The KEEN Newport H2 Sandal is a popular shoe built for hiking, walking, and travel adventures that will take you in and out of water. The breathable upper uses a combination of nylon and neoprene for comfort and lateral stability. The EVA midsole provides a stable base for all day comfort. The carbon rubber outsole has a light tread that can handle most groomed trails and city streets with ease. My son has been wearing the kid’s version of the KEEN Newport H2 for the past few months, and I’ll be sharing his experience in this review.
The KEEN Newport H2 Sandal comes in a wide range of sizes, with 1-13 for toddlers and 1-7 for kids. My son was wearing a size 5 toddler when we purchased the Newport H2, but I purchased a size 7 to give him room to grow. Now that he is a true size 7, his toes are touching the front the shoe.
The last of the Newport H2 is what initially sold me on them for my son. The wide toebox and anatomical shape allows for natural toe splay and minimal chaffing. The inside of the Newport H2 is made of a smooth neoprene which helps with the internal comfort.
The interior volume on the Newport H2 is on the high side for my son’s foot. For reference, the volume on almost every other pair of shoes he wears is just right. On the Newport H2 however, we needed to circle the top strap through the tongue loop twice to cinch things down. Using the standard strap configuration, the shoe felt loose and the strap would hang down to the floor. This was expected when my son wore a size 5, but now that he is wearing a true size 7, the issue is still the same. Part of the problem is a high internal volume combined with a long top strap. The other part of the problem is the slightly useless bungie cords that make up the bottom lacing. It would be nice if the bungie cords could be tightened.
Buy The Newport H2: Amazon | REI | Zappos | Backcountry
The upper on the KEEN Newport is made of a nylon webbing top layer stitched to a neoprene base layer. My son has never had any hot spots, blisters, or discomfort wearing these shoes. He has worn them to the beach, at the pool, on 6 flights, and on countless international adventures.
The toe guard on the Newport H2 is an extension of the rubber on the outsole. It wraps up and over the top of the toes for some really nice protection. Owen was able to charge through temples in Angkor Wat without me having to worry about toe jams on uneven stones.
Having worn the Newport H2 in rain, at the pool, and at the beach, my son can confidently say that they are comfortable when wet and drain water quickly. The nylon top layer absorbs a lot of water and doesn’t dry as quickly as I’d hoped for, but the neoprene base layer keeps things comfortable.
The only negative I can think of in regards to the upper on the Newport H2 is that they can really start to stink. My son had been wearing these shoes during a humid week in Vietnam before we boarded a flight to Cambodia. He kicked his shoes off early in the flight and I just about passed out. The smell is easily washed out with some vinegar and a spin in the washing machine, but it comes back very quickly. We’ve found that having him wear socks in cooler weather gets rid of the problem entirely.
The KEEN Newport H2 has a compression molded EVA midsole with a metatomical EVA footbed that sits on top. The metatomical EVA footbed is great in wet weather because there is no foam insole to soak up water. KEEN states that the footbed is antimicrobial to keep odor under control…but my nose would beg to differ!
The compression molded EVA midsole is stable, and my son has found it to provide more than adequate protection on sharp rocks, large stones, and long days walking on asphalt. In regards to performance and comfort, this midsole is top notch.
The outsole on the Newport H2 is made of a long-wearing full coverage carbon rubber. The compound used on the outsole provides great traction on a variety of surfaces. My son has had no problem keeping his footing on wet and smooth surfaces.
There are no lugs on the outsole, just a few cutouts to provide grip. For loose gravel trails this isn’t an optimal setup, but for the vast majority of our outings, it’s just about perfect.
My son has worn these shoes really hard for the past few months and they have held up incredibly well. The stitching on the uppers look great, and the wear on the outsole is minimal. Being that kid’s feet grow so fast, I can’t imagine a child being able to wear through these shoes. If we had more than one child, these could easily be a hand-me-down.
The KEEN Newport H2 Sandal has proven to be an incredible pair of footwear for my adventurous toddler. He’s worn them in hot and wet weather, staying comfortable the entire time. Most importantly, these shoes have been durable. Now that my son has outgrown his size 7s, it’s time for me to place an order for a pair of size 9s. Hopefully the rate at which his feet grow will slow down a bit! At a retail price of $49.99, the Newport H2 is pretty expensive for toddler footwear. It’s a worthwhile investment in my eyes though, as keeping my son’s feet safe and comfortable on our many outdoor adventures is critical.
Disclosure: All product links provided in this post are affiliate links. Purchases made using these affiliate links go to support the content created here at Trail to Peak at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!