Skip to main content

Keen Gave Away 100,000 Pairs of Shoes to People Affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic

Colloquially referred to as the coronavirus, the recently discovered disease that has created a global pandemic is also known as novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and, more specifically as SARS-CoV-2. The virus is wreaking havoc across the world, including the health and livelihood of billions of people, international travel, and the global economy — but there is a sliver of hope. Individuals and companies are coming together for a humanitarian purpose that is unprecedented in modern history.

And one company, Keen, is putting its best foot forward. In just five days, and working virtually, the Portland-based footwear brand launched the Together We Can Help campaign that gave away 100,000 pairs of shoes to people in need: healthcare workers, grocery store employees, and families seeking to make the best of this situation while schools and businesses are closed down.

keen retro newport sandals gucci response

“In the face of what may be our generation’s greatest challenge, the Together We Can Help initiative was created to enable people to take positive action and build connection in a time of increasing isolation,” stated Erik Burbank —  Keen Global GM Outdoor, Lifestyle, Kids — in a release. “Enabling people to ‘pay it forward’ by providing someone in their community with a free pair of shoes has helped build connection at a time of great need.”

Here’s how it worked. The platform allowed fans of the brand to nominate individuals from around the world that they felt would benefit from a new pair of shoes during the coronavirus pandemic.

The campaign wasn’t without its hurdles. The program was hacked numerous times by bots tracked to multiple continents. Despite these attempts to derail the initiative, Together We Can Help was successful and KEEN achieved its goal of outfitting those serving on the front lines during this global crisis. At the end of the campaign, 100,000 pairs (worth roughly $10 million dollars) went out to individuals around the globe. Approximately 50% of the codes were redeemed in the United States, followed by Japan, with a roughly equal number of redemptions in the European Union and Canada.

“We’ve been profoundly moved by the amount of goodness and compassion we have seen from our fans and others during this crisis,” said Burbank. “Giving our fans the ability to nominate someone they felt most in need during this time and empowering them to pay it forward through a simple act of kindness has been incredible motivating for our entire team.”

Keen was founded with a mission to “be more responsible citizens of the planet, embrace other cultures and ideas, and make a positive contribution.” Whether it’s organizing a beach cleanup, creating sustainably sourced products, or donating in the aftermath of natural disasters, the family-owned business has a reputation for living by this mantra.

Editors' Recommendations

Clay Abney
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Clay Abney is a PR guru and freelance writer living in the wild and wonderful state of West Virginia, where he spends his…
The Cape Flattery Trail offers wild coastal views that are worth the trek
Why you need to visit the Cape Flattery Trail
Image of the cape flattery reef at the end of the trail off a cliff

When Washingtonians told me I needed to take a trip to Cape Flattery, the northwesternmost point of the contiguous U.S., I assumed it was just for bragging rights. I added a short detour to the trail before returning to well-known sites on the Olympic Peninsula, like Lake Quinault's rainforest or Mount Olympus' cloudy peaks.
But to my surprise, my journey to Cape Flattery trail, through the idyllic Neah Bay, was as, if not more stunning than the neighboring Olympic National Park and completely worth the additional drive.
Along the trail, you're privy to lush rainforest views, craggy cliffs, marine life, and millennia of Indigenous and ecological history, all within a 1.5-mile hike.
Ready to visit this Pacific northwestern gem, located just 160 miles north of Seattle? Here's how to get there and what you'll see along the way.

How to Get to the Cape Flattery Trail

Read more
The 20 best U.S. national parks to explore now
There are a lot of national parks to see, so here's a list to start with
Hidden Lake, Glacier National Park

Soaring mountains, dune-covered deserts, glacial lakes, primeval forests, and red rock canyons set the stage for memorable adventures in splendid U.S. national parks — "America’s best idea," as filmmaker Ken Burns rightly described it. You could spend years exploring the countless wonders of these cherished reserves, but if time is limited, then focus your attention on the best of the best. Below is our admittedly subjective list of the top 20 parks, presenting a wide variety of landscapes and locales.
National Park Pass programs
Before we get into the list of U.S. national parks, let's cover how you can save money if you're going to be visiting several of America's best national parks. The National Park Pass is a program offered by the National Park Service that allows entrance to many federal recreation sites across the country. Depending on your needs, there are different types of passes to choose from.

Annual Pass: This pass costs $80 and is valid for one year at over 2,000 federal recreation sites managed by six different agencies, including the National Park Service. This is a good option if you plan on visiting several parks throughout the year.
Senior Pass: Citizens 62 and older can purchase a lifetime Senior Pass for $80. It grants the same access as the annual pass.
America the Beautiful Pass: This pass costs $80 and covers entrance fees for a single vehicle, including rentals and RVs, at national parks and federal recreational lands for 12 months.
Military Pass: Veterans get a free lifetime pass to national parks and other federal recreational lands. Here are some additional things to keep in mind about national park passes:

Read more
A quick guide on how to clean hiking boots
Tips to ready your boots for the next outdoor adventure
Dirty, muddy hiking boots

No matter where you hike or what you hike in, one thing is for sure: Hiking boots are supposed to get dirty. Your new boots might look fresh and clean right out of the box, and after that, every scrape and stain may be a badge of honor. But that doesn't mean they should stay that way.

Follow the tips outlined below to keep your hiking boots clean, functional, and ready to hit the next trail.
How to clean your hiking boots

Read more