A Uneek Experience — A Month in Keens

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Two cords and a sole — that’s the tagline of Keen’s newest line of outdoor shoe, Uneek. Unique they are, and pretty darn exciting. We all know that Keen has long been a go-to when it comes to footwear designed for the outdoors, and the Uneeks are literally made out of paracord. Doesn’t get more outdoorsy than that. Built with what Keen calls “two-cord construction”, the majority of the shoe is made up of these cords, woven together on a polyurethane sole that is meant to conform to the natural shape of your foot while still providing major support. There’s no tying involved, just a simple pull strap that secures the shoe to your foot. The bed of the shoe is covered in a microfiber material for comfort and help keeping feet dry.

When I got the chance to try the latest Keens, I immediately pictured their signature sandal style. A few days later, when I opened the box, I realized this was NOT that. I think I actually said “Oh, wow!” audibly (to an empty room). The Uneeks look…well, they look kinda crazy at first. It’s honestly like nothing we’ve seen before. And I couldn’t wait to try them out.

Upper shoe, laced and knotted paracord.
Upper shoe, laced and knotted paracord.

Upon first meeting, my feet and the Uneeks became fast friends. I walked around the house in them all night and immediately felt the contour and my foot forming to the sole. The cords are well-placed and comfortable against the top of the foot. They felt great, and the more I wore them, the cooler I thought they looked. The next day, getting dressed to go into the office, I wondered if they would look weird with jeans. Like, if you’re wearing outdoorsy shoes, do you have to be in full-on adventure mode to rock them?

Nope. Love them with jeans.

Not just for cargo shorts!
Not just for cargo shorts!

A few days into my Uneek experience, I plopped my feet up on the coffee table at my parent’s house (because, you know, they’re my parents). My sister, who was sitting next to me, focused on my feet for a moment. Finally she said, “Weird shoes.” I laughed and told her that HER shoes were weird and mine were awesome (because, sisters). My point is I definitely got a few looks along the way, but even more people stopped me to ask where I got them or who makes them.

Speaking of making them…This video shows a little more behind the inspiration and the creation of the shoe:

The Uneek comes in a variety of colors, including some fun combinations of bright cords and soles. I was glad to have the black, or “magnet”,  so I could ease into the whole thing, but definitely found myself eyeballing my husband’s bright orange version as well. For my next pair, I’d love to have bright cords. You’ll have to check out Keen’s website to get a full idea of the color options. They’ll have something for you whether you like loud stuff or a more low-key look.

And we’re off!

To give the Keens the nature test, we took a hike down one of our favorite river trails. A little dirt gets in, but it shakes out easily while walking, and they are definitely a relief to have on slippery rocks. The grip makes a huge difference. For in and out of water hiking, the Uneeks are up to the task.

On the flip side, my husband and I took a trip to New York City to visit his family. I wore the shoes all over Manhattan and had no problems. They’re definitely a great everyday sandal no matter where you’re feet are taking you.

His and Hers
His and Hers

These days I dress more for comfort than style, and I’m okay with that. But the thing is, I don’t feel like I’m sacrificing looks with the UNEEK. Maybe comfort IS my style. And comfort shouldn’t be limited ONLY to wild excursions and hundred-mile hikes and kayaking and rock climbing. These shoes can work for all those things, but I also need that comfort at the grocery store. Chasing kids around the yard. Exploring a new city. I say be comfy more. Be UNEEK more. Take your feet out to play!


Being Uneek on the river!





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