Primitive and modern outdoor skills

Review: Keen Bleecker Lace CNX shoe


A while ago my beloved Merrell Gloves wore out... nooooo! Here's my review of those shoes.

I loved them and would simply get another pair, but Merrell has stopped making any leather versions of their minimal models at all. So, as mesh shoes are not an option for me for reasons like grass seed (see ) my search began anew.

I was looking for a pair of all leather boots with no lining and found myself in a Keen store. It turns out they've joined the minimal shoe craze, and with an all leather unlined shoe of classic design, excepting a modern sole. It's called the Keen Bleecker. I was dubious but I'd been hunting for some time already, so I picked them up.

Let me be clear about this review. These shoes are clearly not made for my use-case. That being said I've used many many shoes not made for my use-case and learned a lot from it. I've used dress shoes as running shoes, street racing flats as hiking boots, and hiking boots as running shoes. Surprisingly a pair of hiking boots was one of my favorite pairs of running shoes, and except for upper material racing flats with just a little more traction are basically my ideal hiking boot. With that in mind, here we go.

Short version

What these shoes are is an absolutely classic shoe design with a modern sole. What these shoes are not is a minimal shoe.

For me, sadly, this is just not what I need. I've tried various dress-shoe designs in the past, even those with slick soles, and found them usable for hiking. Usually not really for running due to the drop caused by a standard heal. This is like that but with a modern sole, and no separate heal. The problem? It's a modern sole, and not a "minimal" one.

In detail

The bad

The good

So, I've just purchased a new pair of shoes - they're in the mail now. We'll see how these fair!