Jun 25, 2021 /

Are Keen Shoes Good?

The Keen footwear brand boasts a wide range of styles suitable for hikes, worksites, and casual wear. But if you’re getting close to pressing “purchase,” you might be wondering: are Keen shoes good?

Comfort and quality are two factors that you simply cannot compromise on when it comes to your shoes. Luckily, the Keen shoe is popular for a reason—they’re comfortable enough to wear all day and sturdy enough to keep you safe whether you’re hiking cross-country, working on a construction site, or bussing tables in a crowded restaurant.

Ready to learn more about quality, comfort, and the range of available styles? Let’s dive in.

What Makes Keen Shoes Unique

Whether or not your shoes fit properly is an issue of comfort and safety. An ill-fitting pair of shoes could cause both aching feet and a potentially disastrous fall on-site or during a trek in the wilderness.

While Keen offers both standard and wide foot shoe sizes, the brand is known for its wide toe boxes and other features that ensure a comfortable fit.

  • A Keen shoe has a wider toe box compared to most shoes because it ensures comfort and breathability. This extra wiggle room is essential if you are on your feet all day hiking and working.
  • Many Keen shoes also feature adjustable elastic bungee lace closures to accommodate different foot styles and ensure a perfect fit.
Keen’s Durability

It’s important that shoes are comfortable. But when you invest in a new pair, you also want assurances that they’ll stand the test of time.

How long do Keen shoes last? There’s no better test than an around-the-world trek?

In 2020, two travelers wore their Keen hiking shoes on a 465-day trip around the world. Those soles lasted through 15 months on the road while visiting 38 countries and five continents. Their trusty Keen shoes brought them to:

  • The Everest Base Camp
  • Snowy Swiss Mountains
  • Mountainous Patagonia
  • Oman’s Deserts
  • An African Safari
  • Countless European Cities

Even after putting all those miles, the travelers’ Keen shoes had no significant, performance-reducing wear. In addition, the boots maintained their waterproof features in spite of this considerable usage.

Keen shoes’ durability is no joke. Whether you’re a master hiker or a hardworking tradesperson, these shoes will get you where you need to go and back again with both comfort and style.

When you ask: are Keen boots good? The answer comes down to Keen’s commitment to comfort, quality, and safety.

Next, we’ll take a closer look at the brand’s array of offerings.

Types of Keen Shoes

Keen has three main product lines for their shoes:

  • Keen
  • Keen Work
  • Keen Effect

Each product line has different shoes designed for different consumers. To get a leg up on choosing the Keen shoes that align with your goals and needs, identify the right line.


The original Keen line includes shoes for men, women, and children. Consumers can shop by style, collections, or activities. Styles include:

  • Boots
  • Shoes
  • Sandals
  • Casual

Keen’s diverse and specific product lines are one of the main reasons this brand is so beloved. Shoppers can choose from a wide range of shoe types, functions, and styles to ensure they find a pair that promises both fashion and function.

Don’t want to spend your time searching through hundreds of styles?

When you shop online, it’s easy to use filters to narrow your search.

  • If you’re looking for something fun…The Astoria West collection features a stylish and sturdy hybrid Keen sandal designed specifically for women. Keen boldly touts that they can be worn from “surf to sidewalk.” This promise evokes Keen’s entire ethos as a brand of shoes that will take you wherever you need to go.
  • If you’re shopping for kids...Shoppers can also filter Keen’s kids’ shoe selection by age and shop for collections such as playground shoes, summer camp sandals, and snow boots. Kids are never too young for high-quality footwear!
  • If you’re looking for a specialized activity...Search for shoes categorized by activities including:
    • Hiking
    • Winter
    • Water
    • Travel
Keen Work

While the original Keen line focuses on casual and outdoor styles, Keen designed their Work product line specifically for men and women on the job. You can shop by style, toe type, or features.

Styles include:

  • Boots
  • Shoes
  • Slip-On
  • Pull-On
  • Service Shoes

Of course, a hostess needs different safety footwear than someone working on a demolition site. Keen’s Work shoes feature a range of materials to provide all-day comfort and adequate safety depending on the specifics of your job.

