Best Keen Shoes & Boots Reviewed & Rated
Keen shoes are consistent, comfortable, protective, and durable. They are made to last and do that job relatively well. Keen has been trusted by millions across the globe for a variety of footwear needs. Trusting a brand of shoes can be difficult due to the lack of consistency in manufacturing, but when you buy Keen, this is a worry you won’t have. They are focused on providing amazing shoes that will last for miles of wear.
No matter the type of shoe, when one has on a Keen shoe they know that their feet are enveloped in something that is consistent, comfortable, protective, and durable. These are just the features that these shoes have; they are made to last and so, do that job relatively well. These are the most basic desires in a shoe.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 14 hrs of research
- Superior Materials
- Excellent Attention to Detail
- Minimal Break-In Period
- Flexible Upper
- Ergonomic Fit
- Seacamp II CNX
- Clearwater CNX
- Newport H2
- Targhee 2
- Chandler CNX
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Best Keen Shoes
- Superior Materials
- Excellent Attention to Detail
- Minimal Break-In Period
- Flexible Upper
- Ergonomic Fit
- Sole Durability
This sandal by Keen is very versatile. Whether you want to wear it near the beach, on a trail, or during your daily tasks, this shoe will suit you well. The Leather straps are durable and the bungee lacing system makes adjusting them a cinch. They provide all-day comfort and great support. Keen uses a variety of technologies to ensure they offer the best in a variety of footwear options.Read more
The upper of this shoe is made of Nubuck Leather. This material is naturally water resistant which makes them a great option in a variety of outdoor situations. Adding a quick spray will take them from water resistant to waterproof. This will increase the options of wear for these already versatile sandals.
Keeping your feet dry will keep them free from blisters, raw, red areas, and possible fungal or bacterial growth. The Hydrophobic Mesh Lining helps keep moisture away from your feet. It also dries very quickly. Overall this will help your feet stay cool, comfortable, and dry.
2. Seacamp II CNX
Bungee Lace System
Hook-and-Loop Strap Closure
Non-marking, Rubber Outsole
Size runs small
For kids, Keen develops the Seacamp II CNX. For ages 1-12, this pair fits the bill, in terms of materials being chemical-free, the ability to machine wash, and overall versatility. These come in an array of color combinations and are great for multiple terrain types; excellent for vacationing with the little ones.Read more
The AEGIS Microbe Shield lining with hydrophobic mesh is a great solution for helping to maintain better overall foot health. This works to fight against odor-causing bacteria and those little feet will be thankful.
This pair acts like a hybrid between a sneaker and a sandal. They have an enclosed heel and a rubber toe bumper to keep your kids' feet safer.
Non-marking, Rubber Outsole
Size Runs Small
One of the most popular choices by Keen is the Uneek and it is certainly that. This sandal upper is made of two types of cord for a truly one of a kind feel and fit. The laces are a bungee material for easy adjustment and it also adds to the overall fit. On top of all this, their footbed will help keep your feet comfortable during long wear. It is no wonder these shoes are loved by so many.Read more
When it comes to sandals we expect a certain amount of breathability. Some fall short, however, the Uneek is a step above the rest. The upper is naturally breathable and does a good job at removing moisture from the skin. The variety of space between the cord allows for better airflow keeping your feet at maximum coolness and comfort.
Obviously, the use of cord for the upper allows the top of this shoe to flex like a dream. It is not only the upper that works in your favor this way. The outsole is also made to truly bend and move with your feet. This allows your feet to maintain their natural motion and in the long run will keep your feet, legs, and back feeling better than usual.
Quick-draw Elastic Cord
An absolute delight in comfort footwear, these have high breathability, are made to last, and utilize a quick-draw elastic cord for lacing. The upper is made from polyester and is, therefore, washable. In essence, this means you can clean with ease and go on with your day nearly uninterrupted; perfect for those always on the go during those warmer days.Read more
The EVA-molded footbed is what makes these so favorable. That is, you have excellent cushioning to relieve those weary feet. Furthermore, it is well constructed and will give you the much-needed comfort you may have been searching for.
