Establishing production sites in main markets has enabled KEEN to produce high-quality shoes, manufacture top-of-the-line models closer to the consumers and also reduce the environmental impact of current production processes. Four years ago, KEEN opened its own factory at its headquarters in Portland, Oregon.
In early 2015 the US brand partnered with an experienced production partner in Montebelluna, Italy, to launch a first European-made collection including three premium hiking shoes for Fall/Winter 2015. Based on a long-term investment in innovation, high quality materials and customer-oriented product development KEEN aims at producing a gradually increasing number of shoes in the new European factory. Shifting gears with its “for Europe – by Europe” strategy KEEN is adding two more styles with a strong European development signature to its Spring/Summer 2016 Trailhead collection.
Selim Say, KEEN Product Line Manager EMEA, is proud of being able to produce in the new location: “We practice what we preach by enlarging our European-made family in the second season. We even elevated our strategy and started a collaboration with an Italian partner who is now involved in design and development. Not only that we offer styles that have been entirely developed in Europe, we also source the materials of the two new products out of Europe. Additionally the shoes will not only be assembled in the factory but many of the individual processes, such as the stitching of the uppers, will be done there as well.”
KEEN is offering maximum versatility with the new Wanderer WP for Men and Women. This sleek premium hiker with its European fit and feel has been created as a semi mid-cut – a great option for those who want to combine the flexibility of a low-cut with the support and comfort of a mid-cut. This “SUV” concept is for people who love to explore nature and prefer to stay mostly on trails. Where ankle protection is needed but flexibility is necessary the Wanderer offers the perfect balance. The full-featured hiker displays a unique direct-inject construction technique that attaches the high-quality nubuck and suede leather upper directly to the PU midsole for long lasting comfort. The semi mid-cut shaft is equipped with a KEEN.DRY membrane, a hydrophobic mesh lining and a soft collar for ankle protection. It employs an integrated heel cushion that locks directly into the removable EVA footbed for great comfort and shock absorption. The dual-compound rubber outsole maximizes grip and durability.
The Madeira Trail is designed for more technical ascents and longer backpacking trips in fair weather. This European-made upscale hiker for Women and Men is crafted from highly water-resistant oiled nubuck leather and has a leather lining. The shaft is fitted with durable metal eyelets. Using KEEN’s proprietary direct-inject PU and providing an integrated heel cushion, the midsole is extremely durable, resists compaction and keeps its cushioning qualities on any terrain. An integrated PU heel cushion offers step-in comfort and maximizes shock absorption. The removable metatomical EVA footbed adds extra comfort. A full length shank grants stability and midfoot support and the dual compound rubber outsole ensures enhanced traction.