OutdoorAdept is a reader-supported site. Purchases made through links may earn a commission. Learn more about our product selection process.

Keen Newport H2 Review (2023 Sandals Test Results)

I wore these sandals almost every day for three weeks just to see if they handle extensive wear, high temperatures, and wet environments, and they lived up to my expectations.

Our Verdict

The Keen Newport H2 proved to be a serious hiking sandal that scored high during my performance tests on the rugged trails of Mount Rainier and my kayak adventures on the Pacific Coast.

KEEN Newport H2

Like the original Newports I have been continuously buying and wearing for 7-8 years, the Newport H2 is a bit on the heavy side, but these closed-toe sandals are unmatchable in terms of performance.

The waterproofing is also good, and there’s enough arch support even for high arches.
That being said, let’s just dive into this Keen Newport H2 review and see how these sandals fared during my adventure.

Product Features

  • Multi-directional lugs
  • Non-marking rubber outsoles
  • Compression-molded EVA midsole
  • Water-repellent upper


  • Good arch support for long hours of wear
  • Closed-toe-box design protects against rocks and debris
  • Impressive traction on various surfaces, providing stability
  • Adjustable straps allow you to tighten the shoes to your foot shape
  • Quick-drying materials make them suitable for water activities


  • Slightly heavier compared to some other outdoor sandals
  • Not as breathable as open-toe models

Things We Tested When We Reviewed Keen Newport H2

1. Traction

newport h2 tread and traction

During my testing, I encountered a variety of terrains, including wet rocks, slippery surfaces, and loose gravel, and the non-marking rubber sole of the sandals provided excellent grip and stability.

The multidirectional lugs on the outsole effectively bit into the ground, offering reliable traction on both wet and dry surfaces.

I felt confident navigating rocky paths, as the shoes securely held their grip.

Even in wet conditions, such as walking on riverbanks or crossing streams, the traction remained impressive. The lug pattern efficiently channeled away water and prevented slippage, allowing me to maintain a steady stride.

One minor drawback I noticed was that the sole tended to accumulate small pebbles and debris in the lug grooves. Although this didn’t significantly affect the overall traction, it required occasional clearing to ensure optimal performance.

2. Waterproofing

These water shoes are compatible with water sports, made with a combination of durable polyester webbing and a hydrophobic mesh lining.

During my testing, I purposely exposed them to water by walking through shallow streams and splashing around in puddles. The materials repelled water, keeping my feet dry and comfortable.

What impressed me most was Newport’s quick-drying nature. After submerging this water shoe, it efficiently shed off the moisture and started to dry within minutes.

However, I want to highlight that, while the materials are highly water-resistant, they are not completely waterproof. In prolonged exposure to deep water, a small amount of moisture did manage to seep through.

3. Durability


Keen footwear is usually constructed with high-quality materials, and this model, with its sturdy sole and durable polyester webbing, doesn’t disappoint.

I walked in these Keens on rough terrains and abrasive surfaces, and despite the intense use, they showed minimal signs of wear and tear.

The rubber sole exhibited impressive resistance to abrasion and maintained its grip even after extended periods of use.

However, I did notice some minor fraying on the edges of the webbing after extensive use. While it didn’t affect the performance or structural integrity of the shoe, it did somewhat diminish the aesthetics.

4. Breathability

In terms of breathability, the Newport H2 offers a mixed experience based on my testing.

The shoes feature a hydrophobic mesh lining, which is designed to enhance airflow and promote ventilation. During moderate activities and in normal weather conditions, the breathability of the sandals was sufficient.

I could feel a gentle breeze passing through the mesh, helping to keep me cool and comfortable.

During intense physical exertion or in hot and humid weather, however, the breathability of the shoe seemed to be somewhat limited.

I noticed that my toes would occasionally feel damp and warm, particularly in situations where I was exerting more energy or the temperature was high.

