Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Keen Sayulita Smart Travel Shoes

Shoes are always the big obstacle when you're trying to pack light, especially for men. While we're content to make due with less, there's no equivalent to "little black flats" in the male shoe wardrobe and we can't get away with flimsy little sandals when going out to a nice restaurant. So the challenge is to find a pair of travel shoes that look decent enough for a variety of situations, as in any situation that doesn't require hiking boots or dress shoes.

This pair of Sayulita shoes from Keen I've been trying out do the trick quite well. They're light, they're comfortable for walking around a city, and they look good with jeans or khakis. The top is suede and the bottom is reasonably environmentally friendly: recycled polyurithene and renewable cork.

Yes, cork is going to compress over time, but in this case that's a good thing. The base of the shoe ends up conforming to your foot so you get more support than you would expect in such a lightweight, flexible shoe. (The shipping weight for the two of them together is 10 ounces.) I put about five miles of walking on them over four days and they're conforming to my feet like a glove.

The Keen Sayulita shoes come in two colors (brown or gray) and two styles: lace and slip-on. The slip-on version make breezing through the airport easy too.

You can buy them at most online retailers specializing in shoes or travel gear. But check out the Keen Footwear website for a whole range of shoes that are ideal for travelers: toed sandals suitable for rafting or kayaking, the Market Street and Blvd. lines of casual shoes for strolling around town, and the Trailhead line---which includes the great Shellrock hiking boots I reviewed after trekking through Peru. And yes, there are female versions too, because you can't just travel with flats and thin sandals.

Get yours:

Direct from Keen.

KEEN Sayulita Lace Shoe at Backcountry.com

Keen Sayulita at Amazon


Anonymous said...

Sorry, but while they look comfortable they are certainly not one bit esthetically satisfying. American restaurants and America in general is more casual but in Europe these would pass as hiking shoes at best. And there is the equivalent of the "little black flat" for men. It's called the Cole Haan Air Jordan. It is a very straight-lined men's slipper made from soft nappa leather. It has no metal parts and a Nike Air technology heel as well as good foot support. It comes in a dark brown and in black. The sole is rubber but the profile looks like the profile of a leather sole. This makes it rather elegant. It can be indeed worn with a suit (not a tux) and with jeans or khakis. It is VERY comfortable and not too heavy.

I'd say it is the ultimate travel shoe for men and am about to buy a second pair in case they stop producing this model.

Tim said...

Europe is obsessed with footwear, but most of the world is not like that, including Asia and Latin America, unless you are a business traveler. And I did mention dress shoes above, in case your situation requires them (or you're traveling in Italy). But thanks for the tip on the Cole Haans.

Chris said...

I love Keen shoes! I've got three pairs of them and have been really happy with how they held up. I like Merrells too, but they're almost never on sale where I live.

Joel said...

Great shoes for active lifestyle, worth every penny.

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