Keen – Newport H2 Review

Travis GneitingReviews


The Keen Newport is one of the most popular adventure sandals, and for good reason. It’s been one of Keen’s staples for years. The Keen Newport H2 takes the original Keen Newport and made it water friendly. The grip of the sandal was improved for walking through rivers and wet rocks.  It is arguably the most popular adventure sandal to ever hit the outdoor market.

The H2 Newport looks very similar to the ever popular Newport, however instead of leather straps, they have been replaced with neoprene and nylon for a quicker drying sandal. It’s categorized as a closed toe sandal. There are not a lot of other closed toe sandals that offer the same protection. The Teva Omnium, Ahnu Tilden Sport, Merrell All Out Blaze water shoe are a few other competitors. That you may want to look into when considering the Keen Newport H2.

I found that the Newport sandals are a great all around sandal for travel if you only want to bring one pair of shoes/sandals but want the convenience of both.  The Newports are comfortable enough for long pavement walks, but when the trail ends, the sandals keep going.  They easily adapt to a water shoe when hiking riverbeds, or caught in rain storms.  The security of the full wrap around the foot prevents foot slip in the sandal when wet.

The Keen Newport H2 would be a good recommendation for someone looking to travel light and wanted the convenience of shoes and sandals.  Additionally, when anticipating water crossings, or wet conditions the Newport can still provide stability of a hiking shoe with full water traction.  This is ideal for rafting, and boating.  The Newport H2 can also be used was an everyday sandal.  With controversy, it can be worn with socks to help prevent sweating feet, and additional comfort.


The uppers are made from neoprene, nylon webbing and a Aegis microbe shield. The same elastic cord is used instead of laces. The mesh lining helps the sandals to dry out quicker when on the feet. The top of the shoe has a synthetic material to back the elastic lacing system.  The sandals are easy on and off with a quick push button lacing system.  The heel loop makes pulling the sandal on easy even when wet.


The sole feels a little harsh the first time wearing the Newport H2. It seemed to soften up a bit after wearing them for about a week. There is good arch support, and plenty of extra room in the toe-box as is typical in most Keen shoes.  The Newport uses the classic Vibram sole rubber, which performs very well in wet and dry conditions. The sole is also siped for improved wet ground traction. The tread pattern works well in most conditions, however, in some scrambling up loose or slightly muddy the bite isn’t as aggressive as would expect from an adventure sandal.  However, this also comes at the price of an all around sandal that can be worn from street to trail.


The mid-sole is not as forgiving as you would expect. The stiffer mid-sole makes walking on rocks and through riverbeds more confident. The mid sole is made from a compression molded foam, and contoured to match the arch and ball of the foot. You will notice the classic patented round toe protection. There have been other reviews online where the mid-sole has detached. I have not seen any indication of separation from the sole and mid-sole in my months of use.


The bed of the Newport sandal is closed cell foam that is coated to prevent stench from sweaty feet. Its softens over time, provides waterproof foot foundation.  The foot-bed is also surprisingly stable when wet.  As with a lot of sandals when they become wet they are slippery in the foot-bed.  The Newport uppers and the foot-bed keep the foot in place and keep stability even when wet.


It is worth pointing out that these are sized about 1/2 size too small. I can confirm ordering up 1/2 size is highly recommended.  The sandal feels as though there is a lot of additional room in the toe-box.  I have smaller width, flat feet, and felt a lot of movement which allows the toes to splay out.  There were a few hot spots from the sandals right out of the box for me around the ankle, but once they broke in it was less of an issue.


After spending a few months around town, a few hikes and some water walks the H2 Newport are a very comfortable sandal for the protection. Having very flat feet, I did get a hot spot under my arch, and around the ankle entry that I am still hoping will go away as they break in more. The closed toe design provides protection from stubbing toes in rocky riverbeds.  The neoprene inner of the sandal dry quickly, prevent chafing from the nylon webbing, and provide stretch in the sandal.


Weight: 14.2 oz/402.6 g
Category: Outdoor
Style: Sandals
Features: Washable
Activity: Hiking, Beach, Watersports
Collections: Waterfront
Weather: Warm
Activities: Beach, Hiking, Paddle, Sailing
Gender: Men
Upper: Washable polyester webbing
Lining: Hydrophobic mesh
Rubber: Non-marking rubber outsole with razor siping
Fit Tip: This style is running a 1/2 small. We suggest ordering a 1/2 size larger than your usual size!
Measurement Note: Our measurements were taken using a Men’s size 9 US (42.0 EU). Measurements may vary by size.



The Keen Newport H2 is a great shoe for someone looking for a multi-purpose sandal that can be worn around town or out for adventure. It’s a shoe that can be worn for 3 seasons. The value for the shoe is there for the right person.

  • Value
  • Comfort
  • Traction
  • Durability
  • Adjustability
  • Versitility


1. A true hiking, covered toe, water sandal
2. Easy on and off
3. Durable and heavy duty

1. Small rocks and sand get stuck in side and must remove the sandal to remove.
2. The sandals seem to trap foot moisture in them creating a stench