Initial Report: Keen Taos (jjoy)
- If I'm supposed to call this a sandal, let me know. I have trouble
calling it that.
There are some ommissions (measured weight, warranty) which I will
fill in, but I thought it would be better to get this out as it is a
day late already, I believe.
I still need to add pictures. Being gone for the holiday weekend
made it hard to get the report out. I took the pictures, but I'm
slow with the HTML part.
Also, I'm not 100% sure on MSRP.
Thanks in advance to my editor.
Keen Taos: Initial Report
Name: Jennifer Joy
Height: 5'4" (1.63 m)
Weight: 150 lb (68 kg)
Email address: jjoy AT io DOT com
Location: Austin, Texas
Date: May 30, 2005
I have been camping and hiking since I was a small child. I used to
not be very weight conscious, but I am actively working to move
towards lightweight backpacking and plan to replace much of my gear
in an effort to help an extreme tendency for tendonitis. My
backpacking trips tend to be over a weekend or day hikes within a
multi-day kayaking trip. Multi-week hiking is a long-term goal. I
could be considered an intermediate backpacker but an experienced
Year of manufacture: 2005
Listed weight: 11.0 oz (312 g)
Weight as tested: xx oz (xx g) -- oops, still need to do this, will
be in web report
MSRP: $99.95 US
Warranty: (Email in to Keen, other sites say 1 year)
Material: Upper is waterproof leather, webbing and mesh
Color: Fuzz/Loden (tan with spruce green accents)
My shoe size: 8 (U.S.)
Shoe size requested: 8 (U.S.)
Notes on fit:
According to the website, these shoes might run a bit large, but I
did not find this to be true in my case.
<pict of shoe goes here>
The Keen Taos lies somewhere between a shoe and a sandal. In my
mind it is more shoe than sandal because if you covered the open
holes with mesh you'd have a fully enclosed shoe. The secure shoe-
like heel cup is also very non-sandal like. The women's shoe is
built on a B width last (the men's sandal is built on a D last). The
shoe has a beige leather upper that is very soft. The straps are
somewhat stretchy and what appeared to be stitching along the beige
stripe on the straps is reflective. The straps are connected with a
thin bungee-like lace system. A small plastic toggle is used to
snug the laces. The tongue is made of a padded mesh material. A
thickly lugged, semi-stiff sole wraps around to the front of the
shoe providing a very hard toe covering. The footbed is treated
with AEGIS Microbe Shield (TM) which is supposed to protect against
odor, staining and deterioration. The entire shoe is machine
The shoes arrived in a normal shoe box with the usual paper stuffed
in the toes and wrapped around the shoes. There was a surprising
lack of product detail with the shipped product. At a minimum I
would have expected care instructions as well as information on the
warranty. Instead there is a small 2005 product guide which does
nothing more than list models and colors available.
The website was a little more informative, but I had to hunt to find
the information. From the sales brochure and the website, I get the
impression it's all about the models and how they look and what
color they are! On the website I could roll my mouse over the
colors and see how they would appear on my model of choice. As far
as product information the website states:
The Taos elevates performance footwear to the next level. It
combines all of the support and function one would expect from a
functional trail shoe with the open breathability of a sandal
and Keen's patented toe protection. This redefines the meaning of
The website goes on to list these features and benefits:
1. Waterproof Leather, Mesh and Webbing Upper
Encapsulates the foot, functioning as a sandal
2. Patent-pending Dual-density EVA Midsole/Shank
Provides balanced support and toe off
3. Non-marking, Deep Lug Cabon Rubber Outsole
Excellent traction in loose dirt, scree, or rock
4. Secure-fit Lace Capture System
Integrates lacing with foot to prevent heel slip
5. Metatomical, Removeable Footbed
Cushioning under foot, accommodates orthotics
I never could find any warranty information on the website. The
website offers a limited selection of FAQs but they center around
the Newport model.
That all being said, the product was as I expected from my prior
research on the website.
First use and impressions:
I had tried on a similar model of Keen shoes on at a retail store to
make sure I requested the correct size, so I had no sizing
surprises. The shoes fit well both with and without socks, although
I found it hard to snug the heel quite as tight as I might have
The Metatomical (TM) insoles seem sturdy and well-made. <insert
picture of insoles> It has a ridge across the toe line which helps
keep the foot in place, although the shoe fits snuggly enough this
isn't too much of a problem. The insole is not made of a single
material. Beside the soft fuzzy top, on the underside can be seen a
softer yellow material which is placed where the foot contacts the
footbed. The insole is contoured to help support and secure the
foot. One of the nice features of this sandal-like shoe is that you
can remove the insole and put in an orthotic. My 3/4 length
orthotic fit well but I had problems with it sliding around when I
put the shoe on. Once the shoe was on successfully, which sometimes
required a second try, I had no further problems with orthotic
movement. My experience is that this is because I have a short
orthotic so it is free to move forward in the shoe.
The sole has thick lugs on the outside and a stiff shank. Dry
traction was good, but I have not gotten the shoe wet yet. The deep
lugs in the sole did hold mud.
The lack of laces is nice. The shoes came with the plastic-secured
ends tucked under the laces and that approach has worked well so
far. <insert pic of laces> The only problem I've had so far is
fine-tuning the adjustments to get the heel tight enough without
getting the rest of the shoe too tight.
It is a good looking shoe with an aggressive-looking tread. My
brother remarked to me that they looked like climbing shoes, and
with the wide black wrap-around toe cover.
I've worn the shoes around the house and yard and have found the
only problem with them to be is that even without socks my feet were
getting rather hot.
Field Test Plan
Locations for Test:
1. Month-long trip in July in Michigan/Wisconsin
Description: Multiple kayak and hiking day trips
Weather: I'm not sure of the weather patterns but I would guess
the 70s F (21 C) into the low 90s F (32 C).
Goal: Durability, functionality, intense use. I will endeavor to
make this shoe my main shoe for the trip.
Other activities and tests:
2. Kayaking (Texas)
Description: You can never have enough kayaking.
Weather: See #3 below.
Goal: Determine comfort while wet, drying time and of course, to
administer the funky smell test.
3. General use
Description: Normal activities around the house, yard work and trips
Weather: Seasonal variation with highs in the low 70s F (21 C) at
the beginning of the test period to highs at the middle to end of
the test period going in to the hot range (95-105 F / 35-41 C).
Overall, I expect a lot of hot weather.
Goal: How does it hold up to yard dirt, how well does it breathe,
long term use. Use in the heat. Comfort and fit.
Considerations for Test:
-General comments on fit (heel, toes, and so on).
-Comments on general fit without the orthotic and a lot more
attention on comfort and use with an orthotic.
-Stability and support of the sandal as a whole.
-General sandal worries such as the frequency of grit and dirt in
the shoe and how difficult it is to remove.
-Will the shoe remain comfortable when wet?
-How well does the lace system work?
-How well does the material hold up to repeated wet use?
-Will the AEGIS Microbe Shield work or will it get a funky smell
over time and will washing cure it?
-Will other dirt and stains come out of the material?
-What does repeated machine washes do to the product over time?
-How quickly does the material dry? The claim is air dry in a few
-Is the sole non-marking as claimed? (Pirouettes on the linoleum
usually can confirm this.)
-How well does the sole grip on wet rocks or loose dirt trails?
Summary of initial likes:
Initial impression of fit is good
Orthotic support in something like a sandal
Summary of initial concerns:
A final note:
Thank you to BackpackGearTest and Keen for the opportunity to test
- Hi Jennifer P, (I did not realize there were two Jnnifers on this
test...could get confusing) here is your official edit. Actually I
see no edits. I hope I answered your questions. When you have your
weights, warranty info and pictures in place, upload as an IR to the
--- In email@example.com, "yjjoy" <jjoy@i...> wrote:
> If I'm supposed to call this a sandal, let me know. I have trouble
> calling it that.
Your sentence "The Keen Taos lies somewhere between a shoe and a
sandal." and later "sandal like" seems fair to me.
> There are some ommissions (measured weight, warranty) which I will
> fill in, but I thought it would be better to get this out as it is a
> day late already, I believe.
> I still need to add pictures. Being gone for the holiday weekend
> made it hard to get the report out. I took the pictures, but I'm
> slow with the HTML part.
> Also, I'm not 100% sure on MSRP.
Jenifer Pope had the same MSRP. I guessing this is right.
> Thanks in advance to my editor.
and thank you for a fine report. made my job easy!
> Keen Taos: Initial Report
> Reviewer Information
> Name: Jennifer Joy
- I promice I meant Jennifer J. I sure wasnt trying to prove my point
(that it could get confusing). carry on!
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Coy" <starnescr@y...> wrote:
> Hi Jennifer P, (I did not realize there were two Jnnifers on this
> test...could get confusing) here is your official edit. Actually I
> see no edits. I hope I answered your questions. When you have your
> weights, warranty info and pictures in place, upload as an IR to the
> proper folder.
> Coy Boy
> --- In email@example.com, "yjjoy" <jjoy@i...> wrote:
> > If I'm supposed to call this a sandal, let me know. I have trouble
> > calling it that.
> Your sentence "The Keen Taos lies somewhere between a shoe and a
> sandal." and later "sandal like" seems fair to me.
> > There are some ommissions (measured weight, warranty) which I will
> > fill in, but I thought it would be better to get this out as it is a
> > day late already, I believe.
> No problem.
> > I still need to add pictures. Being gone for the holiday weekend
> > made it hard to get the report out. I took the pictures, but I'm
> > slow with the HTML part.
> > Also, I'm not 100% sure on MSRP.
> Jenifer Pope had the same MSRP. I guessing this is right.
> > Thanks in advance to my editor.
> and thank you for a fine report. made my job easy!
> > jen
> > ----------
> > Keen Taos: Initial Report
> > Reviewer Information
> > Name: Jennifer Joy