Keen Whisper Review

8.8 score
[Editors rating (8.8)] = (WalkJogRun) score (8.8)/10

Editor rating: 8.8 / 10
User's rating: based on 0 user ratings
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The Whisper sandal is a great addition to Keen's outdoor active wear, and is specifically designed for women. This excellent sandal features quality materials, like a non-marking carbon rubber outsole, compression-molded EVA midsole with a Metatarsal EVA footbed, bungee cord lacing system and is water-friendly, among many other great features. Not to mention, that the Whisper sandal comes at a very attractive price point. So, if you like to be active and outdoor in the summertime, the Keen Whisper is an excellent choice.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Open-toe design with bungee lace capture system
  • Water-friendly
  • Non-marking carbon rubber outsole for great traction
  • Compression-molded EVA midsole with a TPU shank
  • Metatomical EVA footbed for custom support
  • Lightweight and flexible construction
  • Affordable
  • Narrow fit
  • Insufficient ankle support


As a multipurpose sandal, that you can wear for walks, hiking and even in the water, Keen needed to make the Whisper’s outsole as durable and grippy as possible, while still flexible enough to tackle all the different terrain types and outdoor activities. The outsole itself is made of non-marking carbon rubber, known to be very durable and sticky, both on dry and wet surfaces, thus eliminating the risk of slipping during activities. The outsole also has a multi-directional lug pattern, which enhances the sandal’s grip and traction, and is highly abrasion-resistant. It is also very flexible, following the feet’s natural bending, making it very easy and effortless to move in, as it does not restrict the feet. The rubber sole extends all the way to the toes, covering them with Keen’s patented rubber Toe Guards, delivering protection against toe bumps and forefoot injuries, an often forgotten area when it comes to sandals. Designed as active wear, it is perfect for both casual wear, as it does not weigh the feet down, and different outdoor activities, such as hiking, kayaking or water rafting. Some reviewers even took their Keen Whisper to swimming and snorkeling, as these sandals are water-friendly. One reviewer wore hers to mountain climbing, and was extremely satisfied with the sandals’ grippy outsole. The Toe Guards, especially, were a hit with reviewers, saving them from multiple possible injuries while hiking or crossing rivers with sharp rocks.


Although Keen makes footwear for both men and women, the Whisper sandal is specifically made for women’s feet. The midsole is made of compression-molded EVA foam, which is more durable than a standard EVA foam midsole, and is less likely to lose its shape over time. It is thicker at the heel and thinner towards the forefoot area, making for smooth heel-to-toe transitions and excellent shock-absorption. This is especially important when walking or hiking on uneven terrain, as the wearer will not feel every pebble and rock under their feet, and their feet will stay stable and cushioned with every move. For added stability, Keen included a durable and flexible TPU shank in the midsole. The Whisper also has a non-removable Metatomical EVA footbed, specifically designed to accommodate the anatomy of women’s feet and provide metatarsal support. The EVA footbed of the Whisper will mold to its wearer’s foot shape over time, providing custom cushioning to each individual. Many reviewers who struggle with either arthritis or plantar fasciitis praised the Keen Whisper as one of the most comfortable sandals they have ever had, and reported no pain when wearing them. Additionally, the Metatomical EVA footbed features the Cleansport NXT technology, which is antimicrobial and odor-repellent, and adds a textured layer to the footbed, that helps keep the feet from sliding inside the sandals. This way the wearer will be steady on their feet and fresh all day.


The upper of the Keen Whisper is made of polyester webbing, that is stitched together, with a hydrophobic mesh lining, making the sandals lightweight, breathable and dry very quickly, making them ideal for activities in the water. The polyester material is also washing machine-friendly. When they get dirty, simply put them in the wash on the gentle cycle and let them air dry, and they are good to go. As far as the lacing system goes, Keen implemented a bungee lace capture system for a customizable fit. The elastic laces go all the way from the toe area to the top of the feet and the fit of the sandals is easily adjustable with one pull, and secured in place with a locking clip. This means that you do not have to spend a lot of time lacing the sandals, just pull the laces at the top and secure them when you get the right fit. For easy pull on and off, Keen added a pull tab on the heel strap, while their patented Toe Guard protects the toes from bumping or scuffing. Reviewers wore their Whisper sandals everywhere, from walking and hiking, to water rafting, snorkeling and even mountain hiking, and the sandals stayed on their feet throughout those activities. However, a few customers did complain about chafing and blisters after prolonged wear, while a handful of reviewers said, that their heels constantly slipped out of the sandals, no matter how tight they tightened the laces. Although, that could be attributed to wrong sizing.


Being a sandal, the Keen Whisper is naturally very breathable. It has an open construction with polyester webbing, and a hydrophobic mesh lining, keeping the feet well-ventilated and dry in the summertime. Since it dries quickly, your feet will as well, and it will not create chafing or unpleasant sliding in the sandals, like flip flops do when they are wet. The Cleansport NXT technology ensures that the feet stay fresh and odorless all day, thanks to its antimicrobial and odor-repellent properties.


