Go into Kathmandu to buy a pair of hiking boots I'd researched on line. Try on - not bad but they're a little tight on my wide hobbit feet. The sales person goes out the back and returns with a pair of Keen Gypsum II mid mens waterproof hiking boots. Pull on. Lace up. They feel comfortable walking around the store - "Thats got to be a good sign right??" Buy a pair. Break them in by walking the suburban streets and parks around home and hiking in The Lakes National Park. All good. No blisters. No rubbing. Good ankle support. Padding underneath is supportive and toes aren't squished. Put them to the test two weeks later on the Milford Trek in New Zealand. We get that much rain that we have to wade through 8 sections of flooded track. Scrabble over rocky mountains that require you to choose which rock to stand on as you ascend and descend. Traverse flat paths and swing bridges. A great five days. Six months later I'm still, to use a New Zealand saying, tramping around streets and parks and The Lakes National Park. Every time I put these boots on I lthink, "These boots are awesome.
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5 pairs of Keens: not one pair has lasted a reasonable amount of time.
Stitching is poor and unravels prematurely. Glue that holds the sole on is poor quality and requires repairs after minimal use. They fall apart on bush walks when they're needed the most.
Bought a pair of Gypsm Mens Mid Indian Hikers…Fell Apart in less than 6 mos
Bought a pair of Gypsm Mens Mid Indian Ink Hikers in NZ (S13). Have been wearing them less than 6 months and the sole detached. I primarily wore them on a grass field and pavement/concrete walks. They saw light to medium use. Would never buy Keen again. At $300/pair I expect a lot higher quality.
Customer service on warranty has been horrible. They keep passing me off onto someone else as I am in NZ and Keen is in the US. I am literally at my last step before engaging the Consumer Guarantees Act in NZ.
As a comparison, I own a pair of Redwing work boots I've had for 6 years. They've seen medium to heavy use in all sorts of terrain. No problems with them yet. I paid $300 for these boots.
Comfy shoes - terrible soles
I was recommended Keen shoes and they fit my wide-foot style perfectly, however they have proved unreliable for bushwalking due to not being waterproof as marketed nor are their soles of sufficient strength.
After less than 30 uses for bushwalking the soles are separating from the shoe, making them a tripping risk when walking. While I love the feel of the shoe, these faults / limitations make me feel that they were not worth what I paid for them.
Keen’s response was to say that the since the shoes were out of warranty they would do nothing.
I bought the current pair of Gypsum shoes about twelve months ago. Recently the sole started delaminating so I contacted the Australian office of Keen as the retailer was over 1 1/2hrs drive away. They told me that they would replace them with another style of Keen but I didn't want that. They also said that if I'd accept replacements then I'd have to cut the tongue out of the existing pair of Gypsum and send them proof of this. There are other reviews on the net that mention Gypsum shoes delaminating so beware.
Wow ! When so many companies are trying to catch up to consumer's beliefs that we shouldn't be wasting resources Keen Australia amaze me. Why not get me to have them repaired and pay for the repair ? Keen as a company should have a vested interest in what we use their product for ie appreciating a fast dwindling environment.
I needed up doing a temporary repair myself but after these Gypsums fail again that's it with the Keen brand. And in saying that I've been wearing Keen for over 15yrs.
Great quality hiking sandals
I bought 2 months ago "Men's Keen Newport H2 Sandals" . These sandals are made for long walks and hiking and they are very comfortable and sturdy and they provide protection for your toes. The only downside is that they can be a little too warm in summer as they are " closed" to protect the toes and they are not really made to walk in soft sand. Also keep in mind the size are about one size smaller than you real size so if you are a size 9 then select a size 10. However, overall, the best sandals I ever had. Therefore strongly recommended as high quality walking and/or hiking sandals.
Supportive and comfortable enough to wear all day
Had never worn hiking boots before so was a little concerned they would be too heavy and bulky. Not so. Very light, comfortable and supportive, whether walking on a flat surface or practically mountain climbing. Hurt my Achilles tendon and these were the only shoes I could wear. I have hiked through Canada, New Zealand, Tasmania and The Kimberley in my Keens and wouldn't go away anywhere without them. While in The Kimberley one of the rangers noticed them on me and said they were the only boots he ever buys. I thought that was a pretty good recommendation.
Weird but very useful (and comfy) thongs...
The Keen Olukai thong is a very innovative sandal. They have a large raised toe protector on the front. Not something for normal everyday wear if the object is to enjoy being barefoot, but great for crazy people like me who want to wear their thongs for more rugged adventures. Found them great for hiking...the toe shield keeps pointy branches and twigs out of your toes as you walk. They came in super handy for a dune buggy ride. Trying to drive a standard shift while bouncing all about is a pretty hard trick in shoes, let alone thongs. I found I was kicking and banging my feet all around and into the pedals. By the time we were done, the toe protector was completely shiny silver from all the contact with the metal pedals. I can't imagine how uncomfortable that would have been in plain thongs or bare feet...Having thongs on is good thing too as you DO NOT want to climb back into a dune buggy in bare feet that has been sitting for hours with the metal floor plate and pedals in the hot sun (guess how I figured that one out?) These things are all but indestructible.
Keen Gypsum Mid
I was looking for a decent hiking book that was really comfortable to wear, not too heavy and able to accommodate my wide (4E) feet.
I was recommended by a friend to check out Keen boots
I found my "ultimate boot" with the Keen Gypsum Mid. - the boot is light, the sole is more than a running sole - less than an army boot. and the way the sides of the boot are constructed means that it fits a wide foot perfectly.
the Mid-height ankle support provides enough support and protection, while the rest of the boot provides a waterproof, breathable and comfortable boot that my feet actually like.
I would use this boot in all but the most rugged of hiking, - even then I might just trash them hiking in too rugged terrain and get another pair. - if I was backpacking I would seriously consider these boots, some runners and flip flops.
Best sandals ever
My wife suggested I try these while I was in a Kathmandu store looking at shoes. Thought they looked pretty weird, but once I tried them out I didn't care. They are by far the most comfortable sandals I've ever worn.
Nothing impinges on my toes as all other do, and there are no uncomfortable ridges or tight areas either. Plenty of room for the toes yet they feel very secure, using a sliding tension system.
Being more closed in, small pebbles aren't easily able to get in either, as most sandals allow.
I've always gone for leather or similar styles, often with velcro. No more. Only these from now on.
I can wear my orthotic inserts as well, unlike my leather sandals, which don't hold them in at all.
I paid $120 at the sale.
Comfort and secure fitment, orthotics stay in.
Keen Bern Baby Bern Boots - Most Comfortable Boots Ever!
After searching for the Keen Bern Baby Bern Boots (I live in Australia and it was an effort) I finally slipped on my size 9.5 in black. The best thing about Keen's in general is that they fit to your foot rather than your foot having to fit to the shoe and I love that. I'm straight on a 9.5 in the US and have been between a 39-41 here in Australia! Since they are made in the US they are true to size and fit my foot perfectly with enough give which you want in a boot so your foot doesn't feel constricted.
I wore them in Sydney straight away and even on the first go I wore them for hours! and my feet felt totally normal after! I haven't had any discomfort from them at all and I am absolutely in love with them. The soft yet sturdy rubber wedge heel is great too along with the awesome traction they offer.
Definitely a "hybrid" boot and they are super cute! :) Highly recommend to others!
Truly hybrid, incredibly comfortable, super cute, value driven.
Hard to find in Australia and even harder to find a 9.5! But worth the search!
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