Comment from: Brian [Visitor]

For me, Keen was a gateway shoe toward minimalism. I loved the open construction and even wore them in pretty cold weather. They were my favorite brand. But once i moved to Vibrams, they seemed hopelessly retrograde and irrelevant. I still look back fondly.

07/16/12 @ 12:42
Comment from: CRab [Visitor]

A steel toe offering would be fantastic.

07/16/12 @ 13:01
Comment from: Rich [Visitor]

To me, nothing should be described as "barefoot" except bare feet. I call vffs minimal shoes and something like this "reduced." I guess it's just semantics, but I've never liked the term barefoot shoe (it's an oxymoron).

07/16/12 @ 13:17
Comment from: dave [Visitor]

If they keep the hybrid spd bike sandal in the new more minimal line up then they may just get a look from me

07/16/12 @ 13:26
Comment from: Cody R. [Visitor]
Cody R.

i like how it says "4mm drop for NATURAL STANCE"

last time i checked, we don't have a drop in our foot...

and blech, heavy

but interesting...steel long as it doesn't mess up flexibility

07/16/12 @ 14:57
Comment from: andy [Visitor]

I've had Keen's before I went minimalist and never really liked the clunkiness, so this is a captivating new release. However, despite the reduced weight and appearance, I would not really begin to consider this minimalist. You might as well look at Birkenstocks and call those minimalist..however this does seem like it could be a gateway shoe for some

07/16/12 @ 15:05
Comment from: Josue Diaz [Visitor]  
Josue Diaz

I'm a fan of Keen and have been for years. The chunckiness of some of their sport sandals would get bothersome over prolonged use in a day, but I think versatility in outdoor to indoor activities has been some of their strong points.

Mixing in a more minimal sole would be a good move for them as a viable option in the minimalist footwear market and anyone making a slow transition to VFF.

I think those Clearwater CNX sandals look great!

07/16/12 @ 15:51
Comment from: Gidds [Visitor]

I will be SO HAPPY if Keen makes something like a Newport with a huarache-esque or even Merrell-esque sole! I had just ordered a new pair of Keens about 6 months before I went zero-drop and/or barefoot full time and it makes me sad that I never wear them, they are almost new. I've seriously considered having them resoled with a flat sole.

07/16/12 @ 19:30
Comment from: [Member]

@Brian - I agree. On my way to barefoot, I used to wear the KEEN boots without the insoles. Since I've been exclusively minimal (<8mm) so long, I just could never go back to my old favorites. Unfortunately, I don't know if these new styles will be enough for me either. At least they will bring new consumers toward minimal style shoes.

@Rich - I get what you are saying, and I've found this to be a really common debate. I know it's not being truly barefoot, but I prefer the term "barefoot" shoe as it's the best descriptor I've found to describe certain attributes of a minimal shoe (those characteristics allowing the foot to feel and function as close to the way it would if it were actually bare). You use the descriptors "minimal shoes" and "reduced shoes." I would argue that "minimal" for VFF's is not descriptive enough. There are alot of shoes that can easily fall into the "minimal" category, but there's quite a spectrum ranging from your "reduced" shoes to "about as thin and close to nothing as you can get on your feet" shoes. For example, the Minimus Road and Vibram KSO are both minimal shoes, but one of them is much closer to a barefoot experience. All barefoot shoes are minimal shoes, but not all minimal shoes are barefoot shoes. You're right in that it's semantics. I just think it's an extremely clear, quick, and descriptive way of describing where a shoe sits on the minimal spectrum.

@Gidds - I feel your pain. I still have many old KEENs just sitting on a shoe rack. I don't know why I keep them around, since I haven't worn anything that thick for years. I also would love to see them skim these down more. Be sure to email them and let them know what you want!

07/17/12 @ 01:57
Comment from: [Member]

I too was a Keen fan before going minimal/barefoot two years ago. I'm afraid they've got a long way to before I'll buy Keen again. While an improvement, the CNX shows they don't really "get it".

07/17/12 @ 20:12
Comment from: Jared [Visitor]

CRab, I agree on the steel toes, or better yet, lighter weight composite or titanium toe caps.

