Keen is widely-known for their toe protecting sandals. You’ll find them on the feet of adventurers from the mountains to the oceans. Their full shoe line is also extensive and now they have introduced the UNEEK sandals made from two lengths of polyester/nylon cord and a comfortable sole. Unique indeed, these sandals have proven themselves well so far.
Keen UNEEK Sandals Features:
- Lightweight PU midsole
- Metatomical footbed
- Microfiber footbed cover and heel back
- Non-marking rubber outsole
- Polyester braided cord with nylon core for increased strength
- Razor siping on outsole for improved ground traction
- Secure fit lace capture system
- Price: $100
Whoa. What are those?
Nearly every day I wear the UNEEK’s, I get someone gawking over them. Questions abound as I tell them the great features of these sandals with nearly everyone saying they’d like to try a pair. Well, that’s how I felt when I first saw them — impressed, intrugued and ready to give them a whirl.
The UNEEK’s are constructed with two lengths of braided polyester and nylon cord thats woven together to make the shape of the sandal. The hook and loop joint between the cords and the slight initial stretch in the cord itself provides just the right amount of flex so as not to constrict natural movements. But, that amount of stretch has been optimized so as to prevent the foot from sloshing around.
As far as uppers go, these have to be some of the most comfortable sandals I’ve worn. Right out of the box, they felt like I’ve had them for years — really a testament to the unique application of materials. The mesh spacing is absolutely perfect and all contact points are soft next to my skin. I thought I’d experience some toe escapes with extensive use, but not once did my toes poke through. Because of the cord material, these are actually quite protective — not quite on par with the rubberized toe, but better than my favorite Chacos.
Cinching them down is as easy as pulling on the stretchy shock cord and sliding the toggle in place. I then tucked the excess into the laced tongue to prevent the plastic end cap from flapping around. The full wraparound fit of the UNEEK really keeps the foot in place securely on all types of terrain — wet or dry.
As far as water adventures go, the UNEEK’s are right at home. While wading around the local river, the complete foot protection and excellent traction was made quite apparent. The siping on the outsole aids grip on slippery rocks and again, the sandals provide just as much lateral support when wet as they do when dry. Once they do get wet, I’d give them an average grade on their drying time. With all that material, there’s no wonder they take a good hour to dry out on a sunny, 80-degree day here in Utah.
The footbed is quite comfortable and has molded to my flat feet quite well. While they may not provide as much arch support as some sandals, I was comfortable walking around in the UNEEK’s all day. After a couple of days, they do get a little bit stinky, but that’s to be expected with about any sandal — especially one with this much material. Luckily, a quick walk in the river or a wash in the sink will remedy the problem in short order.
My outsoles show some signs of wear, but not excessive. I’d say these should last a few seasons of regular use.
- Comfortable right out of the box
- Cool design in a variety of colors
- Footbeds quickly molded to my feet
- Easily cinched down when needed
- Excellent lateral support and foot protection
- Excellent wet traction
- Unique design will get you noticed, so be prepared to answer lots of questions
- The mesh design requires more drying time
- Will get stinky after a few consecutive days of wear
- Can be tricky getting rocks and debris out
The Bottom Line: Keen UNEEK Sandals
The new UNEEK sandals are getting a ton of attention and with good reason. These have proven to be comfortable and durable in my testing. I like how light they are and how well they contour to my feet.
Buy Now: Available at REI.com