Holiday Staff Picks
November 01, 2023Nov 01, 2023
keen fitter tips making shoes
When you work at KEEN, you tend to try on a lot of KEEN shoes — and the favorites come home with us. Everything from beloved trail hikers to everyday sneakers to SUPing sandals.
Inevitably, there's one that rises to the top and secures that coveted place by the front door. We asked around to find out which ones KEEN folks love most for a best-of-the-best list to help pick that just-right gift for the folks you love getting outside with.
Bex! enjoying tea in plaid Howser slides from a few years ago.
"These are my cold-weather flip-flops!" – Bex!, KEEN operations
Why Bex! loves Howser:
“Cozy and easy, these are my cold weather flip-flops! I’ll slip them on after a trail run for the drive home, the same way I would a sandal in the summer. At home, they are perfect for stepping out on the wet porch to drink some tea, grab a package, get some fresh air. I love a shoe I can get on and off without using my hands.”
Scott on the PCT during his brother's thruhike.
"Walking in the WK400 changed my life!" – Scott, KEEN innovation
Why Scott loves the WK400:
"Walking in the WK400 changed my life! I was a died-in-the-wool ultrarunner and wannabe alpinist who never seriously considered walking before I started working on the WK400. Walking created a space in my life for physical activity where I don’t worry about pace, time, or mileage, and that freedom is what makes walking so special. Walking helps to remind me what “being human” feels like in a digitized, busy world, no app required. When I’m out walking, I’m free to be myself and use the time to process life or think about nothing. I’ve found it to be the perfect complement to hard weeks of training, a way to increase volume without fear of injury, and perhaps most importantly, a tool to manage anxiety and temper depression. WK400 showed me that the most important thing isn’t how you move but that you move."
Marissa in her women's-specific Terradora boots.
"Like a light and comfortable sneaker, but has the tread and waterproofness of a trustworthy hiking boot." – Marissa, KEEN digital
Why Marissa loves Terradora:
“My favorite is the women’s Terradora II waterproof boot! This has been my go-to shoe for a variety of purposes, from rainy dog-walking through Portland’s city trails to summer backpacking in the Wallowa Mountains. I love how it feels like a light and comfortable sneaker, but has the tread and waterproofness of a trustworthy hiking boot. I always have them waiting by the door for all of my Oregon adventures!”
Ginny goes everywhere in her Clearwater hybrid sandals.
"They are often the only shoes I pack when traveling." – Ginny, KEEN creative
Why Ginny loves Clearwater:
“Before I worked at KEEN, I had never worn hybrid sandals. It was hikers on the trail, or flip-flops on the water. Then I tried a pair of Clearwater sandals, and it changed everything. I wear them tidepooling in Hawaii and hiking in Oregon (especially trails along the Deschutes River, so I can jump in along the way). I wear them to river and lake launches to SUP and strap them to my paddleboard. Even things like zip-lining, where you need a grippy shoe with toe protection. They are often the only shoes I pack when traveling (perfect for getting through TSA and wearing on the plane). I love the minimal outsole. It makes the sandal so light and easy to wear. I love them so much that when we had to prepare for a wildfire evacuation this summer, these were the only shoes I put in my go bag.”
Mary and her Astoria West sandals. Designed by women, for women.
"My go-to shoe all summer!" – Mary, KEEN product development
Why Mary loves Astoria West:
“The Astoria West is a KEEN favorite because it has been so easy to be my go-to shoe in the summer! Hanging at the parks around Portland, walking the dog, or backpacking — it is so light, it is perfect to bring camping because it hardly adds any additional weight. I have already gotten my mom and sister a pair and am planning to get them for my two aunts this Christmas!”
We hope our list of faves helps you find those just-right picks for giving the gift of outside to the folks you care about. Looking for more ideas? Check out the KEEN Gift Guide.