Shoes, especially the ones designed to be worn during different kinds of activities and sports, need to be comfortable, since nobody likes shoes that make their feet sore and painful. With the Keen Whisper, the wearer can enjoy all day comfort, no matter the activity. Besides being very lightweight and flexible, the Whisper comes with a bunch of other features, that add to its overall comfortability. One such feature is the compression-molded EVA midsole, that provides lightweight cushioning for the wearer, while also protects the feet from the shock of impact and delivers a springy ride. The Metatomical EVA footbed molds to the wearer’s foot shape, providing custom cushioning, as well as metatarsal support. This, combined with its Cleansport NXT technology, which keeps the feet fresh and odorless, delivers great comfort for the underfoot. As for the upper, the polyester webbing with hydrophobic mesh lining hug the feet comfortably, without any hot spots or blisters, and the bungee cord lacing keeps the sandals snugly on the feet. Additionally, Keen made the toe box area pretty wide, for a comfortable toe splay. The Keen Whisper is the perfect choice for those who like to be active and comfortable, be it a stroll in the city or kayaking/hiking. Many reviewers who have been struggling with painful feet and finding the right shoes, have praised the Keen Whisper as the most comfortable shoes they own, even more comfortable than their athletic shoes. On the other hand, a handful of customers had issues with chafing, especially on their heels, but this might be due to the sandals being the wrong size.


The Whisper from Keen is quite the durable sandal, lasting for years of active wear in some cases, and it is all thanks to the carefully selected materials and state of the art technology used in its production. Namely, the outsole is made of non-marking carbon rubber, which is known for its high abrasion resistance. Reviewers who have put their Whisper sandals through some heavy duty use, have noted little to no signs of wear and tear on the sole. Furthermore, the compression-molded EVA midsole and Metatomical EVA footbed keep their structural integrity even after extensive use. The polyester webbing is also quite durable, as well as the Toe Guard protecting the toes and forefoot from injuries. The bungee cord lacing is very sturdy and does not rip easily. All of these features make the Whisper a very good choice for outdoor active wear, as you do not have to worry about the sandals ripping mid-wear. However, a handful of reviewers had an issue with the upper’s webbing coming undone prematurely. Thankfully, Keen has a great Customer Service to fix issues like that.


The Keen Whisper is known to be on the narrow side, coming only in B, or standard width, which makes it difficult for people with wider feet to find the size that works for them. However, it does have quite the roomy toe box area, for a natural toe splay, that people liked. While some reviewers commented, that the sandals fit true to size, the majority advised to go up half a size for the best fit. This might be the best course of action, if you have wide feet and would like to get your hands on these sandals.


While not considered the most attractive or stylish-looking shoe by some, people love the Keen Whisper for all its excellent qualities and do not mind the look of them either. It comes in a wide array of colors, 36 to be precise, which is a lot more than some other brands, so there is something to suit everybody’s taste. They are primarily designed to be worn during activities like kayaking, hiking or snorkeling, however, reviewers wore them casually as well as to semi-formal dinners/gatherings in the summertime and received compliments on them. One reviewer, who works as a nurse, wore the sandals to work too.


When it comes to support, the Keen Whisper is specifically designed to accommodate the anatomy of women’s feet, as they are different from the anatomy of men’s feet and need support, that will cater to their specific requirements. That is why Keen included a Metatomical EVA footbed, that molds to the wearer’s foot shape, delivering custom cushioning and support, more precisely, metatarsal support. The compression-molded EVA midsole also offers lightweight cushioning and support, which is further enhanced with a TPU shank. The upper is made up of polyester webbing, that is tightened through a bungee cord lacing system, which pulls everything together for a customized snug fit. The ankles are also supported through this lacing system, as the heel strap directly connects to it, which means, that the wearer can adjust the fit of the whole sandal with one pull. While some reviewers love this feature of the sandals, others found that their heels kept slipping out of the sandals, no matter how tight they pulled the cord. However, people who struggle with arthritis or plantar fasciitis have found the Whisper very supportive and comfortable to wear. It also performed well on hiking trips and different kinds of water sports too, according to reviewers.


The Keen Whisper is a very lightweight sandal, coming in at 18 ounces. This is all thanks to its lightweight, yet very durable materials, such as the carbon rubber outsole, the compression-molded EVA midsole, and the polyester webbed upper. The wearer can enjoy all day comfort and a springy ride, as the sandals will not weigh their feet down or cause pain by the end of the day, so that they can focus on having a great time.

Bottom Line

The Keen Whisper is truly a great pair of sport sandals, that combines quality and the latest technology in its construction and costs a fraction of the price of some other high end sport sandals. It has a non-marking carbon rubber outsole, featuring a multi-directional lug pattern for great traction on uneven and wet surfaces. The midsole is made of compression-molded EVA foam, which is more durable than standard EVA, and features a TPU shank for added support. The footbed is made of Metatomical EVA, infused with Cleansport NXT technology, for a customized cushioning and fresh feet all day long. The upper features a polyester webbing lined with hydrophobic mesh, and has a bungee lace capture system for easy fitting. The sandals are water-friendly and dry very fast, adding to their overall comfort levels. Casual wearers and outdoor sports enthusiasts all love the Keen Whisper's support and comfort, as well as its style and ease of use. However, there were a few, that thought the sandals ran a bit too narrow and rubbed on their ankles. Overall, the Keen Whisper is a great outdoor sports sandal, that everybody should try.