Parks and outdoor green spaces have seen something of a resurgence in popularity in the last couple of years. Like vinyl records and film photography, it’s like people have gone, “oh yeah, this. I forgot how good this is.”
Of course, this is something that may have been foisted upon us by lockdown restrictions to some degree, as finding a little bit of green space was pretty much all you could do for a while to get a break from video calls or news briefings. But the point is, we found we quite liked it. The same can be said for the outdoor brands that people may have bought initially out of necessity but then found themselves saying, “ you know what, I’m into this.”
Sure, scenes like Gorpcore were around pre-pandemic but there’s certainly an increased appetite for gear that offers the practicality of outdoor wear but also a degree of individuality that is usually more of a concern with streetwear. Part of this is because busy urban types may not have the time nor the inclination to travel miles into the country and will instead look for mini adventures within the city itself. This is where the parks and vital green spaces come in. But they’ll want their choice of practical gear to look as good on the tram as the trail, as smart in the pub as the park.
KEEN are uniquely placed to occupy the space between these two worlds. With an outdoor pedigree and unshakable environmental conscience, they also have a character that is full of fun and truly unique. To shoot the latest Jasper shoes for KEEN, we decided to explore the green spaces of our own city, Manchester, and head out on an ‘urban hike’. The Jasper is a casual trainer with a climbing inspired upper design and lace to toe extended lacing system. You can see how we got on below and shop the Jasper range here.