Keen shoes stand out with unusual designs such as their closed-toe sandals, but they come in a handful of other styles for all seasons of the year. Along with their distinctive look, they are well -suited to a range of conditions.
Keen shoes are designed for toddlers to adults and include styles such as sneakers, hikers, work boots and slides.
Why buy Keen shoes?
All Keen shoes are designed to be durable and comfortable whether you’re in the water, on a trail or in a workplace. Their look isn’t for everyone, but comfort and longevity make them a popular choice for summer footwear in particular.
Keen offers a variety of proprietary materials to keep out moisture or cushion your feet. Keen.Dry is a breathable waterproof membrane found in most of Keen’s waterproof boots, identifiable by the Keen.Dry tag on the shoes. Keen.Warm is a thin yet effective insulation for winter boots.
Like many outdoor fashion companies, Keen has made several environmental commitments, including eliminating perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances from all of its shoes. Many Keen sandals feature webbing made from recycled plastic bottles, and the company has a collection of U.S.-made shoes to reduce emissions. Lastly, a heat-bonded method free of solvents holds the parts of every shoe together. You’ll notice a faint vanilla smell — this scent is added to cover any residual burnt rubber smell.
Keen also has a robust grant program aimed at nonprofit organizations seeking to improve outdoor accessibility. A yearly impact report breaks down the company’s environmental and diversity-oriented goals and achievements.
Styles of Keen shoes
Though most Keen shoes are outdoor-oriented, the company makes casual and work shoes too. Here are its main styles:
- Boots: Hikers are the most iconic shoes in this style, often with waterproof membranes. However, "boots" spans a variety of types, including steel-toed and soft-toed work boots and winter boots.
- Sandals: The shoe Keen is best known for, its sandals may have the classic closed-toe design, or they may be slides or flip-flops. Closed-toed designs are often made for the trail and feature Keen.All-Terrain rubber.
- Casual: While most Keen shoes can be worn throughout warmer months when you're home or outside, its casual shoes are boots or slip-ons with classic leather uppers. There are even a few Keen slip-on work boots with steel or carbon-fiber toes.
Keen shoes features
- Shaft height: Though most sandals and sneakers are low-shaft, boots may be low, mid or tall shaft. A higher shaft provides more ankle support while keeping dirt out, but it adds to the overall weight and reduces flexibility.
- Material: The most common materials are waterproof leather, rubber, ethylene-vinyl acetate, recycled plastic, nylon and a handful of proprietary waterproof membranes and midsole foams.
- Lacing style: Keen shoes have either speed-lace systems, bungee lock laces or no laces (in its slip-on shoes).
- Wide shoes: Though most Keen shoes are fairly wide to begin with, the wide category makes it easy to find shoes to fit larger feet.
Q. How do I clean my Keen shoes? A. If you have a waterproof pair, you can throw it in the washing machine. Otherwise, look for the care instructions for each shoe.
Best Keen shoes
Keen’s original sandal design remains popular for its versatility and comfortable fit. The quick-drying webbing makes it well-equipped for water sports and even swimming.
This black service shoe doesn’t look like a work boot, but it has a sturdy toe box and nonslip rubber outsole. The memory foam insole offers support for those who are on their feet all day.
The 29 colors and patterns offer style options to match the rest of your gear, and the machine-washable design prevents odor and dirt buildup.
This mainstay of hiking boots comes in three heights, and its fabric and leather uppers are flexible while keeping out the elements.
Made of braided nylon cord, these sandals stand out and come in a range of colors. Once broken in, they are comfortable and flexible.
This low-cut hiker bends easily and is reliably waterproof in most conditions. Customers like it for its all-day comfort, whether on the trail or off.
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Peter McPherson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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