As the saying goes, “happy feet, happy life.” OK, maybe its more like “happy wife, happy life”, but when you’re an avid outdoors women, I think happy feet is more accurate.
Our feet carry us everywhere. To work, to the gym, to the trails, to the mountains. I personally thank my feet everyday for the hard work they do and the incredible places they take me to.
That being said, taking care of my feet is something I give a lot of time and attention to. If I am going to put them through the many activities that I do, I need to take care of them to prevent injury, sore spots, and blisters.
I have lived in the mountains for over five years now. My feet have carried me more kilometres than I can count. With over 50 unique summits (over 100 if you count repeats), backpacking trips in my home and across the world, and simply standing on my feet eight hours a day for work, its safe to say my feet do a lot.
That being said, I am very selective about the footwear I choose to wear on my feet. I have tested and tried many different footwear options for many different activities. I don’t just mean this for hiking boots either. Happy feet require 24/7 love and care. Of all the different shoes I’ve tried, some have melted in fires (oops), some have given me bone spurs (yikes!), and some have fit like a glove (ahhhh).
After many trials, blisters, missing toe nails, and painful outings, I have found the footwear company that consistently suits my feet for all around happiness no matter what I get up to: KEEN.
So that you don’t have to go through the same mishaps, pain, and discomfort that I’ve put my feet through over the years, I have broken down the best shoes from Keen for every activity your heart desires. Disclaimer: never have I ever received a SINGLE BLISTER, hot spot, or black nail from any pair of Keen shoes. No joke.
BACKPACKING and HIKING: Terradora Waterproof Mid
These boots are a women specific, lightweight hiking boot. They have a flexible design and include a cushioned ankle panel.
The first time I wore these boots was on a trip to Nepal to trek to Everest Basecamp. I know, you’re probably thinking I am dumb for not breaking in my boots before such a massive trip. Well guess what, roughly 200km later, my feet could not have been happier! No blisters, no hot spots, just pure comfort and bliss throughout the Nepalese Himalayas.
For long backpacking trips, these are perfect since they are lightweight. Long days with heavy boots makes for tired feet. Also with the cushioned ankle panel and mid ankle support style, my ankles never rolled in the rugged terrain Nepal offered.
The Terradora also comes in a couple of other versions: the Evo and the Wintershell. The Terradora Evo’s are crazy lightweight, even more breathable, and are so comfortable on the trail.
The Wintershell waterproof mid is totally winter-proof. It offers warmth in cold temperatures, has great grip for slick conditions, and is compatible with snowshoes. With raynauds, I am prone to numb toes and these shoes have been great for me this winter season.
I have used all of my Terradora’s on many trips and adventures outside. Backpacking, tons of day hiking, and even around town. Any version of these boots are a must have for your adventures.
SCRAMBLING: Targhee III Waterproof Mid
These hiking boots are durable and are built for all terrain adventures, AKA the perfect scrambling boot. Scrambles put you into some very loose terrain with a lot of rock, so having something durable is important.
This mid style boot offers great ankle support. The waterproof factor is perfect for mountain weather, and they don’t feel too heavy on your feet.
The first time I wore these shoes was on a day trip to Jumbo Pass in BC. A typical June trip, we encountered SO much snow and lots of rain. My feet stayed perfectly dry, and my shoes gripped to the wet rock easily. Since then, I have used them many times, one of which included getting stuck in thundershowers on a mountain ridge in Rogers Pass. Again, dry feet with no slips or falls. I have also taken them up my favourite scramble to 11,000 ft. in Banff- Mount Temple.
For unpredictable weather, Rocky Mountain terrain, and long walks along the trail, this is your go to boot.
LOCAL SUMMER TRAILS: Terradora Ethos
These trail shoes are light weight and breathable which makes them perfect for hitting your favourite local trails in the summer. They have an open design with lots of venting, making them nice and breezy for your feet on hot summer days.
This past summer in Banff we had very hot weather, including lots of forest fire smoke. When I can, I still try to hit my favourite running trail up Tunnel Mountain. These shoes are my go to because they keep my feet nice and cool and keep the smell out! Also thanks to a cord design instead of laces, I never have to worry about my laces coming undone or loosening while running downhill.
For hot weather activities on beautiful trails, the Terradora Ethos are what will keep your hot, sweaty feet nice and cool and happy.
WATER ACTIVITIES: Evofit One
I can honestly say I wear these shoes almost every single day. They are a sandal design but built to be stable like a running shoe. They are flexible and have a sock like fit, making them very comfortable and easy to slip on and off. They have a bungee design to tighten as well to keep them secure on your feet.
Being water repellant makes these shoes the perfect shoes for water activities! I personally have taken them waterfall chasing, paddle boarding, and canoeing. They have also made great camping shoes, around town shoes, and belaying shoes for rock climbing. They are good for virtually any activity!
On top of being awesome for outdoor water activities, these shoes have been fantastic for me at work. I am a full-time lifeguard, and these shoes offer me comfort, stability, and the option to get wet if needed. I am not the only one at my workplace who has chosen this same shoe as their go to work shoe.
For the water, a walk around town, working near a pool, or a shoe for an activity that requires you taking them on and off easily, this is what you want. The every-day, any activity, bundle of awesome!
AROUND TOWN: Elsa II Crochet Sneaker
You’ve spent your time on the mountain and in the outdoors, and now its time to head into town to treat yourself! The Elsa Sneaker is the shoe to wear. For a casual sneaker, they have a flexible fit and are comfortable for wearing all around town. They are also made of a breathable mesh to help keep your feet cool.
These are my go to shoes for dinner dates, sunset bike rides, and trips into the city. They are supportive, cushioned, and easy to wear all day long. Did I mention how cute they are too!? My favourite is the Elsa II Crochet Sneaker, which includes a crochet design offered in different colours. With a cute pattern and easy to match colour, they look great with whatever outfit you may choose to wear.
For a cute, stylish look to wear around your favourite town after a day well spent outdoors, these are the sneakers your feet will be happy to relax in.
From mountain peaks to dirty trails to sidewalks in town, KEEN has been my favourite footwear brand for it all. They are supportive and comfortable and breathable, which for me is everything I need in every kind of shoe I wear. You want to keep your feet healthy by offering them good support, offer them breathability to help regulate temperature and moisture during outdoor activities, and you want your shoes to be comfortable for long days on the mountain.
I have taken my KEEN’s all over the world, from New Zealand to Nepal to the USA and the trails and sidewalks of my home in Banff. No blisters, no sore spots, no complaints. Just pure, happy, feet.
Your feet will carry you to all of the incredible places you will see in your life, so make sure to take care of them and treat them with gratitude. They do a lot for us, and we put them through a lot! Make sure you show your feet the love they deserve so they will be happy and continue to carry you on a lifetime’s worth of amazing adventures.