Gear Review: KEEN Turia Sandals

KEEN’s new Turia sandals are, simply, the best sandals I’ve ever worn.

The Turias are KEEN’s latest version of their multi-purpose, go-anywhere and do-anything footwear that’s made them iconic in the industry – and they live up to the tradition.

I’ve been trying a pair out for about three weeks now, but I needed only a few minutes to realize just how good they were.

I’d been nursing a case of what’s likely plantar fasciitis for a few days before the KEENs arrived in the mail. As anyone who’s had the condition knows, it’s an infuriatingly painful problem that makes even the simplest walking a chore.

So when I slipped the sandals out of the box and jammed my feet into them, imagine my surprise and delight to find the pain in my heels disappearing!

That was totally remarkable, and has remained consistently the case. While the condition is slowly retreating, anytime I wear the sandals – and they’ve become my go-to footwear item – the pain vanishes.

The next day, I took the sandals for a quick tour of a local trail which runs for three miles. Mindful of my heels, I walked about two miles of it, through bush and up and down a steep stream bed, with no difficulty whatsoever. I’ve been in light hiking shoes that didn’t feel as secure as the Turia sandals. My preferred brand has been Columbia, and they paled by comparison.

Next up was trying them in water, and once again they performed beyond my expectations, which were getting pretty lofty by this point. KEEN’s hybrid lifestyle philosophy strikes gold again!

I even compared them against a pair of KEEN Gorge boots, the Cadillac of water shoes, in the cold waters and slippery stones of Ontario’s Georgian Bay. The only real difference I noticed was that the neoprene Gorge boots, of course, kept my feet warmer. The sandals matched the boots in grip and comfort otherwise, and dried faster.

Perhaps the best part of these sandals is their looks. My pair came in a shade of blue somewhat akin to dark denim, and don’t scuff easily. They look almost dressy, and that means I can walk right off the trail and into am office, store or restaurant without feeling even slightly out of place. At most, I might have to wipe them down a trifle if they’re really muddy.

The next time I head down to the Caribbean for a winter trip, they will be coming along with me and quite possibly nothing else in the way of shoes.

Even better, thanks to an anti-microbial shield process, they don’t stink up the joint either. That’s a first for me in this style of sandal.

KEEN says the sandals run somewhat on the small side, but I had no problems ordering in my usual sandal size 8. If anything, I could possibly have used a 7.5.

The Turia sandal is pretty much the ultimate summer shoe. Try them, and you might not use anything else the rest of the season. I’m planning on it.

For more information on the KEEN Turia sandal, visit http://bit.ly/MsXzBP.

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Timothy Giilck

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