Thursday, January 3, 2008

Keen's Commuter Cycling Sandal

May 10, 2008 Edit: Since posting this I have picked up a pair of Keen's cycling sandal. I love them. They are comfortable, light weight, walkable and by far my favorite cycling shoe I've owned to date. Feel free to ask me questions about them. A couple of pics:







Keen, the outdoor/trail shoe company, has made a cycling/trail sandal that is now available at REI. The shoe retails for $115 and is SPD compatible. Seems like it could be a good touring shoe with all of the vents and coverage over the toes. I doubt the price will drop anytime soon because the cycling season starts in the spring. Another good feature, according to Keen’s website, is that they are “treated with ÆGIS Microbe Shield®, antimicrobial technology that helps prevent odor.” This is a good thing because I can’t wear Teva type sandals because the sweat from my feet make them stink really, really bad. I might have to get a pair once it warms up around here.

27 spokes:

h said...

camper boots!!!

Doug said...

I love my OLD Keen sandals -- they're leather and take a long time to get stinky. My newer model is nylon, like this spd version, and get really stinky really quick -- just like my old Tevas. ;-)

I'm digging these though.

Anonymous said...

i have a keen sandal that looks just like this one, only without the bike thing... and they really make my feet stink. i am still tempted to buy the cycling one. says jrejor

Erik said...

On the lingering foot funk, according to the Keen site, all of their sandals are machine washable.

eric said...

nice to know that i can wash'em. thanks. but good news concerning the funk. there hasn't been any so far and i've been wearing these things everyday. i have some wacky tan lines on the tops of my feet, though. I'm still 100% happy with them.

Anonymous said...

Do you know what makes these different from the original Keen Newport sandal? They look extremely similar.

eric said...

They are very similar. The cycling sandal is stiffer and the fit is a little narrower, but that is the only difference I can tell. Of course, the cycling sandal is SPD compatible unlike the Newport, which makes the shoe feel a little different when walking around.

Matt and Pam Emerson said...

Are you able to get adequate tightness in the laces using the bungie system?

eric said...

Yes. I can get the shoes tight with the bungee. But I don't because, for what ever reason, my toes get numb when I do. To be fair, my toes get that way when I wear my Specialized Tahoe cycling shoes too.

Also, over 3 months of wearing these and putting 500-600 miles on them, I still stand behind that they are great cycling

Michael Speake said...

Are these sandals good on the beach? Can you shake the sand out of the SPD system?

eric said...

Hey Michael,
I haven't had any problems with sand and the pedals or cleats. Right now I'm using shimano pedals/cleats, and I have used Crank Bros. in the past. I've walked on the beach with both and have been able to shake the sand out both.

Franco said...

Hi Eric

I'd like to know whether you're using the Commuter with the same size of your regular shoes. I ask because I'm using Shimano SD-65 Sandals and those are undersized. Also, if you had to use the Commuter with two layers of thick socks, would you still be able to use the same size?

franco from Italy

eric said...

Ciao Franco,
They are true to size, but again, a little narrower than regular Keens. In regular shoes, I wear from 11.5 to 12 (US) and the Commuters are 12. I could have worn the Commuter in 11.5 but decided on the 12 to give a little room for socks as the weather changes. I can get a little more room with the bungee chord if I need it. I haven’t tried 2 layers of thick socks. I have tried 2 layers of thin and 2 layers, one thin and one thick, and it’s worked fine. Note: the socks I wear are Smart Wool merino socks—the thin are pretty thin and the thick aren’t too terribly thick. Hope that helps a little.

Ben said...

When you walk, do you hear the standard *click* *click* *click* from the cleat? The one that is usually associated with uncomfortable footed roadies.

BTW, if you google
"keen cycling sandals" this is the third result

eric said...

Hey Ben,
It totally depends on what type of surface I walk on--asphalt, no noise. Smooth concrete virtually no clicking. Rough concrete a lot of click, click, click. I think the clicking noise bothers other people (like my friend hannah) more so than it bothers me. :)

Didn't know that about the googling, thanks. Maybe Keen should pay me? Heh. Doubt it. Take care.

Jason said...

So I googled the keen commuter sandal and your blog was one of the first few links. Small world. Hope all is well.

