Bookmark This Page

HomeHome SitemapSitemap Contact usContacts

Dairy Keen

I must admit, when I first saw Keen shoes, I was a bit perplexed. My first Keen shoe sighting was at a hiking supply store in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. I gazed at the strange Keen Newport style, a combination hiking shoe and sandal with a thick, molded sole. They immediately conjured visions of goofy yodelers in lederhosen. But wait, as I watched, they seemed quite popular with the clientele. I struck up a conversation with the sales guy who extolled the virtues of Keen footwear. He hiked, he rock climbed, he bicycled – all in his Keen shoes. And he couldn’t keep them on the shelf. They were selling like funnel cakes at the state fair. But I still kept getting visions of yodelers….

Over the next few months, I saw them everywhere. I started doing a Keen count. Moms, dads, kids: it was a Keen-a-thon. Why hadn’t I ever heard of Keen shoes before? I was a die hard comfort-over-fashion diva. I had a closet full of Merrill’s and Dansko's. But Keen shoes made dorky look – well – fashionable! So my next trip to the hiking supply store, I was on a Keen quest. And luckily, being the end of the season, I was able to snatch up a nifty pair of red Keen Newports for 40% off! Such a deal, I tell you!

Don’t let anyone tell you there is no such thing as love at first sight – er - try-on. These wonderful shoes felt like they were personally made for me, molded lovingly to the little nooks and crannies of my nether appendages. The snug straps held them firmly in place and could even be adjusted for more snugness with an elasticized cord. The toe guard – what a great invention – was molded as part of the entire sole to prevent that inevitable rock to the toe moment we’ve all experienced. Before I knew it, I had an audience admiring my new Keen shoes, sharing stories about their own Keens. It was like a strange family reunion, a meeting of like souls, a convention of shoe-ology.

I took them home, ready to give those babies a run for their money. I just happen to have a personal favorite hiking spot full of steep inclines, fallen trees, large rocks and a 25 foot waterfall. My Keens and I were on a mission.

I immediately saw the error of my ways when, scrambling down a very steep hill, my Keen Newports picked up pebbles and twigs like so many hitchhikers and held them in that uncomfortable space right under the arch of my foot. Ow! Now, remember, my Keen Newports are sandals (i.e. with holes) which was a duh moment for me. All in all, they were the most comfortable walking shoe I had ever experienced – plenty of toe room, great lateral support. But those drat holes! I have since come to find that the Keen Newports were first developed as shoes for sailing. Aha, that explains the holes! I am stubborn to a fault and I was in love with these shoes so I continued my hike. I slipped up inclines – mud in the holes. I slid off an outcropping at the waterfall – water in the holes. Keen shoes are waterproof; however, my socks were not. Let’s face it; I should have purchased an enclosed version of the shoe, of which there are many styles. Oops. But as Arnold would say, “I vill be back!” To get more Keen shoes, that is.

My lovely red Keen shoes are sitting at my feet as we speak like a devoted dog. They are encrusted in mud. I hear they clean up in a breeze but c’mon, what REAL hiker has clean shoes? My love sees past the mud. I am making room in my closet. Move over, Merrill’s, get out of the way, Dansko’s, the Keens are moving in. I can almost hear yodeling in the distance.

Candice Lindsey
Candice Lindsey writes for, an unbiased online Keen Shoe’s retailer and review site, this site also publishes Keen Shoe articles and video review pages. See all the Keen Shoes articles on a variety of different Keen Footwear.
Article Source: