The EvoFit one by KEEN was the priciest water shoe we tested throughout our R&D processes for the best water shoes. However, the shoes lived up to their cost.
These shoes had the technical specs and features that one would expect to find in a standard hiking shoe. As such, this water shoe is an amazing option for people who are looking to get the most effective use from hiking or walking long distances where water will be a known obstacle.
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The KEEN Evofit One Water Sandal is extremely comfortable. The upper is derived from strong fabric that wicks moisture surprisingly well. This shoe ticks every box we have for those looking for a very durable water shoe with a solid outsole and a high quality upper. This shoe has solid protection and support, as well as the stability necessary to compete with both expensive hiking boots and pure water shoes when on a trek.
Initial Thoughts on Unboxing
When we unboxed the KEEN Evofit One Water Sandal, the first thing we noticed was that the colors were absolutely wild. A lime green and black splash mix were the most creative colored water shoes we tested in our research (sadly, this color combo has been discontinued as of May 2019). The second thing we noticed was that these water shoes looked amazingly comfortable.
When we picked them up, we were surprised by the overall structure of the shoes. They felt like sturdy, thick hiking shoes. We were also quite taken aback by the weight of them. They are well over two pounds, multitudes larger than some of the alternative water shoes we tested. The bulk of the weight was derived from their thick outsole, and less from their Evofit synthetic upper.
Putting Them Through Their Paces
We spent extensive time testing the KEEN shoes in the elements at Little Talbot Island State Park in Jacksonville, Florida. Our tests included:
- An ocean test: Sugar sand, waves, and hard packed sand.
- A river test: Rocky creek beds, sandy shorelines, flowing water.
- A hiking test: Over pine needles, sand, puddles, and standard trail surfaces.
Here is how they fared.
The Ocean Test
With their Evofit synthetic upper, the KEEN shoes fared very well when we transitioned from being submerged in the water to being out of the water. They did great traction-wise when walking through hard shells before getting into the ocean. However their weight led to decreased performance in thicker sugar sand, or when attempting to swim in the ocean.
The River Test
These water shoes performed quite well in the river test. We experienced zero slippage when traversing wet river stones, and minimal pushback when wading through water that was rushing against us. The traction was more than impressive, and the outsole provided some of the strongest grip of all water shoes we tested.
The Hiking Test
Much like our experience with the Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve Water Shoe, these water shoes were wonderful when they were put through their paces on a wet and muddy part of the Little Talbot trail. We have no doubt that they could have handled another few miles of hiking comfortably.
Advantages and Disadvantages
While the KEEN Evofit One Water Sandal’s performance was quite impressive, with extensive features including quick-pull lacing, a fast-wicking synthetic upper, built-in odor control, and an extremely comfortable fit amongst others, there are always going to be points of concern with each tested water shoe.
Below are some of the advantages and disadvantages that we noted with the KEEN Evofit One Water Sandal. We do this for the sake of transparency. We are all aware that, regardless of their price, no shoe is going to be perfect.
Advantages of the KEEN EvoFit One Water Shoe
- The KEEN Evofit One Water Sandal have impressive grip and a very thick outsole. As such, expect this shoe to stick like glue to slippery trails and rocky river beds.
- The KEEN Evofit One Water Sandal is the closest water shoe in our list to an actual hiking boot, outside of the Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve. The rigid structure and stability prove this.
- With the rigid and strong stability come the strongest arch support that we experienced in our water shoe testing. This makes it the ideal option for those who are suffering from plantar fasciitis.
- These shoes have something that no other tested water shoe has: built in odor control, that KEEN refers to as Cleansport NXT. We gave them a sniff after they had dried from the testing processes, and the difference between this and alternatives shows.
Disadvantages of the KEEN EvoFit One Water Shoe
- As we stated, the KEEN Evofit One Water Sandal was the heaviest water shoe that was tested in our research phase. Weighing in at over 2.3 pounds for the pair, don’t expect these to be the lightweight option for packing and swimming.
- We read a few reviews that stated these shoes became very tight when wearing with socks (and not getting in the water). We tested this out first and found this to be the case.
- These shoes have removable insoles, one of the few we tested with this feature. While this increased the levels of comfort, they can slip around with extensive utilization, or with too much movement.
Our Final Thoughts
The KEEN Evofit One Water Sandal is a rock solid water shoe. This is to be expected with KEEN brand shoes, and this is no exception. With the feature set you’d expect from a high-class hiking boot, this water shoe is a wonderful option for:
- Those looking to find a quality water shoe for plantar fasciitis issues.
- People looking to get the most out of wet hikes or walking longer distances.
- A long day on the boat or at the beach, or anywhere there might be water-based obstacles to traverse.
For more water shoe options, check out our comprehensive guide to the best water shoes.
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