First, you start leaving the windows open. Then, you forget your jacket for the first time. And suddenly you have an overpowering craving for iced coffee. No doubt about it, summer is here, which means it’s time to start thinking about sandals. Unless, that is, you’re one of the many people who wear their sandals year-round. (We get it. We’re pretty big supporters of the socks and sandals movement ourselves.)
Let's not overcomplicate summer gear. We like one pair of shoes you can do a whole bunch of stuff in. Our women’s sandals, flip-flops and slides are built to go many places, from rocky riverbanks to dusty trailheads, black sand beaches to your neighbor’s backyard birthday party. But which pair is The One? To figure it out, find the statement that describes you best:
“I’m looking for outdoor sandals to go hiking in (there'll be streams to cross and maybe a lake or two to cool off in).”
The trick for outdoor sandals is finding that just-right balance between breezy comfort and rugged support. The Newport sandal is just that. It’s well-ventilated and airy feeling, but still protects your foot with a closed-toe as you’re scrambling over felled logs or scaling a rocky outcropping. The most supportive sandal in the KEEN family, it's got a heavy tread outsole that keeps you from slipping on wet or muddy terrain. It also comes in a bunch of colors, including a rainbow tie dye print that’s our personal fave (we’re hippies at heart).
Pro tip: If a Newport (or any KEEN shoe) has “H2” in the product name, that means it’s ok to go in the water - so jump in!
“I like the one-handed adjustment when going from land to water. … The toe protection is critical on rocky trails, creek beds and thick brush.” - American Botanist in Tennessee
Also take a look at the SOLR sandal. It stands for Sea, Ocean, Land, River (and we recommend it for all of the above). The Aquagrip rubber outsole gives you confidence when going across those smooth, slick river rocks that can be so hard to get a grip on.
“I want some everyday sandals - something casual, maybe a flip-flop.”
Summer days in your flip-flops are easy-breezy, that is until you stub your toe on that rock or branch you didn't see coming. The Waimea sandal guards your tootsies with KEEN’s patented toe protection bumper. If you prefer the classic flip-flop look, there’s also the Kona, which is just like the Waimea but without the toe bumper.
Pro tip: Sure, flip-flops are great. But try walking a few miles in them. Unlike most “regular” flip-flops, the Waimea and Kona both have a super-comfortable shaped footbed with great arch support.
“The soles grip the ground which is great since everything is on a hill where I live.” - Tammy in Maryland
“I’m looking for sandals to wear on a trip where I’m going full tourist: tons of sightseeing and walking around.”
For the puzzle that is packing your suitcase, nothing beats the UNEEK collection. It makes an awesome travel shoe because the minimal design flattens down to take up less space. The cord upper is super flexible and molds to the shape of your foot, and it also looks ever-so-slightly dressier than your typical webbing sandal. (Our friends have worn them to ride bikes in portland, explore ramen shops in Tokyo, and even to get married on a Hawaiian beach.) It’s definitely more of a casual walking-around-town shoe than an outdoor or water shoe, but if you get them wet it’s no big deal.
“Right out of the box they were very comfortable. I walk 3 miles a day for exercise and this shoe is perfect with the right amount of flexibility and great arch support.” - Karen in Virginia
“I think my feet might be a little narrow for KEEN shoes. Which sandals will fit me well?”
In general, KEEN shoes are a bit roomy (for that comfy, toe-wiggling feel we love so much). If you have a narrower foot, you might like the Whisper sandal. It has a more contoured shape, and it also has laces that can be tightened up for a snug fit. The UNEEK collection also has a more contoured fit. The flexible cord upper helps it comfortably adapt to many different kinds of feet.
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