Ever since debuting its industry-changing Newport hybrid sandal in 2003, KEEN has become a brand that’s warranted consideration. Combining the openness of a sandal with the protection and capability of a hiking shoe, the Newport ignited an entirely new category of footwear. Over the years, of course, KEEN’s range has expanded to include hiking boots, trail runners, and the like. Now, coinciding with its 20th anniversary, the company has introduced its fastest and lightest trail shoe yet: Zionic.
You wouldn’t think shedding mere ounces would make much of a difference when it comes to what’s on your feet, but when you’re spending all day trekking through the wilderness, you want something that won’t weigh you down. Bridging the gap between sports-focused sneakers and actual hiking shoes, its new flagship model, the Zionic, is available in both waterproof and non-waterproof styles, with the former offered with a mid-ankle option as well for those who appreciate a bit more support. As for the low-profile vented Speed Hikers (not waterproof), they weigh 10.41oz per shoe, while the Waterproof versions weigh in at 12.35oz and 16.93oz, depending on the cut.
Likewise, the new trail shoes are decidedly sportier than KEEN’s other hiking options, featuring stylized soles and sleeker uppers. In terms of tech, the Zionic is made to keep your heel locked in place when moving, thanks to the removable PU insole, the contoured fit on the inside, and the stability shank, which also helps shed some ounces. The lower-profile 4mm multi-directional lugs are similar to other KEEN hikers, but here they benefit from the higher-traction TPU outsole, which is incredibly durable while still remaining lightweight to help you get farther on the trail in even less time. To achieve waterproofness on the select models, the shoes have been given the KEEN.DRY waterproof membrane underneath the performance ripstop mesh upper, which has been treated with PFAS-free water repellence.
Starting at $145, the Zionic range of hiking shoes is now available on KEEN’s website.