Here we are on lovely Molokai Island in Hawaii, hiking a couple of miles along a river-valley trail to the beautiful Halawa waterfall. This is the first time I have worn my Keen Clearwater CNX sandals in earnest. How will they perform? The answer: Brilliantly, with one note of caution.
They fit like gloves on my high-instepped feet, and give great protection, particularly from the solid rubber toecap. I feel very surefooted on the rugged trail. Without socks the sandals get a little warm, but the two streams we have to cross cool my feet, which wouldn’t happen with closed boots. It’s in the streams that I have my reservations. I’m very used to scrambling in streams in fishing waders, which are carefully designed to give maximum grip on wet rocks. On the hard volcanic rocks of Molokai, the sole of the Keen’s is a little too slippery in the streams for my comfort, despite the grip sole. To be fair, even waders would struggle on such hard rocks when wet, but this concern must be noted. It is the only negative aspect of this challenging first outing for the sandals, which otherwise perform admirably.
I have worn them for whole-day excursions since, which verified these first impressions. If I’m not in a wet/dry situation, a pair of thin socks has helped. The sandals will be on my feet for most of the summer. Perhaps they’ll even take me back to Molokai.
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