The Newport Sandal Is Our First Best Idea
If you’re anything like us, you have an outdoor bucket list about three miles long. There are so many fun things to try: like organizing a beach clean-up, floating an Oregon Coast Range river, or taking your toddler on her very first hike (or making a high-fashion splash on Instagram). So you’ll need to buy beach shoes, water shoes, and a good pair of hiking boots. Or maybe . . . you just need to get one pair of shoes that can do all those things. Now that’s an idea worth starting a company over (spoiler alert: we did.).
NOT AFRAID TO TRY SOMETHING NEW
The classic boat shoe is leather, lace-up, and not very breathable. But why be confined to the classics? Our founders wished for a comfy, water-friendly sailing sandal that could have you enjoying the breeze while still keeping your feet safe from the many hazards aboard a boat. The toe-guarding open shoe they created was dubbed the “Newport” (after a Rhode Island town famous for its annual sailing regatta). The Newport sandal debuted at a tradeshow in 2003, where industry types took one look and thought, “Hey, that’s a cool idea.” The rest is happy-feet history.
FUN FACT: The Newport sandal is KEEN’s first design ever, and to this day, it’s still our #1 bestseller (the Newport H2 shoe, to be exact).
HOW TO RECOGNIZE A NEWPORT SANDAL IN THE WILD
First: look for the toe bumper. Toe protection has always been a top priority for KEEN — the very first KEEN shoe was also the first one to have the KEEN.PROTECT toe bumper. The toe bumper is now a signature feature on several KEEN shoes, dedicated to preventing stubbed toes and unnecessary “ouch!”es everywhere.
The cord adjuster is key, because it lets you tighten them up to suit your foot. That way, you get the benefit of KEEN’s roomy toe box fit, while still keeping the shoe secure and snug on your foot.
The super grippy rubber outsole features razor siping for traction. What is razor siping? Picture the surface of a car or bike tire — it has thin slits that help squeeze out water, preventing slipping on wet surfaces. Those slits are called “siping,” and Newport sandals have them too!
WHERE KEEN FANS WEAR ‘EM
Anywhere and everywhere (seriously). Riverbeds, marinas, campsites, backyards, outdoor music festivals (shout out to one of our local faves, Pickathon!). We’ve heard from entomologists who wear Newport H2 sandals to collect aquatic specimens in riverbeds and outdoorspeople who hike 1,200+ miles through the Appalachian Trail in their Newport sandals.
Versatility is really the name of the game. Multi-functionality as a water shoe/beach sandal/hiking shoe/casual shoe is really what keeps some people wearing them nearly 24/7 (check out KEEN fan Brian’s devotion to his favorite pair). Choose a Newport H2 shoe (the water-friendly one), and it can be your all-purpose summer shoe: swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, camping, mowing the lawn, walking the dogs, hosing down the dogs after they rolled in whatever it is they rolled in (please, don’t make us say it).
FUN FACT: In a hurry? The KEEN Garage in Portland, Oregon, has a sidewalk vending machine where you can buy a pair of Newport Retro sandals en route to your next adventure. How convenient!
THE NEWPORT FAMILY
The Newport Sandal
The OG tough-as-nails open-air design is a great camping and hiking shoe for men and women.
Newport Sandals for Kids and Little Kids
Here’s a pro tip: Newport kids’ sandals have a hook-and-loop strap across the ankle that allows the sandal to open wide without having to adjust the bungee cord. (Because have you ever tried to get a tiny kid’s foot into a tiny kid’s shoe? Not easy!)
FINAL FUN FACT: One KEEN fan was so attached to her trusty Newport sandals that she wore a custom-made, all-white pair to her wedding. Now that’s true shoe love. Many congratulations to the happy couple (oh, and also to whomever she married).