Keen has been around since 2003 and it is a really good brand. In writing this article I have found out how they have not let us down in terms of quality, style, and comfort.
The answer is that Keen sandals run small. Why? Keen sandals are made in such a way that they stretch. Maybe not initially but after a few times of wearing them, they will fit just fine.
They are just like itchy clothes, when you wear them the first time, you just want to take them off but after a few hours you don’t even notice it.
In 2008, the production and manufacturing locations of Keens changed and some customers needed to size up so started to do half sizes like 5 and 5.5.
Even at that the sizes still run small. The location might have changed but the process and quality remained the same (give it up for Keen people).
That means even if you are the type of person that has normal feet or wears a normal size, you can order your exact size of Keen sandals.
They will be snug at first, like all new shoes but will stretch out. If you have foot issues like a long big toe or narrow or wide feet, or even if you wear oddball sizes like the point fives, you can trust Keen.
Most people who wear odd sizes order a half down when it comes to Keen because they are snug and allow you to stretch your feet.
Many reviews also attest to this wonderful attribute of Keen sandals.
How do I know what size my Keen sandals are?
As on regular shoes, the size is either on the back, on the surface of the sole, or on the inside surface where the heel is. For Keen sandals, the new ones come with a tag.
The shoe size is on the tag and both Keen sandals with the measurements for all countries. You can find them on the surface of the inside by the ankle. If you can’t find yours, it is because they have faded from being worn.
The next step to take is to visit a shoe store so they can ascertain the size of the shoes. You should also get a precise measurement of your feet so buying shoes in the future will be easier.
If you want to do it home then you will have to measure both feet. One foot is always larger than the other by a few inches. Use the larger size when purchasing shoes.
Also, some come with stickers, and those last longer. A very important tip to always remember is that you should always use European measurements because they are closer to the actual size of your feet than other measurements.
When you get the size of your feet, you can then get the American measurement and get your pair of Keen sandals.
How you can stretch your Keen sandals if they run small
I have three ways you can stretch your Keen sandals. The first two can be done at home and with basic things around you. It is like a DIY process.
- The newspaper method
- The ziplock method
- Using shoe stretchers
The newspaper method
You will need newspapers and water for this. Soak the newspapers in water and scrunch them into a ball. Doing the scrunching before the soaking will not allow the water to penetrate the paper as it should.
When you are done with balling them up, start to stuff them where you find them tight. Keep stuffing it until it is full. Then you set it out to dry. When the newspaper dries it will harden and expand and so will the shoes.
Now please be careful. Don’t make a mess with the newspaper by allowing them to soak to pieces, it is paper mache and you will ruin your sandals with tiny newspaper buts that will take time and energy to remove.
When it is completely dry, remove it carefully. It is also best to sun dry the shoes.
The ziplock method
This once is easy. You will need a ziplock bag. Please make sure it is a good ziplock bag that has no problems at all. If the material of the bag you are using is not that strong be careful.
Okay, begin by putting one or two cups of water in the ziplock bag. Don’t fill it, halfway is okay. Make sure it is secured tight. If the water spills or leaks on the show they can smell and that is another problem.
Then gently stuff them into the part of the shoe that is tight. For most people, it is the toe area. Make sure the bag is not just sitting there. It is there to do some work so if the water is not enough add some more.
Then put it in the freezer (I can bet you never thought you would put your shoes there). The water in the bag is to freeze completely.
Don’t take it out until it is completely frozen or you will disrupt the process. Give it four to six hours and then take it out after it has melted. Your shoes will have stretched by then.
Then sun dry, you know, in case some of the water got into the shoe anyway. The science behind this simple method is that as the water gets colder it expands and because it is in the sandals, it will expand them too.
If you know you can’t use this method without dampening your shoes, try to waterproof them first and the best way to waterproof Keen sandals is by using a waterproof spray that is silicone-based.
Nikwax is a really good product and it is the best for Keen sandals.
Here is how you apply:
Spray a little on a piece of cloth and rub on the area you want to put the ziplock bag. Allow them to dry before you put the ziplock bag in.
You can also double the ziplock bag. Make sure they are the same size so that the second bag doesn’t take the expanding effect instead of the shoes.
Use shoe stretchers
Okay unless you want to make yours, you will have to buy them. They are a kind of wood mold. They are shaped like shoes so you just slip them into the Keen sandals and leave them for a few hours.
They have to be the size you want the shoes to be. For example, if I buy a size 5 and I want it to be a 5.5, then I will get the 5.5 so they can expand the shoes.
Here are 5 of the best shoe stretchers available on Amazon:
- Eachway Professional 2-Way Premium Shoe Stretcher
- Original Shoe Tree Company Shoe Stretchers
- Deluxe Wood Shoe Stretchers (See on Amazon)
- Eskyshop Two Way Professional Wooden Shoe Stretcher (See on Amazon)
- Shoekeeper Wooden Shoe Stretcher
How do I know what size of Keen sandals to get?
Okay as simple as it sounds there are a few things to consider before you order those Keen sandals. First, the sandals run small so you will have to order a half size up.
If I am size 6 then I am ordering 6.5 and if I am a 7.5, then I am ordering an 8.Â Half sizes are represented with the letter H.
So 7.5 is 7H. It doesn’t really mean that if you buy your actual size they will pinch and bruise, they will just not be as free so you will have to wear it till they stretch a bit.
Another point is the type. For example, the Keen water-resistant sandals have less volume on the inside so sizing up is not an option but a necessity.
You don’t want to start battling with return policies later. Another tip is to measure your feet or meet the shoe seller personally who you will be able to speak to know what fits.
Your feet may be in more need of arch support than toe space or comfort so talking to a professional will help you immensely.
If you want to go with measuring your feet and not bothering that nice old shoe seller, then do as I stated earlier: get a wide piece of paper and let the shorter side touch a wall then put your foot on it with your heel slightly touching well.
Mark the place where your longest toe ends and repeat for the other foot. Then you can use that measurement as a guide.
Still, if you know finding shoes that fit you well had always been an issue, just meet a professional.
How long do Keen sandals last?
If we are talking durability, you know you can trust Keen. They last for about six to twelve months.
That is just for the sandals which are very good considering all that it offers: arch support, comfort, water resistance, and many more.
Quick tips on how to take care of your Keen sandals
Wash them on a washing machine on a gentle cycle
Be sure to use cold, not hot water and detergent.
Hand washing is also an option just with cold water and detergent
A good detergent to use is the Nikwax base wash, the family of Nikwax. It also helps to get rid of odor.
If your Keen sandals come with removable footbeds please wash them
You can use a detergent and a soft cloth or sponge. Sundry them and replace them. They help.
Make use of tea tree oil to get rid of germs
Before you do, make sure they are clean and dry and then apply on the inside.
It serves two purposes. One, they have antibacterial properties that kill germs and will protect your feet from any bacterial infection.
Two, they help to get rid of odor and in turn prevent your feet from smelling.