The Astoria West is Keen's take on a women-specific, hybrid sandal for trail-to-town. A closed-toe design with quick-drying webbing makes this shoe great for water activities, and the women-specific fit makes it a comfortable shoe to take on your daily hike. We don't really agree with the "to town" part because while the sandals are lightweight, the style is bulky and would never be our pick to match with a town outfit. While Keen tries to add a feminine touch with a lifted heel, we did not like this feature for longer hikes over varying terrain and simply could not get behind this look for an adventure sandal.Editor's Note: This sandal review underwent an update on March 23, 2022. It now includes more details to help you in your decision-making process.
KEEN Astoria West Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Comfortable, rubber bumper for toe protection, quick-dry material
Cons: Bulky, lacks versatility and style
Manufacturer: Keen Footwear
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KEEN Astoria West
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|Pros||Comfortable, rubber bumper for toe protection, quick-dry material||Comfortable, versatile, lightweight, fits many foot types||Stable and supportive, stylish, durable||Comfortable, good traction, stylish||Comfortable, good water performance, low bulk|
|Cons||Bulky, lacks versatility and style||Not as cushioned as other models, can't be worn with socks||Annoying to adjust, uncomfortable for the flat-footed, heavy||Very floppy sole, not suitable for rugged use||Does not fit wider foot types well, lacks ankle adjustment|
|Bottom Line||A comfortable shoe good for light outdoor activities but falls short in versatility and style||This is a minimalist workhorse sandal that can take on nearly anything||Whether you're hiking or rafting or hanging out, this classic design plays well for the long haul||This classic option can't hack it on super rugged terrain, but it's a great value pick for casual outdoor use||This sandal blew away our testers as a well-rounded option for adventure travel|
|Rating Categories||KEEN Astoria West||Bedrock Cairn Adven...||Chaco Z/Cloud 2||Teva Original Unive...||KEEN Clearwater CNX|
|Specs||KEEN Astoria West||Bedrock Cairn Adven...||Chaco Z/Cloud 2||Teva Original Unive...||KEEN Clearwater CNX|
|Weight (pounds per pair)||1.34 lbs (size 8.5)||1.06 lbs (size 9/10)||1.44 lbs (size 9)||0.73 lbs (size 10)||1.18 lbs (size 11)|
|Footbed Material||EVA||Granite Grip||LUVSEAT PU with textured grooves||EVA||Polyurethane|
|Midsole Material||EVA||Cairn Vibram||Women's specific LUVSEAT dual-density PU||EVA||Proprietary lightweight PU with stability shank|
|Sole Material||Aquagrip nonmarking rubber||Vibram XS Trek Regolith||Non-marking ChacoGrip||Rubber||Non-marking rubber|
|Upper Material||Recycled PET||Polyester and nylon webbing||Polyester jacquard webbing||REPREVE recycled polyester webbing||Washable polyester webbing|
|Width Options||Medium||Medium||Medium, Wide||Medium||Medium|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Astoria West tries to be a feminine yet functional adventure sandal but falls flat in both areas. While the shoe does well in the comfort, stability, and traction metrics, its heel lift and closed-toe design make it hardly a versatile shoe. The style leaves a lot to be desired, and it has little adjustability compared to sandals with multiple straps.
The main discerning feature of this hybrid sandal is its chunky, cushiony heel that adds extra comfort and feminine flair to the shoe. Slip the Astoria West on, and the contoured and cushioned midsole will feel soft and comfortable on a narrow foot. However, if you have wide feet, look elsewhere, as these shoes are definitely geared towards the narrow-footed folk with their small toe-box and slim fit. Although Keen is known for its shoes having wider toe-boxes, this is the Keen sandal for you if you've wanted a shoe that fits snugger. The thick, cushioned heel will add an extra bounce to your step, and if you are someone who likes extra support, you might appreciate this feature.
This hybrid sandal was made with wet environments in mind, and it sports a grippy outsole with decent traction. The rubber is sticky enough to feel secure on slick river stones, but our gripe is with the cushioned heel. Because we can't feel surfaces through our feet due to the extra material, we don't feel able to really trust the traction on steep or wet surfaces. We prefer other Keen models for this purpose, where we can walk around with much more confidence on slippery or uneven surfaces.
These shoes forgo adjustable straps for a simple bungee lace system with a hook and loop closure. You simply pull the shoe on and cinch the cord tight around your foot. This system is not as adjustable as having multiple straps to customize a sandal's fit. Still, since the Astoria West is a closed-toe model, more adjustability is not completely necessary for comfort and stability.
Closed-toe sandals offer better stability on average than open-toe models because there is no room for the foot to slide forward uncomfortably, and the webbing surrounding the foot is much like a shoe acting to keep the foot in place. Designed by women, the Astoria West sandals are built for a slimmer foot.
The fit feels stable, but our gripe again is with the cushioned heel, making walking quickly on a trail with occasional obstacles and uneven surfaces feel insecure. Our testers preferred sandals where you could feel the ground beneath your feet for more comfortable and stable travel over varying terrain.
While this shoe can serve many purposes, from day hikes to water activities to bike rides around town, its cushioned heel makes more intense outings that require quick movement a no-go. It is definitely not our first choice for looking stylish around town.
Keen isn't exactly the brand we turn to when we want a "stylish" adventure shoe. While the Astoria West tried to elevate their older models into a new, feminine shoe for trail-to-town, we can't quite get behind this look as something we'd love to flaunt. The closed-toe, rubber bumper, webbing sandal is hard for anyone to get right. Though the added heel lift is an attempt to add comfort and flair, it can't compare to the more attractive open-toed models that we would actually wear around town in a sundress like those from Chaco or Teva.
Should You Buy the Astoria West?
If you appreciate some extra cushion and support from an adventure sandal that can go on a day hike and perform well in light-duty water activities, the Keen Astoria West may be the sandal for you. But it doesn't perform great in many of our metrics, and we wouldn't turn to it as our top choice for a versatile shoe that can truly take you from trail-to-town. Because this shoe lacks the versatility, stability, and traction of other Keen models, we don't think it's a great value for the cost. Other models cost a bit less and perform a bit better.
What Other Sandal Should You Consider?
If you love the security and protection of a closed toe-box on your adventures, we see the appeal of the Astoria West. However, our highest performing shoe of this style is the KEEN Clearwater CNX. The Clearwater is just as comfortable as the Astoria. Still, it offers better traction and stability, two components you probably want if you're looking for more foot protection in an adventure sandal. It has more adjustability and versatility, making it the option we'd choose between the two. If you aren't married to the closed-toe design, we love the Bedrock Cairn Adventure - Women's with its minimal straps and open feel, this sandal has great comfort and traction, but it lacks the toe protection some prefer on the trails or wading in water. If your budget has you "strapped" (see what we did there?), we love the Teva Original Universal - Women's, which is a lightweight sandal good for various adventures with great traction and a lower price.
— Miya Tsudome
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