KEEN-parison: Which River Shoes for Summer Fun?
For us, the definition of a summer well spent is as many days as possible on the river. Americans have approximately 12,709 protected miles of rivers to enjoy all through the dog days (here on the KEEN Team in Portland, OR, we’re a little obsessed with Oregon’s many refreshing waterways). KEEN fans are an eclectic bunch: some live to fly fish, some chase whitewater thrills, and some just want to dive into that blue lagoon at the end of a sweaty hike. But before you can start splashing, you need a good pair of river shoes.
All men’s and women’s KEEN water shoes adjust with a bungee-cord closure for a snug fit and have non-marking outsoles (safe for boat decks). They’re also all machine washable, so you can throw them in the washer after a particularly mucky adventure. But which pair should you pick? It all depends on what you’re looking for. Check out this handy chart:
|RIVER SHOES||Best for trail+water||Best for rafting||Best for SUPing||Best for fishing|
But the chart can’t say it all. Here’s a little more on why fans love each of these designs:
Newport H2: You may not know that the Newport started out as a boat shoe. These days, this rugged, protective water shoe is popular as an anything-and-everything summer shoe. Hiking, fishing, boating, swimming, and then chilling fireside at base camp or sipping an IPA on the dock — in the Newport sandal you can do it all without a change of footwear. Razor siping in the rubber outsole helps squeeze out water (like tread on a tire), preventing slipping on wet surfaces. Shop Newport H2 sandals for men and women.
Clearwater CNX: Lightweight and low-profile, the Clearwater CNX is all about cutting down on bulk for a nearly barefoot feel that's great for SUPing or wedging into a raft. They weigh in at a scant 9.0 oz, so you might forget you’re wearing water shoes (but without the stubbed toes). Shop Clearwater CNX sandals for men and women.
SOLR: SOLR stands for “Sea, Ocean, Lake, River.” In other words, if there’s a body of water, it can’t wait to dive in. The SOLR sandal has an Aquagrip rubber outsole with Aqua Stop zonal siping for serious amphibious grip. It’s aces for rafting, SUPing, and kayaking — fans trust it for everything from lazy floats to class VI rapids. Shop SOLR sandals for men and women.
Rapids/Ravine: Attention whitewater lovers: The Rapids sandal (and its female counterpart, the Ravine sandal) is designed to stay on your feet no matter how wild the water gets. It has a similar feel to the Newport, but with an adjustable back strap that makes it possible to completely dial in the fit. Bonus: You can also remove the back strap entirely and convert these shoes into campsite slides. Shop the Rapids sandal for men and the Ravine sandal for women.
This summer, let the current set the pace through meandering rivers and flowing creeks. A good pair of water shoes will help you navigate everything from slippery boulders to spiky seagrass, and make it back to base camp (or your backyard) at the end of the day.