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[revised text version] OWNER REVIEW - KEEN - NEWPORT H2 - RAMI]

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  • Rami
    It s been a while. Please be gentle. ;-) The html version is in the test folder under owner reviews or by clicking here:
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 29, 2005
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      It's been a while. Please be gentle. ;-)
      The html version is in the test folder under owner reviews or by
      clicking here:

      <http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/OWNER%20REVIEWS/Keen%20Newport%20H2%20OR/>




      KEEN


      /Newport H2/

      *Links:*

      www.keenfootwear.com <http://www.keenfootwear.com>

      Tester Information <#TESTER>

      Product Information <#PRODUCT>

      Tester Biographical Information <#BIO>

      Manufacturer Information <#Manufacturer%20Info>

      Initial Impressions and Uses <#USE>

      Extended Use, Problems and Resolutions <#EXT%20USE>

      Various Terrain and Weather <#TERRAIN>

      Conclusions <#CONCLUSIONS>

      * *
      (tester and product information in table format available on HTML version)

      *Tester Biographical Information:*

      I've been hiking and backpacking in and around Central and Southern
      Indiana for the past 20+ years either solo or with my wife and
      daughters. Within the last 5 years, I've become an avid long distance
      hiker with sections of the AT in Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and
      Virginia under my belt, as well as other long distance hiking.

      The addition of paddle sports to my Spring, Summer, and Fall activity
      line up has prompted me to rethink my standard boots or trail shoes
      selection. The addition of the Keen Newport H2's to my options list has
      been a fantastic success.

      ------------------------------------------------------------------------

      M*anufacturer Information:*

      All * RED* text in this section comes directly from Keen. Some areas
      have been clipped to exclude non-pertinent information, but no
      alteration of the content has occurred. The text is available in full by
      going to http://www.keenfootwear.com and navigating to either the
      Newport H2 page, or by navigating to the FAQ page.

      /Product info from the Newport H2 page:/

      The Newport H2 is the foundation of the Keen Footwear line. Designed to
      perform in adverse conditions, the razor sipped outsole and 3mm lugs
      provide excellent traction. A true hybrid, the waterproof uppers
      withstand the abuse of saltwater and dirt, while providing supple
      comfort and stylish looks.

      Features and Benefits

      1. EVA Metatomical Footbed

      2. Compression-molded EVA midsole

      Excellent shock absorbency

      3. Patented Toe Protection

      4. Razor Sipped and 3mm Lug Rubber Outsole

      Non marking, superior traction

      5. Polyester Webbing Upper with SBR lining

      Quick Drying, comfortable against the bare foot

      /Product info from the Keen FAQ page regarding the Newport H2:/

      The Newport H2 upper is made with a polyester woven webbing. The H2's
      footbed is all EVA so will not absorb water which makes it a better
      choice for extended submersion in water. In addition, the H2 is all
      synthetic, it is a "vegan friendly" shoe.

      For quick drying, the Newport H2 has polyester webbing and a hydrophobic
      foam lining that does not absorb water. Just in terms of of pure weight
      when dry, the H2 is lighter and will dry a little quicker. Keen footwear
      now uses ÆGIS Microbe Shield™ in all of its sandals. ÆGIS Microbe
      Shield™ uses a revolutionary bonded antimicrobial technology that
      provides protection against odor, staining and deterioration caused by
      bacteria, fungus and other microorganisms. It's an antimicrobial barrier
      that is machine washable, too! So, you won't have to go to a lot of
      trouble to keep your Keen water sandals looking clean and smelling
      fresh. Just toss them into your washing machine with a small amount of
      detergent and wash on gentle cycle setting. After a couple of hours of
      air drying, they'll look like they just popped out of their shoebox! Oh,
      don't worry about harming them. Keen sandals love the water, and have
      passed rigorous wash-cycle testing.

