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A year ago, we found ourselves in the midst of yet another Covid surge, and as a result we fell back into self-care strategies that have come to define our lives amidst a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. Some of us found comfort in a stiff drink, others are gaming online for hours. I found comfort in reinventing my closet.
I started by replacing stiff, formal fabrics with softer alternatives such as fleece and cotton. Jeans (most of them, anyways) were then retired for sweats and athleisure. But, then, I made the life-altering decision to adopt slip-on footwear that’s far more inviting than traditional lace-up shoes. It’s those same slip-ons that I’m currently wearing (even as I write this), the Keen Howser III Slides, that have come to epitomize function and comfort, even after years of use.
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Upon first glance, Keen’s third iteration of the Howser slide looks like a traditional slipper. It’s plush on the inside thanks to a cozy fleece lining and easy to tighten via quick-cinch bungee. But underneath, this slipper (if you can really call it that) features a durable, high-traction rubber outsole that’s solid and supportive. And while most slippers fit in the same vague, formless manner, Keen’s creation does well to retain its shape around your foot. The Oregon-based brand even built it with recycled PET plastic, so your carbon footprint is quite possibly as small as your foot.
After wearing a pair of Howsers for more than a year, it’s clear that Keen is onto something. What began as a pair of slides dedicated for the home has become a pair of go-to, go-anywhere shoes that I wear when walking the dog, shoveling the driveway and after a day of skiing. My partner asks to wear them repeatedly, abandoning her elaborate boots for slip-on simplicity. I even picked up a pair for a friend that’s always wearing raggedy slippers.
These bad boys have truly taken me all over my corner of New York City and beyond this year, and despite the fact that I’m back transitioning between my tiny apartment, the corner store and (infrequently) the office, the Keen Howser III Slide is still on my feet, where they shill remain until they’re usurped. It helps that they’re now frequently on sale, meaning that refreshing after my current pair are thoroughly beat should be easy as pie.
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