Keen is stepping into a new category, debuting its brand-new walking shoe this month.
The new style, named the WK400, retails for $165 on the outdoor brand’s website. Available in both mens’ and women’s sizing, the look features rounded lace-up mesh uppers with TPU overlays for a lightweight feel. The shoe further emphasizes comfort and traction with lug-patterned rubber outsoles, Keen.Curve midsoles and contoured insoles to move with its wearer, as well — crafted with research from footwear innovator and physicist Ciro Fusco.
Pairs are available in both men’s and women’s sizes in hues of monochrome black and bright yellow, with faint coloring differences. Additional men’s styles include dark gray, black and blue colorways, while womens’ include light pink and light gray hues.
The shoe’s introduction comes at time when more people than ever before are walking, a trend bolstered by the pandemic. Keen’s WK400 style was introduced as a strictly walking-focused shoe, aiming to make the activity more effective, comfortable and fun. The style was developed over the course of four years, following the recovery of the brand’s global product innovation creative director, Rory Fuerst Jr., after a skiing accident.
“It wasn’t until I couldn’t do it anymore and my whole life was turned upside down did I realize what walking meant to me – and us, as humans,” he said in a statement. “Sure, there’s a ton of great technology and research built into our walking shoe, but what I will remember most is my time spent working with a lot of great people all committed to improving something so basic — walking.”
The WK400 is also part of a wider walking-focused mission at Keen, where the Portland, Ore.-based brand aims to raise awareness around walking charities and clubs — even debuting its own walking-focused podcast. The shoe’s launch follows a string of collaborative Keen launches in recent years with Hyke, Engineered Garments, Beams, United Arrows and Journal Standard.