Keen Cimmaron II Review
With summer right around the corner, it is time to think about your water-based adventures. Whether hiking through wet canyons, cruising down the river on a float trip, or helping out on your buddies fishing boat, the Cimarron II by Keen, is ready to keep your feet protected. Keen calls the Cimarron II a sandal, but it is much beefier than any sandal I have ever worn. The Cimarron feels more like a highly breathable shoe. The footbed has some nice arch support, something you don’t usually find in a sandal. The Cimarron also has a toe bumper on the upper to keep your tootsies protected when scrambling among rocks on or off shore.
I wore these “shoes” on a few short hikes with the dogs and was pleased with their comfort, even more so than Keen’s hiking specific Butte shoes. The Cimarron has a soft moisture wicking lining and mesh-EVA-webbing that was comfortable even with winter feet; soft feet or feet that have been housed in socks-shoes-boots for the last 5 months that are not yet callused. The Cimarron has a grippy outsole that provided great traction on wet or dry surfaces. Better yet, the outsole is non-marking, which means you can wear them on a fancy boat deck and leave no trace or trail.
I have talked about the Cimarron on dry land, but in the water is where this shoe/sandal excels. Water crossings or boat launches are no match for the Cimarron, the outsole and mesh underlay help drain water out of your shoes quickly and prevent the squeak-squish sound of most water shoes. When submerged in water, the shoes remain tight to your feet thanks to the quick draw adjustment cord. One complaint is that the quick draw cord adjusts at the middle of your foot and doesn’t tighten too well near your toes. To get a better fit I pull at the toes first and then pull the quick draw cord.
The Cimarron’s run fairly true to size; size down a ½ size from your running shoes per usual. I have narrow feet and had to pull the draw cord very tightly to get a good fit. Once pulled tight I was left with a lot of extra cord that had to be stashed underneath the crisscrossed laces; this was hard to do because I needed them tight enough to prevent slipping, yet loose enough to jam the end of the laces under the crisscross pattern.
Keen’s website does not mention that they have used reflective pieces throughout the straps which helps a ton when you are at the campsite and searching for your shoes with a head lamp. The slide on design is also nice for middle of the night bathroom breaks from the tent. Overall, I feel that Cimarron II’s are a versatile shoe/sandal that can be used for more than just water activities and make a nice addition to your outdoor gear arsenal. MSRP $100