Get to know the Terradora, KEEN’s new women’s hiking shoe …

These days, a good shoe (athletic or otherwise) has to do more than one thing. A sneaker should be for running, weight training — while also being stylish enough to wear, well, everywhere.

And the multipurpose element has gone beyond traditional training options.  

Case in point: The Terradora by KEEN.

The hybrid style is being billed by the brand as “the first-ever athletic hiking shoe designed specifically for women.”

What does that mean, exactly? We asked Ryan Riggs, the brand’s senior product-line manager to explain:

Q: For those who aren’t familiar, what is KEEN all about?

A: KEEN is a values-led footwear brand that is based in Portland, Ore., with a mission to responsibly create original and versatile products, improve lives and inspire outside adventure. When we launched in 2003, we ignited a revolution in the footwear industry with the introduction of our Newport Sandal, thus launching the concept of hybrid footwear into the market and setting our brand on a path of driving consistent product innovation that is still present today. 

Q: The company has released the “first-ever women’s-specific hiker.” What can you share about this shoe?

A: We are really excited to launch the Terradora collection this spring/summer 2017. The response has been really good. Not only does the Terradora address a women’s specific construction and fit, the collection addresses those aspects in a great lightweight hiker.

Q: What is a “lightweight hiker?”

A: Lightweight hike is a growing segment in outdoor footwear. Consumers are looking for increased versatility in their footwear. Women really like the Terradora because it goes beyond the trail. It’s built for the trail, but it is also wearable as an everyday shoe. We made sure the lug or traction pattern grips on the uphill and brakes on the downhill while on trails, but is not too rugged for the city streets. We stressed the same things in the cushioning system. We wanted immediate step-in comfort, long-term comfort and stability on the trail, and all-day wearability. Bottom line, we knew our female fans would be using the Terradora in all facets of their lives. 

Q: Did you find there was a direct request from consumers for a design of this type?

A: Yes, we definitely had requests for this type of product. I wish I could say we made Terradora the minute we started getting those requests, but we got there. In fact, our Canadian retail partners deserve a lot of credit for the Terradora. Some of my first conversations about the need for a shoe like the Terradora started in meetings with my Canadian partners. In general, the request came in the way of women trying to wear the athletic shoes all day for their outdoor activities, too. 

Q: How is it different from designing a men’s shoe?

A: There are a lot of factors to look at when designing a women’s shoe.

First, we knew that this project needed to be attractive, something that stood out on the shoe shelf. The colour and material selection were driven by an extremely talented team of women. Our design director for the Terradora project is from Montreal. For example, the compelling engineered mesh used in the upper was something she spent a lot of time on. In addition, our lead product developer on the project, Josh McDonald, used his background in kinesiology, in which he has a master’s degree, to identify many of the female foot characteristics we addressed with Terradora. 

For example, women’s feet, in general, have a narrower heel, higher arch, lower Achilles positioning in the calf, and to activate the comfort, need slightly softer cushioning. In short, the difference in the design process was addressing the characteristics that make a woman’s mechanics different from a man’s. 

Q: Why is it so important to have a proper-fitting shoe when you’re doing something like hiking?

A: Proper-fitting shoes are important for many reasons. With Terradora, we focused the fit needs from the energy return and injury prevention standpoints. It may not be noticeable with every step, but a shoe that fits properly will transition the energy being expended with every step into propulsion or forward movement. With sloppy-fitting shoes, some of that energy goes to waste. That adds up over a full day of use. Having a shoe that fits also provides proper arch support, heel capture, security and the ability to stop or brake. 

Q: How much do the shoes cost?

A: The Terradora shoe is $145, the Terradora waterproof shoe is $165 and the Terradora waterproof boot is $175.

Q: Lastly, where can people check them out?

A: You can check out the Terradora at a variety of retail locations. You can use our store locator on our website to find your local KEEN dealer and you can also shop online at Keenfootwear.com/en-ca.

 

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