Keen are a relatively new company in the footwear world. The first Keen sandals were developed to cater for a niche market in adventure water shoes which offered toe protection.
Making them perfect for any number of outdoor and water-based activities. Keens sandals offer excellent all-round protection and they are commonly used for activities including kayaking, canoeing, sailing and coasteering.
Keen have quickly grown since their inception in 2003 when they were named “Launch of the Year” by the shoe industry’s leading trade publication, Footwear News. From starting off by asking the simple question of whether a sandal could protect the toes, Keen created the hugely popular Newport range. Since then they have focused their effort on not just making an impact in the footwear world but instead trying to make a difference in everything they do. Within their first year of trading Keen had already built a reputation of supporting a range of good causes emphasising the brands philosophy of hybrid innovation and striving to create new possibilities. "Keen continue to refine their products and they aim to find even more solutions for life’s everyday needs"
In 2004, Keen responded to the Asian Tsunami by donating their marketing budget in full to support the relief efforts. This decision also helped initiate their long-term Hybrid Care program in which they link up with a variety of other organisations including The Conservation Alliance, 1 KG More, Leave No Trace and the Big City Mountaineers who shared their vision. Projects Keen worked on have included getting more young people into the outdoors, protecting land for its environmental and recreational value and giving bikes to children in need. This demonstrates Keens efforts in actively working to incorporate change, rather than merely hoping for the best.
In early 2006 Keen then relocated their headquarters from California to Portland, Oregon and in the process, they welcomed Kirk Richardson, who joined the company as President from their new neighbours Nike. Kirk has since taken over the company’s Corporate and Social Responsibility efforts, leaving James Curleigh, who joined in 2008 as their CEO after 12 years at Saloman Sports, North America to drive the business forward. Keen have opened a plant in Portland, Oregon to start manufacturing products within the USA and by 2011 the company’s revenue had risen to approximately $240 million when they took over the Pearl building in Portland’s Pearl District to serve as the company headquarters and their own retail outlet.
As they continue to grow, the brand still maintains the same high values which sets them apart from a lot of manufacturers. Keen continue to refine their products and they aim to find even more solutions for life’s everyday needs. They remain as committed as ever to designing shoes for a HybridLife and Keen are continuing to incorporate even more processes to help reduce their impact on the places you play.
"The founder of Keen