Application: Keen Taos Sandals
- Keen Taos Sandals
Due to the shortage of applications for all the test calls for sandals
out there, I thought I'd throw an application into the ring. This
application does not conflict with the test I am currently involved in
or the other applications I have submitted for the latest set of test
calls. I feel like I would be able to devote the necessary time to
test every item if I were selected.
Please accept my application to test the Keen Taos Sandals.
I have read and understand version 1202 of the survival guide
particularly chapter 5. My tester agreement is on file with
Name: Jennifer Pope
Height: 5'7" (1.7 m)
Weight: 140 lbs (64 kg)
Shoe size: women's 8.5
Color preference: fuzz/loden
Email address: jennifer dot pope at gmail dot com
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Date: March 22, 2005
Newbie. I've been a car-camper as long as I can remember and
backpacking in Northern California when I was 16. I'm starting to get
back into backpacking after a hiatus during college. I recently moved
to Southern California and so far I've only backpacked in the Angeles
National Forest but I'm planning on branching out to other low
elevation mountain areas; the California desert; and the high Sierra
in the summer months. I'm a tent camper leaning towards lightweight;
but I am a fan of gadgets and I like being comfortable. I also do a
mix of short and long day hikes in and around Los Angeles.
Over the next 6 months I plan on going on many backpacking and car
camping trips. Currently, I have reservations to camp in Yosemite
Valley for mid-May. I plan on combining this car camping overnighter
with a 2-3 night backpack (depending on trail conditions) or another
few nights outside the Valley or in the Sequoia/Kings Canyon area. I
have one three-day weekend planned for the high Sierras in August and
another trip to the Sierras that I'm waiting for permit
on. Other trips are not set in stone, but will definitely include
several trips into the Angeles and San Bernardino National Forests. I
will also be making a couple trips to the desert before it heats up
(definitely to car camp- maybe to backpack). Elevations will range
from sea level to 10,000 ft plus (3,000 m). And temperatures should
range from low the 30s F (0 C) to 90 F (30 C). If I'm lucky, any
precipitation will be mild. If I'm not backpacking- I usually get out
somewhere to do a day hike just about every weekend.
With spring upon us in Southern CA (the rain is finally over!) and
summer quickly approaching I'm very interesting in trying out
on the trail. I've never hiked in sandals before, so I'm not
sure how they'll work for me. I have hiked in lightweight tennis
shoes before and have been somewhat satisfied. For day-hikes and camp
shoes, lightweight shoes are my preference. But so far I've only
heavier boots for overnight backpacks. I do have a tendency to roll
my ankles, so I'm a little nervous to be a day or two into a hike
then roll an ankle. However, on my last hike we ended up doing 9+
stream crossings all of which were wet stream crossings. After the
first few I was beginning to get a little tired of sopping wet feet
(especially since it made my feet so much heavier). I'm
wonder if it'd be easier to be extra careful on the trail in
have a more pleasurable time stomping through creeks.
At minimum, I would use these sandals on day hikes, as my camp shoes
on backpacking trips, and as weekend shoes for around town or at the
beach (unfortunately, they don't meet work standards for me). I
also use these shoes on any hike (day or multi-day) with stream
crossings. If the sandals work out well, I'd use them for all my
I'm a little concerned with Colleen's experience with the
usually wear an 8 or an 8 ½ shoe, so I'm hoping by requesting
an 8 ½ I
won't have the same problems she encountered. But if I were
for this test, I would try to find these shoes at an REI near me to
I'm interested in how these shoes manage to pull off being a
and a trail shoe. The skeptic in me thinks that the Taos might be a
jack-of-all-trades, but a master of none. I hope that I'm wrong
Some things I will be looking for in this test:
-The biggest issue for me with any shoe is comfort. How comfortable
are these shoes in "easy" conditions like walking on a flat,
surface for moderate distances (lets say a day at the mall)?
-How comfortable are these shoes when wet?
-Do they dry quickly?
-How comfortable are these shoes on rocky trails?
-Do rocks and pebbles creep in through the "vents" on the
-Is it easy to get rocks out of the sandals, or do I have to take them
-Do the sandals rub my feet anywhere?
-Are the sandals comfortable with and without socks?
-The laces seem interesting in that it looks like they attach to a
strap across the back of the heel. How well does this system work for
keeping my foot snug inside the sandal?
-Do any seams fray or come undone during the test period?
-Do the sandals hold up to washing well?
-Do the sandals clean up and retain their color well?
-How well does the tread hold up?
-I don't think I have particularly smelly feet, but will these
accumulate foot odor or stay smelling fresh?
-How well do the sandals work as a trail shoe?
-How well do the sandals work in rocky, wet, sandy, or dusty trail
-Do the sandals have good traction on different surfaces?
-The sandals claim to have non-marking outsoles. I will test out this
claim on the white deck of a sailboat where scuffmarks are a big
Thank you for the opportunity to apply for this test,
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