Gentle Souls Womens Up Away
I have had this shoe for a couple of months and have been using it this summer in the humid East coast, deserts of New Mexico, and tropics of Hawaii. It's a great sandal and alternative to regular shoes if you know the caveats. This is my opinion:
SIZING: I normally wear 9.5 W shoes. Keens are fitted to be snug with no sloppiness of a traditional sandal. I bought first a 9.5 then as a backup a 10 because I didn't want the hassel of returning it. I thought at first the 9.5 was too snug. I was wrong. After a month of break in, the shoe fits like a glove. My recommendation however is, if you want a sandal to replace a hiking shoe and you plan to be very active with it, buy your regular shoe size and let it break in and mold to your foot. My toe is very close to the end of the shoe but not touching. I thought I would be jamming my toe after awhile. That never happened. The shoe is snug and my foot doesn't move around. If on the other hand, you want a more traditional, casual, looser fitting sandal for walking around the mall but a closed toe to prevent the occasional toe jam, buy a half size up.
CLOSED TOE: I wasn't used to it in a sandal. At first I thought the snug fit would start to bug me because I can occasionally feel the top of my toe touch the top of the shoe. It hasn't. As you break in the shoe your toes get a smidgen more room, but not sloppy more room.
TEMPERATURE: This sandal is more like a hiking shoe with a lot of ventilation slits. Your foot is very well covered and protected with this sandal. However, this makes your feet warmer than most sandals and perspire more, hence the comments of foot odor over a period of time. Still cooler than a hiking shoe but warmer than the open toe sandals. This sandal is useable in cooler seasons like early spring and late fall knowing it could keep your feet warmer than other sandal types.
PROTECTION: Can climb and walk on nearly any terrain with confidence. Only real caution is climbing volcanic rock and jamming your foot into crevasses. The sandal still exposes some of your skin.
DEBRIS: Dirt, sand, twigs, seeds, etc. that gets in the sandal stays there until you take off your sandal. Walking into a fast moving stream can clear it out without taking it off.
WASHABLE: All synthetic and no leather so I have washed them with no concerns. Does dry slower than most, so if you wash them at night and want them dry in the morning, put them under a fan at low setting overnight to dry it out. I have not yet put them in the dryer, but seems at low temperature it should be ok.
LOOKS: Kinda looks like I went to Spiderman to make me a pair of sandals. It has that very busy, webbing, stringy look. Wife's immediate first reaction was: "That's really ugly!" I probably won't wear these to any weddings in the near future. However she is getting used to them. Besides, attractive sandals won't be on my mind when I am suffering from a painful or cut-up foot... FYI I have a nice pair of leather Ecco sandals for casual social events...but those will NEVER see an intentional salt water immersion no matter what Ecco's ads say.
OVERALL: These are an extremely comfortable, all purpose sandal if you only want to bring along one pair of shoes to hike, slog in mud, run, dive into the surf, climb rocks, traverse a stream, or just walk around the mall and to be able to just wash them out at night and start anew in the morning.