Wet & Wild: KEEN Clearwater CNX Sandals

I’ll admit - I’ve been thrifty in the past with when it comes to water shoes...like Walmart thrifty.

But, with my ample time at the lake and multiple water excursions in my forecast, I wanted to ensure I had the best shoes for the adventure.

While thrifty water shoes can get you by, 80 percent of the time, I’ve found they are uncomfortable and don’t aerate properly. The soles move while you walk, water doesn’t drain completely and they don’t have a snug fit. (I’m sad to say that I’ve lost a shoe or two to the current.)

That’s why I decided to upgrade. And it was money well spent.

I bought my first pair of KEEN Clearwater CNX Sandals and have never looked back.

I knew if I was going to splurge, I wanted gear that is good on land and in the water. With this pair of KEEN shoes, they check every item off my list. Here’s what I was looking for:

  1. Lightweight: This pair weighs less than a pound (15.2 ounces to be exact), making them perfect to throw into my backpack without weighing it down.

  2. Comfort: These shoes comfortably wrap about my feet and feature elastic cord laces that secure with cordlocks, allowing for an easy slip-on and an adjustable fit. The midsoles also have a 4 mm heel-to-toe drop, allowing for natural movement.

  3. Toe Protection: Raise your hand if your toes have been personally victimized by the river…(I think we all can raise our hands here). These shoes provide a rubber toe guard that protects from those hidden river rocks. For how many times this rubber guard has protected my toes, these shoes were worth it.

  4. Stability: These shoes provide stability and support on uneven and slippery terrain with the rubber outsoles featuring multidirectional flex grooves. Now, I have found that if the surface is really slippery, such as walking on thick algae, my stability wavers. But, for the most part, these shoes provide great traction on a variety of terrains.

  5. Multisport: I wanted shoes that would be good on the trail and in the water, and these shoes do the trick. With this pair, I can comfortably walk a couple of miles and walk through streams with ease.

I’m all about finding a bargain, and I was lucky enough to get these on sale at REI, saving about $30! Normally, they run about $100 (I’ve linked to similar ones here).

In these shoes, I’ve trekked the desert oasis of Havasupai, hiked along the shore of Lake Havasu, kayaked Shenandoah and floated down the Potomac. My KEEN’s have endured two years of adventures, and they still live to tell the tale.

You know what they say...if the shoe fits, buy them!