Anyone who's plugged away at the pedals in a hot climate with poorly ventilated shoes that feel like they're cooking your feet will know the problem Keen are addressing with their Bike Sandals.
The first thing you'll notice when pulling on the Keen Commuter 4 is that the fit is very narrow - this is no sandal-with-cleats boat. Cyclists who treasure pedalling efficiency will be used to 'supportive' cycling shoes but the Commuters take this almost too far, with many complaining of their lack of width. Keen themselves suggest upsizing by at least half a size - based on our experience they're right.
Get the right size though and what you find is one of the most satisfying cycling sandals available, that will let the breeze cool your toes as you ride. The'Commuter' moniker is perhaps a nod to the fact that these sandals are aimed at the more relaxed end of the market though. Apart from the excellent toe box bumper and a little padding around the heel, your foot is largely unprotected, so you'd be ill-advised to tackle any serious single-track with these sandals.
That said, the soles are purposefully lugged and, given the Commuters' built-in flex for walking, you could happily lock up the bike and scramble to the summit in them.
If the width is right for you, then you'll also like the webbing liner which, allied to the pull-tab quick-lacing system that keeps your foot in place when pedalling and walking.
We think British leisure cycle tourists, as well as Californian commuters, will love these Keens for spinning through a hot climate. Just don't forget to apply sunscreen to the tops of your feet if your feet are going commando - those gaps between the straps will give you some interesting tan lines...