I’m really … err… keen on Keen shoes, so was particularly looking forward to trying the Keen commuter cycling sandals. Unfortunately they didn’t live up to my high hopes.
Keen have a proven track record in designing really comfy and sturdy footwear, I know from experience, my 3 pairs are going as strong as ever. It appears as though they’ve tried their hand at cycling sandals and applied some fresh thinking. They got some things right, but unfortunately they also got some things wrong.
On the positive side, the sole is really nice and stiff which is refreshing in leisure cycling footwear. The stiffness is just right: stiff enough to ride, but still fine for walking in. Another great feature is the removable footbed. It means you can wash the sole really easily and thoroughly. The footbed is marketed as “anti-odour”. These anti-odour things never work for long in my experience, so ease of applying real anti-odour treatment is a big plus. This also means you can get at the footplate where you bolt the cleats onto which makes attaching said cleats really easy. I found the “waterproof” label quite funny too. I seem to wear my cycling sandals most when it’s raining. The large toe bumper is a great idea too. No need for your tootsies to feel vulnerable in these.
Not so good is the width of the sole. I have narrow feet and even for me the sole was not wide enough – painfully so. My small toe ends up between 2 bits of the mesh upper which is irritating and would lead to blisters on longer trips. Wearing socks would sort this out, but that look is not for everyone. I mentioned above that the sole is really stiff. Contrast that with a really flexible upper and you find your heel slipping out of the sandals a bit too easily. The upper just doesn’t feel up to the job. The fastening system – a cinch cord - seems like a really nice idea, but isn’t up to the job of holding your feet securer. And lastly, this is a bit more subjective, I’m not keen (sorry, did it again) on how they look.
Some really good features, but too narrow and don’t work as a package.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Keen Commuter sandal
Size tested: 43
Did you enjoy using the product? No, they were not comfortable for me
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? I would warn them about the issues with the sandals and make sure they try before they buy.
About the tester
I usually ride: All of them! My best bike is: Cervelo Dual
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, touring, club rides, fixed/singlespeed, Audax