I was not sure how to bring my husband’s use of the Commuter sandals to the attention of the KEEN. Basically, Russ is a long distance, endurance cyclist who is constantly surrounded by other cyclists who are trying to get a competitive edge whether it is through equipment, nutrition and/or training. We can’t tell you how many people are astounded that his current shoe of choice is the KEEN cycling sandals.
My husband has been struggling with cycling shoes for long distance events (>150 miles) for the past few years. He has tried $300 shoes and $40 shoes (much in-between), various cleat styles, cleat positions and a multitude of additional padding, orthotics, etc. Nonetheless, he has never been able to keep foot pain at bay while doing demanding long distance events. We regularly do organized double centuries (>200 miles in 1 day) and touring, but his competitive side always went back to using “real shoes” for his major timed events. Just this past weekend, while in a local Sports Basement store (in full cycling attire), the shop worker asked how he liked his KEENs. After hearing how much Russ loved them, the worker replied, “Yeah, a lot of people try them on, but we just don’t sell many of them. People don’t think they will work for real cycling. “
Two weeks ago, he completed a 600k in his KEENs. It was then he decided he would ditch the shoes and use sandals all the way for the upcoming HooDoo 500 from Sept. 12-13th. The Hoodoo 500 is a non-stop 519 mile bicycle race with 30,000 feet of climbing.
I submitted the attached photo of my husband as a part of the WEND magazine photo Friday promotion that focuses on “cycling”. He used his camera phone to take this photograph after he cycled to the top of the 14000 ft peak of Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii last summer. He began in the sunshine in Hilo (sea level) but eventually needed gloves and a coat (but he neglected to add socks). That’s ok, it shows off the sandals better. Not exactly a perfectly framed, high resolution masterpiece, but who else has used their Keen sandals to cycle to that same spot? Who knows? Maybe he was the first!