The History of the Brand: Keen

keen logo on olive green box

Beloved by men, women, and children, Keen is a staple in any active family’s shoe closet. The Keen brand was virtually an overnight success and has grown into an international sensation. Their quality manufacturing and thoughtful designs turn many first-time buyers into lifelong fans, but where did this inspiring success story begin? The history of Keen Footwear is a new take on the old saying: Necessity is the mother of invention  Continue reading

Favorite Fall Activity: Camping Essentials

Camping Essentials

Whenever you go camping, you never know what the weather will be like. This in-between time, after summer and before winter, means it may be hot and dry one day, and cold and rainy – even snowy – the next.

You need to prepare for whatever the weather and conditions are by ensuring you have the right clothing and footwear. Packing the right boots, jackets, and other gear will make all the difference in enjoying a cozy and comfortable camping adventure or being miserable because you did not bring the proper wardrobe.

Boots and Shoes

Probably one of the most important items you need to pack is proper footwear. You will need some sturdy shoes that are suitable for the woods and hiking. You will need a pair of quality boots that will keep your feet warm and dry should the weather turn bad.

One good choice is the Sorel Ankeny Elk Stout boot for men. This footwear offers not only great protection when the weather turns cold, but it also looks great, too. The textile mesh lining will keep your feet dry and warm, while the removable molded EVA insert gives you terrific heel and arch support.

A practical yet stylish woman’s boot for camping is the b.o.c Women’s Saturn, with faux leather uppers and a plaid collar around the top. There is a rubber outsole, and the heel is about 1½ inches.

Some women prefer a mid-height boot. If you are one of them, try the b.o.c. Women’s Cybele that has chic straps and buckles, with a side zipper, that make them very easy to put on and take off. They are lightweight, too, and have a padded insole.

Hats for Outdoor Activites

Hats

If you want to stay warm, you need a hat. According to the U.S. Army field manual, you lose 40-45% of your body’s heat through your head. This makes bringing a hat along critical when you go on a camping trip. Hats also protect you from getting sunburn on your face or head.

Hats are small and easy to pack, so there is no reason why you can’t bring several with you on your trip. A ball cap is great for keeping you from getting sunburn.

When it is overcast and cold, an easy and stylish way to keep your head warm is wearing a beanie. For example, for women, the North Face Denali Thermal Beanie is a great fashion addition for camping or any cold fall day. It is lightweight and comes in pink, gray, white, or black. Reasonably priced, you can pick up a couple so that, no matter what you wear, your beanie will match it.

Gloves

Make sure that you bring a couple of pairs of gloves with you when you go camping. If it is late fall or you know that an early snow is possible, ensure you have a pair of warm, lined mittens that will keep your whole hand warm. You might want to consider something that is also waterproof.

For less harsh camping climate extremes, pack a pair of insulated suede or leather gloves. Remember, you will be camping, and you will need something that offers good protection to your hands while at the same time keeps them warm.

Fall Jackets

Sweaters and Jackets

Sweaters are very practical items to pack for any camping trip. Even in the summer, the weather can turn chilly at night. In the fall, on a nice day, a sweater will keep you warm but not encumber you while walking the trails.

You will need at least two jackets: one lightweight and one substantially heavier. During the day, you can layer your clothing, maybe a sweater and jacket, or even a hunting vest and jacket.

You need the heavier jacket for the brisker night air or for that frosty morning.

Rain Gear

Rain is part of camping. Be prepared by storing a poncho and or slicker, along with the rest of your camping gear.

Bring along a rain jacket, too, and make sure it has features such as a stow-away hood, adjustable cuffs, and drawcords to keep it snug if the wind is blowing.

Many are light enough that they can be folded when not in use.

Final Thoughts

While you may not scrimp on food or hiking gear, don’t make the mistake of forgetting to pack the right clothing. You never know when an extra pair of boots, a rain parka, a sweater, or gloves will come in handy.

 

Find Your Perfect Hiking Boot

For those of you who enjoy hiking, finding the right pair of boots for your journeys can be very challenging.  Eventually every sole of every boot will wear thin, the stitching will come undone and even the best of leathers on the most reliable boots will crack and need to be replaced.  Hiking boots are all replaceable, however your feet are with you for life, so take care of them while you can by wearing the right boot for your hiking experiences. When shopping for hiking boots some important things to consider are boot material, the exterior sole, shank and the cuff of the shoe.  The best materials for hiking boots are breathable water resistant/waterproof fabrics or leather.  Fabrics that tear easily or that are not water resistant/waterproof should be avoided.  Leather boots are great because of their durability and they protect your feet for longer periods of time.  The exterior sole of a boot should bend slightly and flex naturally.  The men’s and women’s Keen Koven WP are hiking boots with a mulit- directional exterior sole that is the perfect boot for rugged rocky trails and rugged terrain. This boot is comfortable, durable and will protect your feet on any hiking trip.  Also, the tread on the Keen Koven WP gives you good traction but won’t retain mud and rocks which cause buildup and add weight to the shoe.  The shanks of a boot are thick inserts sandwiched between a boots midsole and outsole and add load-bearing stiffness to the midsole.  Most shanks are made of lightweight nylon or thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). Shanks vary in size; some cover the entire length of the boot.  The best way to test the shank of the shoe is by bending your foot in half.  If the shoe doesn’t bend much or it only bends at a certain spot, that is how long the shank is.  The cuffs of hiking boots are the sections of fabric that fit around the ankle.  The most important thing to look for in a cuff is that it doesn’t rub your ankle.  If the cuff is too tight or too lose, it can rub up and down causing friction and ultimately cause your ankles and feet pain.

Some good brands to consider when shopping for hiking boots are Keen Boots, Merrell hiking boots and Anuh. Each of these brands offer many different styles and colors of hiking boots for both men and women. Merrell’s Moab Ventilator is a great hiking boot available for both men and women and is perfect for various types of hiking trails. Check out Keen’s Koven hiking boots and the Targhee II boots.  Both style of boots are also available for men and women and are versatile, comfortable and durable hiking boots.

When shopping for hiking boots all of these factors should be taken into consideration in order to to help best choose the right boot for your feet.  Also keep in mind what type of hiking you will be doing and get a boot that meets your hiking trail needs.  Check out Houser Shoes great selection of men’s and women’s hiking boots and find the perfect pair of boots for you today.