An open air design and a comfortable fit make these ‘rope shoes’ great for beaches & boardwalks
Shoes made from string? Keen has gone and done something rather wacky – but the overall result is effective as well as intriguing. The top half of these sandals are made from just two cords. The resulting mesh not only looks unusual, but creates a flexible shape that can adapt to the wearer’s feet. The entire construction is light and feels secure, with a drawstring on the top to bring everything together. With ultimate breathability, the Uneeks are a really refreshing wear.
Weighing just over 300g and easy to stuff in a front or side pocket of a backpack or daysack, the Uneeks are built upon a high-traction sole. There’s not much to them otherwise, but Keen has wisely invested as much time into ensuring the Uneeks’ grip and comfort, as it has into their unusual style. We’re talking a soft inner footbed and a significantly contoured arch on the in-step, as well as a flexible front half. The result is simple; the Uneek is as comfier to wear and as versatile as most heavy-duty ‘hiking’ sandals, but far lighter.
The Uneeks are most at home on boardwalks and beaches. We took them on a summer trip to the shore and found them to be a versatile sandal indeed. Unlike most hiking sandals, there’s no enclosed toe, which can collect a lot of sand and water if you walk along the wash. The Uneeks let both flow right through, while there’s plenty of grip for walking along rocky sections, and up and down steps along the shoreline. They’re quick drying, too, which is all-important on a multi-stop trip if the next day you’re onto a train to be whisked to a city hotel. Happily, they’re just as effective on urban streets, though you might get some funny looks if you’re strolling through a CBD.
All hail the rope shoe! Using no glue, no seams and no stitches, the Keen Uneeks are a genuinely intriguing innovation in travel footwear. The overall look is both new and retro; the ‘rope shoe’ effect is simultaneously both eco and modern. More importantly, they’re great for beach holidays – and any laid-back travel – and the super-light capsule crowd will love them.