Shortly after Ryan and I first started dating (eight years ago), he bought me a pair of Keen Newport Sandals. It has been nothing short of a love affair ever since… for all parties. He said that he wanted to buy me shoes that would last years and hold up to all the hiking that we would be doing together. Ryan did his usual research to find the best shoes, and we decided on my Keen shoes, the same ones I am still wearing eight years later.
The first hike these bad boys went on was trailing through the Twin Arches, in Tennessee. That was the day I knew Ryan had picked the perfect pair of shoes for me. We were able to run and take on everything the trail had to offer without my feet hurting or being hot. Plus, they were green (my favorite color), enough said.
Every time I slip into my Keen’s, I recall a memory…or twenty. Eight years and countless trails, the adventures are aplenty. Climbing the Chimney Tops in Tennessee was no problem thanks to the grip on the bottoms of my versatile shoes.
There was one of our most daunting hikes in Vermont. My thighs still ache with the memories, but my Keen shoes never failed me. Not once have I ever regretted our time together.
I will always think back on our New England hikes with fondness. Backpacking through New Hampshire was one of our more spectacular adventures. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. My Keen’s have seen it all.
No matter what the trails threw at us, I knew my Keen’s would stand strong. Thanks to my shoes being water friendly and covering my toes I have never felt concern over having the ‘right shoes.’ They dry fast to boot.
The picture below was from 2010 when Ryan and I were back home for a week from Massachusetts. We were backpacking with a handful of our BFF’s and stopped off for a swim at Midnight Hole in East Tennessee. Sorry for the crummy quality of the picture.
My all-time favorite shoes aren’t just loyal in the wild, they hang daily in the garden. It is true, there is no other shoe I’d rather wear while pulling weeds and building fences. The only thing I have against them is that a little dirt or leaves gets in them while I’m building compost, raking leaves, or doing something like double digging. So I have to clear it out every so often. My Keen’s are so comfortable and allow me feet to breath, I happily deal.
But let it be clear, as much work as they put in, my Keen shoes know how to kickback and enjoy a slow day with good company.
And even though they are starting to show their age and signs of continuous wear, there is no shoe better than my mean green Keen’s.
After all, when you have a pair of shoes that are this adaptable to so many of life’s ventures (like cleaning the bathroom of the wickedly old New England house), you hold on to them until the bitter end. Lucky for me, that means at least another four years. Only time will tell, but I am continuing to hold on… I might actually shed a tear when it is time to retire the green Keen shoes that my love bought me back when our relationship was brand new. One thing you can bank on is these deeply loved shoes will be replaced with another pair of Keen’s.
I currently have a pair of Keen boots that I scored at an REI garage sale, but our relationship is three years young. There is mad love there, but not quite full post worthy… yet.
Fun Fact: Buying quality, long lasting shoes has become something on the romantic side Ryan does for me. Seriously, our one year wedding anniversary equaled a sweet pair of new shoes. (They made a small appearance in one of our Florida posts, here.) What girl wouldn’t love that?