The main downside of standard sandal design is having the toes constantly exposed. With this pair, however, you can have more confidence in retaining non-injury status while walking throughout your day.
5. Clearwater CNX
Quick-adjust bungee cord
AEGIS microbe Shield
Not Ideal for Plantar Fasciitis
A water sandal for the ages, the Clearwater CNX is made with a genuine leather upper and grippy rubber sole with non-marking lugs that prevent slips and falls, like when walking on wet rocks. The EVA footbed conforms to the shape of the wearer’s foot, and over time and wear-in, will fit like no other sandal you have ever worn before. As stylish as they are functional, you can’t go wrong with the Clearwater.Read more
You’ll also be sure to appreciate the anti-odor and anti-bacterial technology woven into the Clearwater. AEGIS Microbe Shield is a special technology that prevents the collection of bacteria and fungus, and will keep your feet clean and happy.
The closure system on the Clearwater is one of the easiest to use on the market today. With a quick-adjust bungee cord, you can easily find the perfect fit, every time. Finally, Ghillie lacing makes tying and untying a breeze!
6. Newport H2
1.5-inch Platform Height
Contoured Arch Support
Metatarsal Ridge Support
Size Runs Small
A polyester-webbing upper allows this pair to be machine washable. They are made with a 1.5-inch platform height, have contoured arch support, and metatarsal ridge support. This means you will remain comfortable. So, you can enjoy the day, as it was meant to be enjoyed. These, also, utilize a removable and metatomical, PU footbed. Furthermore, they have a non-marking outsole made from rubber.Read more
This pair has contoured arch support; the perfect mix for both comfort and custom fit. Metatomical in design, these will form to your foot; meaning they will feel like they were designed just for you!
Throw them in the washing machine with some gentle detergent on a gentle cycle, and then let air dry! This is the formula for ease of clean and is great for those always on the run, so to speak.
7. Targhee 2
- Excellent for Extended Wear
- Great for Various Terrains
- Short Break-In Time
- Good Support
- Superior Grip
- Heel Wears Quickly
The second edition in the Targhee line offers a low profile and secure fit that many love. This boot is waterproof and features a lug, rubber outsole with rubber toe cap. Pulling on this mid-level boot is a cinch with the pull tab located at the back of the boot. The lining is made of breathable leather which helps the overall durability of this shoe.Read more
Wider calves and thick socks can be a real problem when looking for a mid-height boot. The extended opening will help alleviate this problem. Easy to fit, however you like, this opening will be appreciated when what used to be a struggle is no longer a care at all.
When your heel slides around in your boot it can lead to a number of problems. You could suffer from injuring your ankle to slipping and falling. The contoured heel in this boot will cradle your foot and help keep you secure. The lockdown feel will ensure you peace of mind no matter the adventure you find yourself on.
- Roomy Toe Box
- Variety in Styles
- Sturdy Tread
- Supportive Fit
- No Break-In Period
- Insole Wears Quickly
The Voyageur will suit you well on the trail or through everyday life. Offering exceptional comfort features, a lugged outsole for superior grip and traction, and patented technologies this shoe fits the Keen brand perfectly. Pull-on loops at the heel and tongue allow you to put these on and take them off with ease. The upper is a mixture of Leather and Mesh, making them durable, breathable, and flexible. All-in-all this shoe is an excellent addition to any person looking for a low-top, outdoor shoe.Read more
The lugs on this shoe face a variety of angles giving you excellent bite into a variety of surfaces. No matter how your foot falls you can rest assured these will help keep you balanced and on your feet. The length, as well as placement of these lugs, keep you planted firmly on your feet on various terrains.
The dual density EVA footbed is very comfortable and will mold to your feet as you wear them. In addition, it is removable. If you wear a custom orthotic or find that your insoles are wearing down, simply remove and replace them. This will save you time and money over the life of this shoe.
