Gear Closet: Keen Uneek Shoes

One of the things I’ve always liked about Keen shoes is that they tend to be exceedingly comfortable, feature eye catching designs, and are usually built for adventure. That would sum up my thoughts completely on their Uneek sandals, which certainly live up to their name with their unusual look and design.

Over the years I’ve owned a number of shoes from Keen, and some of them have been amongst my favorite footwear ever. Their classic Newport sandal has been a mainstay in my gear closet for years, and has accompanied me on many trips around the world, including my recent visit to Egypt. But when I first saw the Uneek shoes I wasn’t sure what to make of them. They aren’t exactly unattractive, but they also don’t look like anything you’ve ever seen before. They take an almost minimalist approach, although saying that would sell-short the amount of support and comfort they provide. This is a shoe that lives up to Keen’s outstanding reputation, but just happens to look a bit different than anything they’ve produced before.

Any qualms you may have about how the Uneeks look are quickly dispelled once you put them on. They mold to your foot perfectly, creating a nice cushion that cradles your arches and provides plenty of support for long days or walking around town, or simply lounging at the beach. The lightweight, airy design feels amazing, and you’ll be left wondering how a shoe that is so simple in design can feel so good when worn.

Part of what makes these shoes so unique – for lack of a better word – is how they are constructed. They’re built out of just two cords and a sole, with everything weaved together in a way that is so simple, you’ll wonder why no else had thought of it first. That construction method is what gives the Uneek shoes their special identity, setting them apart from the crowd in so many ways.

But don’t think for a moment that Keen skimped on performance when created this footwear. They make an excellent water shoe for example, quickly draining away moisture and drying rapidly as well. This helps to make them a great option for kayaking and canoeing, hanging out at the beach, or just running errands around town. They make an excellent travel shoe too, as they are not only lightweight, but highly packable.

I have had one issue when wearing my pair of Uneeks for an extended period of time. The ankle straps tend to irritate the back of my feet when they are worn for longer periods, and it gets to the point that I have to take them off or run the risk of developing a blister. It should be noted that this only occurs when I’ve had them on for several hours, and usually if I’ve been particularly active. This seems to be more of an issue of how they fit on my feet, and is not a widespread issue. No other reviews that I have seen have mentioned this, but it is important to be aware of none the less.

That said however, it is easy to recommend these shoes. They are so comfortable in every other way that it is almost as if I’m going barefoot when I have them on. Their unusual design illicit comments and questions too, so don’t be surprised if others ask you about them when you wear them out in public.

The Keen Uneek is available in six different color schemes and carry a price tag of $100. If you’re in the market for a comfortable, lightweight, and unusual shoe, this one will certainly fill those needs very nicely.

Kraig Becker