Product Type: Keen Hunter Original
Newest Review: ... for the leather variety, but prices seem to vary considerably. Visually, my Keen sandals are sturdy looking, especially around the toe... more
Keen: An 'off-road' walking sandal
Member Name: ELDG77
Advantages: Long-lasting, sturdy, comfortable, quick-drying, good toe protection, look like a walking shoe
I bought my first pair of Keen sandals in a sale at a shop in Skipton just of the canal. I was actually on a canal boat holiday at the time, and rather foolishly thought it would be fine to wear flip-flops. Well, when I tripped in them and nearly ended up in the canal, I knew I needed something slightly more appropriate to wear! Many years later, I still have the same pair, which I walk/hike in extensively each summer. I really want to buy a new pair, but these are the sandals that just keep on giving, and I cannot really justify replacing them until they wear out!
Price-wise, I would suggest shopping around. They are around £45 for the canvas/fabric variety and around £80 or more for the leather variety, but prices seem to vary considerably.
Visually, my Keen sandals are sturdy looking, especially around the toe area and the sole, both of which are black rubberised material - very grippy on lots of surface-types including wet rock. The outer upper is brown leather, the inner upper is a neoprene-type material, and the foot bed is (according to the Keen specification) an "AEGIS microbe shield treated hydrophobic mesh". I am not sure what that is really, but it is very comfortable to walk on! I laugh every time I put them on: on one side of the heel is a yellow 'Keen' logo, and on the other side it says 'waterproof'. Bearing in mind that they are sandals, and therefore have holes in them that let in water, I find this a somewhat pointless claim! I guess they are referring to the material from which the sandal is constructed, in which case I can confirm that after a few years of wear they have lost their waterproofing somewhat. Having said that, they dry out remarkably quickly when they do get a good soaking.
The stitching is excellent and, unlike other walking sandals I have tried, does not rub on the inside anywhere. They do not have laces or Velcro fastening, instead they tighten using a "secure fit lace capture system", which is an elastic lace that you secure through a good quality toggle. The elastic on my sandals has stretched a bit, but is still functional. The main advantage they have over other outdoor sandals is that they have toe-protection.
I do not really have anything negative to say about this sandal. I use them for practically all summer outdoor activities, including hiking (where you can get away with no ankle support) and at the beach, especially for swimming on rocky beaches. Like I said in the first paragraph, mine are still in excellent condition after a few years of heavy summer use, but if/when they do need to be replaced, I will be getting another pair.
Summary: A hiking sandal you can hike in, highly recommended