Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Secret sale alert: REI shoe department

Keen: If there is a hotter footwear company in the country, we'd like to know about it.

First, there were the water shoes and sandals—whatever they were, they were a nice alternative to Tevas and Chacos. Now, Keen has a whole range of shoes, from faux bowlers to clogs to boots. The unifying motif? That big rubber bumper across the toe.

Something like Earth Shoes (which are back, by the way), Keens all carry that pedigree. And there is no other brand that has simultaneously captured every demographic from 40-year-old men to 10-year-old girls with plenty of moms thrown into the bargain.

Another selling point: Keens are relatively affordable—most pairs are well under $100. If you get on out to REI beginning this Friday, you're sure to find their stock of Keens deeply discounted, along with other prestige brands that are synonymous with trail mix and 12-rod portages, such as Merrell, Sorel, Dansk, and Born. (Steer clear of the North Face though. Much as we love this brand, their shoes and boots are predominantly made in China. Something about their name and its associations with Tibet gives us pause, when it comes to footwear.)

REI: http://www.rei.com
750 W American Blvd
Bloomington, MN 55420
(952) 884-4315

1955 County Rd B2 W
Roseville, MN 55113
(651) 635-0211

Maple Grove
11581 Fountains Drive
Maple Grove, MN 55369
(763) 493-7861

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