Saturday, June 19, 2010

Keeping Your Toes Protected in Summer: Keen Newport Sandals

8/14/10 Update. I've gotta pull my recommendation of these sandals. The reason: foot odor. Mind you I don't have a foot odor problem, but my feet smell with these sandals. The inner soles say "anti odor anatomic footbed" but that doesn't prevent my problem. I don't understand why since these Newports are pretty well ventilated. The only time I've had a foot odor problem was when I wore some waterproof (and non ventilated) Rockport shoes. My feet got really hot in those, which caused the foot odor after a while. Since I didn't buy these at REI, I'll have to keep them. I'll wear them while bicycling, but I'll try not to walk with them so much.

Summer's here and I doing more casual riding. By this I mean going to the grocery store, ATM machine, ice cream or coffee shop. I had been doing this with my running sneakers, but when you ride in the summer your feet can get hot quickly. This made me look for some sandals so I could get some air circulation/coolness in my feet. However, all the sandals I saw provided inadequate protection for my toes.

Basically, all sandals "expose" your toes. They all come with some straps around the other parts of your feet to keep them in place. And, I'm not about to wear flip flops because they look and feel flimsy. I'm kinda sensitive to protecting my toes since I severely mashed my "index" toe while riding a cruiser with flip flops as a kid.

I was familiar with Keen Newports but I had dismissed them a few years ago because they were a little fugly. I never saw them as a biking shoe/sandal. As I thought more protecting my toes, the only sandals that seemed to offer what I was looking for were the Keen Newports. They have this really strong rubber toe box/cap, which I like. The sandals offer plenty of cross ventilation. They look very well made as their stitching looks strong.

The negatives I have with them are that: 1) they're still not that strong in the looks department, 2) The insoles are hard; I wish they had cushier, softer insoles and 3) they're slightly heavier than your basic sandals. There are some reviews out there that say that Keen Newports are the most comfortable sandals ever made. I wouldn't go that far, though.

Anyway, if you're looking for some summer sandals that can protect your toes while biking, I would consider the Keen Newports. (Tag: Review of Keen Newport Sandals)


Yokota Fritz said...

Wow, I mangled one of my toes as a kid too, riding barefoot on a bike. it stuck with me and I insist on keeping my feet completely enclosed while biking!

Vernalobos said...

I converted to toed sandals about 2 years ago after mashing my toes up on rocks on a cliff top walk in the middle of nowhere! Luckily had a first aid kit with me and limped several miles back to my car.

I can recommend Teva Wraptor sandals. These are made for guys who are into water sports and have really good gripping soles but also they have a drainage system so if you're in the sea, rain, etc, the water just runs off. They only emply velcro strappings too so easy to get on and off. I've had mine 2 years and they have served me well so far.

Love your Brompton wheels tips and am investigating doing this myself.

pedaling fool said...

Gotta check out those Teva Wraptors out at the store, Vernalobos. Thanks for recommending them.

Vernalobos said...

Looks like Teva have changed their designs. Nearest to what I have can be found here:

Steve Howes said...

Your update about the Newport's odor problem, and yourself never having had a foot odor problem previously, is EXACTLY my experience with them. Working my way through the cleaning ideas posted on right now.

Isbella James said...

I bought a pair of Keens for my trip to Glacier Nat'l Park. They are perfect for rafting because they have the toe-bumper in the front, so it's painless to wedge your feet in the raft.

Big Vern said...

Don't know if this helps with the cleaning/ smell problem but on my Teva sandals they recommended dunking them and scrubbing them in mouthwash. I have to say it did work and left them smelling all minty fresh!