Ever wondered how your feet would look like covered in paracord bracelets? If that weird thought ever crossed your mind, you can actually picture it by wearing a pair of Keen Uneek sandals. Some love them and some hate them and there are plenty of valid arguments from both sides.
Hopefully, after reading this Keen Uneek review you’ll have all the information you need to decide for yourself. Is this ‘unique’ strapped, woven design a must-have for you or just a great gag gift?
Keen has been around since 2003. They manufacture a wide variety of footwear. One quick look at their official online store and you wouldn’t know the Uneek design is something concocted by their designers. That being said, these sandals are made with a clear purpose.
On a hot summer day, there’s nothing better than a pair of sandals to keep your feet cool. Unlike the usual slippers most people use, the Keen Uneek sandal will always stay on your foot. It will give you the traction you desire on sand, concrete or gravel without muscle strain.
They are rather easy to slip into and quite comfortable to walk in. Some say they’re even ok for a short jog. Usefulness aside, the look is quite different from everything else on the market.
Who’s it for?
Considering the woven cord design, the Keen Uneek sandals can be a great fit if your accessories involve paracord bracelets and handcrafted jewelry in general. Because the sandals come with a wide range of color choices, it’s easy to incorporate them into both casual and sport attires.
Their practicality also determines what type of person would buy them. If you’re an amateur hiker, if you live by the beach or if most of the year you walk around in warm weather, the Keen Uneeks will serve you well. You can use them across multiple terrains without worrying about the sole’s durability or the longevity of the cords for that matter.
Although the 3mm cord won’t chafe while running, these sandals are not a long-term solution for an avid jogger. They aren’t likely to break down on you but running in sandals is just not practical.
They’re probably not the cheapest sandals you’ve come across, but they are worth the investment. Because they are made to handle casual hiking, you can expect a pair of these to last you quite some time. Just make sure you don’t get them wet too often. If you live in a rain-rich environment, you won’t be pleased with how long it takes for them to dry.
The Uneek sandals from Keen are a simple product. They’re ready to go straight from the box which is great if you’re not the patient type. There aren’t any accessories that accompany the sandals when you buy them. However, maybe in the future they could add some extra straps or laces with different colors so that you can mix and match depending on the occasion.
Overview of Features
The Uneeks come with great arch support. That helps a lot if you plan on walking in the city for hours and hours. Good arch support is also recommended when hiking or walking on sand. This reduces the strain on your muscles by a lot.
The open design is a double-edged sword but one that’s expected of any type of sandal. On one hand, you benefit from great airflow that not only cools your feet in hot weather but also prevents them from stinking up a room once you take the sandals off.
The downside of the open design is that you can’t prevent the occasional pebble from jumping in your sandal. The cords are tightly woven but they’re not so close to one another to provide a safety net. Another inconvenience is that while they’re super comfortable to take to the beach, taking sands out of the sandals is not as easy as taking them out of your flip-flops.
The cord used doesn’t chafe. This is impressive as the lower part of the sandal is quite rigid. That rigidity helps keep your foot in place along with the microfiber heel back. Not only that but it gives you traction that rivals that of lightweight casual sneakers.
The most interesting feature, and perhaps the biggest selling point, is that the Keen Uneek has a synthetic sole which molds to the shape of your foot. It gives you the impression of walking barefoot while still providing plenty of protection from the terrain. As you can see from the pictures, the sole is quite thick which is exactly how it achieves the high levels of performance and durability.
How to Use
There’s no rocket science involved with this pair of sandals. The design looks complicated but that’s just because of the intricate woven pattern of the cords. All you have to do to adjust the fit is to work the upper cord or lace.
Although there’s not much to be said about how to use them, here are some maintenance tips worth mentioning. Don’t take them out for a long hike on their first day. Give them some time to adjust to your feet as you would any sneakers of hiking boots.
Don’t get them soaking wet as it takes longer than you might think to dry. There is also a risk depending on the quality of the water, which can cause the cord to harden. Needless to say, they wouldn’t be so comfortable on hikes anymore.
If you don’t have a thing for laces but you still like the open design, you can also check out the Uneek Slide-M sandals from Keen. These sandals don’t have heel supports and don’t use laces, straps or anything else to tighten them around your foot.
The combination of leather and elastic textile is enough to keep them on during casual walks. Keep in mind that unlike the Keen Uneek sandals, you won’t be able to run or climb hills and mountains. That being said, if you’re not the adventurer type the Slide-M design might suit you just fine as they are also extremely comfortable.
This Keen Uneek review shows that these sandals are not for everyone. Even so, the product might be even better in real life than on paper. After all, the weird design shouldn’t be taken too seriously. The versatility, durability and overall quality of movement the sandals provide should outweigh any visual drawbacks of the woven ‘paracord’ sandals from Keen.
(If you’re interested, check out our complete lineup of recommended hiking sandals here.)