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Reviews > Footwear > Sandals > KEEN Newport Hydro Sandals > Test Report by Jamie DeBenedetto

Women's Newport Hydro Sandals



Reviewed by Jamie DeBenedetto

Report Contents

May 25th, 2018

July 28th, 2018

September 30th, 2018

Reviewer's Information

Field Tests

Collective Use and Field Conditions

Product Information & Description

Pros and Cons

Long Term Findings

Arrival Condition


Final Thoughts

First Impressions    



Initial Report
May 25th, 2017

Reviewer's Information

Name Jamie J. DeBenedetto

Me and the Saguaro

Age and Gender Female, 45 years old

Height 5' 11" (180 cm)

Weight 175 lb (79 kg)

Shoe Size Woman's US 11 to 12 depending on shoe

Email JamieD1005-at-gmail-dot-com


I spent many hours of my youth fishing, rafting, creeking, and day-hiking in the wild places of Arizona. I caught the backpacking bug in high school. Presently I work as an exPAWdition leader so I'm in the field, usually with a pack of dogs, at least sixteen times a month. Primarily I'm a day-hiker with the occasional family camping trip mixed.
I prefer hammocks over ground sleeping and I gravitate toward multifunctional gear that enhances my comfort level with minimal fuss and weight. My total pack weight is typically less than 25 lbs (11 kg).

Location Phoenix, Arizona(AZ) - The Grand Canyon State - USA















Product Information Back to contents

Manufacturer URL
Model Year 2018
Made in Cambodia
MSRP $100.00 USD
Available Colors Several styles available
Available Sizes
Women's 5 to 11 (EU 35 to 42)
Weight per Shoe
Not given
Care Instructions "All KEEN water sandals are machine washable. Use a small amount of detergent, wash on gentle cycle and air dry."
Warranty None given

(Above: Taken from the Manufacturer's Website or Packaging)

(Below: Observed by Tester as Received)

Weight per Shoe (taken with a digital office scale) 1 lb 12 oz / 802 g for the pair
Test Size and Color
US 11 / EU 42 / UK 8.5 - Grey/Blue Turquoise color


Product Description Back to contents

The 2018 version of the Women's Keen Newport Hydro Sandals is updated with a quick-dry lining and washable, PFC-Free** hydrophobic webbing. The inner lining is a bit stretchy and lightly padded protecting the foot from the outer, less forgiving polyester webbing. Crisscrossing the webbing is the "secure fit lace capture system" which is a combo of cord-lock and lightweight bungee cord woven through the eyelets. As with most Keen footwear the outsoles extend up and over the toe box for added toe protection. The outsoles are made of non-marking rubber with a multi-directional lug pattern that's not super deep but does offer some channels to displace water and provide grip on wet surfaces. The Hydros have a lightweight shank for arch support but they are by no means rigid. The inner footbed is anatomically designed to sort of hug the foot, and is made from an anti-odor material.

** PFC is short for perfluorocarbons which is a family of chemicals commonly used in non-stick cookware, DWR clothing and other water-replant gear. Recent research has spotlighted the negative health effects of PFCs to humans and the overall environment. As such many ethically conscious companies are moving away from PFCs in favor of more environmentally conscious alternatives.

Arrival Condition and Informational Material Back to contents

The Keen Hydros arrived in good, ready-to-wear condition. I didn't find any defects or other issues that would prompt an exchange for another pair.

Excluding what was written on the shoebox, no additional informational material was included with the sandals. All product details for this report were taken from the manufacturer's website with the exception of the "Made in" location, which was taken from the shoebox. The Keen website was user friendly and gave what I feel was an accurate description of the Newport Hydros, especially regarding color choices, size options and the features I could expect the sandals to have.

