For this season, Keen introduced an all-new and all-better Commuter III SPD-compatible cycling sandal. It’s wider and more anatomically friendly than the Commuter II, with designs that are far more practical for its name.
For me, the Commuter III has largely been used to pull the kids to school on the Yuba or with the Trail-a-Bike, plus the occasional beverage run or social ride. All of these have been done on flat pedals and with happy feet. If you’re looking for something to easily take you on a ride that beats this summer’s oppressive heat, step past the break…
Where the second generation Commuter sandal had aggressive tread lugs (right, both pics), the new one has a more urban (ie. commuter) friendly, soft rubber tread. It not only makes them more comfortable to walk in, but they hold onto flat pedals better, pins or not.
You’ll also notice the much wider, more shapely last. The II’s were a bit tight, not what you typically expect from Keen.
Keen warns that they run about a 1/2 size big, and that seems about right. I usually wear a 13, and that’s what’s tested here.
You can see there’s plenty of room in front of my toes, which makes them comfortable, but they didn’t feel too big and in no way clumsy. The covered toe box removes the mental block I had against riding a bike in sandals, keeping the piggies safe and sound.
The inside is a neoprene-like mesh with Aegis Microshield antibacterial protection. The footbed is also anti-odor and non-absorbent, and they’ve been stink-free all summer. A bolt-on plate covers the SPD mount, and there’s a full length shank to make it stiff enough for decent power transfer…
…but not so stiff as to make walking feel odd. They’re perfectly fine for walking downtown or wandering up and down the local market’s aisles trying to find something new and interesting to drink.
Oddly, these are no longer showing up in the Men’s Pedal collection for the US on Keen’s website, but they are for Women’s. Or just change your country selection (or hit up REI or another retailer) to find them. Retail is $110 USD.
And if you don’t care about the slightly stiffer sole or SPD-ness, just go with the Newport sandal, which is essentially the same style minus the bike-friendly features.