If you happen to work in an environment without obvious threats to your feet, slip on shoes will always be an attractive choice. They’re light in nature, generally pretty stylish, and choose wisely, ideal for long shifts.
A good example of these benefits can be found in the PTC slip-on work shoe by Keen. As you can see from the image to your right, they definitely got the style right.
But how do they feel on your feet?
In terms of comfort, my first impression was that I wish I could get away with wearing these shoes at work. Despite the tough leather, there’s zero break in period. And the slip on design is just such a relief compared to the 6 inch boots that I’m used to.
Combine this with the low weight and Keen quality sole and you have the perfect shoe for long shifts, particularly if those shifts entail walking on hard surfaces.
This is largely the result of Keens EVA mid-sole. This is a feature found in most of Keens products and one that I’ve always had good results with. There’s also a removable insole made of polyurethane and memory foam.
The uppers as minimal as they are, are then made from relatively breathable leather with a little bit of cushioning on the collar.
Personally, I can’t wear these to work but I have worn on them on long walks during the weekend. And in terms of comfort at least, they can’t be faulted.
In terms of safety, they can be faulted but I think it comes down to Keens priorities and target market. There’s no steel toe. There’s zero ankle protection etc. Instead, they’ve focused on one area of protection only, the non slip sole.
It meets ASTM standards but I decided to test it anyway. And aside from ice which I didn’t have access to, they seem to live up to the claim. Oil and water present zero problems.
Waterproofing levels depend on what you’re after. The uppers are indeed waterproof so the odd puddle isn’t going to get your feet wet. Given the low height however means that they’re the very opposite of rain proof. They also offer little to no insulation. These shoes are clearly designed to be worn either indoors or in warm climates.
Out of the box, they look exactly like the image above. In other words, completely black, slightly formal looking shoes that will go well in just about any work environment. I especially like how they look at the sides, with distinctive curves and the just about visible Keen logo.
I’ve owned countless Keen boots at this stage and I’ve never experienced a durability issue. And that’s not something that I can say about any other mid price range manufacturer. Unfortunately, I’ve worn these less than ten times. And some of the customer reviews for the PTC seem to paint a different picture.
At the time of writing, the PTC have been reviewed just shy of 200 times for an average rating of 4.3 stars out of 5. This is a respectable score but given the brand name and my own experience, I would have expected something a little bit higher.
Closer investigation shows that the negative reviews complain primarily about sizing and durability. Most shoes have at least some sizing complaints. But the number of durability complaints is way higher than any other Keen shoe that I’ve seen.
So perhaps, there is a design defect here somewhere that I’ve yet to experience. It is worth noting however that these reviews are indeed in the minority. So it could be quality control issue too.
This review can basically be summed up in one sentence: I like everything about these shoes except for the suspiciously high number of people who are complaining that they fall apart. They are ridiculously comfortable, ideal for long shifts, and just the right amount of style for being worn in a formal environment. In the end, I think it all depends on how comfortable you are paying over a hundred dollars for a pair of shoes that may well not last 100 days.