served its purpose well and then some..
Ok, this is my first pair of sport sandals I've ever bought (bought on 5-23-09), I've only ever had flip flops for home or kicking around town. I was looking for something to bring in my pack for a "at camp" shoe to wear and something that was waterproof and lightweight. The Keens were not the first on my list, after hours on the net looking, I broke it down to either Teva spoilers which have a good traction looking sole and are very light weight or the Chacos because of the rave reviews or the new balance 920. When I got to REI and started looking the funny part was, all of the sandals on display just happen to be my size (8.5) except the Tevas, I tried on both 8.5 and 9 in the Teva spoilers and the strap on the top just hurt me, so then I looked at the Chacos, all I did was lift the one off the display shelf and it felt like a brick, it was just too heavy for what I was looking for, I did try it on anyway and it did feel pretty good. The new balance 920 were very comfortable, but they are a shoe, I wanted something to fit more compressed in my pack. So I start putting them all on, one at a time, walking around, the Keen h2 was the last one I tried on because honestly, I just didn't like the way they looked, but you know it turned out to be the most comfortable one I tried on, I went back to a few others, then came back to the keen h2 again, still the most comfortable, I was a little leary of the sole because I wanted something with more of a grit to it, and it looked sort of flat but I took the chance and bought them. I wore them the rest of the day and night, still comfortable and my foot is a wide and pretty flat, I felt the arch cause minor pain for a second, but haven't felt it but that once. Ok, so the next weekend I give them the test, I went to the San Gabriel River East Fork to the "Bridge to Nowhere" and even a couple miles past through the narrows, all together up and back it's 14 miles, with lots of river wading, rock hopping, scrambling, sand and gravel and all kinds of goodies. Before I even made it up there I went to a local fast food establishment, they had the wet floor sign up at the door as the lady was mopping, right when I walked in I almost hit the floor, the keens were so slippery on the wet ceramic tile, I mean more than usual, I felt like I was in the ice capades, be careful of that. During the hike, the keens were very comfortable the whole way through, they handled great through the river then out to the trail, a few rocks were slippery on the soles but on most of the rocks they gripped well when wet, on the trail they did really well too climbing up and down rocks, the sole had more of a grip than I gave them credit for before I bought them. A few times I got a pebble inside my foot but it's a sandal with openings, in the 14 miles I took them off about 4 times, and a few times times I just walked through the river and it seemed to lodge whatever pebble out, except once, I tried to kick really hard back and forth and more pebbles came in, good try anyway. On my other trail shoes or sneakers in general, the toe area tapers off a bit, and on the keens the "toe box" doesn't really taper, it's pretty blunt on the main "toe" and the one thing I did enough times to get to me was graze my ankle bone with the toe box, maybe I just need to learn how to walk better but it's something to keep in mind and I've never done that before with any shoe. As far as smell goes, I haven't noticed anything bad yet. I'm now contemplating just taking them as the main hike and camp shoe instead of having something extra in my pack, although I don't know how well they would do with 25lbs. on my back, but I'm considering! I didn't notice any "fast drying" that some have said, they weren't completely dry in 10 or 20 minutes or anything, they weren't sopping wet either though. You can check out the video on vimeo (San Gabriel River East Fork to the bridge to nowhere and beyond)to get a better idea of the terrain I tested them out in. All in all the keens held up well in both water and trail so far they get a "thumbs up".
I bought a pair of these sandals in August 2009 and wore them for over three years. The soles of all my shoes tend to wear out more on the outside of the heel because of the way I walk. This is the only reason why I am retiring these fantastic sandals in April 2013. Yes...43 months later.
I wore them mainly in North Florida 9 months out of the year. I did not wear them to work but I wore them if I was going anywhere other than to the office. I walk my dog every day, walked all over town on grass and pavement, walked all over Stephen Foster State Park, waded through the Suwanee several times each year, walked on wet rocks, wet sand, dry sand, all without any trouble. They are good enough to wear with jeans to a causal dinner or with shorts on a hike. They even made great cycling shoes. I used them to ride my bike from Jacksonville, FL to Gainesville, FL. and every other trip around Jacksonville.
The only problem is that they take a time to dry when wet, which is normal considering all the material on the uppers. The closed toe is very handy when hiking.