07/22/12 @ 07:40
Comment from: snedger [Visitor]

Seeing as my about to wear out Alexander Vivobarefoot sandals led to me getting a by reply email back from Vivobarefoot UK telling me that there are presently no closed-toe sandals in their range, I was extremely delighted to view what looked like my next sandals.
So, disappointed to see that they are not available now :(
Oh, well back to the research.
Am a bit concerned that I might actually be almost enjoying/seeking the pain from thin soles walking on hard sharp flinty paths leading to a lasting endorphin glow.

07/26/12 @ 17:05
Comment from: Ryan [Visitor]  

As a 4-5yr fan of VFFs my old Keens didn't get much use. I tried on a pair of the Clearwater CNX Keens a few weeks ago, and I have to say - what took them so long?

Seriously they are night and day better than the old heavy, high-heeled Keen disasters. Super light, and manageably dropless. The only caveat is width - these are narrower than the old Keens. I was still able to fit into the same size, but they look a bit odd - long and slender.

Either way, the CNX platform seems to be promising. I'm certainly going to hunt down some of the other CNX shoes to try.

08/05/13 @ 21:39
Comment from: snedger [Visitor]

Just got a nudge from Ryan's post and I see that it was about a year ago that I posted my wish for some CNXs.
Had my pair for about 4 weeks and they are not as barefoot as my Vivo Alexander (saving my last hoarded pair until next year), but still a very comfortable shoe.
No blisters, heel strap not adjustable, but not a problem as I incorrectly anticipated. Outside vents are personally a little too close to my little toes, not popped through yet.
Worn them on stones, sand, wet brick pavements, countryside and they are superb. Better pain protection than true barefoot, but I can feel that foot is not planting so far forward.
Good compromise for me.

08/06/13 @ 09:42
Comment from: kana [Visitor]

I think it would be great if they provided some minimalist offerings, but for some of us with hard core toe arthritis that is simply not an option (inflames the problem to disabling levels) and the solid keens are a life saver. I would be very upset to see the shoes I need to survive disappear.

11/21/13 @ 16:56
Comment from: snedger [Visitor]

I need to contradict what I said about how good my CNX Clearwater sandals are.
Been wearing them for 3 weeks since weather started to improve and they're like a different shoe this year.
I think that the heel strap has stretched, so foot is not being held properly and what I thought was pain from rubbing turns out to be quite deep inner side heel cuts on both feet. Tend not to wear glasses when dressing/undressing so I literally didn't see the cuts for a couple of weeks :)
Suggested to Keen Europe that a better design would be to have adjustable heel straps - their response is that the fit is wrong for me, inspite of my explanation that new sandals = perfect fit, stretched sandals = not wearable.
They've offered me a token voucher and so I looked at all the Keen sandals - guess what? Two new styles, Class 5 and Class 6, have adjustable heel straps.
I can probably get the shoes cheaper if I wait for a flash sale.
Am off to look at Hi-Tec Shore sandals, as I can find no barefoot sandals with toe protection.

04/18/14 @ 03:47
Comment from: Jen [Visitor]

These are a fail because of the narrow width.

I was so excited that Keen was making a Much lighter-weight, thinner-soled sandal. The soles really are nice and thin. I could have lived with the slight drop and the slight arch support (thought I would have preferred none), but the deal-breaker was, I could not fit my toes into this shoe. Why go halfway toward a more natural-working shoe (thinner sole, reduced drop) and then skip out on the other important part of allowing the foot to work naturally - a wide toebox??? At least their clunky, heavy shoes have room for the toes!!

07/21/17 @ 09:54
Comment from: JenP [Visitor]

2019, and still no "barefoot" offerings from Keen (WHY did they make their lighter-weight shoes so NARROW???)

What I cannot understand is why no barefoot companies have made a Keen-style barefoot sandal-shoe? It doesn't seem like Keen is stopping any companies from making knockoffs -you can find knockoff Keens from Wal-mart to LL Bean. So what's stopping Vivo or Vibram or Xero or Luna or any of them from making a barefoot knockoff Keen? I think of it every time I get a twig jammed into my toes, hiking in open-toed sandals.

06/18/19 @ 21:30

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