Made of lightweight materials. They don't have much top-of-the-foot coverage so they're mostly suitable for well-maintained trails and summer hikes. Also useful for crossing rivers and streams. They come in open and closed-toe designs. See the best hiking sandals.
The low-cut equivalent of hiking boots. Comfort is paramount in the creation of these shoes so they often have flexible materials. Generally used for day hikes. See hiking shoes.
Mid to high-cut models designed for more aggressive hikes and backpacking. See hiking boots.
Specialized footwear. Often insulated and used in technical routes, ice climbing or expeditions. See mountaineering boots.
Good to know
For hikes that won't last for more than a day, go with hiking sandals or hiking shoes. Tackling trails with greater challenges will require hiking boots or mountaineering boots.
For multi-day trips with a heavy pack. Manufacturers emphasize durability and support in the creation of backpacking boots. See backpacking boots
Designed for users who want to cover a greater distance by going fast, usually with a light pack. See speed hiking shoes.
Boots that grant insulation to the user during hikes. See winter hiking boots.
Mainly sandals. Aside from hiking they can be used for other purposes such as water activities. See multi-sport hiking sandals.
Good to know
Casual hikers can choose day hiking footwear or multi-sport sandals. More info here.
Experts are hikers, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.
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85 / 100 based on 9 expert reviews
I just feel like I get everything I need from this shoe.
This is a great sandal!
Fits like a glove and it's so incredibly comfortable.
These were perfect for all of our activities and in fact the only footwear I used for all 8 days.
Updates to Keen Whisper
- The Keen Whisper is a hiking sandal that, at its core, is built for comfort and mobility. The upper’s polyester webbing with hydrophobic lining has numerous vent holes which promote breathability.
- It has a quick lacing system that comes complete with a clip mechanism. The laces go through hook eyelets which are securely stitched to the polyester webbing.
- Regarding extra protection, Keen designed the Whisper to have a sturdy toe cap. This protective bumper shields the toes from stubbing and injuries.
- Comfort and stability are provided by the midsole which also gives the sandal its sleek profile. The outsole, on the other hand, is a single-build construction that grants the footwear traction on various surface types.
Keen Whisper size and fit
Keen’s Whisper is a true-to-size sandal which is designed for the female hiker. It comes in B - Medium width and is offered in whole and half sizes from 5 through 11. The designers constructed the sandal using a female-specific last. The forefoot zone is spacious which gives the toes ample wiggle room. Custom fit is made possible by the closure system’s elastic laces.
Giving the Keen Whisper traction on rugged terrain and urban surfaces is its non-marking outsole. It’s a grippy, single-piece rubber that features multi-directional lugs and extends all the way to the upper’s forefoot zone. This extension acts as the upper’s toe guard.
With its compression-molded midsole, the Whisper promises cushioning and stability at the same time. It runs thick, especially around the heel zone for added comfort and comes with a TPU stability shank for extra support. TPU or thermoplastic urethane is a rubber material characterized by flexibility, high resilience, and wear and tear resistance among other things.
Providing comfort alongside the cushy midsole is the sandal’s non-removable, Metatomical EVA footbed. This insole is engineered with Cleansport NXT—a technology that fights odor on a micro level. It is also textured for extra underfoot grip.
The Keen Whisper’s stitched upper is a combination of polyester and hydrophobic mesh materials. This combination makes the sandal breathable, lightweight and washer-friendly. Breathability is also achieved through the upper’s numerous vent holes.
Keen’s Secure-fit Lace Capture system is the footwear’s primary source of ankle lockdown. It makes lacing up a smooth experience, thanks to its elastic speed laces, synthetic hook eyelets, and an adjustable locking clip. The uppermost hook eyelets are part of a heel strap which works with the laces in giving wearers a secure fit, especially around the ankle area.
On the back of the heel, the sandal comes with a pull tab for easy on and off. Reinforcing the forefoot zone of the Whisper, on the other hand, is a Keen-patented toe guard. An extension of the outsole, this sturdy toe guard acts as a protective barrier against forefoot injuries and toe bumps.
- The Keen Whisper may be machine washed with a small amount of detergent. Wash the footwear on gentle cycle then air dry.