The 'Bomb-Diggitiest' Shoes, According to Our Fans
Photo by KEEN fan @gregbalkin in New Zealand’s Fiordland.
By Nate Derr, KEEN Fan Services
One of our favorite sayings here at KEEN is “We don’t have customers, we have fans.” As part of the Fan Services team, I get an inside look at our fans and the ways their KEENs have become part of their lives.
Over the course of a typical day, I interact with about 100 different fans, each with their own KEEN experience. Sometimes my job means sending out replacement laces for a beloved pair of shoes; sometimes it’s giving advice on boots for an upcoming backpacking trip; and sometimes it means mailing out some stickers to adorn a mega-fan’s truck. Whatever it is I happen to be doing, it’s the fans who keep things fresh and interesting.
The KEEN Fan Services team and a recent letter we received at our Portland headquarters.
Recently, I spoke with a nature photographer who relies on her KEENs to capture the breathtaking views of Vancouver Island; fans whose KEENs help them to stay active well into their 80s and 90s; and a passionate fan who matches her Venice H2 sandals with her all-pink wardrobe. No matter the shoe or the circumstances, the joy and enthusiasm remain the same.
This exuberance often comes through in written reviews on the site, as well. Here are a handful of my favorites:
Targhee Boot: "The Bomb-Diggity"
Photo by KEEN fan @joneking in Yosemite National Park, California.
“I bought the Targhee II Waterproof Mid for my walk on the Camino De Santiago. I bought the boots in March 2017 and broke them in as my trek started September 4, 2017. I always buy KEEN boots because of the wide toe box. The boots were amazing! I walked over 400 miles AND NOT ONE BLISTER!!! The heel area of the boot kept my foot very stable. My feet stayed dry during the one day of intense rain hiking over the Pyrenees. There was not any problem with odor and it was helpful to stuff newspaper in my boots at the end of each day. I had happy feet for the whole 35 days on the Camino!!”
- Camino Pilgrim
Rose Sandal: "The Best of the Bunch"
Photo by KEEN fan Linda, bottom center, with her KEEN sandal-wearing friends.
“I LOVE these shoes! In 2015 I had a sailboat hatch slam shut on my great toe and swore I would only wear closed toed shoes for future sailing. At that time I purchased the KEEN Rose sandal. This shoe has a spacious toe box and a comfortable back strap as well as a comfortable and adjustable top strap for split-second adjustment when your feet swell a bit in salty conditions. I throw these shoes in the washer every few months and allow them to air dry, and today they still look as good as new."
I wear these shoes on and off the boat, while jogging with my dog and even with sundresses.
"We are embarking on a 5-year cruise on our sailboat "Wildflower," and I just purchased an identical pair as a back-up in case my 2015 originals ever wear out or fall apart. I wear these shoes on and off the boat, while jogging with my dog and even with sundresses. More often than not, people will compliment me on how cute they look, ask where they can get them and are surprised they are boat shoes. In my opinion, the Rose sandal is the most handsome hands (or feet) down. I hope KEEN never stops making this shoe!”
Voyageur Shoe: "No Other Shoe or Boot Has Lasted as Long"
Photo by KEEN fan @jenniferirischau outside Palm Springs, California.
“I have been buying KEENs for over 15 years. They are the only shoe that can hold up to my line of work. I work in the movie business and have put KEEN to the test in every kind of terrain all over the US and a few places outside the States. They are dependable, durable, and most of all comfortable. No other shoe or boot has lasted as long on a day-to-day basis as KEEN. The cushiness will eventually wear away after what seems like a million miles of walking but I have never had a pair rip out or fall apart."
I just can't get rid of the old ones because they are perfectly worn in, and I feel we have some history together.
"When they don't feel as cushy anymore, I buy a fresh pair and keep my old ones to work on projects around the house. I just can't get rid of the old ones because they are perfectly worn in, and I feel we have some history together. When the old ones are covered in paint and God knows what else I retire them and replace them with the other pair and that pair is replaced with a fresh pair and so on for another 15 years or longer.”
Newport H2 Sandal: "10 Years Strong!"
“Wow! It's official, I am now a KEENaholic! I ordered these shoes for a trip to the Grand Canyon. Instead of taking several pairs of shoes I wore my KEENs straight out of the box for a week. They are cute and comfortable, with or without socks. I look forward to many years of adventure with my KEENs. Will order KEEN boots next. Easy to put on and take off in a jiffy when you don't win the TSA pre check designation. Excellent customer service!”
Photo by KEEN Ambassador and fan @krystlejwright with friends in Maui, Hawaii.
“I bought a pair of these ten years ago and they have traveled worldwide with me and have stood up to many terrains and weather conditions. My favorite features of them are that they still look new, are washable, and, best of all, float in the water. I have used them to climb over rocks to get into the sea then put them on my hands once I was in the water; they float and I can use them as paddles. I can't wait to use them again this year. Best shoes I have bought in my life! I just ordered two more pairs of these sandals as I love them! I already have about 25 pairs of KEENs altogether, some dress, some sandals and some boots but they are the brand that I turn to as they are the most comfortable. I have had some for years and find that when they get too dirty or smelly I just throw them into the wash and let them dry and they come out brand new! I don't think that I have ever been this devoted to a brand in my life but to KEEN I am a devout follower. Thanks KEEN for such a great product!”
UNEEK Sandals: "Truly Comfortable"
Photo by KEEN Ambassador and fan @meghaywoodsullivan in the hills overlooking Los Angeles.
“I found these shoes in Tokyo, Japan, of all places. My family and I had been walking for hours visiting lots of local sites by our hotel. After about 6 hours, my feet were killing me!"
"In one of the malls we visited, I noticed a unique pair of shoes on one of the shoe clerks. I thought they were kind of cool-looking! I asked if he sold those, and he showed me not only the pair he had on, but they came in over a dozen colors. When I tried them on....my feet were ecstatic (actually my toes). I couldn't believe how comfortable they were! Please understand, I am not the type of guy who drops $100 for a pair of sandals easily. But I was amazed by how comfortable these were. My feet felt relieved immediately. I ended up buying 2 pairs, one for myself and a pair for my wife!"
When I tried them on....my feet were ecstatic (actually my toes). I couldn't believe how comfortable they were!
"We continued walking for another couple of hours feeling no more pain! The crazy part is we are from Eugene, Oregon. We had never seen this design of KEEN shoes before, even though the company is in Portland. Kinda funny we had to travel to Japan to run into them for the first time. KEEN, these shoes are a winner!!!”
Austin Shoe: A Perfect Match
KEEN fan @junkruckus in his Land Rover repair shop in Springfield, Oregon.
“This is my shoe, or I am this shoe's human.
“This is my shoe, or I am this shoe's human. I have struggled to find a shoe that fits my wider feet, then KEEN made the Austin. I will always own a pair of these. The new color is the best so far. Shipping was fast and the smell of new KEENs hit me when I tore open the box to see my new shoes. Keep it up KEEN, and I'll be KEEN for life.”
Every KEEN has a story, and we love hearing yours! Please post a review of the KEEN shoes you wear, and if you have a story or photo to share with us, please tag @KEEN or pass it along to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured. Happy trails!