Cute AND Comfy

You know me. When it comes to fashion, I’m all about the marriage of form and function. But let’s be honest; if it ain’t cute, I won’t wear it. This is why I don’t run around town in sneakers, and when we go to Disney World, I refuse to join the ranks of the fanny pack brigade.

And then my 4-year-old daughter came along.  This child has the strongest fashion opinions in a 4-year-old I’ve ever seen.   My first two would just wear what I told them to (although my middle one is VERY picky about how things FEEL, which did cause some drama until I figured out her patterns.)

But my third.  Oh she’s a doozie.   She is very concerned with looking “pretty” and usually that criteria includes wearing something just like mommy.  Which I suppose I should take as a compliment, but I don’t always want my 4-year-old dressing like a 37-y/o house frau.

Her favorite summertime ensemble involves a tank top and a skirt or shorts, and perhaps a sweater on top if it’s chilly. And when it comes to shoes, she’s the flip flop queen, which stands to reason. I would wear nothing but flip flops, if given a choice.

But sometimes flip flops just aren’t practical — like when I’m chasing the kids around the neighborhood on their bikes or hiking in Maine and wading in the lake. Okay, so I don’t usually wade in the lake unless there’s a mug of hot coffee beckoning me from the dock (or a child floundering in the deep water), but you know, there’s always the possibility.

Speaking of hiking in the mountains and wading in the lake, I got my first pair of KEEN shoes when we were vacationing in Maine two years ago. I forgot to pack sneakers (see paragraph #1) and we wanted to go hiking.

Yes, I hike. See, here’s proof.


So we were going hiking and I had no appropriate footwear, so we stopped into an outdoor recreation store. The last thing I wanted to spend money on was a second pair of sneakers; I had a perfectly good pair at home that I wore only for exercising (in other words, rarely.) I hate tying shoes, and I hate how hot my feet get in sneakers so when I spotted the KEEN shoes, I was sold instantly.

They were everything they claimed to be and more.  As promised, they are supportive enough to wear hiking and other outdoor activities, you can slip them on and off without messing with laces, and you don’t need socks. They are open so your feet don’t sweat. AND you can get them wet.

I wore them hiking a few times on that trip, and I keep them in my closet for those days that I want to throw something on with yoga pants or shorts and it’s not really flip-flop weather. They’re perfect for running around after the kids. The foot bed feels like it was molded to my foot, and none of the straps rub any raw areas on my feet because they are padded. But, they are kind of clunky. So I admit, they don’t get the airtime that they should.

Fast forward two years, and I was offered a pair of KEEN shoes for kids. My son has a pair, and my middle daughter already has a pair of nice sandals, so I chose to accept the review pair for my 4-year-old. Remember, she has very strong opinions about her wardrobe. That doesn’t mean that I always cater to those strong opinions, but neither do I care to waste a pair of KEEN shoes on her if she’s going to fight me every time I ask her to wear them. So I asked her to look at the selection on the website and see if there was anything she liked.

She immediately honed in on this adorable lavender pair.

KEEN Shoes for Kids

This child spends the majority of the warm weather months outdoors, and she has the bruised knees and the stubbed toes to prove it.  These shoes are perfect for her active nature, and I was thrilled that she deemed them pretty enough to grace her royal piggy toes.


Then a few days later I got another email from my contact at KEEN Shoes, and they wanted to know my shoe size as well.  They sent me this cute red pair.

KEEN Shoes

I love these shoes.  I’ve worn them almost every day since I got them.  They aren’t as clunky as the other pair I own, and I love how the straps are like grosgrain ribbon.  They’re rugged and practical with a feminine touch.  I find myself wearing them with everything from cargo skirts to jean shorts.  They give me the support of a sneaker with the practicality of a sandal.


I was wondering why my shirt looked so odd in this photo, and later in the day I realized I had in on backwards.  Guess who didn’t have enough coffee this morning?

My daughter loves hers too.  She wears them every chance she gets.


I love how they protect her foot and support her when she runs and plays.


I also love how they’re waterproof so if she ends up running through a sprinkler or getting into a water balloon fight in the neighborhood, I don’t have to wait 2 days for her sneakers to dry out.  They can double as water shoes when we’re in Maine next month and if we take a day at the beach.  In fact, my other daughter wants a pair now too.  You can read all about their innovative technologies here.

