I have the kind of skin in which anything new on my feet or in my hands is guaranteed to give me blisters. It’s just a fact of life for me.
Even shoes that I have broken in but haven’t worn in a while will do it to me. (Even shoes I wear all the time if I'm in them too long will too!) So when I decided to wear my brand new Keen Whispers on a hiking trail I’ve never been on and didn’t know how long I was going to be, I made sure to bring my usual back-up flip flops. Boy was I in for the surprise of a lifetime- I didn’t need the flip flops and I didn’t get blisters! I really can’t even begin to tell you how much this says for this shoe.
This was really a pretty tough hiking trail, (check out the Adam’s Canyon article!) definitely not one I wanted to bust out the flip flops for. We hiked in loose sand, did some rock wall scaling, played around in a rock bed river and ran much of the way down the mountain on our way out and not once did I even think my feet were getting even a little sore or raw from my brand new shoes. These shoes are so incredibly comfortable right from the get go, this may be one of the best purchases I have ever made.
The sole of these shoes grips very well to any terrain. There were some pretty steep ups and downs on this trail and I had no problem at all keeping my footing. The bungee cord on top tightens down to the perfect comfort and fit for any foot, and your toes are well protected. I typically wear size 8 to 8.5 in most shoes and got the 8.5 in this and it fits perfect. The only downside I noticed on my hike was that the back of the shoe is really pretty stretchy and not reinforced with bungee cord or anything real stiff, so when you’re hiking uphill your foot tends to slip to the back and your heel hangs over, especially when the inside is wet. You can tighten the bungee cord to help this but then it feels way tight around your ankle and the rest of your foot. This didn’t really create any problems for me, I didn’t lose my footing or get any blisters from it anyways, but it was just something I noticed about the shoe that I wish were different. All in all, this is a wonderful shoe and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good hiking/water shoe!