My review of the weird and wonderful Uneek sandal, £89.99 from Keen – lightweight, semiaquatic kicks crafted from just two lengths of cord and a sole.
Keen Uneek Review
Product description: “There’s unique, and then there’s UNEEK – the new sandal from KEEN. Using innovative two cord construction, KEEN UNEEK molds to your feet for the perfect fit. The two cords and a simple, free-moving cord junction design allow the upper to move and adapt to the shape of foot. This construction provides freedom of movement while providing security and structure. The lightweight PU midsole delivers durability and comfort while the high traction rubber outsole with razor siping ensures secure footing.”
Mountain life: This, my friends, is shoe innovation. Keen decided not to bother bowing to convention when designing their new sandal, and instead went back to the drawing board, creating footwear made of only two pieces of cord – one that knots around your foot and one that draws the whole thing tight to keep it on. Uneek it most definitely is, and I like it. The sandals are insanely grippy on the sole, so you can stride over rocks and boulders with confidence, even if they’re wet, plus the lightweight cord is quick to dry, making them perfect for messing around near or in water. I wore them wild swimming and they were fantastic protection from sharp rocks. They’re also easy to wipe clean after muddy adventures.
As a fashion statement: Personally I really like the laced-up parachute cord look of the Uneeks, but then I am a gear geek who thinks wearing carabiners clipped onto my belt is the height of sophistication. I’ve worn the Uneeks to work with jeans and once, interestingly, with a dress – I’m not 100% that my friends adored them but I’ve never worn shoes that were more commented on before. The only issue I’ve had with the Uneeks is that they size rather small, so I’ve had to keep mine pretty loose, otherwise the upper toggle which tightens the cord starts to dig into my feet – pretty uncomfortable on longer walks or cycles. When I take mine off I’m also left with interesting cord criss-cross patterns on my skin. Not such a good look. If you’re getting some, I’d suggest going a size up.
Verdict: Perfect for water-based beach and outdoor fun and chilled-out city summers if you like your sandals to be practical yet eye-catching. If you’re more into trail walking (or you’re a bit shy) I’d recommend something else – try my kit pages for more options.