Who is KEEN?
KEEN inspires everyone to live with no ceiling. KEEN is a family-owned, values-led maker of hybrid footwear of sandals, boots, and sneakers. The brand is on a mission to make the outdoors and trades more accessible and inclusive. In 2003, the Portland, Oregon-based brand asked: Can a sandal protect your toes? And then KEEN kept going. Can a shoe company save public lands? Can we build a shoe factory in America? KEEN always has been difference-makers who make shoes. KEEN continues to do its part to create a positive effect on the world – called the KEEN Effect. The brand responsibly creates original and versatile products designed to fit the diverse lifestyles of its fans at work and play.
KEEN and Outdoor Afro are longtime partners. Together, leading the way for inclusion in outdoor recreation for over a decade. Our network launched the Making Waves program during 2019 in response to the alarming number of Black children who drown today tied to the historic prohibition of Black access to beaches and public pools. It’s our goal to help every child and their caregiver in the network’s sphere of influence learn how to swim. In 2021, Making Waves partnered with KEEN to offer swimmerships (swim lesson scholarships) with the big goal of helping 100,000 kids and their caregivers learn how to swim over the next 10 years.
KEEN wanted to do more to help the Making Waves 2022 launch. The shoemakers’ idea: create a KEEN x Outdoor Afro collab collection of water sandals that make a wave in every way – with 1 percent of proceeds going to our not-for-profit organization to help more Black kids learn how to swim and develop a positive relationship with water. Outdoor Afro volunteer leader Leandra Taylor also designed the original artwork for the water sandals. A painting style she describes as “flow.” Click the link below to shop this very special footwear line.