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Keen Increases Its Commitment to American Manufacturing | Footwear News

In recent years, Keen has boosted footwear production and doubled the size of the workforce at its Portland, Ore., factory.

Source: Keen Increases Its Commitment to American Manufacturing | Footwear News

Keen Expands Commitment to American Manufacturing

Keen Portland Factory

Inside Keen’s Portland footwear factory. Courtesy of brand.

The made-in-America movement is making progress, thanks to Portland, Ore.-based Keen.

Since launching its U.S. assembly plant in 2010, the company has been steadily expanding operations at the factory, located on Portland’s Swan Island.

And in the past couple of years, it has revved up growth in a serious way. Since 2014, its has doubled the size of the workforce at its factory, now employing more than 60 people. Production has increased 20 percent from 2015 to 2016.

The Swan Island factory currently produces 15 different SKUs from Keen’s American Built collection. Among those items are high-end outdoor hiking shoes and Utility work boots. In addition, the team recently began making its first volume sandal, the Rialto.

Keen Portland Factory
Keen Portland Factory
Inside Keen’s Portland Footwear Factory. Courtesy of brand.

Chris Heffernan, GM of the Keen Utility division, said that U.S. production offers a strategic advantage for the brand. “We are able to respond much more quickly to demand, maintain tighter control over product quality, and develop new product concepts on a significantly reduced lead time,” he said.

And Keen’s made-in-America collection also resonates with consumers. “Our consumers prefer American Built products and support companies who are bringing production and jobs back to American soil,” said Heffernan. “This is clear to us given the response and sales we’re seeing behind our Mt. Vernon, Braddock and Leavenworth workboots.”

As a result, Keen plans to continue to grow its domestic production. In 2017 alone, it intends to add another eight to 10 Utility styles.

Keen Portland Factory
Keen Portland Factory
Inside Keen’s Portland Footwear Factory. Courtesy of brand.

Helping to lead the charge is Claire Juttelstad, the new director of manufacturing. She joined the company in January after previous stints at Benchmark Knife Co. and Lacrosse Footwear.

Juttelstad oversees all operations at the Portland factory, including engineering, quality, production, cost and inventory.

“I am committed to manufacturing the finest-quality American Built work and hiking products right here at our production facility in Portland,” she said. “As a company, we are committed to significantly growing our production for 2017 and the future.”


Keen Footwear Made in the USA

Keen Made in the USA(video). Keen, a maker of shoes, boots and sandals since 2003, has started bringing back making some of their footwear back in the United States., since 2010. Originally developed by Martin Keen and Rory Fuerst in Alameda, California, Keen moved to Portland, Oregon in 2006, where they still reside.

Keen now has four different lines of USA made footwear: Nopo, which are casual and waterproof (in boot and shoes) ; the Ontario line shoe (leather and water-resistant); Barkley line with Nubuck leather as a shoe, boot or slip-on; and the Glisan Sandals.

Keen Nopo shoe

Keen Nopo lace

Video on Nopo shoe.

Keen Nopo Boot

Keen Nopo Boot

Video on Nopo Boot.

Keen Ontario shoe

Keen Ontario shoe

Keen Ontario shoes are still available, but I believe they have discontinued the boots in this line. The Glisan sandals are the only sandals made by Keen in the United States.

Keen Glisan sandal

Keen Glisan sandals

The latest line of American made footwear introduced by Keen is Barkley which made with Nubuck leather.

Keen Barkley Boot

Keen Barkley Boot

These lines of boots and sandals are all made in their factory in Portland, Oregon. Do not forget that Keen makes socks made in America in many various patterns.


Newslink: Keen Footwear Steps up U.S. Production – NPR

Shoe Company Practices Insourcing For The Sole : NPR. Keen Boots has opened a factory in Portland, Oregon in 2010. Currently, this workboot factory employs 30 people. It is a continuing new movement of insourcing – companies bringing jobs back from overseas. It is a most welcome movement. Buy American.

December 2019
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