Thursday, September 4, 2014

History of KEEN Shoes

Keen shoes were first developed in 2003 by Martin Keen and Rory Fuerst. The creators were inspired to create a sandal that would also protect the toes. The answer was the Newport, which was the first shoe of Keen Inc. "From the Newport, Keen created a company built on hybrid innovation, redefining the outdoors and giving back to the community," according to Keen's website.


    Keen Inc. is a shoe company headquartered in Portland, Oregon. The company was built and grew on making sandals that also protect the toes. This is accomplished by a thick black bumper covering the toes while the rest of the shoe is of typical sandal fashion. The market for this type of shoe originated with sailors and people looking to do outdoor and water activities but not wanting to wear sneakers.


    Keen's first shoe was the Newport. The sandal featured the thick black bumper covering the toes along with a sturdy rubber bottom and a sandal that wrapped around the heel. Through the use of strings, it was able to be tightened on the front of the shoe. The purpose of this sandal was to give people an option for the outdoors that wasn't a sneaker but as sturdy as a sneaker. By making the sandal, Keen allowed people to wear actual shoes in the summer without their feet becoming too hot from socks and sneakers.

Since the Newport

    Since the Newport debuted in 2003, Keen has continually expanded its line of footwear. Along with sandals, Keen also makes casual shoes. Recently, a line of cold-weather footwear was introduced. Along with shoes, Keen also makes bags and socks. The company provides products for youths, toddlers and infants as well as different collections for men and women.


    In 2003, Keen was named "Launch of the Year" by the shoe industry's leading trade publication, Footwear News. The company has grown quickly since its inception, with its shoes available at more than 1,000 retail locations in the United States. Besides the U.S., Keen distributes worldwide, with customers and sales in Europe, North America, Central America, Australia and New Zealand.

In the News

    Keen products have been featured in popular health and fitness magazines. In April 2009, the Madrid Mary Jane shoe was featured in Women's Health. In the same month, the Coronado Sandal and the Parisi were featured in Shape. A month before that, the Genoa Peak WP was featured in Fitness.

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