Crocs vs Keen Sandals: Which is Better?

In general, KEEN sandals are better footwear than Crocs, but Crocs will give you more value for your money while providing you with one of the most comfortable experiences in shoes.

Crocs vs Keen

When you take other points like maintenance, fashionability, price, and attractive design into account, you will realize less is more.

First off, the KEEN footwear is built to protect your feet for ages while Crocs are built to take care of them. It depends on what you are buying them for.

To understand what is going on here, we need to take a look at the material that the shoes were made from. KEENs are made from animal skin leather which was processed into a shoe.

Crocs shoes are made from a material called Croslite which was created by molding and heating a mixture of sand and resin.

KEENs are strong and durable enough to resist wear and tear during extended use while Croslite shoes did not have this requirement because they were not used for extended periods of time.

Because KEENs are strong and durable, the materials used in making them are more expensive than those used in making the Croslite shoes.

In addition, there was a lot of labor involved in making leather shoes, as compared with the Croslite ones, because they had to be stitched together.

The Croslite shoes were not stitched together but instead molded into shape, so this saved a lot of time and effort as well as money. Speaking of money, this makes Croc better in value for money.

Similarities between Crocs and Keen Sandals

Crocs vs Keen

  • Crocs and Keen sandals are casual footwears
  • They both have straps
  • Both are affordable
  • Crocs and Keen are durable
  • They are breathable shoes

Both are casual footwears

KEEN sandals are one of the most versatile options out there.  With its sneaker/sandal hybrid concept, it has a smooth leather upper, made for efficiency. The toes are pointed and look new for as long as possible.

It might not be the most attractive pair of sandals but most of the color of the leather has been lightened to hide imperfections, and it has been given a unique finish so it will look professional even though it’s just casual footwear.

Crocs, on the other hand, are designed to be worn with casual clothes from the onset. They are made of Croslite resin, which can be polished to a shine, and have softer heels.

Their shape is full of curves; for example, the toe is curved upward. In comparison, KEEN shoes can be worn not only casually, but also with business or formal clothes.

They are made of materials that will not shine but will surely stand out, and they have higher heels.


I suspect that the reason we do not see more experimentation with alternative forms of footwear is that shoes and boots are so tightly locked into their current shape and form. This is unlike sandals and half shoes.

The first thing you notice about these shoes is that they have straps, which suggests that the straps are paramount to the success of the design.

Even without shoe straps, both Crocs and KEEN sandals will hold the foot securely.

I’m not talking about flip-flops, those cheap and cheerful rubber bands around the toes. Their closure system is very simple: they only need to hold your foot against the ground (or water) and be cheap and cheerful.

They can do this with a minimal strap because there is no tension on the strap to overcome.

The tension in these straps is created by friction between your feet and your environment. On a smooth surface, it is negligible. This means only lighter shoes perform better here. It explains why Crocs are so comfortable even though you relax the straps.

But on a slippery surface or one with irregularities, friction between your feet and the floor becomes a large force pushing outward on your ankles and pulling inward on your toes. Your KEENs will do much better here.

Both are affordable shoes

Affordable shoes are shoes that are affordable. A pair of affordable Crocs costs around $50, give or take. A pair of KEEN sandals cost around $100, some cheaper, but there is not much difference between them in terms of prices.

It is no wonder that affordable shoes like Crocs are more flexible, lighter, and cushioning. KEENs have better traction, last longer, and will probably be more comfortable if well-maintained.

But there is no such thing as an affordable shoe that has worse traction or lasts less long.

Crocs and Keens are durable footwear

Sandals are more durable than shoes. That is if you wear out some pairs of sandals and some pairs of shoes, on average you will have worn out fewer pairs of sandals.

This is because, for every step you take in a shoe, the entire weight of your body goes directly onto the front of the foot.

With these shoes, some of the weight goes onto the straps, so the pressure per step is lower. You can test this easily by walking around while carrying something heavy in your hands.

Both are breathable shoes

Shoes save lives and improve health. It’s a pity we don’t appreciate this more. They do this in two ways: by keeping us warm and by protecting us from parasites and pathogens that cause infections and disease.

The sole on KEEN sandals are rigid, so it can’t bend to conform to an uneven surface. This shoe doesn’t have to be stiff because the ground does most of the conforming for it, but it means that wherever you step, you are putting pressure on a single point, which causes heat.

The solution is its own design, where there are enough holes for your feet to catch some air.

To put something soft between your foot and the ground, KEENs insoles are that will spring back when you take your weight off it so that you are never stepping on exactly the same place twice. Sandals use this principle: your foot sits inside a flexible leather box.

Sandals that let your feet breathe sound like a good deal. I wear them whenever I can, and I can’t remember why I was ever willing to put up with stuffy shoes.

You might think KEENs are impractical for walking around all day, but you could be wrong. They are completely fine for walking around all day and even better than most shoes for daily activities.

