keen hydro guide

3:29 p.m. on September 1, 2010 (EDT)
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they are too new for a real gear review, but some initial thoughts, having walked in them some and getting them wet:

-the keen footbed is familiar, but the fit is different. it's a much more open design than most keens, and it's easier to secure your foot due to the adjustable strapping and velcro heel strap. like many keens it sizes small (i bought a 12 but normally wear an 11), and it accommodates wide feet well. sufficiently roomy that one could probably wear a thin to medium wool sock or thin neoprene sock in it, if needed.

-comfortable to walk in, right out of the box. my feet feel a lot less hot than other keens due to the open design.

-they drain water better than other keens or closed water shoes i have had. the sole has holes to drain water, forefoot and heel, and the toe bumper has several perforations (backed by a layer of neoprene) that do a good job venting water.

-very grippy sole, non-marking, which is great.

-there is no padding on the velcro heel strap. it didn't bother my calloused, leathery feet, but it might be an issue for some. on the other hand, the velcro provides a more secure fit in the water.

-the strap/adjustability is good but has limits. the one-piece webbing strap tightens by pulling a second short piece of webbing through a clip, but the short piece is only about two inches long. for my left foot, i'm considering removing the stitching that secures the webbing around the adjustment clip and re-sewing it to effectively shortening the strap.

-the strap is sewn around the adjustment clip with very sturdy stitching - that sits right on top of your foot, front of the ankle. it's a potential blister point, and the one place where i developed a small hot spot.

my first overall impression is that this is a meaningful improvement over other keens i have worn, and it's a great shoe for water/rivers/canoing. i'll do a formal review after i have worn them more.

September 21, 2014
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