I love multi-function, multi-sport shoes. The KEEN Class 6 is the perfect example of a hybrid shoe: it’s pretty enough to pair with capri pants to walk city streets, and tough enough to tackle rapids. The Class 6 is super lightweight (great news for packers) and breathable. You really do get the best of both worlds. It features a fun splatter-print design and quick-draw elastic cord lacing system and an antimicrobial footbed to keep feet odor-free, even in the heat of summer.
We spend many summer days traversing between hiking trail and river bed, and the Class 6 is proving to be the ideal shoe. The draining system on the sides keeps pebbles and sand from rubbing against sensitive skin, and the lightweight PU upper is fun and funky while still being pretty much destruction-proof. You get a snug fit (river rafting is a-ok with these shoes) and a squishy (my word, not KEEN’s) footbed, which makes the Class 6 equally appropriate for a long day waiting in lines (hello, Disney) or walking city streets (how about Rome)?
There’s a mesh liner on the top of the foot, which makes the shoe slightly less breathable, but once in the water of a stream, I was extremely glad to have it (to keep silt and sand out). The soles are grippy on wet rocks, and worked very well for me on a paddle board. Also quite cool: the Class 6 sandals float.
How are Class 6 sandals different than Class 5? As an owner of both, here’s my unofficial opinion: the Class 6 is fully rubberized and more protective of your foot, whereas the Class 5 has a sleeker look, but won’t do as well underwater.
So far, I’ve tried out the Class 6 in wet fields, in streams, as my ‘base camp shoe’ while on an overnight backpack trip, and all over Alberta, Canada on a road trip. Basically, you’ll be up for whatever craziness your travels throw at you while in Class 6 sandals. Pick up a pair of KEEN Class 6 in gray/hot coral or mallard blue/neutral gray for $90 list or less at Zappos, Backcountry, or Amazon.