The Happy Camper: Celebrating 20 Years of KEEN Footwear

I’ve worn KEEN’s Newport Sandals around the campsite ever since the design was created twenty years ago (2003). I love them, especially their toe protectors. Interestingly enough, the footwear was created by KEEN’s founder, Martin Keen, after he stubbed his toe during a sailing trip. Two decades later, they still come with a toe protector. 

This stylish, airy and cozy hybrid sandal quickly became a hit, especially with paddlers. Stubbing your toe was a common hazard while lining or wading your canoe down rapids with open-toed sandals. In fact, several first-aid manuals at the time advised canoeists to never wear sandals while walking your boat down shallow rapids—that is, until the Newport was released. KEEN didn’t keep to trends; the company looked at practicality, fit and durability.

KEEN’s Newport Sandal is now a staple in the outdoor footwear world.

To celebrate the anniversary, KEEN has come out with a wide variety of colours and patterns ranging from a retro “Smokey Bear” camp look to a multi-coloured “New York at Night.” My choice was the retro tie-dye pattern.

Keeping with KEEN’s renowned sustainable standards, the production of the Newport Sandal up-cycles old materials. The company has also reduced their waste and water usage in their manufacturing operations.

Happy 20th, KEEN. Wishing you future success.

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