Tips for Choosing the Best Sneakers for Fall
With fall around the corner, it’s almost time to rotate those flip-flops and sandals to the back of the closet and start thinking about keeping feet warm and dry again. If you’re looking for a solid pair of sneakers for autumn adventures but not sure where to start—read on.
As a company that puts the great outdoors ahead of, well, most everything, we have a unique take on the city sneaker scene. To us, a sneaker has to have the versatility to step from work to play, to go from errands to a light trek down an urban trail. And it needs to be comfy, with room for toes to wiggle and breathe.
Check out KEEN tips for choosing the city sneaker to take you from fall hikes to ale festivals to the great pumpkin regatta—and beyond.
DRESS FOR CHILL
Crisp October days are divine. Blue skies, crunchy leaves, that nip in the air. If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere where the temperatures dip before the rain comes, embrace the fact that you don’t have to go all-out winter boot just yet. Choose casual sneakers that use warmer, insulating materials like thicker knits, leather, wool, or fleece.
For men, check out the Rialto collection, including lace-up and slip-on styles. For women, the Hush is a great option. The Elsa collection has two particularly cozy options in fleece and quilted materials. For men or women, try the Jasper collection, or the UNEEK EXO. And don't forget those cozy fall socks!
DON’T GET CAUGHT IN THE RAIN
Wet feet feel awful—especially if the downpour hits first thing and you’re stuck with soggy socks all day. If you’re headed to an outdoor harvest festival or just want to be ready to cross town in iffy weather, avoid fabrics like knit and mesh.
Instead, choose a sneaker with waterproof features, like a waterproof upper or sealed seams. When shopping KEEN sneakers, look for sneakers or hiking shoes that include the KEEN.DRY breathable membrane, which lets vapor out without letting water in.
CONQUER SLICK SURFACES
Whether exploring the pumpkin patch or taking the pup to the dog park—you know it: Wet grass and slippery, decaying leaves are no joke! Choosing sneakers—or hiking sneakers!—with good traction is key. Look for those with multi-directional lugs like the women’s Terradora or low profile Targhee hiking shoes for men or women (or kids!).
Walk long distances on hard surfaces? Don’t skimp on the sole! Get sneakers with a cushioned footbed and supportive midsole—or add insoles. You might even consider a light duty work shoe—many of which offer waterproof features and slip-resistant outsoles.
GO FOR THE NON-SNEAKER SNEAKER
If you’re looking for something dressier that offers sneaker comfort, you’re in luck. The non-sneaker sneaker revolution is in full-swing, with tons of options to take you from work to after-work events. Check out stylish leather lace-ups like the men’s Grayson, which comes in both an oxford and a chukka, or any of the low-profile women’s Presidio shoes.
The better to you know yourself, the more spontaneous you can be. Choose a sneaker with multiple features that make the most sense for your activities, i.e. a sneaker that is both warm and waterproof or one that is dressy with higher traction, or one that's built for distance and goes with anything. (This is especially helpful for frequent travelers! Travel light by choosing one pair of multipurpose shoes, for example a good walking sneaker that's also easy to slip on and off in the holiday TSA line.) By thinking ahead, you can move smoothly from work to cider tasting, or from errands to corn mazes, without missing a beat.