Gear Review: KEEN Whisper Sandals for Women

You know what the worst thing about writing product reviews is? Here’s a hint, it’s a spouse who grumbles “why can’t you get me something?”

That’s how I wound up arranging for a trial pair of KEEN’s new Whisper sandals for my wife about two months or so ago. The great experiment has been well worth it, as Charlene is giving the product an enthusiastic endorsement.

She’s tried them in pretty much the whole gamut of conditions and terrain available to us here in the Niagara Escarpment/Georgian Bay countryside where we live in Southern Ontario. She also took them on a trip into northern Ontario’s Agawa Canyon with outstanding results.

The shoes also accompanied her everywhere during a six-week program introducing local girls to outdoor activities. That included hiking on the Bruce Trail, caving along the escarpment, and wading in local waters.

In between the sandals were used for water sports, kayaking and general work and play. The grip was phenomenal and the Whispers were immensely comfortable.

Charlene’s judgment, after all that, was that once she laced the sandals up tightly, she felt like she could tackle any warm-weather environment around with perfect security and comfort.

The sandals were even able to handle her lingering problems after an Achilles tendon rupture a few years ago. The all-around support was ideal for her ankle and feet.

Apparently, KEEN’s colour palette is nothing to sneeze at either. The sandals came in a pattern called Purple Heart Raya, which looked more than good enough for her to step off the trail and into the office, a store or a restaurant with other women quick to compliment her on the footwear.

The sandals have converted her firmly into a KEENer from various other brands she’s used in the past, particularly Reebok and Columbia. Interestingly, she has a very similar “clone” pair to the KEENs that she bought from a national outlet that totally suffer by comparison. When it came to comfort, durability, support and grip, those sandals just didn’t measure up to the Whispers.

The only criticism she had, and it was a small one due simply to the design of the sandal or perhaps a slight sizing issue, was that her little toes on each foot would occasionally pop out. Since the Whispers feature a very open strap concept, some of that was understandable as an inherent problem with such a sandal. Charlene also wondered if perhaps she should have ordered a half-size smaller than her normal 10, although the fit was good otherwise.

She’s already added the Whispers to her list of things to take along on a Caribbean vacation we’re planning for next winter.

For more information on the KEEN Whisper Sandals, visit

To purchase the KEEN Whisper Sandals, click here.

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