KEEN Utility Boots

Updated: Mar. 08, 2018

Keen is a footwear brand based in Portland, Oregon. We are big fans of their boots and wanted to find out more about the brand. Here's what we learned.

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Keen Boots

Made in the USA

About 25% of Keen Utility footwear is assembled by American workers in the United States, using materials sourced from around the world.  Keen’s American-made products come right from the brand’s Swan Island factory in Portland, Oregon. Click here to see the work boots in the American Built collection.

Photo courtesy of Keen.

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Keen Shoes

Specialized for Different Trades

Need something heavy-duty? Keen produces specialized safety boots, such as the Mt. Vernon Met, for workers of various trades. The Mt. Vernon Met features an external metatarsal guard and Kevlar stitching to prevent feet from getting crushed on risky jobsites. If my boots were made out of the same stuff as bulletproof vests I’d definitely feel safer on the job!

Photo courtesy of Keen

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Keen Golden Boot

All in the Family

Keen leadership remains in the family. Sons of Rory Fuerst, one of the founders of Keen, now head up the innovation and production facets for the brand. They make it their mission to keep the original Keen passion and values alive. The iconic Keen Newport sandal (shown) launched the brand’s success back in 2003.

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The Keen Effect

The Keen Effect

The company gives back in several ways through the Keen Effect, which provides grants, volunteers and boot donations to various nonprofits around the world that share Keen’s core values. This includes helping to protect natural resources through partners such as The Conservation Alliance and Leave No Trace.

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Keen On-site Design

On-Site Design Team

Innovation for Keen footwear is developed within the Portland factory by FIL (Fuerst Innovation Lab). A small team dreams up ideas, creates prototypes and launches new styles in-house using cutting-edge technologies such as 3D printers and laser cutters.

Photo courtesy of Keen

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Keen Work Shoes

Keeping it Weird

Rory Fuerst Jr. explained that Keen’s vibe of being quirky and different means the ideas that his innovation team brings to the table must be a little crazy or they won’t make it beyond the first stage of development. Take the new Raleigh men’s work shoe, for example. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone on a jobsite wearing a shoe that looks like that. But its aluminum safety toe, Metatomical PU footbed and slip-resistant, non-marking PU outsole hold up for anyone working light industrial or manufacturing jobs. Plus, it looks and feels like a sneaker.

Photo courtesy of Keen

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Keen Testing

Testing the Limits

Rigorous testing for safety and durability happens onsite at the Keen factory in Portland, too, with cool machines designed to push the boundaries of materials and mimic hard use and extreme environmental conditions. That way you know it will hold up on the jobsite. The photo here shows flex testing of outsoles with a small puncture to ensure that Keen Utility footwear meets strict safety standards.

Photo courtesy of Keen

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Keen On the Road

Hitting the Road

Keen is always trying to reach more men and women that don’t have time to shop for new work boots or maybe haven’t heard about the brand.  With that in mind Keen Utility has hit the road with a trailer stocked full of products. Plus, they’re bringing along experts ready to find the right pair of work boots for every individual that stops by. Click here to learn more and see the Keen Utility Road Show schedule so you can catch them at one of their stops.

Photo courtesy of Keen