5. Comfort


Overall, I found this shoe quite comfortable, providing a pleasant experience during my various outdoor activities.

The metatomical footbed is contoured to match the natural shape of the foot, providing excellent arch support and cushioning.

Moreover, the midsole of the sandals, made of compression-molded EVA foam, offered a good balance between cushioning and responsiveness.

It absorbed impact effectively, providing a comfortable stride on various terrains.

From my experience with these shoes, the toe box is not too generous, so I recommend sizing up if you have wide feet.

6. Weight

The Newport H2 is constructed with a combination of synthetic materials and a non-marking rubber outsole. While these materials provide protection, they do contribute to the overall weight of the shoes, which was 2 pounds and 0.16 ounces for the size 12 I tested.

As a result, I noticed that they felt heavier compared to some other shoes or flip-flops I’ve worn.

This aspect became more apparent during longer expeditions or when traversing challenging terrain.

I could notice a slight difference in my energy expenditure compared to wearing lighter sandals, but this difference was not significant enough to cause discomfort or hinder my overall performance.

7. Fit and Sizing

fit and sizing

Finding shoes that mold to your foot from the start can be tricky, but these Keens feature a secure lace-up closure system with a single point of adjustment from a loop of elastic with a cord lock, which makes things a lot easier.

Nevertheless, since I was aware that Keen shoes tend to run narrow, I contacted Keen to make sure that I order the right size for my wide feet.

It proved that I needed a half-size larger, and the first pair fit me well from the start.

With a minimal break-in period, the shoes become super comfy for my summer adventure.

I was truly relieved that I didn’t need to order a second pair, as I really don’t like to deal with returns.

8. Support

This comfortable sandal features a supportive midsole that effectively absorbs impact when traversing uneven terrain or walking on rocky surfaces.

The padding helped to alleviate pressure points and reduce discomfort, allowing me to keep trekking for extended periods without feeling fatigued.

Additionally, the shoe’ adjustable closure system played a vital role in enhancing support. By tightening the straps, I could achieve a snug fit, which prevented my feet from sliding inside the shoe and causing blisters.

How It Evolved?

newport h2 vs newport

Having tested both the Newport H2 and its predecessor, the original Newport, I can confidently say that the newer version has undergone notable improvements.

The newer model features a more open and ventilated design, allowing for improved airflow around my toes. This was a welcomed modification as it prevented my feet from becoming excessively sweaty, especially during hot and humid conditions.

Moreover, the Newport H2 introduced a refined and more secure fit with its adjustable closure system.

Despite these improvements, the previous version had a slightly sturdier build, which offered a bit more protection for rugged terrains.

Additionally, the overall weight of the original Newport was lighter, making it a preferable choice for those seeking the utmost lightweight experience.

How Does it Compare with Other Products?

Teva Terra Fi 5 Universal

Teva Terra Fi 5 Universal

Terra Fi 5 Universal and Newport H2 are two pairs of sandals I used interchangeably for years, and they are equally impressive in terms of quality control and all-day comfort.

The Terra Fi 5 Universal offers outstanding traction with its rugged sole, making it ideal for challenging terrains, while its cushioned midsole provides good comfort for long trips.

However, the Newport H2 are closed-toe sandals, which makes them more suitable on uneven terrain. They also excel in comfort due to their adjustable bungee lace system, which dries out fast, so you don’t have to walk on wet feet.

For a complete understanding of this product, check the review of the Teva Terra Fi 5.

ECCO Yucatan

ECCO Yucatan 

The ECCO Yucatan is a pair of comfortable sandals designed for everyday wear.

They are light and feel more like running shoes, featuring a molded EVA midsole that guarantees good support even if you have flat feet.

While the Newport H2 excels in wet environments, the Yucatan offers a more stylish design suitable for both outdoor activities and everyday wear.

On the other hand, the Newport H2 focuses on providing excellent toe protection and water performance with its sturdy rubber bumper and quick-drying webbing upper.