Nubuck/Full Grain Leather Upper
Classic Oxford Lace-up Design
Moisture-wicking, Textile Lining
For those who love the classic oxford style in footwear, this pair is a genuine pleasure. The upper is made with a mix of both Nubuck and full grain leather. Furthermore, the upper is water-resistant, so you have to worry about those days when surprise showers may, otherwise, ruin a great pair of shoes. In addition, these do have a minimal break-in period to keep in mind upon purchase.Read more
A combination of the two, the upper is ideal for a natural, breathable environment. This makes them perfect for spring or fall and can be worn in confidence; knowing you have a pair that will last.
The lining is great at wicking away moisture. This helps your feet to remain cool at those moments when you might need it the most.
10. Chandler CNX
- Easy On Easy Off
- Durable Wear
- Sturdy Sole
- Excellent All-Day Wear
- Flexible Fit
- Stitching Durability
Keen keeps everyone in their thoughts when creating shoes. The Chandler CNX has been built with growing feet in mind. The upper is an exceptionally flexible and breathable mesh. The outsole is made of rubber for good traction and grip. This can help avoid painful falls and possible injury. The lacing system makes them easy to take on and off but stay secure once they are on. Overall, this shoe looks good and keeps growing feet feeling great while being supported.Read more
Mesh is lightweight and flexible. In addition, this mesh is quick drying. Dry feet are happy and healthy feet. Wetness can lead to a plethora of problems for anyone's feet. Keeping growing feet in optimal condition is important and these shoes will not only look good but help keep feet healthy.
This shoe features a Velcro strap that helps to support the instep. by loosening or tightening this strap you will get a more customized and secure fit. In addition, for those that don't want to keep shoes on, this strap helps secure the lacing system. This helps ensure shoes are staying on.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
When we started to research the best Keen shoes we asked ourselves what is it that makes these the best of their brand? While they offer superior comfort and high levels of durability, these things can be found in tons of shoes on the market. So, what is it that really makes the Keen stand in a class of its own? The technology.
Their technology ranges depending on the shoe and the intended use of it. What you see in their sandals is not what you will see in their work boots. When taking this into consideration we took each style and looked at what they have to offer and why it is important for the person purchasing it. Here is what we have found.
This is a mesh lining used in many of Keen’s products. It helps remove moisture from the foot and repels it away. With the exceptional breathability of their sandals, this provides dry feet even in extremely sweaty conditions.
Seen in options like the Uneek, the footbed of their shoes that offer this technology provide a superior fit and better comfort than many on the market today. The metatomical footbed provides excellent arch support and shapes to the natural curves of your feet.
The Torsion Stability ESS Shank is not only seen in sandals like the Arroyo II, but also in boots like the Targhee 2. What does this do for you exactly? Well, it provides flexibility through the toe and stiffness through the arch. This allows your feet to move naturally while maintaining a high level of support and structure. When walking or running on multi-level terrains this feature will help you keep your balance and avoid rolling an ankle.
Trail Boots and Shoes
Keen Dry –
When it comes to waterproofing Keen certainly knows what they are doing. Wet feet on the trail can lead to a ton of problems for your health and comfort. Keen. Dry is a membrane that coats the shoe. It allows moisture to evaporate from the inside but it does not allow moisture to penetrate it from the outside. This helps to maintain constant dryness and optimal foot health.
Keen Zorb Strobel –
Keen Zorb is a foam padding that is used from the toe to the heel in many keen shoes and boots. It offers exceptional shock absorption and impact distribution. You will feel as if this footbed is hugging your feet.
The anatomical or foot-shaped design in Keen’s steel toe options is something you won’t find everywhere and that you won’t sacrifice once you wear them. Most steel caps protect your toes but at the expense of rubbing discomfort. Because Keen shapes the to cap like a foot naturally curves you won’t have any of that pesky, uncomfortable rubbing.
This feature is the rubberized toe we see on many different options within our guide. When on a work site or an excursion through a dense forest you don’t want something pushing through the toe of your shoe. This could lead to serious injury. The to cap reinforces the shoe or boot to ensure your feet stay protected, regardless of what you find yourself up against.