I am going to try Teva Taochi 2 water sandals next to see if they dry any faster. I do a lot of walking in the rain and I need sandals that can dry quickly. Other than that, I highly recommend the Newport H2 to anyone and everyone. Other than the outer edges of the sole, nothing else has any significant wear. I won't be throwing the Newports away. I plan to keep them handy as spare sandals.
My favorite pair of shoes!
Alright so first off I will say that when I was trying these on I couldn't quite decide between a men's 10.0 or a 10.5. For my running shoes, I wear a 10.5 in Nike if that is any indication. I ended up going with the 10.5s and they fit perfectly. I would say that these have become my favorite pair of shoes.
They are awesome for walking in creeks, kayaking, hiking, anything where your feet could be exposed to water. You will get some gravel and rocks in them from time to time, but it is much easier for me to get it out of the Keens than a pair of Chacos. They don't "stick" to slippery surfaces, but they do provide better traction than most shoes. THE COVERED TOE BOX IS AMAZING. I don't know how many times this has saved my toes from a rock or stick.
Lots of people say that these shoes will smell terribly after a while. I do notice a slight smell if I have not taken them off in a while and my feet have been exposed to water/sweat. But just let them dry and they will smell like new (I just sniffed mine and they smell just like they did when they came out of the box).
I have worn mine pretty extensively for 4 months and they have held up well. The only thing that I have noticed was that some of the stitching on the outside had come undone. I don't know if this was my doing or a quality issue...but it's nothing that a little super glue couldn't fix.
Bottom line, these shoes are awesome and you should own a pair.
Great water shoes!
I have to disagree with Urban Commuter. I used these for a week in the BWCA this past July/August and thought they performed wonderfully. I would highly recommend them to people going on a summer BWCA trip. Wore these while paddling and portaging then had dry shoes for camp while my Newports dried out by the campfire.
I thought the laces were great and when pulled tight they became an extension of my foot. Very important to tighten the laces, though. If you don't, you're going to hurt yourself if you slip at all because your foot will slide right off the sole into the side webbing (found that out quick and didn't get hurt but didn't make the same mistake again). Don't even think of tackling a portage w/ a pack and canoe on your shoulders without tightening those laces! Only thing I might do different next time is to wear a pair of Smart Wool running socks as this would help keep the grit and rocks from getting in between my toes…and would help keep the tiger stripe tan lines off my feet like I got. No ankle support but you aren't going to get that from any water shoe. If you have bad ankles and want that support, best to go with a real boot.
Additionally, these are fantastic for getting around Chicago in the summer. If you walk a lot, these are extremely comfortable and can be left loose enough to slip on and off easily.
Great water shoe but slow to dry
I bought these for kayaking and general swimming and wading in the river. They are absolutely the best water shoes I have ever had. You get what you pay for. They fit snugly which is an advantage in the water - even great for water skiing - no worries about losing them. They are very durable with three layers of material - look closely at the picture - underneath is neoprene like layer that hugs your feet, stitched over that is a leather like layer that provides support, on the outside are canvas straps that provide durability.
Absolutely would recommend them for any water sport. They also work great for light hiking or when you are in and out of the water all day. However, because of all the layers they do NOT dry quickly - which is great on a hot day but not so great if you intend to do something else later besides staying outside. So I find myself having to pack a second set of dry shoes for extended plans.
Once you have the laces tightened where you like them - they slip on and off pretty easily. The trick is to pull the tongue forward after they are pulled over your heel.
As others have mention they can trap small debris but they also can shake it loose - especially in the water. Basically it's a compromise - you'll want either flip flops or hiking boots if you don't like the middle ground.
Best Shoe I've Owned
I've now had my Keens for 4 years and its to the point where I should probably think about getting another pair. From the moment I bought them they became my favorite pair of footwear (they work great when you need shoes and great when you need sandals). Up until this winter, when I moved back north, I wore them on average 4 or 5 days a week, so they have been well used and are still holding together. I've seen some people mention differences between the current Newports and the old ones, I can't comment on that since this is the only pair I've had.
They can get to smelling after a while, but just throw them in the wash and that goes away. However in my experience shoes usually get smelly when you wear them, even flip-flops, so it's kind of unreasonable to expect these to be odor free. As for getting sand or pebbles in them, it's going to happen because they're not a closed shoe. But it takes about 5 seconds to stop, slip it off, shake the pebble out, and put it back on. I've worn these hiking and to the beach many times and for me going through this process just hasn't been an issue.