If you need a pair of water shoes, you will find the Newport H2 extremely comfortable, but you may feel more relaxed in a pair of Youcatans if you are just looking to take a stroll.

Learn more about this product by checking the ECCO Yucatan full review.

Bedrock Cairn Adventure

Bedrock Sandals Cairn Adventure

Both the Newport H2 and Bedrock Cairn Adventure are rugged outdoor sandals but they perform their best in different situations.

The Newport H2 is designed for adventurous activities, featuring a protective toe bumper and a secure fit.

It excels in padding, ensuring comfort during long trips.

In contrast, the Cairn Adventure prioritizes lightweight construction and a minimalist design, providing a barefoot-like feel and enhanced ground sensitivity.

While the Newport H2’s sole delivers excellent traction on various terrains, including wet surfaces, the Cairn Adventure’s Vibram sole offers reliable grip, although it may not perform as effectively in extremely wet conditions.

Where Keen Newport H2 Performs Better?

In my experience, these Keen Newport sandals perform exceptionally well if used in specific terrains and conditions.

They are a great choice for water-related activities, such as river crossings, kayaking, or beach outings. Also, the closed-toe design provides excellent protection against rocks, pebbles, and other debris, making them ideal for rocky trails and rugged terrains.

The quick-drying materials and drainage ports allow for water to escape easily, which helped me stay comfortable and dry.

Additionally, the sturdy outsole, with its multidirectional lugs, offered excellent traction on both wet and dry surfaces, providing stability and preventing slips.

Where Keen Newport H2 Falls Short in Performance?

newport h2

While the Newport H2 has proven to be a reliable choice, I did encounter a few areas where they fell short in performance.

One aspect I noticed, compared to other top-notch hiking sandals, is their weight, as they are not as lightweight.

Additionally, the padding, while adequate for moderate hikes, may not be sufficient for those requiring extensive foot support or dealing with specific foot conditions.

However, these issues were manageable, and I could address them by using additional insoles or adjusting the fit.

Other Sandals Reviewed:

Do We Recommend It?

We Recommend Keen Newport H2

They proved suitable for hiking, walking on uneven surfaces, and even navigating wet environments.

Newport H2

Based on my experience testing the Newport H2 sandals, I am pleased to recommend them.

These closed-toe sandals performed well across various terrains, offering impressive grip and time resistance. Also, the quick-drying feature was particularly convenient during water activities.

I might have gotten some sand or small pebbles inside, but it was nothing compared to an open-toe box sandal. In fact, I appreciated the protective toe box that kept sharp rocks away from my toes and kept me focused on my expedition.


Should I Size up or Down for Keen Newport H2?

It is generally recommended to shop for a half size up when purchasing Newport H2 sandals. They tend to have a slightly smaller fit, so going up a size ensures a more comfortable experience.

What Is the Difference Between Keen Newport H2 and Hydro?

The main difference between Keen Newport H2 and Hydro is the closed-toe design. The Newport H2 features a protective toe box, making it suitable for activities where toe protection is necessary. On the other hand, Keen Hydro is a more streamlined and open-toe version, offering a lighter and more breathable option.

Why Are Keen Sandals Good?

All Keen sandal models are considered top-notch due to their extremely versatile design, great traction, and premium materials. They can handle tough trails and usually dry fast after being exposed to water.

Can You Hike in Keen Newport H2?

Yes, Keen Newport H2 sandals are suitable for hiking due to their traction and water-resistant features. However, they may not provide the same level of support as hiking shoes for more challenging adventures.

Jennifer Strom

Jennifer Strom

Jennifer Strom has been a writer for over 20 years and an outdoor and hiking enthusiast for most of her life. After spending much of her career in the corporate world, she decided to freelance to spend more time with her family and explore new places. You will find her always looking forward to her next weekend adventure and writing guides that help others make the most of their own hikes and time outdoors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *