Review: Keen UNEEK Sandals
Comfort and durability. It is hard to get both of these in a sandal. Most sandals try and do one or the other, but the Keen UNEEK tries to bridge that gap. How successful is another thing entirely.
The UNEEK tries to wed the outdoor-ready strength of Chacos with the comfort of a pair of loafers. The UNEEK has a well, unique design, with a tongue held aloft from a molded sole by a series of cords. There are so many cords, though, that the UNEEK doesn’t breathe nearly as much as a pair of flip flops or sandals would.
And yet, the cords also can cause a comfort issue. I was wearing a pair in my exact size, and yet my big toenail (which is not particularly long or unwieldy, and definitely had just been trimmed) kept getting caught in the cord webbing, making talking around in the UNEEK an uncomfortable experience sometimes.
My eyes and attention went right towards the awkward top part of the shoe with the cords (as I’m sure yours does, too), but the unassuming sole was extremely comfortable, as one would expect from Keen. This shoe worked well for walking around all day and didn’t leave any callouses or sores.
Design and Aesthetic ★★★
The UNEEK comes in a wide range of colors and the UNEEK’s one-of-a-kind design is admittedly very unique and aesthetically pleasing. It nails the loafer look while also fitting in in any situation where you might have otherwise sprung for flip flops. We reviewed a pared down prototype, but the versions on sale look a lot nicer.
The UNEEK is very sturdy, with a rubber outsole feeling like it could handle anything the ground could throw its way. Keen is a trusted brand, and the UNEEK does nothing to make me think it wouldn’t uphold Keen products’ tendency to become favorite shoes after lasting decades.
Despite its durability and cool design, the UNEEK’s $100 price point is a little much. It doesn’t quite reach the lofty break-it-in-and-wear-it-for-a-lifetime longevity standard and it falls short of the comfort of any (much cheaper) pair of loafers or slippers. In trying to unite these two kinds of footwear, the UNEEK becomes a jack of all trades but is a master of none.
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