KEEN Utility Women’s Atlanta Cool ESD (Steel Toe) Shoe Review

KEEN Atlanta Hero Top

KEEN Utility Women’s Atlanta Cool ESD (Steel Toe) Shoe Review

You may own a pair of KEEN hiking shoes, or maybe another type of outdoor shoes, but you might not be as familiar with the KEEN Utility brand of shoes.  In 2010, the same KEEN that makes your favorite outdoor shoes, took their knowledge about footwear and starting making quality shoes for working men and women.  They designed these shoes to be both comfortable and safe.  All that being said, over the last few months, I’ve been trying out a pair of these shoes: KEEN Utility Women’s Atlanta Cool ESD with a Steel Toe.

 Keen Shoes Beth 600

Here’s what KEEN says about the Women’s Atlanta Cool ESD Steel Toe Shoe:

  • Weight: For steel toe, they are lightweight at just 19.35 oz
  • They are designed for the construction jobsite.
  • The lining is made from a moisture wicking textile and the upper is made from a combination for leather and textile and it provides breathability to keep your feet cool in warm weather environments.
  • The rubber sole is oil and slip resistant and they are also non-marking .

KEEN Atlanta Bottom 600

So what do I think?  Well, first things first, I’ve always liked the way KEEN shoes looked.  They are stylish and the outdoor shoes have always been designed for comfort, but could they really take those same qualities and put them in a pair of steel toe shoes?  The answer is yes.  They do make several pairs of what you might consider the “traditional “ steel toe boots, but I wanted to try out a pair that would work in steel toe situations and in situations where steel toe shoes weren’t necessary.  So the Women’s Atlanta Cool ESD it was.

KEEN Atlanta Side View hero 600

The first thing you’ll notice is that they really look like hiking / outdoor shoes.  The colors are stylish and give a nice casual look.  KEEN Utility has 90 day guarantee that if they are not the most comfortable work “boots” or shoes you’ve worn.  Compared to my walking shoes, they are not quite as comfortable, but as far as work shoes go, and especially steel toe shoes, they are definitely the most comfortable I’ve even owned (or even tried to own as I’ve NEVER found a truly comfortable pair of steel toe shoes before this).


KEEN has a couple of features they put in all their Utility branded steel toe shoes.  The first is the asymmetrical steel toes.  That means they are roomier where they’re supposed to be: in the toe box, which I’m sure it what makes them not feel as much like steel toe shoes.  But, they do certainly perform like steel toe shoes.  While I’m not on a construction jobsite everyday, I am on video production sets a lot.  Most of them are outside, and many of them are actually on jobsites.  These shoes are very protective.  I feel safe when I am crawling around a house being built.  No worries about construction debris or large pieces of production equipment dropping on my feet.

Meets ASTM F2412-05 and F2413-05 I/75 and C/75 Standards

Meets ASTM F2412-05 and F2413-05 I/75 and C/75 Standards

I’m pretty big on owning shoes that have decent support, and I’d say these go beyond decent.  KEEN calls it a “metatomical footbed design”.  Whatever they call it, the shoes provide good arch support and they do mold to your foot very well.

KEEN Atlanta Metatomical 600

KEEN Elastic Strings 600KEEN Atlanta Pull tabs 600And in that vein, the elastic pull-tight laces also help mold the perfect fit to your foot.  I have a narrow long foot, so I like to tighten the laces to leave room for my toes, yet making sure they aren’t too loose across the top of my foot.  I also like the fabric pulls on the tongue and the heel.  They make it really easy to slip the shoes on and cinch them tight with the elastic shoe strings.  And how do the sizes run?  True to size.  I usually buy outdoor shoes or work shoes in a half size bigger because I can’t stand for my toes to be pushed into the end, but I tried that in these shoes and went back to the size I wear in regular street shoes.

Something to be aware of is that these shoes are mesh combined with leather on the upper, so they are not waterproof.  This is by design because they are for warmer weather climates, and they are designed to breath like an athletic shoe would.   Just something to know if you purchase these shoes.

The only complaint I have about these shoes, and it’s a small one, is I wish they’d added a little more padding around the heel and ankle area of the shoes.  I wear thicker socks with these shoes to make sure they don’t rub blisters in that area.  That’s the one reason I love my Reebok shoes is because of the thicker padding, but again, those are athletic shoes and these are work shoes, so that’s the difference.

I certainly give these shoes a “thumbs up”.  They are an investment at about $130, but if you work in a construction job, or if you work in a place where steel toe shoes are a must, in my opinion, these are the shoes for you!  Well done KEEN Utility!

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