Hey, how come Mom and Dad get all the cool shoes for playing in the water?
Well, they don’t outgrow them so fast, for one thing. These Keen Whisper sandals, like miniature adult versions, come in at a miniaturized price too though: they list for $45. If he or she can make it through a season or two of fun with them, that’s bearable.
My daughter has two pairs of shoes like this: a private label brand pair from a big box store and these Whisper ones. There was a $14 dollar difference in price, but these feel far superior. There’s a stiffer, non-marking sole, a footbed that feels like it won’t squish down to nothing in two weeks, and a nice lace adjustment system with a cinch that works well to ensure a good fit. The construction feels solid and the strap system works well, plus there’s a tab loop on the back for pulling them on.
Being sandals you can wear in the water, naturally they dry quickly and feel good dry or wet. The two-layer construction feels good against the skin. So she says anyway—there hasn’t been any whining.
My daughter has given these a good workout in normal circumstances just playing around as a kid, avoiding any banged toes with the rubber toe guard. But she also wore them on a kayaking outing we took lately. She skipped around the surf and scaled wet rocks with them with ease. They still look good and haven’t gotten stinky.
After they were dry again, which took a couple hours in the sun, she could romp around on land with them again. They’re sturdy enough for trail hiking or kicking a ball around. So if you were packing for a trip, you could definitely get double duty from these.
We’ve got plenty of shoe reviews from this company on Practical Travel Gear because Keen Footwear is a quality brand that outperforms with a lot of different styles. They’ve got a good attitude about the whole work/play balance thing and they support a cause that’s near and dear to our hearts: more recess! It’s hard to lay out a lot of money for kids’ shoes, but these will outperform the cheapies for not a whole lot more.