THE FIRST IMPRESSION
The most obvious thing about how the Waimea H2 differs from ‘ordinary’ flip flops, even the upper end of the range, is the distinctive fact that these have a toe guard on them.
Why this may be the case and whether you opt for this particular design could be for a range of reasons.
Maybe, like one reviewer you are of the debatable opinion that “no woman wants to see a man over forty’s feet” or perhaps you have got some hideous fungal nail condition that needs covering up or some other reason to hide your big toe.
On a more practical note, if you want to wear these whilst river walking, beach combing or other types of hiking where flip flops may not be adequate coverage, then of course, these are going to be of use.
Whatever the reason for your purchase, here is a flip flop that can defend against small stones, twigs and other abrasions that may attack your tootsies in ‘ordinary’ flip flops. And it will stop women turning to stone whilst you’re out and about.
Of course, given the fact that for some of the models these can cost south of $100, then this would be the least you want – in fact you might be wanting some sort force field around your big toe for that price!
The other thing you should know about this sandal is that for the purposes of this review, we are predominantly looking at the review of the innertube/black midnight and midnight navy/ neutral gray.
These are slightly different colors to the most recent varieties that have been hatched on Keen’s own website, but seem identical in all other respects.
EXCEPT FOR and this is quite an exception, the innertube/black. This is, if you look at it, made from a patent and shiny material which proudly bears the label ‘recycled inner tube’. Hence, the name innertube!
This is not just one of those moments that the manufacturer dreamt up some preposterous name and heaven knows, we have seen some of them in our time.
This is called inner tube because it is an inner tube! This means the other model(s) are markedly different, because the strappy top part of the sandal is made from fabric textile.
What do they look like? Here the words robust, sturdy, water resilient and comfortable come to mind.
Likely to pull members of the opposite sex in? Probably not, but we would say that about any flip flop, or indeed sandal! At least these look appropriately well heeled, literally.
THE COMFORT FACTOR
At over $100 for most of these sandals, we are naturally expecting the moon on a stick in terms of comfort. But do the Keen Waimea H2s deliver?
The good news is that most of the people who have bought them think they are a decent fit and in the comfort zone.
Like walking on air? We’re not quite sure, there are definitely one or two people out there for whom they are not going to feel like an angel’s kiss.
The odd unlucky wearer may get a blister, but on the whole most customers report that these slip on just fine and don’t rub. Better still, they can notch up a fair few miles as well.
In terms of arch support – yes this does have some, so if you’re in need of extra comfort in this area, then these would be a good choice.
The EVA midsole means the ground doesn’t whip your feet savagely with each footstep and instead creates a comfortable cushion feeling. The traction on the non-marking sole is good and these are definitely a water shoe.
In fact, one of the selling points is the quick drying properties.
Despite the decent soles and good grips, these won’t weight your feet down and don’t feel heavy to walk around in. Which is good news.
What is the fit like on these? 77% of people who replied said the size was spot on, with a small number thinking that they run a little large.
For good measure, there is a minority who believe them to be a little narrow and that anyone with extra broad fittings may need to scale up a size.
These wear well, in a nutshell. Happy owners are full of tales of these lasting many years – which is pretty good for a flip flop! There is always the odd sandal that gives blisters, but they are an anomaly.
We think that these should give at least a couple of years of faithful service – but naturally a lot of this will come down to how often you wear them.
They’re a beach shoe, not so much made for long distance hiking. But should you find yourself on a bit of a trek, they should be okay for a reasonable duration.
These aren’t really recommended for any round the world trips, but for your waterborne vacation they should handle nicely.
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD KNOW?
Like all Keen sandals, these are machine washable and should dry quickly when wet.
They are comfortable and durable and the Aegis Microbe Shield should help to stop any outrageous pongs…
BUT the only thing you should know is on the ‘inner tube’ model is, well, it basically is an inner tube and does therefore smell a bit like a tire.
Other than that, we are hard pushed to say anything cautionary about these sandals, except do make sure these are the genuine article before you buy them, sometimes Keen sandals are copied by ne’er do well’s.
Once you have a genuine pair of Keen Waimea’s they shouldn’t let you down.
Highly recommended for anyone looking for a decent pair of flip flops and feels shy about their tootsies being on display!