The Tie-dye Shoes I Haven't Taken Off All Summer
I am somewhat famous for packing the wrong shoes to wear on vacation. This year, I finally got fed up with ruining one too many pairs of leather flats on rocky paths or sandy beaches, and decided to pick up some comfortable, weatherproof sandals before a trip to the New Hampshire woods. My husband had always spoken highly of Keens, so the brand was top of mind when I started my search. I ended up buying the Keen Newport H2 Sandal in tie-dye.
Originally, I envisioned only reaching for these in select situations, like hiking on hot days. My taste in footwear trends toward the sleek or edgy — I live in Everlane's Day Glove flats three seasons per year, and love ankle boots and Doc Martens when the weather cools down. But summertime footwear can be so tricky, either not supportive enough for the long walks I take every day or, they're, well, kinda ugly.
To buy: amazon.com, $100
While these sandals from Keens aren't exactly the most stylish shoe, they are supremely comfortable on any terrain, whether I'm hiking a root-filled trail or hitting the pavement for my daily 10,000 steps around my neighborhood. I find myself reaching for them constantly, even with cute outfits like shorts and a nice top. Plus, the tie-dye colorway adds a fun '90s throwback appeal that fits in with current trends. Numerous color options ranging from subtle neutrals to fun patterns are available as well.
The shoes are completely waterproof and quick-drying with a polyester upper and rubber sole, making them a great option for all weather, plus they're machine washable. They have great traction and (my favorite feature, as I have a clumsy gait) a toe bumper that makes the wearer impervious to stubbed toes. Like all Keen shoes, they include anti-odor technology, which means they smell fresh no matter how much I sweat in them or get them wet.
If you have small feet like I do, you might be able to save some major cash — like, up to 50 percent. My Newports are actually a kids' size 4 (I typically wear an adult 5.5 or 6), and were almost $50 cheaper than they would've been had I opted for my usual size. They fit great, and are nearly identical to the grown-up version, save for a Velcro closure, while the adult Newports are just slip-on. I actually appreciate the Velcro, because it makes for a secure and customizable fit, yet I can still slip the shoes off without having to undo them.
To buy: amazon.com, $55
I'm not the only one to pick up on this genius hack for petite adults. A 43-year-old shopper who wears a size 7 in women's shoes wrote, "These fit perfectly. I am a Keen fan, but the cost is a bit much for me often [...] What rocks about these over the adult Keen's (besides the price) is that you have [a] separate adjustment at the ankle, and that's what I needed since my ankles swell sometimes and yet sometimes I have problems with my pinky toes and need things looser there. So the way these are designed, I can make more adjustments to fit my comfort needs."
"My fourth pair of Keens and [they're the] best looking [ones]," says another shopper. "I wear a 6.5 to 7 in women's shoes, but the big kids' size 6 fits great and that is what I always buy, and they cost much less than an adult size... Keens are the perfect shoes year round to me. Cool in summer and not too hot in winter when I wear them with wool socks. This tie-dye pair will be fun for work with a plain uniform and will complement all my tie-dye clothing at home beautifully. Packaged very well and delivered fast. Thank you!"
Both versions are supremely well-rated by Amazon shoppers, with the kids' version garnering over 6,000 five-star reviews and the adult shoe garnering almost 4,000. "I've been wearing these, nearly every day for the past nine months. I love them! They've been hiking, kayaking, biking, and just general all-day everyday use with little to no signs of wear. I have some past injuries that make me very picky with footwear, and these offer the perfect amount of support for me," raves another shopper about the adult version.
Find your size on Amazon and make your feet happy for seasons to come.