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Outdoor Retailer: Keen Climbing Shoes

by Alicia MacLeay
August 13, 2007
Keen Men's Broughton Direct
Keen's Broughton Direct (men's)

In a move I didn’t see coming, Keen is introducing two climbing shoes with Keen climbing sticky rubber—the velcro Broughton Direct and the lace-up CarverDirect. The rock shoes will be part of Keen’s 2008 Trailhead Collection, which also includes the Commuter, a hybrid bike/trail shoe.

Keen Women's Carver Direct
Keen's Carver Direct (women's)

Keen certainly has a lot of saturation in the outdoor sandal and shoe market. Just take a look at the thousands of feet walking the OR floor this past week. And I’ll personally attest that their footwear is extremely comfortable and well-made. But I’ve got to wonder about Keen entering the technical climbing market. It’s a really tough sell, especially for a company without a climbing rep. We’ll have to wait and see if Keen’s innovative outdoor style will extend to rock shoes. ($90, available January 2008)