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Aug 17

KEEN Men’s Newport H2 Review: AKA “The Mandal”

Mobility is important but so is being comfortable.  While wearing flip flops isn’t exactly optimal neither is sporting a dedicated full hiking boot while in warmer temps.  There has to be a good solution, a hybrid of sorts which would allow one’s feet to breathe but also be sturdy enough to navigate some decent terrain or even jog through broken glass and jump a fence (think worst case scenario).  Enter the Keen Newport H2, referred to by many as the mandal.

Keen Newport H2

Keen’s in action while in a river

I’ve had my Keen’s for 6 months and have worn them in a tropical rainforest, in the rocky mountains, in pools / waterfalls, everyday around town wear and have even jogged in them (long story).  They are a great all around sandal/shoe hybrid which allows one to recreate while still providing a decent amount of support and protection for the feet.  Here’s the rundown.

The Good.

  • Closed in toe box just like a regular Keen hiking shoe which is great for protection, unlike a standard sandal which leaves the toes exposed.
  • Great fit all the way around, no sliding around while wearing them.
  • Sole is great, nice grip for moving around over land or in a stream on slippery rocks.
  • Good arch support, definitely not an afterthought when producing this model.
  • Webbing material which the sandal is made of dries easily after getting wet.

The Not So Good.

  • It’s a sandal and therefore your foot is not entirely closed in while wearing it, as such if you are on a dusty trail little rocks can get inside and get under your feet which can be annoying.
  • Not the most fashionable sandal ever, pretty ugly as a matter of fact.
  • You will drop over $100 for a pair of these so they aren’t exactly cheap.

The Bottom Line.

I purchased the Keen’s because I was looking for a good warm weather shoe/sandal which would still allow for good mobility while not sacrificing comfort.  They have exceeded my expectations and have proven to be one of my favorite pair of footwear.  If you are in the market I highly suggest checking them out at your local retailer.

 

 

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3 comments

  1. Gary Murphy

    I wore these all over the Mediterranean all through the Dominican Republic and then through Mexico. I did have a pair of good sneakers as well but these were my go to shoe. I agree that they do pick up little stones or sand. But they do have a foot bed that is almost orthopedic. You can swim and do any water sport with them and they get to the point of dampness fairly quickly. I am currently on my second pair. Love them for the purpose they are intended. You will not bug out with a pack on wearing these but that is not what they are designed for,

  2. Antonia

    I bought these keens multiple times they have lasted me over 4 years. I hiked in NC mountains with them many times and through water many times. Wore them as my every day shoe working outside in the garden. Only because I often left them on the back deck in the hot Georgia sun did the elastic pulls finally give out. Always thought they were a perfect shoe for long term storage because of the abuse they can take and the years they last.

  3. Joe Allen

    I once watched a TV show where they covered the story of two scientists studying the redwood forest. They lived out in the woods for months at a time. They said that boots were awful and sandals were the only way to go, long term, in the woods.

    This is funny because I remember reading another story where a guy needed to be rescued in the wilderness and he was criticized for wearing sandals, instead of “proper footwear” for being in the wilderness.

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