KEEN
Credit: KEEN

“Where have your KEENs been?” I was asked that question and as I was about to tell one story of my travels, but I started to quickly realize just how many stories I have to tell. Today, I find myself in Palm Springs, California and for inspiration I have decided to go on a morning hike. Looking out the open window, I can see the sun has just cracked over the desert floor and the birds are making it known the day has begun. As I am preparing for the hike I look at my new pair of sandals right beside my old pair. The old ones lasted me about eight years. They are a bit beat-up, and beside the new ones, they look even worse, but they have been with me for many trips.

Travelling for me is all about memories and because of this question; I now get the chance to relive all the adventures I had been on since I have owned this pair of KEENs. It’s actually pretty cool how I can tie together a part of my journey through a pair of sandals. 

The soles of these sandals have touched the Gothic stairs of the Cologne Cathedral in Germany and they have been on a riverboat in the Rhine. They have climbed the Eiffel Tower and ridden the subways of Paris. They helped my load luggage onto a water taxi in Venice and protected my feet from the pigeons of St. Mark’s Square. In Sardinia, they hiked with me through the cork trees and sheltered me from the hot sands of the Mediterranean beaches. They have been in the streets of Florence as we walked for hours taking in the sites, and Bucine, Italy as we hiked through the rolling hills of Tuscany.

The same sandals have touched Mexican soil and sand more times than I can remember. From the biosphere in Riviera Maya, to the shopping docks of Los Cabos, to the Marietas Islands in the Riviera Nayarit, to the Chichen Itza in the Yucatan, to the beaches of Cozumel. It’s actually a bit crazy, now that I think of it.

In the USA, if it too hard to pinpoint, but based on my family’s memory, the same soles went air-boating with the alligators in Florida, 4x4ing in Utah, hiking in Arizona and even rode Splash Mountain in Disneyland. Coming closer to home, I realize my KEENs have also been kayaking in British Columbia, camping in Saskatchewan and hiking in Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario.

It’s been a great journey, but after many years and many travels, I decided it was time for a new pair. Excited but somewhat reluctant, I decide to try a new type of sandal: Clearwater CNX in Gargoyle/Super Lemon. I look at them today as we prepare for the hike. They look amazing. Light as a feather. But they have some big shoes to fill. Let’s see where they lead me.

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