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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84 / 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.
We liked the Whisper but felt that its few flaws resulted in it being out-performed by its competitors.
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 elastic cord goes through loops which are directly stitched to the upper’s 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. Sitting atop this unit is a Metatomical EVA footbed which offers arch support.
- The Whisper’s outsole, on the other hand, is a single-build construction that grants the footwear traction on various surface types. It is also non-marking.
Keen Whisper size and fit
Keen’s Whisper is a sandal which is designed for the female hiker. Generally, it runs true to size. It is manufactured in B - medium (standard) width and is offered in whole and half sizes. 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. When users adjust the tension using this system, the loops across the foot tighten. This mechanism comfortably hugs the foot, especially in the ankle area. It also prevents heel slippage.
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 of the outsole acts as a protective barrier against forefoot injuries and toe bumps.
With its compression-molded ethylene-vinyl acetate or EVA midsole, the Whisper renders 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, loop eyelets, and an adjustable locking clip.
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 toe guard.
- The Keen Whisper may be machine washed with a small amount of detergent. Wash the footwear on gentle cycle then air dry.
- The brand engineers developed the Metatomical footbed which adapts to the anatomical design of hiker’s foot. It puts emphasis on the metatarsal joints which are more prone to pressure. Also, the term Metatomical is coined from the fusion of metatarsals + anatomical design.
- The brand’s name is visible on the lateral side of the sandal, mid-portion of the outsole and at the locking clip of its lacing system. Its logo is embossed on the triangular plastic end of the cord.
- In one article published by Keen (the tips for choosing the best water sandals), experts recommended the Whisper as an overall good choice for extreme paddling which also includes whitewater kayaking and rafting. They indicated that its sensitivity to the ground could help outdoor enthusiasts find a stable footing.
- Keen offers replacement laces which are available through their website. The bungee lace replacement kit (3 mm) is a set which replaces the secure fit lacing system (used in the Whisper hiking sandal). This package includes two laces, hardware that holds the cord in place and how-to instructions.
- On the other hand, those who can’t find the replacement lace they need, may send an email to email@example.com and indicate “lace request” on the subject line. The brand also instructed to include a photo of the shoe with the needed lace type.
What makes the Keen Whisper different from the Newport?
Upper. The Whisper has a polyester webbing upper while the Newport has leather. Nevertheless, both models are waterproof and are machine washable.
Lining. These lightweight hiking sandals from Keen come with a lining. Whisper is designed with a hydrophobic mesh which means it does not absorb water easily. On the other hand, the quick-dry lining of the Newport enables it to tackle a range of outdoor activities.
Lacing system. The brand’s very own secure fit lace capture system is incorporated on both models. This feature allows easy on and off and permits quick adjustment of fit.
Midsole. To provide lightweight cushioning, both hiking sandals wear a compression-molded ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) midsole. It cushions each step to give wearers a comfortable ride.
Footbed. Underfoot, these sandals for hiking carry a metatomical footbed design. This element conforms to the shape of the foot and provides arch support. With the Newport, it has a microfiber footbed cover which enhances comfort.
Outsole. A non-marking rubber outsole makes these sandals from Keen grip on a variety of terrain. With the Newport, its outsole has razor siping which comes in handy during water activities. It optimizes grip on wet surfaces, preventing slips.
Availability. The Keen Whisper is a women’s-only hiking sandal. On the other hand, Keen’s Newport has options for men and women. Both models are offered in standard width only.