Two people playing in a rocky river in water sandals
Two people playing in a rocky river in water sandals

What Makes Our Tread So Water-Friendly?

Ahhh, summer. Here at KEEN, warm summer days mean river adventures, casual beach days, lakeside rope swings, and creekside explorations. Along with all that water comes slick mossy rocks, unknown river bottoms, slippery docks, and hot sand. All great reasons to pick up some water shoes.

Whether you’re hiking off the beaten path to a secluded swimming hole, spending the day paddling your SUP, cruising down the river in a kayak or just exploring the lake shore, KEEN has water shoes and sandals that let you move in and out of the water with all the grip you need for confident footing.

What sets KEEN water shoes and sandals apart from the competition? There’s our unmistakeable toe protection and our quick-drying all-terrain designs. But the final ingredient is our specialized water-ready treads. KEEN water shoes feature a combination of lugged treads, higher-traction rubber compounds, and razor siping for traction-boosting grip.

A person wearing KEEN closed-toe sandals after paddleboarding

What is siping? Picture a winter car tire — it has thin slits in the rubber tread that help channel water out from under the tire. This prevents slipping on wet surfaces. Those slits are called “siping,” and our water sandals have them too. Add soft rubber compounds designed for increased grip in wet conditions, and you’ve got water shoes and sandals you can count on for adventures long and short, wet or dry.

Our water shoes fall into three categories: trail sandals, hybrid sandals, and water sandals. They’re all made with one goal in mind: quick-drying comfort with plenty of traction to get adventurous (and wet without slipping or falling) on hot summer days.

Trail Sandals

Ready. Set. Hike. KEEN trail sandals are made for getting outside and exploring on land with the all-terrain traction of a hiking shoe. Their lugged and patterned treads offer multidirectional grip in loose dirt and uneven terrain. Just like a water shoe, the quick-drying designs can handle stream crossings or a post-hike plunge in the lake.

Dedicated hikers and adventurous river runners should check out the men’s Targhee III Open-Toe H2 sandals. These rugged, water-ready sandals combine a lugged rubber outsole with a water-friendly webbing upper. Multidirectional lugs grip the ground for confident footing in or out of the water. After you’ve waded through a creek or cooled off in a river, the webbing dries out quickly so you can keep moving. For a more all-purpose but still trail-friendly design, the women’s Rose sandals offer protection and comfort for creek crossings, wading, and all-around summer fun.

A person hiking in KEEN sandals

When there’s a lake at the end of the trail or you’re camping along a river, trail sandals let you enjoy the full experience.

Hybrid Trail/Water Sandals

Equal parts water shoe and sure-footed trail hiker, KEEN hybrid sandals are your ticket to all-purpose summer fun anytime there’s water involved.

KEEN was founded on the iconic hybrid Newport H2 sandal design. These versatile water shoes can do it all. You can rock-hop along the river, hike to remote beaches, or simply dive right in off the dock. The hybrid tread combines multidirectional lugs that help keep your feet from slipping and high-traction rubber with razor siping. The siped zones offer more dependable contact on wet surfaces because they feature channels on the tread from which water can escape. This combination makes all the difference when traversing mossy rocks and wet surfaces.

Kids wearing KEEN water sandals

Building on the versatility of the Newport, the men’s and women’s Clearwater sandals and CNX sandals are hybrid sandals that go from trail to beach and straight into the water. They feature a hybrid outsole that balances multidirectional lugged patterns for traction on dry ground with razor-siped grip zones for confident footing across river beds, slippery shorelines, and wet docks.

Water Sandals

When it comes to spending more time in the water or wet ground than on dry land, KEEN water shoes are the ticket to all-day comfort and trusted traction so you can keep your adventure going. Designed specifically to match the demands of wet traction, our water sandals combine our specially formulated Aquagrip rubber outsole and Aqua Stop zonal siping.

A close-up of KEEN Aquagrip traction on Astoria West sandals

Aquagrip rubber is softer than what’s used on our traditional hiking soles. It’s “stickier” than harder rubber and conforms to the ground’s surface to maximize grip. Like the razor siping in our hybrid sandal outsoles, Aqua Stop zonal siping channels water out from under the tread in high-contact zones, ensuring better traction. Together, soft rubber and zonal siping create the ultimate traction combination for wet surfaces.

Boaters, paddlers and waterfall lovers, look no further than our SOLR sandals. These high-performance water shoes offer serious amphibious grip, dependable toe coverage, and have quick-drying webbing made from recycled plastic bottles. You can paddle all day, hike to your fave swimming hole, or just kick it with your feet in the water. The women’s Astoria West wedge sandals have the same amphibious Aquagrip and siped Aqua Stop outsole, but have more of a refined trail-to-town look and a wedge sole.

No matter your summer focus, you’ll find a KEEN sandal to match your ambitions. Sure, comfy footbeds and lightweight, airy designs feel great as soon as you slip them on. But it’s their quick-drying design, all-terrain traction and grippy-when-wet outsole that make all the difference for summer fun.

A woman kicking up her KEEN water sandals

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