A go-anywhere summer shandal that can head into hilly conditions or wade into the sea when needed – great quality, and good looks, too.
Great grip in water
Protective toe box
Robust and long lasting
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Keen Astoria West: first impressions
Keen’s hiking sandals are deservedly popular, and the Keen Astoria West is unlikely to buck that trend. We’ve yet to review one of their summer shoes we didn’t like and the female-specific Keen Astoria West (men after a similar style will get on with the Clearwater shandal) sits high in our best water shoes and aquatic sandals recommendations.
Straight out of the box we liked the look of this classy shoe, and after having trialled many Keen shoes – and always having been impressed by their robustness – we had high hopes that they would perform well in the wet environments they were born to take on.
Keen Astoria West: in action
Designed to go from trail to town to waterfront without batting an eyelet (they certainly won’t detrimentally impact your average hiking speed), the Astoria Wests stood out on test for the walking comfort they offer.
• RRP: $115 (US) / £90 (UK)
• Weight: 400g / 14oz
• Sizes: Women’s 2.5 – 9
• Colors: Light Green / Pink / Navy / Grey / Black
• Compatibility: Rock pooling, sailing, paddling or on hiking routes with river and stream crossings
Oversized, but very cushioned, soles make these sandals feel barely there despite their middling 400g weight, and we liked the close-fitting but comfortable webbing straps, designed to let your feet breathe and quick to dry once wet. Keen call this design a ‘wedge’ sandal, but don’t let that put you off – there’s no wobbly high platform here, just that higher sole that feels bouncy even if you tackle long distances.
The Astoria Wests have a firm, wide protective rubber toe box that’s brilliant for protecting pinkies if you do encounter rocks both under the water and on the shore, and their ‘Aquagrip’ soles are sticky even on wet surfaces, as they are designed to be.
A good and very versatile summer shandal. This design fits on the narrow side, however, so if you have wide feet they may not suit you.
An award-winning travel and outdoors journalist, presenter and blogger, Sian regularly writes for The Independent, Evening Standard, BBC Countryfile, Coast, Outdoor Enthusiast and Sunday Times Travel. Life as a hiking, camping, wild-swimming adventure-writer has taken her around the world, exploring Bolivian jungles, kayaking in Greenland, diving with turtles in Australia, climbing mountains in Africa and, in Thailand, learning the hard way that peeing on a jellyfish sting doesn’t help. Her blog, thegirloutdoors.co.uk, champions accessible adventures.