Keen uses naturally water-resistant materials like Nubuck Leather and then adds their waterproof membrane. This ensures water stays out and moisture can still evaporate. Rubber outsoles also help in overall waterproofing ability. It is important to note, some of their shoes offer a mesh panel that will give better breathability but still keep water out of the interior of the shoe. If you find that over time your waterproofing is lacking, a quick waterproofing spray will make it as good as new.
Finding yourself in slippery conditions or on varied soft trail surfaces is not uncommon. The use of lugged outsoles will allow your shoes or boots to bite into the surface you are crossing and ensure you stay on your feet. Superior grip and traction are needed for the overall safety of any adventure. Lugged outsoles will make sure this happens helping you enjoy your adventure and stay safe while on it.
Another important criterion that we used when picking out products is the price tag. The truth is, we all know the price is important. When picking out footwear, we have a budget in mind and try to stay in-between a specific dollar amount. However, when it comes to this type of evaluation, we are looking at something a bit different. Here, we focused on a way to ensure that no matter what product you decide, you receive your money’s worth for the purchase.
So, to start off the buying guide, we actually first scanned the market and looked at what companies were charging. We paid very close attention to the highest priced items and the lowest price. In this, we were able to draw some conclusions as to what perhaps maybe an average price tag.
For us, we used this to our advantage when assessing each product. We carefully looked at each product and considered whether or not the price was fairly priced, in accordance to the average price tag. From there, we also were able to draw conclusions as to whether or not the value it offered was fairly priced.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Keen has long been on the market as one of the go-to brands for outdoor footwear, from sandals, to hiking boots, as well as apparel. Best way to use your new Keens? Head out on an adventure!
Adventure vacations are easier to do now than ever, with a variety of online options which help you book your excursion, and set up room and board along with other activities. Many based in the US center around hiking, kayaking, camping, and can be an outdoor enthusiasts haven for relaxation.
Just like any other shoe, your Keens require maintenance to keep them functioning at their best to perform to your standards. While the brand does have a one year manufacturer warranty for any damage done, it's best to care for them to keep them around for your adventures.
Make sure any dirt or mud is dried before you clean off your Keens, as this makes it easier to remove. Use a bristle brush, soap and water to scrub dirt off the uppers, and lugs of the sole.
Inside, you can prevent foot odor by adding a mix of baking powder, corn starch, baby powder, and your favorite essential oil together as a powder, and sprinkle into the shoe before wear.
Lastly, Keen has replacement footbeds for purchase should you choose to replace the old ones. Check their website for details!
Other Factors to Consider
This list is comprised of items from Keen that all have something in common; they are the best of the best. Now, keep in mind that not all of the items are of the typical “shoe” variety. There is a combination of sandals, hiking, and work boots; they all still work to give the wearer what they would need in order to thrive in whatever area it is that they are working in.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Are all Keen shoes waterproof?
No, because Keen offers a huge variety of shoes not all of them are waterproof. While they do offer many models that are waterproof like the Utility Detroit work boot and the Durand, they also offer running shoes and sandals that are most certainly not. If you are unsure if they are or not, check out the product descriptions and reviews for a simple answer.
q: These shoes are awfully pricey, do they come with any sort of warranty?
This is an excellent question, no one wants to spend their hard earned money on a product that is pricey and then just falls apart. All of Keen’s shoes are backed by a one year 100% guarantee. If you find a defect in the shoe’s design or a flaw in the material simply contact the company and they will make it right.
q: Can I wear my orthotics with this brand?
Keen offers everything from sandals to work boots that will allow you to use your custom orthotics with ease. Any shoe they offer that has a removable footbed will allow you to easily slide it out and insert your own. Becuase of the roomy toe box and overall fit you won’t have to worry about how your orthotic will fit.
q: My favorite summer sandals from Keen are filthy, Help!
While with many brands this would be a death sentence for your favorite sandals, with Keen it is not. You will want to check the care instructions for your particular model, however, Keen sandals that offer a synthetic leather or Polyester upper are machine washable. Simply throw them in on a gentle setting, use mild detergent, and cold water. Afterward, let them air dry and you will be good to go. It is important to note, genuine leather may need to be cared for differently and putting shoes in the washer without confirming it is ok may ruin them.