Keen Footwear has been making sport sandals, hiking shoes and work boots since 2003. Its latest offering is a waterproof, medium-duty work boot the company has named “the Fort Wayne.”
The city has always been synonymous with work and industry. Having a work boot named after it is a surprising yet fitting tribute to its past and present.
The boot is a reinvention of the classic moccasin-toe, wedge work boot, and comes in both soft-toe ($195) and safety-toe ($200) styles. Its carbon-fiber safety toes are 15% lighter than steel, and the rubber outsoles are oil and slip resistant, making the Fort Wayne a lightweight, job-site safety shoe.
The Portland, Oregon-based shoemaker names many of its sandals, shoes and boots after cities. Its first product, the Newport sandal, was named after the Rhode Island community known for sailing. It featured a protective black toe bumper and found a market among sailing and outdoor enthusiasts.
The toe bumper is an element of most of Keen’s footwear options, including the Fort Wayne. The new boot slides between the company’s heavy-duty Cincinnati work boot and its light-duty San Jose.
“The combination of Keen’s insert and Luftcell midsole make this an incredibly comfortable boot on your feet,” said a recent review of the Fort Wayne in Pro Tool Reviews. “With the wedge sole, it’s great on hard surfaces such as concrete and asphalt.”
Several area shoe stores carry Keen Footwear. But Keen retailers such as Fred Toenges Footwear & Pedorthics, 3910 W. Jefferson Blvd., and Shoe Carnival at Northcrest Shopping Center had no Fort Waynes in stock Tuesday.
The likely reason: The work boot was only launched during the last week of March.