Shoppers can browse for specific features including:

  • Steel Toe Protection
  • Aluminum Toe
  • Carbon-Fiber Toe
  • Soft Toe
  • Waterproofing
  • Slip-Resistance
  • EH Rating
  • ESD Rating
  • Wedge Sole

This selection and easy shopping experience make Keen the ideal shoe choice for a wide variety of professionals from waiters to factory workers. Many consumers also appreciate Keen’s American Built line, which Keen produces entirely in the United States.

Keen Effect

Like Keen Work, you can shop the Keen Effect product line for both men and women by style, toe type, and features.

But what sets this product line apart is its impact.

Since 2013, Keen has emphasized social and environmental justice through the sales of Keen Effect shoes.

With every purchase, Keen funds programs that make the outdoors and trades more accessible. They also provide Keen Effect grants that support grassroots efforts for kids, trades, climate, and equality. This had already had an impressive impact.

  • Over the course of four years, Keen rid all of their products of PFC chemicals because of their toxic environmental impact.
  • In five years, Keen was able to keep 150 tons of fluorinated chemicals from being introduced into the environment by eliminating PFCs from their supply chain.

That means that purchasing a pair of Keen shoes is good for both your feet and your conscience. Now more than ever, consumers look for brands with tangible corporate responsibility plans and a commitment to sustainability.

Keen Shoes for Fashion and Style

Choose function and fashion with Keen’s range of styles for both men and women. Fashion might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to a work boot or hiking boot, but you don’t have to limit yourself to traditional clunky styles.

Many Keen shoes have that rugged, outdoorsy look that people love. However, they’ve increased their style options to appeal to an even wider audience.

The Keen Utility San Jose 6” Wedge Safety Toe Boot is a great example.

This lightweight medium-duty Keen boot has an impressive list of features including:

  • Water-resistant leather uppers
  • Aluminum safety toes
  • Rubber soles that can prevent slips and stand up to oil

They’re also electrical hazard rated and meet or exceed industry standards for impact, compression, and safety.

You might be imagining a heavy and unfashionable pair of work boots, but the Keen Utility San Jose 6” boots actually look more like they could come out of a trendy coffee shop than a construction site. Keen describes these particular shoes as “perfect for the guy who works and plays hard.”

While not every consumer bothers with fashion when they purchase a pair of hiking or work boots, Keen stands out from the competition by offering shoppers the opportunity to choose a pair of boots that matches their sense of style.

If you’re spending all day on your feet, you’ll naturally prioritize comfort and durability. With Keen, you can have both and even more.

Keen Shoes for Work

Work shoes are some of Keen’s most popular offerings. The Keen Utility line offers industrial work boots and shoes for a wide range of professions.

Keen understands that whether you work at a warehouse or construction site, every industry and job has different safety requirements and needs.

  • The Keen Utility line is a perfect fit if you want to make sure your work shoes will meet all the necessary safety standards while keeping you comfortable and happy throughout your workday.
  • Many employers even mandate you purchase from a brand like Keen because OSHA safety requirements are both a matter of health and legality.

Are Keen work shoes comfortable? Absolutely! Are Keen boots good? Definitely!

Keen work shoes have valuable features like the signature wide toe box to optimize comfort and breathability. Shoes like the Keen Men’s Utility Sparta Aluminum Toe include a padded collar and tongue for ankle support and comfort as well as a ventilated mesh construction to allow airflow.

Keen constantly innovates new features to make their shoes even more comfortable and lightweight. Investing in a Keen brand work shoe is an excellent choice if you value comfort, safety, durability, and style.

Boot World’s Selection of Keen Shoes

So are Keen shoes good? Are Keen shoes comfortable? That’ll have to be a definite yes from our shoe experts! Keen shoes offer top-of-the-line comfort, durability, and safety. Our customers also love these shoes' style and versatility.

Are you keen on a pair of Keen shoes? Shop Boot World’s full selection of Keen Utility work boots. And if you’re still looking for information on Keen shoes, check out our blogs on “The Best Keen Work Boots” and “How Do Keen Boots Fit?”

  • Keen. Keen.
  • Keen. Work.
  • Keen. The Keen Effect.
  • Keen. Sizing FAQs.
  • Boot World. KEEN Utility San Jose 6" Wedge Safety Toe Boot Black.
  • Living the Dream. KEEN Shoes Review – Are They The Best Shoe for Travel?