Isn’t it good to know that if you ever get marooned on an island and need rope, you can always take your shoes apart? Just like a paracord survival bracelet, Uneek is a pair of open-air footwear made from two cords and a sole. It’s one of the most unique-looking outdoor shoes I’ve come across.
Uneek is one of the newest products of Keen Inc., a company based in Portland, Oregon which manufactures footwear, bags and other hybrid products for outdoor enthusiasts. In the Philippines, Keen products are available in all R.O.X. stores nationwide. I got my pair of Keen Uneek sandals from R.O.X. in BGC a couple of months ago and have used it on a few trips, everyday casual wear and biking. Here’s a quick look of the footwear’s main features.
The most striking thing about Keen’s Uneek footwear is its unconventional design. Its innovative two-cord construction and free-moving cord junction adapts to everyone’s feet ensuring a perfect fit.
Since the cord stretches, the shoes provide freedom of movement. But unlike flimsy sandals or slippers, the footwear remains stable and securely strapped to your feet no matter the terrain. The design is standard for both men and women and the shoes come in basic and bright colors that really pop outdoors.
Group selfeet with Keen Uneek Footwear in Balanga Wetland Parks, Bataan. Girls in Gargoyle/Bright Chartreuse & Guys in Black/Blue Danube
Some of the other colors for women available at http://www.keenfootwear.com/uneek
1. Metatomical Footbed Design
Like all Keen shoes, Uneek is anatomically engineered to provide excellent arch support and cradle the natural contours of the foot. It has a traditional form-fitting footbed with arch support.
Christine of Jovial Wanderer climbing up stairs in the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant
2. Comfortable but durable
It has a microfiber footbed cover, microfiber heel back and a lightweight midsole that delivers durability and comfort. The upper portion is made of polyester braided cord with nylon core for increased strength. The straps make use of a secure fit lace capture system. The high-traction rubber outsole keeps your step secure.
3. Open-air system
Since it’s a sandal, it’s easy to slip on and off, making it suitable for casual wear and all-around travel, from urban explorations in the city to trails and beaches. It’s more breathable and quick-drying, which makes it good for water-based activities and hiking where your shoes are bound to get wet.
It was low tide when we started our island-hopping in Cebu, so we had to walk to board the boat parked a few hundred meters from the port
FIELD TEST NOTES:
- I first got to test this out in Bataan, which involved a lot of outdoor activities, a heritage tour, walking around an old power plant and a visit to the beach. It performs well in city and urban settings. It has good traction for walking, hiking and jogging and looks very outdoorsy.
- It took a while for me to break in the shoes. I got a couple of blisters from the points where the cord rubbed against my feet, but after a couple of days, the shoes felt more comfortable. You can also wear it with socks for extra cushioning.
- I ended up wearing this for the whole duration of my trip to Cebu, Camiguin and Cagayan de Oro, because my pair of rubber slippers got ripped the first day. From the airport, we went straight to Oslob, Cebu and rode a boat to an island for lunch, so it was good to be wearing footwear that would be ok even if it got wet.
- The rest of the trip involved visits to churches and museums, island-hopping and snorkeling, hitting the beach, hiking to waterfalls, tree-planting, and shopping. The shoes performed well in both dry and water-based activities.
- The shoes provide good protection when walking or wading in beaches and streams where the shores are rocky and can hurt your feet if you go barefoot. There’s just a tendency for sand and pebbles to get stuck because of the gaps in the cord.
- It dries pretty quickly if you leave it out in the sun. Since I didn’t have extra slippers/shoes to wear, it took longer to dry out between uses.
- The color of the footwear I got (Gargoyle/Bright Chartreuse) is a bit on the bright side. Given a choice, I would have probably picked a more neutral color like black, blue or grey so it’s more versatile or something with a touch of red to match more of my clothes.
- It’s very comfortable and sturdy for casual biking. The footwear is very breathable and my feet feel cooler when biking with these on as opposed to fully closed shoes. The grip on the pedals is good and the footwear provides more protection in the trails compared to slippers.
Keen Uneek sandals are a good all-around footwear for those love to travel and are into outdoor adventures. It’s casual, breathable and useful for light outdoor activities like hiking, biking and water-based activities where your footwear needs to be secure. It looks unconventional and tough, but still practical. I think the shoes will appeal to outdoorsy people who live an active lifestyle when they travel.
Keen Uneek Footwear retails for P4,990.00 in the Philippines.
WHERE TO BUY IT:
Keen is available in all R.O.X. stores and at Eddie Bauer stores in SM Aura and SM Megamall. For more information on Keen Uneek Sandals, check out this feature below: