing. As I did, you should seriously consider trying these on at a local retailer (such as REI) before making your purchase. They definitely run very big. I'm usually size 9.5-10, but I had to buy these in an 8 for a good fit. For me, that's at least a size-and-a-half smaller than the norm. If you can't try them on first, order at least one full size smaller than you typically would.
Took my sandals on a test spin in PA's "Grand Canyon" this past week. We hiked the Turkey Path down to the waterfall and Pine Creek, and back up. It was rocky with steep slopes, so it was a good practice run for the actual Grand Canyon.
The sandals had great traction on the rocky surfaces. The pinky toe on my right foot started hurting at the end of the hike to the point where I thought I was forming a blister, but it ended up being okay. Whenever we stopped to take a break I found myself tightening up the cords, so this could be an annoyance for some people. Although I had to tighten them, I never thought they were too loose; rather, tightening gave them a more secure fit.
I dipped my feet into Pine Creek when we got to the bottom to test out their water resistance. They definitely dried pretty quickly (about 20 minutes longer into our hike), and they weren't heavy and squishy after getting them wet.
My only complaint so far is the discomfort I felt on my pinky toe towards the end of the 2-hour hike, which I expect is due to the initial wear-in period. We leave for the real Grand Canyon in the morning, so I'll post another update when we return!