This Piggy Went to Market: Outdoor Kids Network Interviews Kids Product Manager

A month ago I sat down with Erin Simons, who is the kids product line manager for Keen Footwear. This is not the first time that I have had the opportunity to talk and interact with someone from the Keen team, and Erin, like other people from Keen, seems genuinely enthusiastic about the company. It is interesting to get the chance to interact with a fairly large company on a personal level. Simons told me that Keen is trying to simplify the company so that it creates quality products and provides safe and comfortable footwear for kids and parents alike – shoes that people want to wear to have fun in and yet still look good in.

Parents tend to be introduced to the kids line through first purchasing a pair of shoes for themselves. Once they see the practicality and comfort of a shoe like the NewPort, parents tend to look for a similar shoe for their kids. That is probably why the New Port H2 is their best selling kids shoe and why camps are recommending to parents to purchase a pair of New Port H2s for their easy on/off toggle system, non-slip tread ,and strong protective toe box.

The Keen adult line forms the bulk of sales, but they hope to bridge that gap by reaching out to parents like the members of OutdoorBabyNetwork to let them know that Keen has children’s shoes that reflects a nature loving, play-centric lifestyle.

Through their Hybrid Life brand, Keen has launched a series of shoes that supports non-profit organizations like They also launched a line of shoes that use discarded materials from other factories, making their shoe production more sustainable. Soon, the Harvested line will include children’s shoes.

As always, it was nice to get to talk to someone at Keen Footwear and to get more information on the company’s commitment to sustainability, simplicity, and function.

By Heidi Ahrens