This Keen sandal has shaken up the shoe market since it appeared in 2006 with its unique enclosed toe, where the sole unit moulding is extended around the toe to provide extra protection where it’s needed. The idea has now been copied by many other brands of course. The upper allows your feet plenty of airflow, while offering good protection against knocks from rocks. There’s neoprene padding under the straps, making them very comfortable. The sole is well-cushioned, and nice and stiff, so these are comfortable on most terrain. The outsole gets 3mm deep grooves for extra grip. The forefoot area is very spacious too. An anti-odour footbed adds the final touch of quality to a sandal that’s ideal for a wide variety of conditions and is still one of the best of its kind. The fit is not as adjustable as some, so check it before buying. As the uppers are leather, they won’t be as fast-drying as synthetic options either. The outsole lug pattern isn’t very aggressive, even though it’s quite deep. The weight is a drawback if you want a sandal to stow in your pack (some will feel the obvious benefits of this unusual sandal outweigh these drawbacks).
Upper: leather upper
Sole: rubber, EVA cushioning
Sizes: 6-13 (men’s); 4-8 (women’s); 13-1 (children’s)
Weight: 948g (pair, size 11)
Made in: Vietnam
Stores in the UK: 275
Verdict: Excellent if you want a sandal that offers more protection so you can wear it more regularly, but others do have advantages if weight or drying time are important.
First published in Trail magazine, April 2008