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Keen Ferndale

rated 3 of 5 stars

The Ferndale has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best trail shoes for 2024.

photo: Keen Ferndale trail shoe

As best as I can figure, the Keen Ferndales are (were?) a one-off model made for sale exclusively(?) by REI. They're similar to the Keen Taos/Arroyo "hybrid" sandal/shoe, but have mesh panels to help keep debris out, yet still allow ventilation.

Another similarity is the cord-lock type lace set-up. Although these locks can make them quick to put them on, they don't hold the laces securely, making the shoes almost too loose to wear after taking a few steps. I ended up getting some cut-to-fit Sierra Laces "conventional" shoelaces which make the Ferndales much more secure, comfortable and wearable.

Another option is to order replacement laces directly from Keen on their website. I did this for a pair of Arroyos, and they work well since the replacement laces are made from a stretchy, bungee-type material and cord-locks seem to have more spring tension.

Other than the lace issue, I've found the Ferndales to be very light, comfortable, have good support and traction. Of course they're not quite as well ventilated as the Arroyos, but it's nice not having to periodically shake out debris that inevitably collects in them. I've given the Ferndales a conditional 4-star rating. They're great once the laces are replaced.

Materials: leather, nylon mesh, rubber
Use: dayhikes, all-around wear
Break-in Period: None
Price Paid: $60

These shoes are great! Perhaps I received an updated model from the two previous reviewers, but they have worked great for me and I never had an issue with the laces being loose. I wear them as my daily shoe of choice.

They are light and keep my feet dry, very good ventilation without the side effect of debris getting into them as the other reviewer mentioned.

My only con to the shoe is what to do with the drawstring lace, I end up shoving them under the laces further down which ultimately caused the laces to rub and break.

I've owned these shoes for over two years now and love them! Wish they were still made.

Materials: Leather
Use: Daily use, short dayhikes.
Break-in Period: No break-in needed
Weight: Light
Price Paid: $80-100

What is up with the clip that is supposed to hold the laces tight? They come loose after a few steps!!
Any suggestions?

Price Paid: $70

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