I’ve been in the market for a ‘base camp shoe’ to bring with me on backpacking trips that isn’t heavy and will protect my feet more than a pair of Rainbow sandals. Enter the brand new CNX Clearwater Sandals from Keen Footwear!
Specs (from Keenfootwear.com)
- Weight: 7.6 oz/214 g
- Type: CNX, Bungee Styles
- Fit Tip: We find this style runs pretty true to size
- Lining: AEGIS microbe shield treated hydrophobic mesh
- Upper: Washable polyester webbing
- Rubber: Non-marking rubber outsole with razor siping
That’s right, these shoes are lightweight when compared to the familiar Keen Newport Sandal which comes in at 11.64 oz (according to the website) or even the Newport H2 which is 12.03 oz. The lining of the shoe has a microbe shield, so you won’t need to wear socks with your sandals (why would you??), and the shoes are easy to clean.
Here are some more (post testing) photos of the shoe so you can get an idea of what the shoes look like:
I wasn’t sure about these shoes at first, I saw Keen promoting the new CNX line online but waiting until I was able to talk to one of my girlfriends about the shoes and try on a pair (at the time they were only secretly-available at REI but she had a pair in my size). As soon as I held the shoe, I knew I was hooked. Unlike the other Keen sandals I’ve held before, these were noticeably light and the shape is more feminine than some of the others I’ve tried on in the past. I think I said something along the lines of, “Oh hey, I don’t look like I have a club foot or belong on a boat!”. I’m lady-like like that.
I quickly ordered a pair online, and thanks to Keen’s quick shipping, I had my own pair of shoes and a sweet new wallet in no time at all.
I took the CNX Sandals out for a test for a weekend in Death Valley National Park, located in California near the Nevada border. I wanted to test the shoes on a variety of terrain in a short amount of time, and it was the perfect excuse to bring them along for our camping trip.
Here are some action shots:
I do have to say: Please don’t be dumb like me and go hiking on what is essentially baby-gravel wearing sandals. Why am I so dumb? Thankfully, the CNX sandals are easy to get on and off, so I was able to remove the tiny rocks from between my toes really easily…it’s not the shoe’s fault, it’s mine.
As you can kind of see in my photos, my pinky toe is not in an danger of escaping, which can be a problem when wearing sandals like this — or maybe I’m the only one with a rogue toe sometimes?
Also? No break-in time. I was nervous about wearing the shoes for so long and doing a lot of walking around in them, but they were so comfortable and no chaffing what-so-ever! Yes, I would venture to say that these could possibly be Disneyland-approved footwear. Yep, I went there. While I live in my TOMS, they are not so great for a trek around the Disneyland Resort…but I’m guessing these would be perfect!
These are perfect for:
- Road trips
- Amusement parks
- Anywhere you need some lightweight shoes and would like to wear sandals
- Gravel surfaces
- Anybody worried about strange tan lines (I’ll be earning my ‘Keen Stripes’ this summer!)
You can order your own pair of CNX Clearwater Sandals by Keen Footwear via Amazon.com while also supporting Campfire Chic!
Have you tried the new CNX Sandals?
Do you own any Keen shoes?
What are your go-to travel shoes?