Keen’s unique type of enclosed toe and rubber bumper is now well-established. While the style is basically the same with all Keen footwear, as this is a sandal the Newport has a strappy upper with plenty of airflow, while offering good protection against knocks from rocks. There is neoprene padding under the straps, making them very comfortable too, while a drawcord lacing system improves the fit. The sole is well-cushioned and stiff, making these 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 is ideal for a wide variety of conditions and still one of the best of its kind, making it great for travellers and lounging around after a day on the hills. But the Keen Newport’s fit is not as adjustable as some others. Also, that wide forefoot may not suit everyone. As the uppers are leather, they will not be as fast-drying as synthetic options and the outsole lug pattern is not very aggressive, so these are not ideal for wet and muddy ground. The weight is a drawback for backpackers who might want to stash their sandals in a rucksack.
Upper leather upper
Sole rubber, EVA cushioning
Sizes 6-13 (men’s); 4-8 (women’s); 25-39 (children’s)
Weight 948g (pair, size 11)
Made in Vietnam
Stores in the UK 180
Verdict: The Keen Newport is ideal if it you want a sandal that offers more protection so you can wear it more regularly in hot weather, but others are better for river crossings and muddy terrain.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine May 2009