Because of the active nature of our travels, we’re always out and about wherever we go – whether in the water scrambling on rocky river beds or out on land climbing steep slopes. We realized we needed hybrid outdoor footwear that can withstand such rugged conditions and protect our feet at the same time. While we’ve always traveled with our sturdy hiking boots and waterproof sandals, they weigh a ton and are a nuisance to travel with, which means we have to travel with more baggage than we really want to.
So we’re really excited to get our hands on the new CNX collection from KEEN! We’ve always been huge fans of KEEN since they launched the Newport sandals 10 years ago –they were the first hybrid waterproofed sandals introduced to the market and in my personal opinion, they changed the world of footwear forever. Many other brands have since jumped on the bandwagon but honestly none have managed to attain the level that KEEN achieved.
Testing Them On the Road
We recently brought KEEN’s new CNX shoes on a week of action and adventure in Maui, Hawaii, and put them to the test. I tried my feet on both the Clearwater CNX sandals and the Haven CNX multisport shoes; while Alberto had on the Clearwater CNX sandals and the Tunari CNX multisport shoes. This new CNX series is designed to feel like a natural extension of the foot, each of them weighing 10 ounces or less. They also feature the classic KEEN fit with a metatarsal ridge, contoured arch and underfoot structure that give the user just the right amount of protection. From paragliding to kayaking and hiking, we took these shoes on bold and daring adventures to see how they would do. Let’s see how these shoes weigh in on our travel scales.
Nellie with her Clearwater CNX sandals
The Clearwater CNX sandals is excellent for all types of activities: I had them on while hiking on the short trails in the Haleakala National Park as well as snorkeling and walking on the craggy black rocks of Wailea Beach and Ka’anpali Beach. My favorite feature of the Clearwater CNX is definitely its amphibious nature – being able to use them both underwater and on land, without feeling discomfort or heavy weight, is a great convenience for active and frequent travelers like us. Alberto found his to be quite tight at first but once he wore it for a few days, the shoes molded to a perfect fit for him.
We also like the multi-directional flex grooves on the sole and contoured arch that allow the natural flexibility of the foot, making it easy to scramble on pointy rocks and craggy surfaces. With the bungee lace and ankle support, I found it very easy to slip them on and off – especially when passing through airport checkpoints and when lounging on the beach. Even though my shoes were completely wet from snorkeling, they only took half a day to dry off (in the Hawaiian sunshine). One thing that Alberto didn’t like so much was that whenever sand or stones or got into the sandals, he would have to remove the whole sandals to clear them out instead of simply shaking them off. He used his Clearwater CNX on the paraglide too, and found them extremely secure and tough enough to withstand high-speed running and heavy-impact landing.
Alberto hiking Haleakala Volcano in his Clearwater CNX
Farming in the upcountry region in my Clearwater CNX
For covered alternatives, we also tried the Tunari CNX (male) and Haven CNX (female) – they are essentially the same shoes but with slight differences for men/women. Both of them have low-profile soles with similar contours and ridges as the Clearwater CNX sandals, except that they’re covered. Again, they’ve got very flexible grooves which make them great for hiking on uneven surfaces and rugged terrains. I used mine while paragliding and hiking in the Waihe’e Wetlands Refuge and found them extremely comfortable, lightweight, and easy to wear.
In our opinion, the Haven and Tunari are similar to normal trainers but with more protection and ability to withstand rougher conditions. Because of the welded synthetic and breathable 3D mesh, the shoes are airy and don’t feel hot even in the Hawaiian heat. As compared to our heavy hiking boots, these are so much lighter and we can easily stuff them into our backpacks without adding much weight to our baggage.
Paragliding off Kula, Maui with my Haven CNX
All in all, we love our CNX shoes and we’ll definitely be carrying them with us on every trip from now on! I can think of a million other activities I can use them for – like white water rafting, kayaking trips, climbing volcanoes and swimming in waterfalls.
Keep reading about our adventures with KEEN or follow us on Instagram/Twitter/Pinterest with the hashtag #bravenewtoes and #CNX.
Haven CNX pictured above
Win Your Own CNX Shoes!
To celebrate the launch of this new CNX series, we’ve partnered with KEEN to give away two pairs of CNX shoes to our lucky readers.
All you need to do is leave a comment below and tweet about the adventure you’d take your CNX KEEN shoes on. Follow this format and post your answer on Twitter:
“My ideal @KEEN #CNX @wildjunket #adventure would be ______ .”
Example: My ideal @KEEN #CNX @wildjunket #adventure would be rafting the Grand Canyon!
We’ll randomly pick two readers, who will get to choose between either the Clearwater/Haven for women and Clearwater/Tunari for men. All of KEEN’sproducts are available online at www.keenfootwear.com.
This giveaway runs from 20 to 26 May (11pm EST) and we’ll announce the winners on 27 May via Twitter, and the winners will be notified by email. What are you waiting for?
Alberto on Wailea Beach in his Clearwater CNX
Disclaimer: This campaign was made possible by KEEN Inc. but all opinions expressed above are our own.