The Keen Westward is a casual shoe in the mould of the usual bomb-proof trail shoes we've come to expect from Keen. It keeps Keen's capably aggressive sole lugs and loses the waterproof membrane, which should make it ideal as a hiking/travel crossover...
The standout feature of most of Keen's footwear is they're solid looking; burly, robust and kind of chunky, which is a feature of both the construction and the fit. Keen customers are unusually loyal to the brand, in part because they often cater to wider feet.
The Westward is a slightly narrower fitting model than some, but it still sports that reassuringly 'big' feel - it's stiffer than most shoes in this category and more supportive as a result.
That also means it's slightly heavier than other similar shoes, despite a pared-down construction of suede and canvas (the latter enhancing breathability effectively). There is no waterproofing on the Westward, which also helps with the breathability, but may lessen its versatility as an out-and-out trail shoe (which in fairness, it is not meant to be).
Interestingly Keen's signature razor-siping is absent from the sole (the tiny splits in the rubber which open up as the foot bends to disperse water) which presumably helps keep the cost at just under £100, and will not be missed by most warmer-weather travellers. The sole pattern is still more than capable on the trail.
An obvious change from most Keen offerings is the toned down, casual look of the shoe, which will be attractive to anyone looking to reduce the amount they're stuffing into a suitcase, and increases the versatility of the Westward.
A kind of 'Keen-lite' addition to the line-up from a trusted brand of durable multi-purpose footwear.