Overall, these are a great shoe and sandal. They're super comfortable and conforming to your foot and extremely versatile. I also think they look great, even with some matching color socks.
A good product, but ...
I have had a pair for 2 years. After a year I conviced my wife to get a pair. Both of us are hard to fit. She has flat feet. I have a high arch. They work for both of us, but I'm more comfortable with a "Good Feet" arch support. We have worn them for moderate hiking, travel across the US, incluing Hawaii's beaches and cities, and the Diamond Head trail, as well as in Alaska's woods (Wrangell-St. Elias NP in late Spring). The soles and straps are as good as new, but I caught hell from a fastideous boater when the soles scuffed the white deck. On mine the tensioning elastic is wearing smoothe and doesn't hold the setting for more than half an hour. This [$]. piece of material (apparently non replaceable) is quickly rendering a[$]. shoe useless. We always wear them to get through airport security as they are easy off and easy on. They are also great for long flights when feet tend to swell. No problem with smell, perhaps because we occasionally soak them in a baking soda solution. Keen, like most companies, probably uses its customers as testers (everything is Beta). So, maybe the next generation will correct the few deficiencies that we experience. I didn't check "stylish," but my wife wears hers for social occasions, including eating at one of Cincinnati's posh restaurants. Maitre d's tend not to look at feet.
Great Sandals, 2 Issues
My go-to footwear for nonwinter months.The Good- Comfort: Tremendous fit and comfort; great arch support.- Utility: I use mine for knocking about town, serious hiking, wading and swimming.- Traction and Support: I took my Keens and hiking boots with me during a 10-day trip to Acadia and ended up not wearing the boots a single time. I used my Keens to climb the 5 highest peaks, many of which required significant scrambling on rocks. Traction, support and comfort were great.The Not-So-Good- Smell: These suckers can get more a little ripe, i.e., they start to reek. Not that big an issue: when needed, per Keen's instructions, tossing 'em in the washer (cold water) does an acceptable job of ridding them of the, um, aroma.- Durability: The stitching beneath the ankles on both sides of each sandal has failed on all 3 pairs of Keens that I've owned (see below pics of the failed seams on my right sandal). The first time this happened, I had them restitched ([$] at a shoe repair shop. Now, however, I just take them back to REI for a trade. Since the same failure has occurred with 3 different pairs, think it's safe to say this is a design or production deficiency. BUT I haven't found a competing product that offers comparable fit, comfort and utility. So, I will keep using them (and returning to REI when they fail).
My Second Pair
I first bought a pair of these a few years ago. I have dunked them in countless lakes and streams and the ocean, too. I have logged many miles on trails, beaches, rocky scrambles, tree climbs, sidewalks--you get the picture. I basically live in these sandals for half the year, and my original pair is still going! They are a bit shabby now, and the end is coming, so I bought a new pair to wear as my primaries (letting the old ones retire into the role of yard and camping slippers). The new ones are a little classier than the originals, with a few more visual details and added color accents, but they fit just the same and promise to deliver several more years of extremely rugged service.
I love the balance between sturdy, comfortable foot covering and open air straps to keep my feet ventilated and let water in and out. If you are someone who can't stand the occasional rock or twig getting into your shoe, then you might not enjoy wearing these in place of a hiking shoe. I have learned how to flex my foot inside the sandal to eject such "nature thingys" without breaking my stride, so it's not a negative for me.
A nearly perfect sandal
I bought these shoes as a sort of hiking/bicycling cross, and to replace a truly ancient pair of Teva sandals. I have -very- wide feet, and the size 14 I picked up fits nearly perfectly, so I'm definitely happy with their sizing. As other reviewers have noted, sand and gravel does tend to get caught in this shoe more often than in other sandals, but I think it's worth the hassle given how much more versatile and robust these shoes are than most sandals.
The only problem I have noted with them so far is that the foot bed ridge, just behind my toes, isn't quite far enough back. It's not painful or blister-inducing, but if they offered replaceable foot beds or just moved it a few millimeters further from the toe, I'd have given these sandals a 5 star. As it stands, the ridge is annoying, but not so much I would hesitate to recommend these to a friend.
If you're not in the market for beach-combing sandals, and you're looking for something that breathes more than your hiking boots, these are the best option out there. No blisters, no hot spots, and no problems after 4 weeks of moderate use, and well worth the price.