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Gear Review: The KEEN Gallatin CNX Sandal

I have been accumulating a collection of outdoor footwear for some years. I am loathe to discard anything but the reality is that I go to the same sandals time and time again because of how they fit. Recently it’s been a tossup between an old pair of Chacos and a lightweight pair of Tevas.

But I have a new favourite – the KEEN Gallatin CNX.

"My new KEEN sandals"

My new KEEN sandals

A pair arrived on my doorstep a few weeks ago thanks to KEEN Canada. I started wearing them immediately and fell in love with a number of their features.

  • I am hardly a fashionista but I actually love the grey/coral colour combo. I doubt that I would have chosen that colour but it’s working for me. (The other choice is turquoise with this sandal.)
  • They are super comfortable and feel more like a slipper than a sandal – yet they offer enough support that I can wear them on a hike – perhaps not a 16 kilometer hike – but certainly a hike  of 10 kilometers.
  • They don’t weigh very much – 7.5 ounces to be exact. My feet hate being in a heavy boot all day so this sandal is light enough to carry in my backpack. I can slip them on when my feet have had enough of being cooped up in bigger boots. I often do this on the last few kilometers of a long hike.
  • They have a very good grip – though for the ultimate test I’d need to go back to Pukaskwa National Park. The rock there was so slippery when wet that even my heavy duty leather hiking boots couldn’t grip it properly.
  • They are much slimmer than my old pair of KEEN sandals so they look more feminine.
"My husband's old KEENs with a much bigger rounded toe"

My husband’s old KEENs  were like my old ones with a much bigger rounded toe

  • I have my grandmother’s feet and as much as I loved my grandmother, I hated her feet. I don’t want to scare you, but suffice to say that I can hide my feet in this sandal and they actually look good.
"You wouldn't know I had my grandmother's feet in the sandal"

You wouldn’t know I had my grandmother’s feet in the sandal

What else do I like about the sandal? Do you see the little pull tab on the tongue? There’s one there and one at the heel, so it’s a snap to get your foot comfortably inside. You can tighten them easily as well.

These sandals work well in the water. They dry quickly. And although I haven’t done it yet, they are machine-washable.

Recently I have started going to a chiropractor for various aches and pains. She immediately suggested orthotics – which I do have for my heavy duty hiking boots. Interestingly, the company she deals with makes a slim fit orthotic to fit a range of KEEN sandals – should you need one.

Sizing is accurate. The price in Canada is $110 with free ground shipping.

What’s your go-to sandal for outdoor adventures?

Leigh McAdam

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
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Author Leigh

Avid world traveler. Craves adventure – & the odd wildly epic day. Gardener. Reader. Wine lover. Next big project – a book on 100 Canadian outdoor adventures.

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Join the discussion 10 Comments

  • Jackie Smith says:

    I read a similar report on this sandal by Marlys of Easy Hiker – sounds like a great shoe. I need to buy a pair but have been looking at TEVA’s – any comparisons/contrasts or advice between Keen and Teva?

    • @Jackie I really like these new Keens for their support, comfort & slim design. The older style KEENs have a bigger rounded toe which is fine on the water but not so fine for wearing around the city and I like my sandals to do double duty.

      Otherwise, I think I would take Chacos over Tevas for two reasons. In my experience Tevas can smell after awhile and it can be really hard to get rid of it. For me and my feet, the Chacos offered more support. I hate all scandals where you have to put your big toe through a loop as that takes too long.
      With the Keens, it’s the design and comfort that I like so much. I need to spend more time hiking over rocks to see how they grip when they’re wet.There are some Teva’s with the thin strap that I like as they look a little better with street clothes. Unfortunately the pair I had weren’t great for a really long hike and in the water I found my foot slipping out from under the top loops. That wasn’t good.

  • Andrew says:

    Interesting to read, Leigh. For many years, I’ve bought nothing but good walking shoes with an air or gel cushion. In my case, I’ve found these to be better than very expensive custom made orthotics. My best experience has been with Nike and Asics.

    • @Andrew I too have bought high end running shoes but I have Morton’s neuroma – a very painful condition when my foot is in a boot/shoe/skate… for too long. I have found with my latest pair of orthotics that for the first time the nueroma stayed away on a full day hike. That was huge for me.

  • Tracey says:

    Hi Leigh, I bought a pair of Columbia omnigrip with the intention of wearing them at night when camping. I didn’t give them much thought as they were a bargain in the sale. They became my fave footwear on the short trails and on my mountain bike for pretty much the same reasons that you mention. Love the pull lace system, slipper feel, grip in the wet and quick to dry. They’re pretty worn out now and I need to replace them so I’ll definitely check out more brands this time including Keen.

    • @Tracey I think when you find a great pair of sandals that are super comfortable, it’s hard to give them up, even if they’re ratty and past their prime. I think you’d be very pleased with these KEEN’s.

  • Alouise says:

    Love Keen sandals. They totally saved my feet when I was in New Orleans a couple years back.

  • Hi Leigh, nice review! Guess what’s the go to sport shoe brand of Keith and myself? Keen! We are big fans of the brand. We have Keen hiking shoes, sandals and flip flops. We don’t have this Galantin sandal yet. We don’t mind adding it to our collections. I wish Keen makes high heels shoes for work:)

    • @Marisol Wouldn’t that make office life a whole lot more comfortable!I don’t have any Keen flip flops but I do have some heavier duty hiking boots – I just haven’t had the chance to use them yet. I am super pleased with my latest pair.

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