Happy Announcement: Keen Footwear Sponsorship

Thursday, 02 August 2012
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I’m really excited to finally be able to announce the addition of Keen Footwear as a sponsor of paddlinginstructor.com.

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If you haven’t heard of Keen before, they are one of the go-to companies for paddler footwear ever since their sandals first showed up in stores back in 2003. Since then they have branched out in several different directions by introducing hiking, cycling and casual shoes that the local hipsters would find ironic wearing.

For the past several years I had been using low-cut neoprene booties which had been working out pretty good except that the tread had worn down completely smooth making walking through puddles and mud a touch...well dangerous when you have a boat on your shoulder. The biggest downside with neoprene is that they take a very long time to dry out so by mid season, I was always asked to stand downwind of my friends due to the foot stink. I’m not kidding.

As a replacement to the black neoprene stinkers, I was really excited to give Keen’s water shoe, the McKenzie a try and it’s since proven to be a great little paddling shoe. The McKenzie is a hybrid shoe in that it wears like a regular running shoe but it has several mesh panels to drain the water out and dry quickly so it has the light and breezy qualities of a sandal. The shoe dries quick and has great group on wet rocks which were two key qualities I was looking for.

One thing I did discover is that the McKenzie’s fit a little big. In my case I had to go down a full size then I normally would so keep that in mind if you happen to order a pair online.

Keen McKenzie Shoes

So I’m pretty excited about this sponsorship. Keen makes great footwear but they are also pretty serious about giving back to the community. They currently budget close to 1% of their profits and give that back to a variety of non-profit organizations around the world.

One cool story that caught my eye was mentioned on the Keen Wikipedia page. Back in 2004 right after the Asian Tsunami, they decided to take their entire marketing budget for the year and donate it in total to relief efforts. That’s pretty serious.

So a special thanks to Keen for sponsoring this site as well as protecting my feet while carrying by kayak to the waters edge.

David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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