Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006

June 18, 2012 • Reviews

Keen Waimea H2, the Ugly Sandals You Will Love, Review


Warning, if you care about style do not read this post.

Warning, if you’re self-conscious don’t read this post.

Warning, if you can’t handle a bit of ridicule don’t read this post.

Okay, if you are still reading this post then you clearly don’t care about style, aren’t all that self-conscious, and can handle a bit of ridicule from your peers. Good let’s get started.


A little over a year and a half ago Carly wrote a few posts that discuss Vibram Five Finger shoes. (Check out last year’s lineup here.) They are the ugliest things I had ever seen but they also happened to be quite comfortable. I ended up getting two pair of them: one for running and one for simply walking around.

I ran in them religiously for about a year, but a few months ago I found that the running shoes were posing a bit of discomfort and in fact cause what I discovered has a name– “runners toe”. (I won’t describe exactly what it is but suffice it to say that toenails shouldn’t be black and they shouldn’t fall off. Want to know more? Read about it here.)

I have not worn them since.

I mentioned this to Elana a few weeks ago and she told me that her trainer, Peter K of Peter K Fitness, swears by a pair of sandals from Keen. She picked up a pair for me, and I couldn’t believe how incredibly ugly they are. Seriously, these are sandals that even their mother couldn’t love. They are UGLY. And yet, despite looking so ridiculous, they are the sandals I will be living in the summer. Here’s why.


From Keen:

Discover the meaning of kicking back with the Waimea H2 sandal from KEEN. The sporty style features patented toe protection and a lightweight rubber outsole. The EVA midsole absorbs shock as you stride toward the beach chair that’s calling your name.

When I first put them on, I was struck by the way in which they seem to cradle my feet. Initially the post that goes between the large toe and the next toe was a bit uncomfortable, but that only lasted a few hours, and since then I don’t even notice the post.

One of the striking things about the design is the completely and totally ugly area in front of the large toe. It’s hideous but it serves a really smart purpose. After all, how many times have you been wearing sandals and stubbed your big toe? With these sandals that won’t happen because the big toe is protected behind a heavy piece of (UGLY!!!!) rubber.


The bottom line on these sandals is that they are incredibly comfortable and, at this point in my life, that’s what speaks loudest to me.

And there’s one other aspect of them that I love — the uppers are made from recycled inner tubes. How cool is that!?!

At just $55 the Keen Waimea H2s are a no-brainer if you want something that’s comfortable, easy to put on and take off and protective of both your feet and your toes. But remember, you will be the recipient of ridicule if you wear them … you’ve been warned!

You can order then here through our Amazon Affiliate Store.

MSRP: $55

What I Like: Comfortable; Easy to put on; Protects big toe

What Needs Improvement: The ugliest sandals I have ever seen

6 Responses to " Keen Waimea H2, the Ugly Sandals You Will Love, Review "

  1. gorkon says:

    Maybe I am not as picky? I don’t think they are that ugly. I’ve seen worse.

    I LOVED the Kuru shoes I had. Wish I could swing another pair of those as they were the best pair of shoes I ever had.

    As for sandals, I am pretty happy with cheapo flip flops unless I need something to walk in longer.

  2. thsu says:

    Might I suggest Merrell shoes? They make a rather large line of barefoot running shoes that look like ordinary shoes and sandals.

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