Keen Commuters vs Newport H2

wrote this on 7 May 2010. 14,946 views. 6 Comments. Last Modified: December 21, 2011
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Keen Commuter, Keen Newport H2 sandalsMy old Keen sandals needed updating. So I was looking around on Keen’s website for a new pair. The Newport H2 are probably their best seller and I now know why. While looking on their site I also found a pair of cycling shoes they called the Commuter. Since my old pair was so comfy to walk in and wear I was dead keen (sorry) to try out the H2s and also the cycling shoe.

But unfortunately I could not find a shop here in London that had the Commuters in store. And if I wanted to try them on I had to get the shop to order a pair in at my cost*), which I wasn’t prepared to do. What if I didn’t fit them.

*) They would order in, if I don’t fit them they would send them back at a cost around 25% in some shops.

I then contacted Keen US, since at the time I couldn’t find a contact details for the European site. They were very helpful and got me in contact with their office in Rotterdam, who helped me to track down a pair on webtogs.co.uk who have a 60 days return policy, which is cheaper than what the high street shops would charge me.

I then put in an order for a pair of Keen Newport H2 and a pair of Keen Commuters, which arrived 2 days later.

Keen Newports H2: As with my old pair felt just like a glove at size 10.5UK. Nice and light shoe that just fits and “hugs” your foot. No sliding around, no rubbing just fits. The sole is nice and firm yet still soft, which my knees like. They really feel like they will last for a good while.

They have some sort of fabric a bit like wet suit / soft shell, called Hydrophobic quick dry mesh, which holds the sandals to your foot, so you really don’t need to use the straps while just walking around. They are nice and wide on your feet and don’t squeeze your toes in together, your toes has room to move and is well supported.

I can not recommend them highly enough they are right up there along with ECCO shoes and that is saying some for a Dane, trust me on that one.

Keen Commuter, Keen Newport H2 sandalsTop: Keen Commuter, Bottom: Keen Newport H2, you can clearly see the width difference.

Keen Commuter: Are what I think the first attempt by Keen to make some cycling sandals, since I have never seen them before. Just by feel and look they are just like the Newport H2s build to last. With an extra stiff sole which is good for a pair of cycling shoes.

Since I could not try them on, I search the net for reviews about the Keen Commuter cycling shoe. All of them said that they were narrower than normal Keen sandals. So with a bit chatting around with Keen US and EU I settled with the size 11UK a half size bigger than my normal size.

The Keen Commuter size 11UK where nearly one inch longer than my foot but still narrower than my foot. I really don’t think that a size bigger would make the sandal any wider or wide enough. As soon as I walk in them e.g. putting weight on my foot/shoe my foot “falls” out over the sole of the shoe. Which made the sandal very uncomfortable to wear, yes the fabric is bound to expand over time, but the sole is smaller than my foot which is not good.

I wonder why Keen have decided to make this sandal so narrow, when all the other sandals they make are so wide. If only the Keen Commuter was wide like the Newport H2 I’m sure that I would have loved to wear them. So unfortunately they have to go back to the shop and I will go and order some Lake I/O SDL since they lasted well for the year I had them (and they are nice and wide).

And is it just me who thinks that putting “waterproof” on a pair of sandals is a bit comical?

Rating:

Keen service and the quality of their sandals and the Newport H2 gets five oinks. They are that good and well worth the money. The Keen Commuter cycling sandals only gets two oinks, if only they were wider I would own a pair for sure.

LINK: Keen sandals (opening soon a .eu site)
LINK: webtogs.co.uk

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6 Comments »

  • Simon Kellett said:

    I guess my feet are narrower than yours as I find the Commuters a good fit !
    Also I think the “waterproof” refers to the fact that there is no leather in the sandals, so they can be immersed in water for long periods with no damage !!
    (As a vegan this material was my main reason for choosing Keen Commuters as opposed to other makes of cycling sandals.)

  • What are you packing | woollypigs said:

    [...] 2x cycle t-shirts, 1x merino base layer, 2x padded shorts, 3x pairs of socks, 1x shorts, 1x pair of Keen sandals, 1x boxer [...]

  • David T said:

    I have wide feet and completely agree with the review; the Commuter style is considerably more narrow than my previous three pair of Keen Neweport sandals (not biking sandals). I will make do, by letting the strings out to maximum, since little else is available in my size (14.5 / 50). It is a complete mystery to me that biking shoe manufacturers offer so little for bikers with large feet.

  • Mike Wilson said:

    I’m so glad that I’ve found your review.

    I, like you have wide feet. UK size 11->11.5 but typically go a bit bigger (up to size 12) to get a wider shoe. Hence why I, like David T above and yourself look to find comfortable cycling performance in a pair of sandals!

    Which ones, considering what you know now about the Lake I/O, Keen Commuters and Newport H2 would you recommend for a wide fit? If you could use just one.. which would it be?

    Thanks in advance :) Great article!

  • woollypigs (author) said:

    Hands down the Newport H2, but then again they are not cycling shoes. So therefore the Lakes I/Os but remember that they too are a wee bit narrow, though not as narrow as the Keen Commuters, so you need to go a number up.

  • Mike Wilson said:

    Hi Woollypigs,

    Thanks for the prompt reply! You’re right, the Newport H2′s do look good – personally I’ve got a set of North Face and Karrimoor sandals that do the job on flat pedals (without toe protection) but I was hoping to get something that will accept SPD cleats.

    The Lake I/Os appear to be discontinued as I can’t find them at any of the usual online stores – although if you’re saying that the Keen Commuters are narrow that strikes them off my list, thanks :)

    I’ll keep an eye out for Lake I/O’s based on your recommendation. Thanks for the great reviews!

    All the best,

    Mike

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