Even though most hiking will use boots or shoes for their hiking adventures, other options are available. One popular choice is sandals, and the Keen Newport H2  sandal has proved to be a bit of a winner. The Keen Newport H2  is classed as a water shoe yet offers so much more.

In this guide, we’ll look at what this sandal has to offer and provide you with an in-depth review of the feature features. After that, we’ll discuss the pros and cons and any limitations. Finally, the guide will explain the difference between the Newport H2 and other Keen sandals.

Keen Newport H2 Sandal Review


KEEN Newport H2 Sandal Lacing System And Fit

The Keen Newport H2 sandal ticks all the boxes when it comes to overall comfort. The upper material is made of neoprene-backed webbing so that every point of contact with your foot water-resistant. The cushioned footbed will also help to combat chafing and rubbing.

Not only does the neoprene make for a more comfortable hike, but it also dries faster than nylon and offers superior performance when it gets wet. The rest of the sandal is designed with water sports and activities in mind as well.

There is plenty of drainage points in the upper material, which lets the water exit the footbed – allowing your feet to dry fast. The footbed uses a dense, closed-cell foam that is resilient in water and very comfortable and supportive — even for those of you with high arches.

KEEN Newport H2 Sandal Full Review


At first glance, you might think Keen Newport H2’s look more like a shoe than a sandal – due mainly to the closed-toe designed. The closed-toe is a crucial selling point of the Newport H2 because closed-toe models may perform better in overall stability.

The Newport has a thick sole material that is pretty stiff and resilient for how light it is. When you also throw in a rubber reinforced toe box and full coverage around the foot area and the TPU shank, this sandal is rail-ready. You’ll be able to put the sandal through miles of use and abuse. While there are stiffer sole materials out there to buy. The Keen Newport H2 sandal offers perfect blend of the sole fabric, toe box, and upper materials. As a result, we have one of the most stable and reliable models for hikers.

Grip And Traction

KEEN Newport H2 Sandal Grip

The Newport H2 does have a very stiff rubber outsole optimized for wet performance. A sporty tread design clamps into dry surfaces and grooves similar to those found on water and winter tires. You’ll be impressed how well the sandal grips in wet conditions and how quickly the sole can transition from wet to dry surfaces.

The Newport provides some of the best wet-condition traction that we’ve seen. Despite not having Vibram sole material, the Newport’s rubber outsole material feels and performs to a high level. However, it lacks the ultra angular and aggressive tread designs found on traditional trail shoes. Consequently, it won’t perform as well in mud or through loose, gravelly trail routes. Overall, we are impressed with the Newport’s grip and traction capabilities. Especially when considering how relatively light and spongy the sole feels.

Fit & Lacing System

In terms of adjustability, Keen has opted for the simple, no-fuss method here. There is one point of adjustment from a loop of elastic with a cord lock to tighten. Keen has used a Secure-fit Lace Capture system, which uses stretchy cords for laces – that are locked in place with a clip.

The fitting system is comfortable and easy to use; however, if you have narrow feet, you might not be able to get the fit you require. This is something to bear in mind before buying. Users who cannot get a comfortably snug fit might cause foot movement inside the shoe and on more extreme downhill terrain, which could cause discomfort.

KEEN Newport H2 Sandal womens

Sports Versatility

Although it’s genuinely most at home in the water, the Newport performs well in various activities, including biking and skateboarding. From our research, users seem to agree that the toe box and the top-of-foot protection gave them the confidence to treat this sandal like a hiking shoe. They didn’t need to slow down when hiking trickier terrain.

To further add to performance features is the sandal’s amphibious characteristics, so it is reliable both in and out of the water. Hikers can cross streams and rivers without having to remove their shoes, boots, and socks with the Keen Newport H2 sandal.

While the Newport can take you through all kinds of conditions and terrain, the closed nature of this sandal again makes it challenging to remove sand and small pebbles once they’ve snuck inside. Overall, the Newport H2 is very adaptable in various sports and outdoor adventures.

KEEN Newport H2 Sandal Various Colors

Keen Newport H2 Pros & Cons

  • The KEEN Newport H2 gets great comments from countless satisfied owners for its marvelous comfort. 
  • Many reviewers have hailed the high level of traction this sandal gives on both wet and dry ground.
  • The Newport H2 has great arch support, according to many happy users.
  • The sandal for providing great stability on uneven terrain.
  • It is a quick-drying sandal
  • Little if not zero break-in time -wear them straight out of the box
  • Extremely lightweight and easy on your feet
  • A few reviewers reported ankle strap stitching issues after a few months of use.
  • Removing debris while wearing the sandal is tough; you’ll need to take the sandal off first.
  • A small portion of users encountered excessive foot sweating with extended use of the sandal. 

Keen Newport H2 Sandal For Kids

KEEN Newport H2 Sandal Kids Version

As well as offering both men’s and women’s versions, you can also get Keen Newport H2 for kids. So, if you want to introduce your children to hiking, you can kit them out just like mummy and daddy. You might also be interested in our guide to the best trekking poles for kids. If you want to get your children to fall in love with the outdoors, it can help if you get them right hiking gear.

Newport H2 Vs. Newport Orginal

A big difference between the two is the upper material. The Newport H2 version features a polyester webbing, while the origin newport’s upper is leather. Both models can perform when you encounter water. If your feet are submerged in water, KEEN has stated that the H2 version is a better choice as it will repel, drain and dry much faster. The leather version can soak up the water, take longer to dry, and, as a result, feel heavier on your feet.

Newport H2 Vs. Newport Hydro

Although both are water sandals, the Hydro version is for water sports such as boating, rafting, canoeing, and kayaking. Whereas the Newport H2 is for users who will encounter water hazards and obstacles during their walks and hikes. The H2 offers greater support, where has the Hydro model has more flexibility, and for walking on land, it offers little support.

Compare Sandals For Hiking

Final Thoughts On The Keen Newport H2

The Keen Newport H2 sets the standard for closed-toe sandals, with its impressive performance. A supportive yet lightweight design that can deal with nearly any condition. Featuring a sizeable protective toe box, quick-drying materials, and impressively grippy outsole.

This H2 sandal will appeal to watersports enthusiasts and people looking for a more protective hiking sandal. With more protection than most sandals and more breathability than most hiking shoes, the Newport strikes a unique balance making it great for walking in water and on dry land.

I believe pricing of the Newport H2 is justified, and what you would expect from a high-quality product made by a leading brand like Keen. While it can’t be considered cheap, we think the price is fair based upon the top-of-the-line performance features that it provides.

Got some more free time? Please take a look at our guides on shock-absorbing trekking poles and trail running shoes for hiking.

What Are Water Shoes?

When going on vacation to a hot climate, you might intuitively think that water shoes will be a better fit for your trip. However, please be aware that water shoes varying in quality. At 10 Best Hiking, we like to feature budget-busting items; however, you sometimes need to pay for extra quality.

Sure water shoes can be cheap; however, the cheaper ones are limited. They are okay for on the beach and protecting your feet from sharp coral and rocks in the sea. If you want footwear for chilling on the beach, then a cheaper, no-frills pair will be fine.

The issue with most run-of-the-mill water shoes is that the midsole can be pretty lame. It can give some essential protection but lacks the support and impact absorption for serious hiking with them.

Another issue with cheaper options is that the fabric used is not quick dry. As a result, water tends to pool up in the footbed, which is not exceptionally comfortable when exiting the water. Therefore, if you intend to do plenty of walking and hiking, stretching out your budget to a high-quality pair is recommended.

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