After celebrating its tenth anniversary this past March, Linda Balfour said the team at KEEN footwear took a hard look at what products kept fans coming back for more. After determining what the top-selling shoes were, KEEN not only improved the existing shoes, but developed styles around new activities the audience was participating in, with a particular focus on multi-use from water to land, said KEEN Marketing Director Linda Balfour.
After experiencing success with the KEEN.CNX collection, it will be expanded upon for Spring/Summer 2014. The two new shoes, the Madison CNX and the Gallatin CNX, are named after the Madison mountain range in the Rockies and the Gallatin River that runs next to it. The Gallatin CNX (MSRP $110) is a full-coverage water shoe that is low-profile, lightweight, includes bungee lacing, and has a polyester webbed upper that is easily washable. The Madison CNX (MSRP $110) is also lightweight, made for land and includes an all-terrain rubber outside, lugs for traction, and has a quick-dry mesh.
“The entire CNX collection has been a real stepping stone for KEEN. Retailers agree that the additional styles have helped them reach new customers,” said David Orr, KEEN’s national sales director, in a news release. “Despite the late spring we saw across much of the country, the CNX collection is doing very well at retail. Summer sandal buyers have unequivocally embraced KEEN.CNX.”
Also scheduled for release in Spring/Summer 2014 is the Rapids Collection made specifically for water use. The two new shoes being debuted are the Class 5 and Class 6. The women’s Class 5 (MSRP $80) has a quick-drying upper and is a lightweight, technical sandal that is recommended for raft guides. There is also a Flip version of the sandal (MSRP $50) that offers the same level of traction but with a more casual, everyday style. The Class 6 (MSRP $90), like many of KEEN’s shoes, has a bungee lace system, a soft foot-bed, large lugs for traction, and quick-dry technology. This is also available in a men’s Slide version (MSRP $50).
“KEEN has been the go-to protective sandal for the last 10 years. The Rapids Series builds off of that reputation. These performance-driven styles are true to KEEN’s DNA, while taking a huge leap forward with new design,” said Jeff Dill, KEEN’s outdoor business unit director, in a news release. “We spent a lot of time creating the perfect combination of protective performance and stable traction. The Rapids series gives water enthusiasts exactly what they need.”
KEEN is also expanding its existing women’s BLVD Collection with three new shoes. The Maderas Boat (MSRP $60) and the Maderas Sneaky (MSRP $60) are two of the new styles in the Maderas Collection–both are eco-conscious shoes with a casual look. The Kanga Collection’s Kanga MJ (MSRP $80) includes breathable mesh, can be easily slipped on and off, and include the traditional strap. The Cortona Collection’s Cortona Ballet (MSRP $65) is a certified vegan shoe that is an upgrade in comfort from a traditional flat. Also new to the CNX line are the Rivington MJ CNX and the Rivington Ballerina CNX (both MSRP $100).
The last new additions are to the children’s collection with the Newport Premium (MSRP $55), which is an upgrade from the original Newport H2. The Chandler CNX is a multi-sport shoe that is full coverage and includes breathable mesh. Other new shoes include the Cortona Ballet, the Rivington MJ, the Maderas, and the Jamison, all for children.
Balfour said with the children’s collection, KEEN is trying to incorporate transitional shoes that move easily from summer into the school year.
“The infusion of color and texture into our kids’ styles this season is really going to grab the attention of both kids and parents,” said Erin Simons, product line manager for Kids at KEEN, in a news release. “With new styles and updates to our favorites, the KEEN promise of durability and protection is amplified for Spring/Summer 2014 with a rainbow of colors and prints.”
Images courtesy KEEN