Jason

timma said...

hey, I know it's been a year since you posted this review. How are the Keen Commuter's holding up in terms of wear and tear? Also, how does the placement of where the cleat goes feel to you? In one of the REI reviews, the guy said that it felt like the cleat was too far forward so the ball of his foot was sitting too far back off the pedal and he found himself pushing into the toe area a lot.

Great review -- a year later and you're still getting read.

eric said...

Hi timma,

They are holding up fine. Nothing has fallen apart or broken. A rough estimate on how many miles on them: 3000. Of course, I haven’t done any touring with them…yet! I’m still hoping to sell my house, so the miles I’ve put on them are commuting and a some longish weekend rides. I didn’t wear them throughout the winter, I broke out my Specialized Tahoe shoes.

The cleat seems fine. I have them pushed all the way towards the toe and they seem to sit in the middle of the ball of my foot. The slot that fits in to is a little over an inch long. I push into the toe area a little too; it doesn’t really bother me. I don’t remember if I do that with other types of shoes or not. I do know that my toes don’t get numb with the sandals as they do with the others, but maybe it’s because I am sliding my foot back or just more conscious of it. Doing a short overnight bike trip this weekend, so next week I’ll switch the cleats back to the Specialized and see my feet push up.

I've added a picture of the bottom of the shoe/cleat.

ethelred said...

This was very helpful... I just bought a pair of these and LOVE them after a couple of rides, but am struggling so much with cleat positioning on the right-hand one that I've considered taking them back or selling them. No matter what I do I seem to have knee pain (which I don't have with my regular road shoes). At REI they said it was a matter of trial and error to get the cleat positioned correctly, so at some point all my trials and errors will add up to a good position, I guess. :-) Anyway, so glad to hear that the shoes hold up well after so many miles. That gives me enough hope to keep trying to get this right!

eric said...

ethelred,
Cleat position is a completely valid reason for pain in the knee. Just a thought: the profile of your road shoe may be different than the sandal. Mine are. Another reason people (I'm included here) get knee pain, is that the saddle is too low, so if the shoes have different profiles, it's possible that the saddle is a little too low when you wear the sandals. Maybe, raise the saddle a few millimeters as an experiment?

wsams said...

I have a pair of these, but without the cleats.

Doug mentioned his feet getting stinky. To have completely stink free feet no matter what, take a spray bottle 120ml, and add 2 tsp table salt. Rub a little lotion on your foot, then spray it liberally with the salt water. Your feet won't even be able to stink. I also spray the insides of my shoes with salt water. Right now I have a pair of socks I've been wearing for over 3 weeks, and they don't even remotely have an odor. Just remember to lotion a little first, or it can dry out your feet.

zbsports said...

Keen is a good sandals, it has good quality too. This is the best sandals I ever had.

Anonymous said...

This is the Commuter II. How does it compare to the original Commuter sandal? Did Keen make any changes?

Aushiker said...

Thanks for this review. I am tossing up going with the Keen Commuter as my only footwear on an upcoming three month tour through the Western Australian outback. My alternative is to wear my current mtb shoes and take a pair of Keen Newport H2 for off the bike. Any thoughts on going with the one shoe, the Keen Commuters? The weather will be pretty mild for about 80% of the ride (dry season).

Thanks.

eric said...

Hey Aushiker,
When I did my tour, I brought the keen commuters and a pair of the keen Newport h2's. I was grateful to have the Newports when my bottom bracket had a melt down. I had to walk a distance and having comfortable shoes to walk in was nice. Also, just after a day of riding, it was nice to have a different pair to walk in around town or the camp. When I go again, I'll take two pairs of shoes.

Will you be blogging while on tour? I'd love to follow along.

Anonymous said...

I love these sandals for riding my bike. They're really comfortable!

Pete said...

I love the Keen Commuters for touring in warm climes. They are very comfy both on and off the bike. I walked all around Uluru, Kata Tjuta, and did the Kings Canyon walk - each one about 3 hrs of rocks and sand.
One flaw that occurred when touring Europe for 3 months - the rear strap came off; stitching failed. I had it repaired but the repair job failed. Later back home a shoe-repair friend put reinforcing leather on each side, inside next to the rear strap join. A slight weakness in the design as the neoprene is not tough enough to take the wear from your foot moving about.