KEEN is an American clothing, shoe, and bag manufacturing company based in Portland, Oregon. KEEN’s stated purpose is to “create original and versatile products, improve lives, and inspire outdoor adventure.” Founded in 2003 by Martin Keen and Rory Fuerst, KEEN products are now available in retail locations throughout the United States, and are distributed worldwide.
The Westward is an low-top all-purpose hiking shoe that performs both on the trail and around town. The comfortable, compression-moulded midsole and combination of suede and canvas upper makes wearing them a breeze wherever your adventure takes you.
I have quite wide feet, so it can be tricky for me to find shoes and boots that fit snuggly but comfortably. Thankfully I didn’t have any issues with the Westward. The fit feels generous around the midfoot compared to some other brands, but snug and well fitted around the heel. A sturdy but soft feeling tongue and strong lacing system ensure you feel solid within the shoe.
This shoe comes with a breathable mesh lining that couples with the water resistant suede and canvas upper to create a dry, comfortable fit in all seasons. I found them to be really comfortable, pretty breathable and easy to wear in both warm and colder temperatures.
The water resistant coating was enough to keep small amounts of water at bay, but the shoes aren’t water proof. So I wouldn’t suggest wearing them around larger expanses of water or in an area where you know your feet will get wet.
Designed and made by Keen themselves, the compression moulded EVA midsole blends nicely with the durable, non-marking rubber outsole. For stability when hiking trails, the sole features a stability shank that keeps your foot supported and strengthened. This is great when walking across particularly rocky path ways of scrambling small rocks.
Wearing the shoes for nearly two weeks straight I only encountered my feet becoming slightly uncomfortable a couple of times. Saying this, it was only after spending 8 plus hours in them hiking or doing an activity. Otherwise I found the sole very comfortable across multiple terrain types, whether it be mud, snow and ice or pavements around town. They reminded me of the type of performance I would expect from a good quality Vibram sole, so thats pretty good to me!
I have worn the Westward a number of times and tested across different terrain and in some tough rocky hikes. They felt pretty great wherever I took them, and I was confident enough in them to think I could wear them wherever I went and tackle what was in front of me with no worries.
The sole held up really well on the rocky stuff, and even though there was a couple of skuffs of the suede, it was nothing too major. The rubber toe cap is really handy for avoiding toe skuffs or feeling like your toe is going to burst out of the top, which can happen in some softer summer walking shoes.
The Westward comes in two colour options. Cuba/Olive (pictured) or Gargoyle/Black. This is reasonably limited in colour options, but I believe the two they do offer are a nice mixture and could go with different outdoor outfits. The model also comes in a high-top version, again in the same two colours.
Overall I think the KEEN Westward is a great summer walking shoe. It feels comfortable and stable under foot, which is exactly what you’re looking for in the footwear you go hiking with. The water resistant coating helps to keep your feet dry if the weather takes a turn, and the breathable materials ensure you don’t sweat it out while on the trail.
I would definitely recommend these as your summer time shoe for outdoor activities. And at a reasonable price point of £89.99, they won’t break the bank either.
If you would like to find out more about the KEEN Westward then take a look at the KEEN website.
We also reviewed the womens KEEN Terradora boots, which you can read about here.