They’re much more comfortable than wearing sneakers in the summertime, and if you have little girls, they look better with skirts and dresses too.  These shoes are really worth the investment, especially if you have a child in summer camps that require supportive, practical shoes.  I highly recommend them.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by KEEN shoes.

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28 thoughts on “Cute AND Comfy

    1. Why thank you! It wasn’t a very hot day, I think that’s why the hike didn’t take a toll on me. (And it was a short hike.) 🙂

  1. All 3 of my kids live in their Keens. Infact – I hope my daughter’s pair dries by tomorrow as she wore them to wade in a river this morning. I just can’t get myself to wear a pair. They are to clunky for me and I feel like my legs automatically gain 15 pounds. Tevas is as far as I go for outdoorsy shoes.

    1. I know what you mean, but I kind of like them for a rugged, outdoorsy look. Believe it or not, I’ve never tried Tevas.

  2. those look terrific. i need to get a pair – i also HATE sneakers and – of course – refuse to wear things that aren’t cute 😉 what size do they start? i need shoes for my 2-year-old (who has BIG feet) he only wears crocs b/c he refuses to wear sneakers. these might be just the compromise we need!

    1. They will be perfect for him!! I’m not sure on the sizes, but they do sell them at the Stride Rite store at Exton if you want to take him in.

  3. my son has keens and loves them. i love that he can get them on and off himself (4 yrs old) and i like that they protect his toes. i have a thing about closed toe sandles for kids…. just safer!

    cute blog by the way 🙂

  4. I have to tell you- I want some Keen sandals bad. I immediately scrolled through your post checking to see if it was a giveaway. I guess I’m on my own. Aw well, great review!

    1. I know, I was hoping they’d let me give a pair away. 🙁 They really are worth the investment, though, if you need something sneakery and hate sneakers.

  5. I am going to have to go look for some of those. I have issues with hot feet and sneakers. I don’t wear anything but flip-flops in the summer, but then my feet always hurt. They are a lot cuter than sneakers too.

  6. How are they as far as smelling once they get wet?

    And where did you get your denim shorts? Love them…need new shorts. I walked around a couple of weeks ago in shorts that my daughter pointed out (with much glee!) had a hole in the butt.

    1. So far, they don’t smell. They actually have some sort of anti-smell technology. Snort. Maybe you should check out the technology page I linked to in the post to see exactly how they do it. I clearly can’t explain it. Heh.

      As for the shorts — they were an impulse buy last summer at Nordstrom. I think they are Joe’s. I know it’s extravagant to buy designer denim for shorts I bum around in, but honestly, I wear them 4 or 5 days a week in the summertime and they are SO INCREDIBLY COMFY. I wish they didn’t have the rips in them, but it’s the style, and I never wear them anywhere that it really matters.

  7. Me and the girls got our first pair of Keens about a month ago at the REI sale. Love them and so do the girls. And they wear them to school and even on gym days. Also, if you have small feet, you can buy the kids sizes for a lot cheaper. I am 7 shoe and I got the kids size 5 and they fit awesome.

  8. I love Keen for my two little boys. They look great and they are the only sandal that I can throw in the wash and have them look brand spankin’ new. I am a fan for life.

  9. my boys LOVE their Keens – Ryan just got a pair of BRIGHT orange.

    Melissa – we got my youngest a pair when he was just about 2 – I like the covered up toe part for littles. We typically get ours at Olly – they have a great selection of colors.

    Jo-Lynne – if your contact ever needs any other testers (my hubbs is on the fence – he likes Ryan’s orange ones) – you have my email! LOL


  10. Oh, my 8 year old needs some of those. He only wears Birkenstocks (I know, I know, they’re expensive! But he literally wears them every day all year long since the weather is so nice here). If he didn’t already have some that fit him that we spent so much on, I would buy him some of those keen shoes.

    One question – do they make your feet feel hot and sweaty? Even sandals can do that if they’re too “closed” in. We have a stinky foot problem here, even with Birks that I would not want to repeat. That would be a definite “testing out” thing around here, there’s not a lot worse than stinky boy feet.

  11. Oh I love my KEENS! I don’t know a lot of people out my way that wear them, and I so I always get a lot of comments when I have mine on – I’ve got a great pair of Apple Green ones… but I am loving the new style “Whisper” I’ll have to check those out, esp. now that I also have a little one I’m running up & down the stairs for all the time – KEENS beat lacing up sneakers any day!

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