An unexpected collaboration with Keen’s classic sandals and “Kumano Kodo, brought about by Hikers Depot, a popular store in Tokyo!

1 week ago

An unexpected collaboration between the outdoor footwear brand KEEN and Kumano Kodo, a World Heritage site and Japan’s oldest hiking trail. The base model for the collaboration is the “NEWPORT”. It is Keen’s founding model, and is a hybrid shoe that can be worn on various road surfaces and situations.

The Kumano Kodo, an ancient pilgrimage route that leads to the Kumano Sanzan (Kumano Hongu Taisha, Kumano Hayatama Taisha, and Kumano Nachi Taisha), can be said to be one of the origins of walking tours in Japan.

Mr. Tomoya Tsuchiya, the owner of the popular Hiker’s Depot shop that advocates for UL hiking gear, supervised the design of these shoes in collaboration with this renowned world heritage site. While sticking with the original color of the “NEWPORT” that Mr. Tsuchiya first saw at an American exhibition 20 years ago, the footbed has been evolved to create a special model that features the traditional stamp of Kumano Kodo.

Familiar details such as Keen’s bungee shoelaces that promise a comfortable fit that is also easy to put on and take off, a quick-drying lining that is always comfortable even when you are active, and the toe protection system “KEEN.PROTECT” that uses a molded rubber guard are all present and intact.

NEWPORT Kumano Kodo ¥18700

A portion of the sales of this product will be donated through the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau to support the preservation of the cultural landscape of the Kumano Kodo and pass it on to the next generation.

They will be on sale from March 1st (Wednesday) at KEEN’s directly managed stores, the KEEN official online store, and dealers nationwide.