      ------------------------------------------------------------------------


      *Initial Impressions and First Uses:*

      I began paying attention to all of the Keen shoes as soon as they showed
      up in my store in the spring of 2004. I decided to buy a pair of Newport
      H2's after talking with one of my coworkers who had gotten some and
      hearing her positive feedback. I ordered my Newport H2's directly from
      the company and they arrived within one week of my order.

      The Keen Newport H2 sandals are a unique take on an old design for
      sandals. The outer sole is the part that touches the road and it is
      attached directly to the inner sole which is the part that touches the
      bottom of the foot. Connected to that are straps which surround the foot
      and wrap around the heel. These all meet at the top of the foot and are
      tightened around your foot by pulling a bungee type cord and locking it
      in place with a barrel type compression lock. In the case of the H2's
      the straps are polyester webbing over a neoprene type material similar
      to a thin wetsuit.

      I had tried the shoes on at the store so I knew that they should fit me
      well, and after arrival I was not disappointed. They were a perfect fit.
      I tried them around the house and neighborhood at first to see if I
      needed to adjust how tightly they fit for optimum comfort. I also tried
      them with and without socks. After determining that the Newport H2's
      were quite comfortable and enjoyable to wear with little or no
      adjustment, I decided to take them out and see how they did on uneven
      terrain.

      I'll talk more about the H2's performance over different terrain later
      in the report, but for now I'll talk about what I used them for. I
      started out wearing them to work. I work in retail so I am a) on my feet
      for 8 to 9 hours a day, and b) constantly moving from place to place and
      from standing to kneeling to crouching as I demonstrate products or
      assist customers. I found the Newport H2's to be a very comfortable
      alternative to regular work style shoes.

      I also used the H2's for general running around, casual visits to
      friends and family, hiking, playing, driving, walking, boating, etc. My
      initial impressions were all positive. Good comfort, easy fit, nice
      traction, and best of all, I could get them wet without ruining them or
      having them take days to dry out.

      ------------------------------------------------------------------------


      *Extended Use, Problems and Resolutions:*

      I Received my Newport H2's in early April and began using them
      immediately. They quickly became my 'regular' shoe for work, weekends,
      day and night use. Three weeks into using the H2's regularly, the pull
      loop on the back of the right shoe broke while I was pulling it on. I
      immediately contacted Keen to discuss the situation with them. I also
      explained how I had purchased the shoes in the first place. After
      speaking with them and hearing that they wanted to have my shoes back, I
      went to work and discussed their plan with my store manager. They
      suggested that I pick a new pair from store inventory, send the failed
      shoes back and they would get a new pair of shoes on the way to the
      store to replace my pair. My manager agreed that it was a fair deal so
      we did the exchange. As it turned out, Keen sent out the replacement
      pair the day I spoke with them so my store had their replacement pair
      before my damaged pair had even left the building.

      During one weekend, I participated in a canoe and kayak demonstration at
      a local park. The demo was sponsored by my store and the local paddling
      clubs and I had plans to work both days of it. Representatives from many
      boat manufacturers were present and answering questions of the people
      who were there to try out the boats. My job was to get the visitors in
      and out of the boats, and out on the water and back safely. My job was
      part boat jockey, part lifeguard, part coach, and part towel boy. I
      spent the two days, which were in the mid 60's in my H2's and some
      smartwool socks as my footwear choice and never regretted a second of
      it. At times during the weekend, I swam out and towed overturned boats
      back to shore, and at other times I was on the beach teaching paddle
      stroke technique or proper positioning to visitors. All of this was in
      the H2's. They performed perfectly.

      I have logged nearly one hundred trail miles over the ten months, and
      countless generic walking miles as well. In all of that, and excepting
      the breakage I mentioned above, there have only been two areas I
      consider to be less than optimal in the fit and function of the Newport
      H2's. The first of these is the heel strap. The part of the sandal that
      goes around the back of my foot is fine for normal use, but if I need a
      tighter fit, I'd like to be able to adjust this part of the sandal for a
      toe-in-the-toebox fit. This is a rare instance though, so I hesitate to
      even mention it. The only method of tightening the sandal is to cinch
      the bungee strap which helps to hold the heel back against the strap.
      The result of this is that the toes don't fit optimally in the toe box.
      This leads me to the second minor issue. The metatarsal ridge. The bump
      in the foot bed which is designed to go between your toes and the ball
      of your foot. When my foot is pushed all the way forward, or even in a
      neutral position, this ridge is quite comfortable and usually
      unnoticeable. When I need to cinch the shoes tight for rough terrain
      though, my foot is pulled back against the heel strap and that causes my
      toes to rest directly on top of the ridge. On the few occasions I have
      wanted a tighter fit, the level of comfort in my toes has dropped
      because of this.

      ------------------------------------------------------------------------


      *Various Terrains and Weather:*

      I began using the Keen Newport H2's early in the spring. I have worn
      them in virtually every weather condition from rain, to hot summer, to
      snow since getting them. I have found that in rain, I do not slip on
      surfaces like tile and linoleum. I attribute this to the unique "Razor
      Sipped" rubber outsole. This is basically a zigzag cut from left to
      right covering the whole flat surface (the grey area) of the outer sole
      of the sandals.

      If you've ever owned a pair of "Sperry Topsiders™", think of how the
      sole of those shoes look and work, this is close to the same thing. One
      of the unique aspect of this is that it's hardly visible when the shoe
      is not pulled into the arc shape shown in the picture. In real world
      language, this means that as I lift my heel to push off on a step, the
      curve of my foot causes the outsole to curve as well. the zigzag cuts
      then separate and magic takes over so you don't slip. I really don't
      know what the technical reasons are, but whatever they are, they work!.
      They feel equally sure footed on concrete, wet grass, mud, rock and sand.

      The variety of terrain I have covered in the Newport H2's is
      representative of nearly all of the Midwest. I spent a little time in
      Michigan in which I got to experience beach sand, pine needle forest
      floor, large rocks, hills, and mud. I also spent some time in southern
      Indiana where I experienced very dry, dusty conditions in what we
      consider hilly terrain. In between I've had the pleasure of wading with
      the H2's in water, walking on dense pine duff, hard packed single track
      type trail, squishy wet up-to-your-ankles mud, and nearly every other
      normal type of terrain.

      In all conditions, the sandals performed like champs. They clean easily,
      don't seem to discolor or fade and as far as I can tell, the
      antimicrobial footbed is still in good working order.

      There was only one instance where I felt a part of the sandals were ill
      suited for the conditions. While walking at the edge of Lake Michigan on
      the fine sand beach, I found that the slight wave action deposited some
      sand in the sandals which then accumulated in the toe box. From time to
      time, I would have to stop to take the H2's off so that I could empty
      and rinse them before starting over again. If I were in a hurry instead
      of a leisurely walk, I might have found this to be an annoyance, but
      since I was not, I did not.

      ------------------------------------------------------------------------


      *Conclusions:*

      I really love the Keen Newport H2's. They are cool in warm sweaty
      conditions, yet warm enough to be used almost year round. They dry very
      quickly, they feel lighter, yet more secure than any other trail shoe
      I've ever owned, they don't slip on wet slick surfaces and they have
      just enough of an odd shape that they don't look like every one else's
      shoe. If I could improve anything, I would move the metatarsal ridge a
      little further back (we're talking millimeters here), and make the strap
      at the back of the heel adjustable in some way to accommodate minor
      variations in individual foot sizes.

      I will continue to use the Keen Newport H2's as often as I can, and will
      tell anyone who asks to give them a try. For my feet and walking style,
      these are just about as close to perfect a shoe as I've ever found.
      Bravo to Keen for getting almost everything right on the first go.

      --

      -r

      Pressure
      -------
      Grace
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