Expectations and First Impressions Back to contents

While Keen offers several other sandals suitable for water activities the Hydros are the only ones they claim were "born of water". With that glowing pronouncement the bar has been set and pretty high I'd say. I typically like to wear some kind of water shoes whenever I go to our local lakes, rivers, etc. A few locations, particularly near Phoenix are heavily used and sadly broken glass, fishing hooks, and all kinds of other human hazards lie in wait on the shores or in the shallows. Living in a warm climate also makes wearing sandals pretty much a year round option so I plan to get quite a lot of use out of these shoes in all sorts of conditions. I owned a similar style, the Newport H2s, years ago and they served me well for hiking and water play. With that experience in mind and all the manufacturer claims for this new 2018 model, I expect the Newport Hydros to have very little break-in time, protect my feet and toes, offer good traction on wet, slippery surfaces, and dry in a timely manner.

The Hydros look nice and most importantly they appear to fit, although a bit differently than the two pairs of Keen sandals I've owned previously. This pair for some reason feels a smidge shorter. I have slightly less room in the toe box than I do in the other pairs. I really won't know if the difference is going to be a problem until I have a chance to wear them more but I'm hoping after some break-in they will be fine. Having enough room while barefoot isn't my concern as much as having enough room to use socks, which I like to do when I know I will be walking through cold water or sandy/pebbly terrain. Keen doesn't have a women's option larger than US 11 / EU 42 / UK 8.5 so if these don't work out, I guess I'm out of luck!

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Field Report
July 28th, 2018

Field Tests Back to contents

May - Three day weekend near Flagstaff, Arizona. Elevation 6,600 ft (2000 m). Pine forest with mostly dirt/rock/leaf litter covered trails. Temperature range: 69 to 37 F (21 to 3 C) with crazy strong winds on day two. The Keen Newport Hydro Sandals were worn every day and used for day hiking twice.

I brought the Hydros on this outing mainly to break them in a bit more even though I knew we would not be hiking through any water. I had been wearing them around town some but hadn't taken them off pavement yet. Both day hikes were short since I prefer to have more ankle support for longer hikes and obviously sandals do not provide that. I think we did about 2 hours on one hike and around an hour on the second. Although they were not broken in well prior to these hikes I didn't have any major issues.

Other than letting in all manner of debris, the Hydros offered great traction on all surfaces. Our shorter hike was about 80% rock hoping in the dry creek bed where I was very thankful for the full toe protection.

June - Three day camping trip in the pines of the Coconino Nation Forest, Arizona. Elevation 7,000ft (2,100 m). Temperatures ranged between 71and 40 F (22 to 4 C). We had rain on two of the three days, mostly clear on the third. The sandals were worn primarily as camp shoes all three days with socks.

The only thing noteworthy from this trip was the tightness of the webbing. Having worn them at least a dozen times prior to the trip I still found them a little tight on the outside edges of my insteps, especially over thin socks. Hoping they will break in a bit more soon.

July - Kayaking day trip at Lake Pleasant Regional Park in Peoria, Arizona. Elevation 1,700 ft (520 m). Conditions were clear and sunny with a high temperature of 102 F (39 C). Four hours in and out of the water in one form or another, feet wet for about five hours. No socks.

This is for sure the Hydros' element. I love wearing Keens when I paddle because of the toe protection. I find I bang into my boats more than I care to admit while loading and unload so having that enclosed toe box is a little piggy saver. A few times I exited the kayak to swim for a few minutes, mainly to get wet since it was a warm day. The sandals stayed very secure on my feet. Never once feeling like they might slip off accidentally. Even when I sunk knee-deep into a sand bar they stuck to my feet like glue. Of course they filled with tons of sand and small pebbles forcing an immediate emptying but that's a given with sandals so I knew what to expect.

Knowing we'd be out for a good long while I didn't bring a change of shoes this time because I wanted to wear the Hydros the whole day to check drying time and cleaning afterward. On both accounts they performed well. Our shoreline was a little muddy so I waited until all boats were loaded before giving them one last wash off at my SUV with the Handy Shower (an item I'm also testing). All the sand and mud washed right out of the channels on the sole and the mesh webbing on the topside looked good as new too. I left the lake with dry feet that had just been placed back into wet sandals but really it wasn't very noticeable. That is to say the wetness of the nylon webbing was so negligible I didn't have to drive home feeling uncomfortable or knowing when I arrived home there would be a big puddle of water on my floor mats.

