Tips for Choosing the Best Sneakers for Spring
Sure, winter is fun, with all the snowshoeing and skiing and ice camping and wearing coats that look like giant sleeping bags. But with the crocuses peeking out and the ground drying out (a bit? Maybe? Next week?)—spring is pretty great too. Plus, it means sneaker season is back.
You might have given our fall sneaker guide a read and explored our insulated sneakers. But with drier, warmer weather on its way, we wanted to share tips for choosing lightweight, casual sneakers. And since we are KEEN, our sneakers aren’t just for kicking it and kicking back. Instead, KEEN sneakers can take you from farmer’s market to the U-pick patch, from spring soccer games to fresh trails. Because what’s the point of spring if you spend your whole time on cement?
BE READY FOR IFFY WEATHER
Depending on where you live, March may roar on into April and showers may pour into June. You can still swap winter boots for sneakers or slip-ons, just choose those with waterproof uppers or sealed seams (this appears as both WP and “waterproof”). And with advances in shoe technology, WP doesn’t mean stifling! Look for shoes with a KEEN.DRY breathable membrane, which lets vapor out without letting water in.
For versatile sneakers that can go from city to trail, we like the men’s Citizen Evo WP or Venture WP, or the women’s Terradora WP. Both the men’s and women’s version of the Oakridge WP hiking sneaker transition well into spring.
Men’s Venture WP in Dark Cheddar/Raven
BREATHE THROUGH THE HEAT
No one hates sweaty feet more than us—hence why we invented that KEEN.DRY membrane. But when it comes to warmer weather, you want sneakers featuring keywords like “breathable,” “knit,” and “vent.” (Good socks are also helpful.)
For warmer days of spring, check out the women’s Terradora EVO (a great transitional shoe) or the more urban-friendly Hush Knit. For men and women, the UNEEK and UNEEK EXO offers a breathable mesh while the more rugged Targhee Vent is a great hybrid of a hiker and a sneaker. (The Citizen EVO WP and the Venture WP above are also super breathable!)
From left to right: Terradora EVO, UNEEK EXO and UNEEK.
THINK VERSATILE, PACKABLE
This is the sweet spot for spring sneakers—particularly for women. For travel, you want a sneaker that is light and comfortable, and also has some flexibility in how you wear it.
The new leather Lorelai Collection is super sleek and light and minimal, making them go with so many things. There’s a sneaker, a chukka, and a slip-on and they pack so much versatility, it’s almost usurped our favorite spring travel sneaker from last year, the Elsa sneaker.
The Elsa Collection has grown in its own way, adding the new Elsa III, including a slip-on and sneaker options, each with a bumped back toecap and increased comfort in the heel. Both the Lorelai and the Elsa Collections look great with jeans and skirts—perfect for spring.
Men have it easier when it comes to matching sneakers with outfits. Again, that Venture looks pretty sharp wherever you wear it. But you might also consider the men’s Jasper for a classy, versatile spring travel shoe.
The new Lorelai slip-on in Blue Mirage
CONSIDER THE DRESSIER SNEAKER
As one of our coworkers put it, “I think I’m too old for sneakers.” We think that’s bananas, but sometimes you do want to look like you put a little effort into your spring outfit…yet you’re still not going to sacrifice comfort. Boy, do we feel you.
Luckily, we’re leading something of a dress sneaker revolution at KEEN, with some high-quality styles that take you from work to wine tasting without anyone batting an eyelash. Check out stylish leather lace-ups like the men’s Grayson oxford or chukka or any of the low-profile women’s lace-up Presidio shoes. Or shop the whole KEEN Originals line.
The lightweight and über-comfortable Grayson chukka
GO SOCKS WITH SANDALS
It’s a thing. It’s happening. You should try it. It’ll be fun.