Celebrating Women Who Live With No Ceiling
Research has shown that many women don’t think that the outdoors is for them. We believe everyone belongs outside, and we're on a mission to make the outdoors more accessible to all.
So we're excited to see some promising news: it appears more women are getting out there. According to the 2020 Outdoor Participation Report by the Outdoor Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), 46.2 percent of outdoor participants were female versus 53.8 percent male – "the smallest gender gap on record."
We're celebrating this momentum for International Women’s Day by lifting up eight women across the globe who get outside to live without a ceiling and inspire the rest of us to do the same. As shoemakers, we're proud to support them from the ground up, with footwear that's specifically designed by women for women and their biomechanics. Like our new Astoria West active sandal with a women's-specific fit and heel lift for dynamic performance, all-summer comfort, and surf-to-sundress style.
Outside is anywhere without a ceiling, and these women who #LiveWithNoCeiling are taking it even further by breaking down the barriers for others. See their stories, and then keep it going. Invite a friend to SUP, hike, or walk to the park.
Rhiane is founder and chairwomen of Black Girls Hike, which provides a safe space for Black women to explore the outdoors. Rhiane hopes to encourage other black women to reconnect with nature by hosting nationwide group hikes, outdoor activity days, and training events.
Cal is an ocean advocate, veterinary surgeon, and world-record stand-up paddleboard adventurer who is passionate about connecting people to the ocean, and protecting the animals and ecosystems within them. See her tips for reducing single-use plastic.
Sarah is a "plogger" who picks up trash whenever she is outside – and encourages others around her to do the same, making their community and the world a better place. She is also very passionate about helping to clean up Himalayan rivers, lakes, valleys, and villages.
Tori's goal is simple – to help more women of all shapes, ages, and backgrounds discover the peace and beauty that Mother Nature has to offer. She often puts on women-led weekend-long canoeing workshops to help women learn and build the skills required to plan and execute a backcountry canoe trip.
There is nothing more soul-cleansing than navigating your way across lakes and down rivers, portaging deeper into the wilderness, away from the crowds and the stresses of everyday life and proving that you can rise to these challenges.
Mariko is the co-founder of Social Innovation Japan, a social incubator for movements and change-makers in Japan, and mymizu — an organization that, most notably, has created Japan's first free water refill app on a mission to change single-use culture. Mariko is motivated to help people unleash the power they have to create positive change.
Kozue is the executive director of our KEEN Effect partner, Mirai No Mori, an organization dedicated to empowering marginalized youth through life-changing outdoor experiences. She started as an intern during university and has been with the organization ever since. "The sun shines everyday!" is something that you hear from Captain Sunshine, the camp mascot at Mirai no Mori, and it's a phrase Kozue keeps at heart. "No matter the weather, even if it’s raining or cloudy, every day there's hope like a bright and sunny day."
Lindsey designed the Astoria West sandal. "We deserve good-looking shoes – designed just for us, that will also perform well," she says.
Lindsey, the KEEN footwear designer behind the Astoria West sandal, developed her love of the outdoors while growing up on a farm and living in Alaska. Lindsey enjoys learning about and creating as many things around her as she can. When she’s not adventuring in the outdoors, she can be found designing functional apparel and building furniture. Her career at KEEN began six years ago, and she has been designing shoes ever since.
Judith Kasiama, founder of Colour the Trails, adventurer, and community activist, is a former refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo. She was raised in South Africa, Australia, the US, and Canada, and she says her unique upbringing allows her to draw from diverse experiences and cultures. She especially enjoys recharging in her backyard of the Canadian Rockies.
The outdoors is a therapy for me. When I’m out hiking or skiing, I feel like I can just be. It allows me to truly pause.