Our verdict

We appreciated the lab-verified comfort and durability of the KEEN Newport. The sandal also impressed us during our tests because it needed zero break-in time, had great looks, and had excellent waterproofness. This sandal is indeed one that could be with us for long, even when it's exposed to the harshness of the elements.

Pros

  • Comfortable hiking sandal
  • Durable construction
  • Well-cushioned platform
  • Wide and stable
  • OK for both hot and cold weather
  • Effective traction on various surfaces
  • Zero break-in period

Cons

  • Too heavy
  • Largely inflexible structure

Audience verdict

88
Great!

Who should buy

All the necessary benefits can be enjoyed upon owning this KEEN product. It is a solid option if you:

  • prefer a hiking sandal that provides traction on various obstacles encountered during hikes
  • want a hiking sandal that grants ample toe protection
  • appreciate a sandal that you can wear in hot and cold, bright and dark
  • on the lookout for a hiking sandal that keeps the user’s foot comfortably dry and fresh during hikes

KEEN Newport buy

Who should NOT buy

Sure, the KEEN Newport is durable. However, its sturdiness came with a price; it put on some weight. Hikers who want a lighter pick might be happier with the Hurricane Drift from Teva. Fair warning, though; the Drift is a good alternative but it isn't the most durable.

There might be hikers who'd find the stiffness of the Newport a bit too uncomfortable. The Hoka Hopara may not be the most flexible, but it's way more flexible than the KEEN Newport.

KEEN Newport

Durability

Toebox durability

The Keen Newport sandal did perfectly well in our toebox durability test. Our Dremel drilling left an obvious mark on the toebox, but this area has a lot of material to burn and the damage barely affected the toebox's integrity. It's a perfect 5 from us for this sandal's toebox durability.

KEEN Newport Comparison

KEEN Newport (5 out of 5) versus Adidas Terrex Swift R3 GTX (2 out of 5)

Putting the two shoes side by side, it's clear that the damage seen on the toebox of the Terrex Swift R3 GTX from Adidas is far more critical than the damage seen on the Newport.

Test results
Newport 5

Heel padding durability

We subjected the heel strap to some high-pressure Dremel drilling, and it unfortunately suffered considerable damage. We could only give it a score of 2 out of 5 for durability.

KEEN Newport Comparison Hoka anacapa Mid gtx

KEEN Newport (2 out of 5) versus Hoka Anacapa Mid GTX (2 out of 5)

Like the KEEN Newport, the Hoka Anacapa Mid GTX also got a 2 out of 5 in our heel counter durability test. Given the amount of rubbing that hiking usually brings, we do not think that the rearfoot areas of both these shoes are going to last long.

Test results
Newport 2

Outsole hardness

The outsole displayed slightly more hardness than the average sandal with our HC durometer giving it a rating of 84.8.

KEEN Newport outsole hardness

The outsole's hardness came quite handy when we had to walk over rough surfaces such as river sides and grounds full of gravel.

KEEN Newport walking outdoors

Test results
Newport 84.8 HC
Average 79.8 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 8 hiking sandals
Number of shoes
50.5 HC
Outsole hardness
85.5 HC

Outsole durability

Hands down, this sandal has AMAZING outsole durability. Our Dremel drilling in the lab resulted only in a dent that's 0.6 mm deep, which is around 74% shallower than the dent incurred by the average hiking footwear.

If longevity is what you desire, then the KEEN Newport is the hiking sandal that you should be getting. Our confidence in this sandal's longevity was reinforced when we verified its waterproofness during our test strolls during wet days outdoors.

KEEN Newport Outsole durability
Test results
Newport 0.6 mm
Average 2.1 mm
Compared to 5 hiking sandals
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

At 2.1 mm, the outsole is only as thick as the average. We didn't have problems with this number since the outsole delivered a good deal of sturdiness.

KEEN Newport Outsole thickness
Test results
Newport 2.1 mm
Average 2.6 mm
Compared to 8 hiking sandals
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
3.6 mm

Weight

The durability of the KEEN Newport is due in part to having more and/or thicker materials in its critical parts. Unfortunately, such an uptick in durability resulted in a drawback in weight. Our scale reported this sandal's weight to be 14.6 ounces or 414 grams. This number makes this sandal 43% heavier than average! That's a lot!

Now, if a light sandal is deemed more desirable, we recommend the Hurricane Drift from Teva. It weighs only 7.2 ounces or 204 grams!

KEEN Newport Weight
Test results
Newport 14.60 oz (414g)
Average 10.51 oz (298g)
Compared to 8 hiking sandals
Number of shoes
6.31 oz (179g)
Weight
14.60 oz (414g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

The heel is just as thick as the average at 27.0 mm. This much material delivered just the right amount of impact protection that we needed to keep our walks comfortable and pain-free.

KEEN Newport Heel stack
Test results
Newport 27.0 mm
Average 25.2 mm
Compared to 8 hiking sandals
Number of shoes
15.9 mm
Heel stack
30.9 mm

Forefoot stack

At 17.7 mm, the forefoot stack is just as high as the average. This sandal and the more recently released Newport H2 deliver the same balanced feeling in the forefoot.

KEEN Newport Forefoot stack
Test results
Newport 17.7 mm
Average 18.0 mm
Compared to 8 hiking sandals
Number of shoes
13.8 mm
Forefoot stack
22.6 mm

Drop

Just like many shoes and sandals, the Newport from KEEN has a slightly elevated heel. This ensured more impact protection in the heel and a bit more ground feel in the forefoot. 

