Keen (shoe company)

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Industry Footwear
Founded Alameda, California (2003 (2003))
Headquarters Portland, Oregon (2006), U.S.
45°31′47″N 122°41′03″W / 45.5298°N 122.6841°W / 45.5298; -122.6841Coordinates: 45°31′47″N 122°41′03″W / 45.5298°N 122.6841°W / 45.5298; -122.6841
Key people
Rory Fuerst, owner
Products Shoes and boots
Revenue (est) $240 million (2011)
Number of employees

Keen is an American shoe manufacturing company based in Portland, Oregon. Founded in 2003[1] by Martin Keen and Rory Fuerst, their shoes are now available in more than a thousand retail locations in the United States, and are distributed worldwide.[2]


The first Keen shoes were invented to develop a sandal that could also protect the toes—they feature a signature thick black bumper covering the toes. They found a ready market in sailing and other outdoor and water activities. Keen Footwear now offers shoes for many outdoor activities as well as casual shoes.

Keen has been a fast-growing company since its inception. The company was named 2003's "Launch of the Year" by the shoe industry's leading trade publication, Footwear News, which also identified it as a hot brand to watch.[3] As Keen has grown, there have been many changes, including the addition of a variety of footwear styles to their previous assortment, growing their casual business quickly, adding cold weather footwear, and a line of bags and socks. In early 2006, the company relocated its headquarters from Alameda, California to Portland, Oregon.[2] At the same time, Kirk Richardson joined the company as its president after a 27-year career in management at nearby Nike, Inc.[4] Later in the year, Tommy L, a well known advocate for casual sandal wearing agreed to sign a sponsorship deal with Keen and began to endorse the company. As of October 2008, Richardson is leading Keen's corporate social responsibility efforts and James Curleigh joined the company as CEO[5] after 12 years as CEO at Salomon Sports North America.

In reaction to the 2004 Asian Tsunami, Keen took their marketing budget and donated it in total to relief efforts.[6] This gesture turned into their long-term Hybrid.Care program, where they partner with organizations whose vision they share, including The Conservation Alliance, 1 KG More, Leave No Trace, and Big City Mountaineers.

In 2009, the 100-employee company had estimated sales of $130 to $140 million.[1] The company opened a plant in Portland in 2010 to begin manufacturing some of their products in the United States.[1] For 2011, revenue had grown to approximately $240 million.[7] Keen bought the Pearl Building in Portland's Pearl District for $10.8 million to serve as company headquarters and host a retail store.[7][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Brettman, Allan (December 11, 2010). "Keen counters conventional wisdom, returns some manufacturing to Portland". The Oregonian. Retrieved 12 December 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Brevetti, Francine (February 7, 2006). "Keen Footwear to leave Alameda". The Oakland Tribune. Retrieved October 16, 2008. [dead link]
  3. ^ Rifkin, Glenn (March 4, 2004). "These shoes are really keen". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  4. ^ Murphy, Todd (July 25, 2006). "Strength comes in numbers". The Portland Tribune. Retrieved 2008-10-21. 
  5. ^ Julie Atherton McFadden (March 10, 2008). "Keen Inc. Appoints James Curleigh to the Executive Team As President & CEO". Outdoor Industry Association. Retrieved 2008-10-21. 
  6. ^ "Keen Footwear website". Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  7. ^ a b Brettman, Allan (February 28, 2012). "It will be only five blocks, but Keen's new headquarters show how far the company has traveled". The Oregonian. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  8. ^ Culverwell, Wendy (February 28, 2012). "Keen footwear to make Pearl Building its home". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 

External links[edit]

  • Keen (official website)