Founded in 2003 by Martin Keen and Rory Fuerst, Keen Footwear is headquartered in Portland, Oregon and offers retail stores throughout America and Canada. What started as a niche market of shoes for sailors and those involved in other outdoor pursuits, has grown exponentially over the last two decades. Keen makes quality footwear that stands the test of time, and interestingly, one of their good deeds has also stood the test of time. In 2004 the company diverted their one million dollar advertising budget to disaster relief after the Asian tsunami. Because of this humanitarian gesture, they created the Hybrid Care program, which partners with philanthropic organizations to help those in need. The company has aided veterans, given footwear to those in need, and backed conservation efforts across the country.
The entire company has an eye to conservation and repurposing, which was clear when they opened the plant in Portland in 2010 to house their American Built productions. The company takes their social responsibility seriously, working for access to all, inclusion, and a lighter global footprint. From their Together We Can Program, which is their Covid crisis response, to the way they try to help support those affected by wildfires, this company takes their social action to the next level. It is very difficult to talk about their shoes without talking about the way they care for their customers and the world around them.
Keen products are sold at shoe stores across the country, and a plethora of online retailers as well. These sturdy shoes are coveted by workmen and those who love the outdoors, and come in men’s, women’s, and children’s sizes. From sandals to hiking boots and everything in between, Keen products are consciously created and distributed.
The website is a wonderland of information, both about the product and about the mission of the company. Not only does Keen want to create sturdy and long lasting shoes, but they want to do it in a socially responsible way. Through the Keen Corps, you can volunteer, donate, and shop online in order to be part of the solution for the world, using the programs Keen already has in place to help you help those who are less fortunate.
The website is divided into men’s, women’s, and children’s shoes, with room for holiday and gift areas, which makes it easy to shop and find exactly what you are looking for. There is also a Blog section and a Frequently Asked Questions section that helps customers find exactly what they need, and teaches them about both the company’s mission and its products.
There are several ways that Keen tries to help its customers save money. Sezzle is a program that allows you to buy your shoes and pay for them in four easy installments without interest. They also offer special discounts for students who want to purchase their products, and a special program for affiliates that want to drive traffic to their website.
The Keen Effect section of the website offers a place where customers can apply for Kid Grants and She Builds Grants, as well as apply for disaster relief. Keen tries to make the world better, one pair of work boots at a time.
Keen is the kind of company that lives out their mission each and every day. Through a plethora of decisions big and small, Keen has committed to being socially responsible and kind to the planet as they create great shoes. In their own words, “We’re a family-owned, values-led maker of hybrid footwear, and we’re on a mission to make the outdoors and trades more accessible and inclusive.”