Our caliper measurements and calculations led us to conclude that this sandal has a heel-to-toe drop of 9.3 mm.

KEEN Newport Drop
Test results
Newport 9.3 mm
Average 7.2 mm
Compared to 8 hiking sandals
Number of shoes
2.1 mm
Drop
11.9 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

The midsole of the KEEN Newport felt slightly softer than average. Our every step got the cushioning that it needed to keep pain at bay.

Our HA durometer in the lab confirmed our initial observation. The device gave the midsole's softness a rating of 22.4, which is significantly lower than average.

KEEN Newport Midsole softness
Test results
Newport 22.4 HA
Average 28.0 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 8 hiking sandals
Number of shoes
21.6 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
35.1 HA

Midsole softness in cold

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

Does the cushioning of the KEEN Newport still work during the cold winter months? The quick answer is Yes.

In the lab, we placed the sandal in the freezer for twenty minutes to mimic the conditions that it would be in during winter. Even in freezing temperatures, the midsole remained soft and comfortable. Our HA durometer gave it a rating of 28.3, which is practically the average softness for hiking footwear under normal (aka non-winter) circumstances.

KEEN Newport Midsole softness in cold
Test results
Newport 28.3 HA
Average 33.1 HA
Compared to 8 hiking sandals
Number of shoes
25.6 HA
Midsole softness in cold (soft to firm)
39.0 HA

Stability

Torsional rigidity

Just because it delivered so much durability did not mean that the base of the KEEN Newport felt like a brick. Quite on the contrary, it was moderately pliable, garnering a score of 3 out of 5 in our torsional rigidity test in the lab. While it was firm enough to protect from twists, it still allowed some level of flexibility that is needed in rocky and slopy areas.

Test results
Newport 3
Average 2.8
Compared to 5 hiking sandals
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

Just like many other hiking sandals, the KEEN Newport has a fairly wide forefoot platform. Our caliper measured it to be 119.3 mm wide, which helped ensure our surefootedness even on slightly damp or rocky surfaces.

KEEN Newport Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Newport 119.3 mm
Average 118.8 mm
Compared to 8 hiking sandals
Number of shoes
112.6 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
125.1 mm

Midsole width in the heel

Just like the forefoot, the heel area is as wide as we expected it to be at 88.8 mm. There was not an instance when our foot fell off the footbed.

KEEN Newport Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Newport 88.8 mm
Average 90.5 mm
Compared to 8 hiking sandals
Number of shoes
81.6 mm
Midsole width in the heel
100.5 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

When it comes to torsional rigidity, we'd already seen that this sandal had a moderate amount of give. However, when it comes to linear flexibility, the KEEN Newport seemed to put on a lot of resistance. 

Using a digital force gauge, we measured how much force was needed to bend the shoe at 90 degrees. We saw that it needed 33.5N of force to bend to the said angle. This number is much higher than what a typical hiking sandal would need.

Test results
Newport 33.5N
Average 21.2N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 8 hiking sandals
Number of shoes
7.0N
Stiffness
36.8N

Stiffness in cold

The KEEN Newport did stiffen up some more after putting it in the freezer for 20 minutes, but not by much. We saw that it needed 36.1N of force to bend at 90 degrees, which does not deviate much from the 33.5 that it would need in warm weather.

Given such results, we are confident that this sandal won't disappoint performance-wise even during the freezing winter period.

KEEN Newport Stiffness in cold
Test results
Newport 36.1N
Average 28.4N
Compared to 8 hiking sandals
Number of shoes
11.9N
Stiffness in cold
52.1N

Grip / Traction

Lug depth

We appreciated the bite that the KEEN Newport had on many surfaces that we walked on. When assessed in the lab, we learned that its lugs are 3.1 mm deep. We could safely say that this sandal is indeed one for hiking, and on a wide variety of surfaces at that!

KEEN Newport Lug depth
Test results
Newport 3.1 mm
Average 2.6 mm
Compared to 8 hiking sandals
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Lug depth
4.1 mm

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

At its widest part, the toebox is just as wide as the average. Our caliper measured its width to be 102.7 mm.

KEEN Newport Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Newport 102.7 mm
Average 100.7 mm
Compared to 8 hiking sandals
Number of shoes
89.6 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
109.4 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

Upon wearing it, we noticed that this relatively closed sandal had a good deal of wiggle room. Our caliper measurements provided a good explanation for such an experience. We learned that it has a width of 95.9 mm, a number significantly higher than the average figure.

KEEN Newport Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Newport 95.9 mm

Tongue: gusset type

The tongue is non-gusseted, so it allows more freedom of movement. We appreciated the freedom that it afforded us when we walked on rough terrains.

KEEN Newport Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Newport None

Comfort

Upper material thickness

The amount of padding in the tongue was just around the average at 4.4 mm. Though it did not feel special, we also did not have anything to complain about.

KEEN Newport Tongue padding
Test results
Newport 4.4 mm
Average 4.5 mm
Compared to 8 hiking sandals
Number of shoes
1.5 mm
Tongue padding
8.2 mm

Heel tab

The KEEN Newport's finger-loop heel tab made it extra easy to put on and take off. It's an add-on that we truly appreciated.

KEEN Newport Heel tab
Test results
Newport Finger loop

Misc

Reflective elements

This hiking sandal was usable not only in changing weather (hot and cold) but also in changing lighting conditions (bright and dark). Because of its reflective features, we were confident using it during the night.

Test results
Newport Yes