REVIEW: Keen Destin a steel-toed work shoe with skater traction and styling that’s perfect for mechanics

Updated Feb 18, 2015
Keen Destin work shoes

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My shoes have taken a beating since I moved into the shop full time. I’ve pretty much always worn skater shoes, which are comfortable and designed to withstand abrasion and hold up under some pretty tough conditions. They worked fine for residential construction, but they don’t offer toe protection against rolling vehicle components and other hazards at the shop. The constant exposure to lubricants here isn’t helping them either.

Enter Keen’s new Destin work shoe from their Utility lineup.  This new skater-inspired work shoe is a safety compliance guy’s dream because younger guys like me will actually wear them.

Keen did a pretty good job of styling the Destin after the shoes I usually wear. The Destins are highlighted by waterproof full-grain leather and they are available in both mid and low heights. For this test I selected the mids and found that I like the extra ankle support and it helps to cut back on debris finding its way inside the shoe.

Keen’s left and right asymmetrical steel toes helped create the shoe’s low profile without sacrificing safety or comfort. The Destins are lined with hydrophobic/hydrophilic 2-zone comfort technology for superior breathability.

These shoes were comfortable from the moment I put them on. I’ve had no issues with rubbing or blisters so really no break in time was needed. The foot bed offers good cushioning over a long day of standing and walking on steel platforms and concrete.

I also noticed a marked improvement in traction with these shoes. I do a lot of work on the dyno, which has steel decks and rollers. We can’t help but track some oil onto the platform and with some foot traffic from the rain outside it can get pretty slick. The tread compounds on these Keens have really helped traction in these conditions.

So far, after a month of testing, I haven’t noticed any breakdown in tread from the engine, transmission and hydraulic fluids in the shop environment. The uppers have held up well, too. Sparks from welding and the abrasive edges of lift arms and floor jacks have yet to leave much of a mark on them.

Dropping a 17mm ratcheting wrench while working under a lift the other day made me very glad I had toe protection. It would not have gone so well with my old skater shoes. Maybe the safety guys know a thing or two after all.


The Keen Destin shoes work great for indoor environments like my shop. They were comfortable from the start.  They have improved traction, provided good protection and have held up well to the rigors of life in the shop. If you are a safety guy trying to keep your young workers in compliance, the styling of these shoes will help. I would definitely buy another pair if these ever wear out.

How they rate

(10 is best)

Performance:      10

Comfort:              9

Protection:          9

Durability:          9

Price:                   7

Value:                  9


Total:                  53/60

Editor’s note: This is the second of three Keen boot reviews we’ll be running. Last week we looked at the Keen Braddock WP Work Boot. Next week, we’ll review the Milwaukee 6-inch boot which is ideal for foot-unfriendly construction worksites.