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KEEN Kanteen Work Shoe Review

A chef knows that wearing the right type of shoes is essential. When you’re working hard in the kitchen, your shoes must work hard as well. Spending hours on your feet in a busy kitchen can wreak havoc on your physical and mental health. A happy pair of feet equals a happy chef, so it’s vital that you pick the right shoe for the job.

Choosing the chef shoes is no frivolous feat. A good chef shoe must be comfortable, durable, and most importantly, safe. The wrong kind of shoe can cause irreversible damage to your feet, your back, and your well-being. The Kanteen Work Shoe from KEEN is here to work hard with you, and to help you look good doing it.

Just a quick word on the Oxford vs the Clog.  For some reason, KEEN decided to only make the Kanteen Oxford in Men's sizes and only make the Kanteen Clog in Women's sizes.  We're not sure why, but that's the way it.  If you want to convert between men's and women's sizes you can add 1.5 to the men's size to get the women's equivalent (so buy a men's 7 if you want a women's 8.5).

Fast Facts About this Offering

Precisely for its ability to meet these requirements, the KEEN Kanteen Work Shoe is one of the best shoes you can find on the market today.

  • Water and stain resistant natural leather upper
  • Convenient slip-on design
  • Lab tested, slip-resistant KEEN sole.  Grip non-marking rubber outsole
  • KEEN Patented Toe Protection for extra safety
  • Removable KEEN.Cush footbed for maximum comfort
  • Compression molded EVA midsole for lasting comfort all day
  • Elastic gore panel for easy slip-on and off
  • TPU stability shank for strength and support

Performance and Use

KEEN is a relatively new brand in the world market of work shoes, but don’t let the new name and the fresh face fool you. Founded in 2003, the company has quickly become a brand trusted by consumers for its use of high-quality, durable, and reliable materials. Hard working chefs around the world have made KEEN a customer favorite when it comes to shoes fit for the kitchen.

The patented KEEN.GRIP rubber outsole is oil- and slip-resistant and has been laboratory tested to far exceed non-slip testing standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials. The toe of the shoe has KEEN Patented Toe Protection, where the outsoles wrap up and over the toes for extra protection while you’re running around at work.

The leather upper is oil and stain resistant which makes for easy clean up at the end of the night. The blend of natural leather and durable synthetic materials means that this shoe is sure to last you many nights of hard work in the kitchen. To keep the leather looking its best and lasting as long as possible, it’s a good idea to clean everyday wear and tear with a leather cleaner and conditioner, which you can find at most footwear dealers and shoe repair shops.

Cushioning and Comfort

Comfortability is one of the most important aspects of purchasing the right work shoes, second only to safety. KEEN has taken this into heavy consideration when designing this shoe. The inside of every KEEN Kanteen Work Shoe contains a patented KEEN.CUSH insole that consists of a blend of recycled polyurethane, cork, and memory foam that contours to the wearer’s feet and adjusts to your foot shape over time. The compression molded EVA midsole gives extra cushion for those long nights of standing in place or running back and forth. This will keep your feet comfortable enough to have you making delicious dishes in the kitchen for hours and hours.

When it comes to sizing, there’s a bit of a disagreement among purchasers. They’ve been reported to have a wider fit than normal, sometimes even running a full size larger than normal, so make sure to factor in this information if you’re planning to buy them online.

Value and Cost

Since their relatively recent conception, KEEN has quickly risen to the occasion and proven that they know what it takes to make a good chef shoe. They’re a reliable brand that’s shown that it can deliver top-notch products. For this reason, like many other KEEN shoes, the Kanteens don’t vary in price much. You probably aren’t going to find any significant deals on these shoes, as KEEN keeps all their prices relatively static. These shoes are going to cost you somewhere in the mid-price range. Not too fancy and expensive, but they work and they last.  They’ve specially chosen a leather for their shoes that’s designed to last, so the price tag is well worth every penny spent.

KEEN Kanteen Work Shoe: The Pros

  • Superior slip resistance. The outsole of every KEEN Kanteen is made of patented KEEN.GRIP rubber. It’s been specially designed, and laboratory tested to meet, and exceed, non-slip testing standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials. These shoes are sure not to let you down when it comes to walking on either dry, wet, or oily surfaces.
  • Extremely comfortable. The inside of every Kanteen Work Shoe contains a patented KEEN.CUSH insole consisting of a blend of recycled polyurethane, cork, and memory foam that contours to your feet and leaves them extremely comfortable after working all day in even the most hectic of kitchens.
  • Simple, clean design. The comfortable slip-on design of this shoe is indeed one of its highlights. You’ll no longer have to worry about stopping in the middle of a busy shift to bend over and tie your shoes. Shoestrings can also be a tripping hazard, so you’ll have one less safety risk to worry about.
  • Water resistant. When the inside of your shoes is wet, you’re going to have a bad time. This is especially true when you’re a chef. Working long, exhausting hours in the kitchen is hard enough without the uncomfortable feeling of having wet feet. The Kanteen Work Shoe from KEEN is made from water-resistant leather to keep your feet safe, comfortable, and dry all day.

KEEN Kanteen Work Shoe: The Cons

  • Sizing may be a bit off. Several reviewers have reported that after purchasing KEEN’s Kanteen, they find that the fit is wider than average. Others have stated that they run a bit larger in sizing than other shoes. Others still have further suggested buying a half-size larger than usual, as it’s been reported that the leather will shrink after about a year of wear.
  • Not many color selections. The KEEN Kanteen Work Shoe can seem a bit boring if you want your feet to stand out at work. This shoe only comes in basic black. There are no distinctive markings to set them apart from other black shoes noticeably. A right, practical, sleek work shoe, but not a fashion statement.

Our Verdict

In the kitchen, having the right chef shoes means having shoes that work as hard as you do. Both your physical and mental health can take a toll if you choose the wrong type of shoe. It’s essential that you pick a shoe that will be slip-resistant, durable, and affordable but will still provide you with the all-day comfort you need. Choosing the wrong kind of work shoe can permanently damage your feet, your back, and your spirit.

KEEN is a relatively new company that is poised to rise to the high ranks of the work shoe industry. The Kanteen Work Shoe from KEEN is a chef shoe that meets these requirements in a simple, durable package. It can keep you upright on wet or slick surfaces while keeping your feet safe and dry. Even more so, this shoe will keep your feet comfortable, and ready to tackle anything that might come your way.

So get on a pair of Kanteens from KEEN, get back into the kitchen, and let these shoes help you to continue doing what you love: Creating a wonderful culinary experience.

The KEEN Kanteen Work Shoe was one of our top choices on our comprehensive guide to the best chef shoes.

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