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Keen Commuter SPD shoes ... (soon to be) made in the USA

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Keen Commuter SPD shoes ... (soon to be) made in the USA

Old 01-27-12, 11:05 AM
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Seattle Forrest
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Keen Commuter SPD shoes ... (soon to be) made in the USA

James Curleigh, CEO of the Portland, Ore.-based footwear company Keen, [redacted because this isn't P&R]. In 2010, Curleigh opened a workboot factory in Portland; today it employs 30 people. Keen still produces most of its shoes in Asia, but Curleigh says starting to manufacture in the U.S. was a big step.

http://www.wbur.org/npr/145702121/sh...g-for-the-sole
Keen makes shoes, and they're starting to bring their production to Oregon. Among the reasons they list is a marketing advantage; they think their customers will prefer to buy locally made products, given a choice.

If you were in the market for a pair of bike shoes, would this sway you toward Keens?



I've had a pair of Keen Commuters for a few years. They're not as comfortable (off the bike) as regular sandals, but they're very comfortable for bike shoes, which makes them acceptable for walking around the office. They're also nice for riding my bike to Magnuson Park for a swim, where there are lots of rocks and pedals to step on; the shoes protect the bottoms of my beet, and they're fine in the water and on the ride home. They make other SPD-compatible shoes, styled for being wearable in the office, and I'm not trying to shill for the company, but explaining why I think this is worthy of the commuting forum.

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Old 01-27-12, 11:24 AM
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truman
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I like to buy American-made products when i can, and I've loved the fit of my Keen shoes past, but the last Keen bike shoes I tried were so damnably heavy, (Austins, if it recall) I gave them a pass.

If these are lighter, I'll spin 'em in a heartbeat.
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Old 01-27-12, 11:35 AM
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Yes, if the shoes were made in the US I would be more likely to buy them.
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Old 01-27-12, 11:43 AM
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I think it's a marketing plus, I prefer to buy american (and as local as possible) when possible. Although IMO a vast majority of American's shop price alone.

I have a few pairs of keens, really like the fit, although none are cycling shoes. Those will be worth a good look next time I'm in the market for some around town SPD's. Bike shoes last a long time so I don't buy them often.

in short yes.
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Old 01-27-12, 11:43 AM
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ricebowl
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At around the same price, sure.
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Old 01-27-12, 11:44 AM
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I used to own a pair of Scappoose made to measure boots, lost in over 30 years,
of address changes.. they were what I wore in the woods, cutting them down.

now I bike often in rubber Bean boots , still made in ME.

have a Spud Keens, too, they are heavy because of the sole for the clipless cleat.
lighter shoe, is to wear the regular sort, and use some flat pedals.
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Old 01-27-12, 12:15 PM
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Keen has been making good decisions for a while now. Moved up to Portland from California for a better culture fit. Now moving production back to America (although I think only starting with some of the hiking boots only right now). I am a huge speedplay fan, so all these commuter style shoes just won't work for me. But I do own and have owned many pairs of Keens.

I always try to buy local first (Portland), then regional (PNW) and finally national as often as possible. The onshore choices are starting to get better.
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Old 01-27-12, 12:58 PM
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I've had a pair of Keen SPD sandals for over two years now and love them in the fixed gear and commuter bikes, but they are too heavy for the road and don't offer the necessary protection on the mountain bikes. I did buy a second set for my friends spin bike though and she just loves them.
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Old 01-27-12, 03:02 PM
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I think Obama, in his State of the Union address, talked about rewarding businesses that still manafactured in the U.S. instead of rewarding businesses that shipped jobs overseas. That might have something to do with it.
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Old 01-27-12, 03:12 PM
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If I were looking for new shoes, I'd definitely look to Keen due to reports that they are more giving in the width. If they can comfortably fit my 7.5 4E's I don't care where they're made.
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Old 01-27-12, 03:15 PM
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Like my Keen commuter sandals. They took a little while to get used to because the toe box is more narrow than my regular Keen sandals and shoes. But now I love them.

I don't know if those commuter shoes would work for me. I used to own the regular shoes they are based on (Austin, I think). I like them for casual shoes but think that the wider toe box would actually cause problems by either hitting the crank arm each time around, or if the cleat is lined up to compensate for that it would not line up right where I want it on my foot. If you use platform pedals and no cleats, this might not be an issue.

US made would influence me but I couldn't tell you how much until I'm actually getting ready to take cash out of my pocket. I think they would need to advertise this well because since so few shoes are made in the US I don't bother to check.
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Old 01-27-12, 03:54 PM
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I buy whatever is the highest quality at the lowest price regardless of where it's made.
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Old 01-27-12, 04:11 PM
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Being made in the USA, I would give them more consideration. I just bought a pair of Nashbar sandals last year though, so I don't think I will be getting another pair of cycling sandals soon.
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Old 01-27-12, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by SurlyLaika View Post
I think Obama, in his State of the Union address, talked about rewarding businesses that still manafactured in the U.S. instead of rewarding businesses that shipped jobs overseas. That might have something to do with it.
Yes. That's the part I redacted from the quote. I figured as soon as that came up, this would turn into a thread about politics. And I guess the question is slightly, unavoidably political. But Keen is a company that makes some SPD shoes and sees bike commuters as some of their customers worth courting ... so I'm curious if their move to "insource" some of their shoe production is something people in the 20 will appreciate.
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Old 01-27-12, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Yes. That's the part I redacted from the quote. I figured as soon as that came up, this would turn into a thread about politics. And I guess the question is slightly, unavoidably political. But Keen is a company that makes some SPD shoes and sees bike commuters as some of their customers worth courting ... so I'm curious if their move to "insource" some of their shoe production is something people in the 20 will appreciate.
There are a number of reasons apparel manufacturers are moving production to US. Some of them are economic: it's not that much more expensive (often, it's less expensive) for the products that are being made her. Some of them are speed: If I order something from China, even if it's made instantly, it's going to spend a month in transit to the US. Being able to deliver goods quickly is a huge advantage. Some of it is quality, some of it is communications. All together, US apparel manufacturing is up something like 14% over the last year.
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Old 01-27-12, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Zephri View Post
I buy whatever is the highest quality at the lowest price regardless of where it's made.
+1. As a Canadian, if that happens to be Canadian made, great, but if not, it doesn't bother me.
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Old 01-28-12, 03:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Keen makes shoes, and they're starting to bring their production to Oregon. Among the reasons they list is a marketing advantage; they think their customers will prefer to buy locally made products, given a choice.

If you were in the market for a pair of bike shoes, would this sway you toward Keens?
[/img]
YES! Besides my New Balance I don't think I've bought a pair of shoes/boots made in the US in a long time. My Sidi's are made in Italy, Crocs made in Canada, Timberland made in Dominican Republic and I think everything else is China. I like my Dr. Martens, but they have been China made for a while (I still have the first pair I bought back in 1996 that were made in England and are much better quality than what is sold now).
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Old 01-28-12, 11:34 AM
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I just don't like buying Chinese made products from bad experiences with quality,and some personal feelings best left unexplored here. Fuel costs along with rising labor costs in China are moving to make it profitable once again to manufacture in the USA. I hope it remains that way for awhile.
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