As the weather warms up and your Spring allergies begin to wear off, it’s a good time to start exploring the outdoors. Doing some light trekking or hiking not only keeps you in shape but also lets you see and appreciate the nature that surrounds you. To be properly geared up, why not pick up a pair of KEEN’s Presidio? These women’s shoes have a lug pattern for secure traction on different terrains, and the breathability to keep you dry and comfortable even when working hard. They also provide cushioning via their compression-molded EVA midsoles and arch support via their anatomically designed footbed.
Everything sounded perfect, however, until we dug a bit deeper and discovered some downsides as well. These are flaws in their uppers, support, and style that might make your experience with this pair not as great as you’d hope. They undermine their comfort and has led some wearers to regret their purchase. Read on to learn more about these so that, if you do decide to get them, you can minimize your chances of encountering the same issues.
First of all, let’s learn a bit about the brand that designed and produced these shoes so that we know better what to expect from them. KEEN
is an American company based in Portland, Oregon that has been making footwear and accessories since 2003. Though it hasn’t been long, their products
are already being distributed worldwide and are well-known amongst Americans and Canadians. What they focus on isn’t style or appearance, but protection and quality. Even with their casual footwear, they always consider the structural support and comfort that your feet need above all else, and because of this, their quality tends to be pretty reliable. Unfortunately, some evidence shows that this pair might be an exception, and not in a good way, so read on to find out why.
Starting with the basics of their appearance, let’s discuss color. There is more than one color option for this model. However, the options are all pretty dark colors such as black and brown, so you don’t really get much variety. But due to the rugged and protective style of this pair, we’d say that the dark colors are what looks best with them. The brightest option is red (or “Tandori spice”), so if you want something a little more eye-catching, that can be your go-to.
The word “arch” refers to the inside curve of your foot. It’s the part of the foot that has to withstand the most stress when you’re on your feet. If you’re walking or standing for long hours during the day - whether you’re working or traveling - that can really be demanding on that part of your foot. Arch support
is provided in this pair by KEEN’s technology called the Metatomical Footbed Design. This removable footbed is anatomically made to cradle the foot’s natural contour, and it acts as an internal support mechanism for the arches. The downside is that some reviewers say the arch support is in the wrong place, causing discomfort rather than providing support, but others say they are comfortable.
Just like all other parts of the body, your feet need to breathe. If they don’t get the chance, then perspiration might accumulate in your shoe, creating the perfect moist environment for bacteria growth
and nasty odors
. This pair ensures that your feet stay nice and fresh by using a light, breathable mesh material in the lining. This lining wicks moisture away as you sweat so that you stay drier for longer. In addition, KEEN’s Cleansport NXT provides natural odor control to further prevent nasty odors.
As we said earlier, the arches must withstand a lot of stress just from our day-to-day activities
. One way to alleviate that is through arch support, but another way is cushioning, which absorbs the shock of your landing step and redistributes it more evenly across the sole. In Presidio, cushioning is provided in the compression-molded EVA midsoles. This simply means that the EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) foam is compressed inside a mold and then heated to become the shape it needs to be. EVA is a great material because it’s lightweight and provides excellent cushioning, and because of this, it’s often used in running shoes. As a result, you can be sure that the EVA midsoles in this pair are reliable for your treks and hikes
Sizing is tricky when you’re purchasing footwear online, and it can be made trickier when the model doesn’t run true to size. However, that second part isn’t much a problem with Presidio. Most reviewers who have tested the pair would say that they run true to size. There are also half sizes available (though only width option), and KEEN offers a sizing guide
if you want to double check your measurements. There are still a handful of reviewers, however, who said they were a bit too large - and this can cause some issues when you consider the stiffness of the uppers, which we will discuss in more detail in the next section.
Ideally, all shoes should be comfortable. Sometimes we have to sacrifice that for the glittery heels
we really want to wear to that one event, but for the most part, comfort comes first. Unfortunately, this pair doesn’t really meet the standards for KEEN on this regard. Firstly, as we mentioned already, some reviewers say that the arch supports are in the wrong place. Secondly, though leather
is known to be soft and supple, the leather uppers are actually quite stiff and hard. In fact, some wearers even got blisters from them. When walking, the lack of flexibility might also make your feet strain more and get fatigued quickly. There are also claims that the quality of the model is inconsistent depending on color. Overall, many wearers once satisfied with KEEN say that this model fell short of their expectations.
KEEN is a brand that values protection and practicality much more than style. When you’re exploring the outdoors or exercising, feeling good’s a lot more important than looking good - but with that said, looking good’s still pretty important to most of us. When it comes to KEEN’s Presidio, in our honest opinion, we would not place this pair high in the ranks when it comes to style. The lug pattern (though excellent for traction), makes the outsoles appear chunky while the round toe box makes the foot seem wider than in reality. Though KEEN shot for a “classic” and “versatile” look with the Oxford lace design, the majority of the shoe just looks more manly and orthopedic for most women. With that said, if you like their look, then wear them - style is all about personal preference, and you might even pull this pair off really well. But in general, we wouldn’t exactly label these as “stylish.”
Once you’ve actually purchased the pair, there are steps to take to keep them looking clean
. The care needed for this pair is actually minimal despite their leather uppers. KEEN advises you to get rid of loose dust and debris using a bristle brush (preferably a soft one) or a small towel. If there are stains, take a gum eraser to lightly rub the stain in circular motions, lightly brushing it afterward. For tougher stains, you can clean them using a damp cloth and some water and vinegar. However, keep in mind that this last method may cause discoloration of the upper.
Looking at price and practicality alone, this pair is definitely a good deal. You won’t have to pay as much for these as for some other light trekking shoes. However, don’t forget that their quality and comfort is somewhat questionable. If you end up with a defective pair or a pair that doesn’t suit you, you may not lose much money - but still, it’s money. In addition, you may want to spend a bit more on a pair that’s better-looking in addition to being practical. At the end of the day, it depends on your preferences, your budget, and how much you’re willing to risk - because buying footwear online can be a gamble, even when you’ve done your research.
This pair would be great for light trekking or hiking due to the traction, cushioning, support, and breathability they provide. Their sporty design makes them super practical for the purpose. However, keep in mind their flaws as well: their inconsistent quality, their stiff uppers, and unflattering look. We wouldn’t discourage you from getting this pair just because of that, but do keep these things in the back of your mind when you’re considering them. Thankfully, they are not very expensive, so if you do plan to buy yourself a pair, you can be comforted in the fact that they are not very pricey anyway.