The Keen Clearwater CNX combines the sturdiness and protection that KEEN is known for while breaking the company's mold with a light and bulk-free design. Even with its foot bumper (designed to protect toes but often a source of excessive bulk in KEEN shoes), the Clearwater remains light, nimble, and stylish. Our testers were pleasantly surprised by this model's versatility. It missed out on Editors' Choice largely because, as a closed-toe model, it blurs the line between shoe and sandal. If you want to be ready for whatever the backcountry throws at you with your sandals, though, this Top Pick winner is your match.
Although the Clearwater is a good choice for high-intensity water sports, consider the KEEN Newport H2 for trips where you'll be wearing a dry or wetsuit, as this model has more room for booties. And if you need a rugged sandal but require less protection than the Clearwater provides, consider the Chaco Z/Cloud 2.