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23

Jun

2011

KEEN McKenzie, Cushe Shasta, Ocean Minded Tamaraok and Flojos Supremo Sandal review
Written by Elizabeth O. Hurst   
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KEEN McKenzieThe summer season arrived with a seemingly endless number of outdoor recreation choices and women's sandals. Now is the time to kick off your shoes, but replacing them with their airier cousins does require some discretion. Consider your summer activities and the reviews below to help make your footwear decisions for summer '11.

KEEN McKenzie

It looks like a shoe. It acts like a shoe. It feels like a sandal.

The KEEN McKenzie is a high-performing sandal with the company's signature toe protection that can confidently carry you up trails or through water. The mesh lining, light rubber sole and combination of straps and cords maximize support while providing more breathability than a shoe would – but not as much as a less robust sandal. The drawstring tightens to provide added stability. However, it doesn't need to be fixed for the sandal to stay on the foot comfortably.

The McKenzie's mesh and removable footbed are treated with environmentally friendly chemicals that limit bacterial growth and increase the life of the shoe. Still, you can throw the McKenzie in the washing machine if it is feeling – or smelling – like it has had too much love.

KEEN claims that the McKenzie runs a half-size big, when in fact it seems to run about a half-size small. As for choosing among three lovely multi-toned colors, you're on your own. (MSRP $90)

Cushe ShastaCushe Shasta

You'll feel like slipping into the Cushe Shasta, but you won't slip out. Its sole slightly and naturally slopes from the heel to the toe, positioning the foot at a comfortable angle. Shasta's unusually placed straps cover most of the foot from the toe joints to the heel, using a large leather flower on the arch for support.

The sandal design itself seems a little busy and overly feminine until you see how it flatters the foot. The flowers on the rubber sole "grow" onto the straps and around the heel. The suede-like leather lining is covered in decorative flowers, probably to detract from the oils and dirt marks that the soft surface easily attracts. With seven color combos to choose from, you might avoid those with light linings. (MSRP $75)

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Elizabeth O. Hurst

Elizabeth O. HurstElizabeth O. Hurst regularly risks her ballet and ballroom dancing ankles to ski, camp, backpack, hike, sail, surf and bike.

Her family in San Jose, California and Julian Alps heritage made it easy for her to fall in love with the Stanislaus Mountains ski slopes, the San Francisco Bay from a 42-foot Catalina and the Redwoods covering Big Sur.

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