All photos by KEEN Footwear

KEEN’s First Women’s-Specific Sandal ‘Lifts’ Performance & Style

KEEN’s Astoria West Sandal adds new performance and style to a classic design. Built around a women’s last, the streamlined fit (and aesthetic) are geared toward customer demand for town-friendly sandals.

Extra cushioning and a narrower fit help set the Astoria West apart from its iconic predecessor, the popular Newport sandals that debuted 15 years ago.

The updated wedge sandal joins KEEN’s lineup of footwear that mixes elements of both shoes and sandals. Compared to its cousins, the Astoria West has increased stack height, skinnier contours, and thinner webbing.

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Keen Astoria West hybrid sandal in water

What’s New?

  • Women’s-specific design and arch support
  • Aquagrip rubber outsole with zonal siping for confidence and traction on wet surfaces
  • Lightweight EVA midsole
  • Upper webbing and bungee laces contain recycled PET from plastic bottles

Who Is the Astoria West For?

KEEN designed these high-soled sandals to play in the water without getting bogged down and still provide enough comfort to wear to and from the water. Anyone who wears sandals navigating town and trail adventures will find these an interesting option.

Hikers, anglers, boaters, and paddleboarders can benefit from the rubber outsole and siping that aims to provide more sure footing on wet surfaces. They aren’t protected laterally, but the added cushioning and midsole should make walking on smooth rocks less painful.

The EVA midsole and arch may provide enough support to win over anyone who chose aqua shoes over sandals in the past.

Sandal lovers seeking more style in their summer footwear should give these a look too. In fact, the aesthetics are part of the update. KEEN gave these sandals slimmer straps and cutouts with more color options than its traditional sandals.

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‘Designed by Women, for Women’

KEEN isn’t shy about sharing that the Astoria West sandal was created by women. Its new looks came from the minds of product director Dana Strand and designer Lindsey Johnson, who wanted a performance boost in women’s hybrid sandals.

The duo was eager to carry ideas over from the brand’s first women’s-only hiker, the Terradora, and shape it into a sandal. KEEN fast-tracked the project and, in short, added a new posture and cushioning for on-trail comfort that would double as everyday wear.

“I believe strongly in designing outdoor products specifically for women,” Johnson said. “We deserve good-looking shoes designed just for us that will also perform well.”

Women’s Performance

The designers wanted to create a more athletic stance without changing the fit of the original Newport sandal. KEEN’s developers boosted the heel in the new women’s last, which formed the base for the shoe’s footbed, outsole, and upper design.

By creating a stack in the shoe, weight shifts toward the front of the sandal. The designers say that creates a faster response when moving and provides more lateral support.

Just on looks, the lift and sleeker webbing of the upper create a different aesthetic than other KEEN sandals. In a nod to repurposing materials, that webbing uses material from recycled plastic bottles.

Keen Astoria West product shot 2020

If you’ve been intrigued by KEEN’s water-friendly sandals with hiking credentials, now there’s an option with more support in the heel and arch to help walk over river rock or stand atop a paddleboard. The added cushioning and fresh looks may keep them on your feet through all your summer journeys.

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This article is sponsored by KEEN. Learn more about the Astoria West and other KEEN sandals here

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