To further maximize their durability, KEEN sandals use their thick soles to help you balance on the thin edges of your foot bones.

Your feet stay flat with tough soles. Even with Croc shoes, you can spread your weight out over a much rougher surface and so feel much more stable than shoes.

Crocs are also better for playing sports. There was a time when it never occurred to me to go running without shoes, but now I do it all the time.

Running with Crocs makes you aware of your feet, but not the way you might think: not as a source of pain, but as a source of information about how to run efficiently.

Differences between Crocs and Keen Sandals

S/no Features Crocs Keen Sandals
1 Design Casual design Versatile design
2 Fit Cushioning fit Compact fit
3 Materials Croslite Leather
4 Price Affordable Medium-priced
5 Product variation Comfy shoes Protective and durable shoes


Shoes with a casual design like the famous Crocs are designed for only one purpose: to make your feet comfortable. That is its first priority.

But shoes like KEENs are different; they are way more versatile. They are designed so that they can be used for all kinds of activities, from strolling along an avenue to climbing a mountain peak.

They have other shoe styles they do; from sandals to casual shoes to work boots.

Naturally, this makes them uncomfortable for some things, but comfortable for others. The difference between Crocs and KEEN in the case of design is pretty straightforward; one is simple comfy footwear while the other one is an all-round utility footwear option.

KEEN has a leather upper and thick rubber soles. This is to ensure toughness and durability. They are also stitched on and the sole is thicker.

The color of the leather is rich and uniform. It has round toes and looks like shoes made in the last century.

Crocs, on the other hand, are majorly designed to be comfortable. They are more orthotic than KEEN.

They are also made for standing or walking long distances, so they have soft soles with unbelievable cushioning and room for your toes to wiggle around. Shoes like these can be worn with almost including shorts or sweat-wears.

Crocs cost half as much as KEENs, but for me, seems more expensive because it better conceals their construction and materials.


Shoe fit is the most important factor in shoe comfort. It is what determines the comfort and how long you will be keeping these shoes.

It is important even for shoes that are otherwise designed well because when a shoe fits poorly, the problem will make you feel the shoe is not designed well.

Size doesn’t really matter much (especially when it already measures in your foot range) but how cushioned and comfortable your feet are.

Due to the brilliantly flexible Croslite material down to their soles, Crocs are built to stretch, while shoes like KEEN are built to be studier and secure.

Crocs will still feel comfortable when it has been taken out of its box and needs little or no time to adjust to your foot.

The most important difference between these shoes in terms of the fitting is that shoes with cushioning fit like Crocs have little material across the toe area.

This difference makes them marginally more comfortable when they are new but less comfortable after they have stretched out.

There are not much differences between Croslite and leather, except for the shoes themselves. When buying shoes, it is important to know your foot size.

It is also important to make sure the shoe fits well. If you are unsure about whether or not a shoe will fit, you can always try on the shoe before committing to buy it.


Croslite is a material used in the construction of Crocs which is made from polyvinyl chloride resin. KEEN sandals are made from LWG-certified leather with great amounts of tanneries.

Both KEEN and Crocs are nice to have, but KEEN shoes are a little more durable. In addition, KEENs are more suitable to extreme weather and environmental conditions than Crocs.

The materials used in constructing KEEN shoes prove to be more capable in outdoor activities as well. Crocs too are good for outdoor activities due to their durable Croslite material.

You can wash Croslite shoes in water for better maintenance, but you will need to do a lot of cleaning.

The truth is KEEN sandals shoes must be taken care of well in order to last a long time, while Croslite shoes don’t need much maintenance.

The good news is if your feet sweat a lot in leather shoes, you should switch to Croslite shoes.

Product variation

The difference in value between KEENs and Crocs is similar to the difference between a rubber band and a piece of string. Both can hold things together, but they have different strengths and weaknesses.

A leather shoe keeps the ground from touching your skin directly. If you think about it, having your feet in contact with the ground isn’t a form of protection, it’s a form of exposure. KEENs will protect your feet by keeping them from being directly exposed too.

A Croslite shoe keeps the ground from touching your skin indirectly. The ground is held away from you by the soles, so there is no direct contact between your feet and the ground.

The drawback of wearing KEENs is that they don’t keep out water very well, they tend to smell bad after enough use, they need to be cleaned up more often even in both cold and warmer weather.


The cost of choosing durable sandals is almost nothing. For KEENs, It isn’t all about the leather or rubber alone but the stitching, the sole, and heels.

There is also some kind of glue-like substance on the bottom to keep the soles on. But the ultimate way in covering your toes while still letting them breathe? Maybe some sort of stretchy fabric with holes in it?

This is where Crocs comes in. With cheaper price, lighter weight, and with a more flexible design than KEEN, I think Crocs should be your most logical pick of the two.

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