There many cycling-specific shoes available, but not everything is ideal or versatile enough for things other than riding. I use clipless pedals for road and dirt, but not for street. Not everyone wants to be clipped or strapped in, and in June 2006 I went looking for a worthy alternative: the Keen Newport H2 sandals.
Grant Petersen, owner of Rivendell Bicycle Works, swears by his Tevas. My fear of getting a toe or two tangled up in fast-moving spokes ruled them out. Birkenstocks look cool, but aren’t really made for city or trail riding, and Converse Chuck Taylors may work for the messenger crowd, but my multiple use needs brought me right to the $90US Keen Newport H2 sandals. The Portland, Oregon company is making waves for its progressive shoe concepts and designs offers something I hoped would do the trick for commuting, quick shopping trips, and general riding.
After a year-plus of regular use and abuse, I can vouch how happy I’ve been with the closed-toe design and comfortable arch support. My ultra-narrow feet necessitated my trimming the pull cord a tad, then some more, but the psuedo speed lacing design has its advantages. Trail riding works well because the Keen soles are stiff enough to handle the pedal pressure, while offering enough bite in the partial lugs to deliver on bike and hikes. There’s no discernable odour after 12 months of regular use, and they clean up easily in the washing machine. An ideal choice for an active pair of feet, especially good for commuting and generally knocking around town.
© BikeRadar 2007