The tightness on my insteps was again noticeable by day's end leaving me with four little red marks when I took them off at home. The pressure spots are very minor, nothing I'm overly concerned with at this point when the sandals are still very new and haven't totally conformed to my feet yet.

Pros and Cons Thus Far Back to contents

Pleasing Aspects:

  • Protection created by the toecap
  • Good traction
  • Shed water quickly

Underwhelming Aspects:

  • Feel slightly shorter and tighter than similar Keens of the same size I've owned in the past.


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Long-Term Report
September 30th, 2018

Collective Use and Field Conditions Back to contents

Over the final two months of testing I have worn the Keen Newport Hydro Sandals on four additional outings, which brings my collective field use to ten days. They have also been used around town at least 5 out of 7 days per week since the end of July.

August - Day hike near New River, Arizona (AZ). Elevation 2,000 ft (610 m). The temperature was around 97 F (36 C), partly cloudy.

September - Overnight backpacking trip in the Prescott National Forest, AZ. Elevation around 6,500 ft (2,000 m). Temperatures ranged between 85 and 50 F (29 and 10 C), sunny and clear both days.

September - Day hike along the Verde River, Tonto National Forest, AZ. Elevation average 1,500ft (500 m). Weather was clear and sunny with a high of 103 F (40 C).

(The picture on the left is from the middle of the Verde River as I crossed for the 2nd or 3rd time. The picture on the right is from my New River hike. Plenty of sand, rocks and bovine to keep me company.)

Long Term Findings Back to contents

Thankfully the Keen Newport Hydro Sandals finally broke in nicely and I haven't had any additional problems with tightness over the instep or hot spots. I decided to start wearing them on a daily basis to speed up their break-in and that did the trick. Although I still contend they have slightly less room in the toe box than previous Keens I've owned that has thus far not resulted in any discomfort, even while wearing them with socks.

Durability has been very good. Typical of Keens, the outer soul remains thick and sturdy. It has provided excellent protection from thorns, cactus and cow patties, which was a constant obstacle on my August and September day hikes. The outer straps and toe box are still in good shape too. No snags or chunks taken out of the material. The bungee-style lacing and cord locks are also still holding everything in place as they should.

I'm on the fence regarding the sandals' footbeds. They are quite comfortable and performed well, but they collect dirt so easily that I constantly have this black goo buildup, especially where the balls of my feet hit. It drives me crazy! I have taken to washing them off in my bathtub weekly sometimes twice-weekly to alleviate the problem. This does help but it's a minor hassle. On the upside, the footbeds are not slippery even when wet. I found them consistently surefooted regardless of whether or not I was barefoot or wearing socks. They do sometimes make an odd squeaky sound, however, when I wear them barefooted. The smell factor is low, maybe a 2 out of 10 which is a good sign that the anti-odor properties in the material are working.

Traction gets high marks. I've tested this trait on dirt tracks, loose gravel, while traversing forest-covered ravines, over dry and very slippery river rock and up and down sandy slopes. In all conditions the lugs kept me on my feet and off my tush!

Final Thoughts Back to contents

I really liked the Keen Newport Hydro Sandals. Their versatility is really their best quality in my opinion. With a quick wash off they transitioned seemly from river to grocery store in a matter of minutes. They're light enough to strap to a pack to use when needed but they provide enough support and comfort to be worn as the only shoe option even for full day outings. In all aspects they performed as expected and with the quality I've come to appreciate from Keen products.

My thanks to Keen Inc. and for the opportunity to be a part of this test series.


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Reviews > Footwear > Sandals > KEEN Newport Hydro Sandals > Test Report by Jamie DeBenedetto

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