I’m pounding out a seven-minute-mile pace around a Minneapolis lake, and on my feet are what I can only describe as sandals.
A “unique” footwear design, this give multiple GearJunkie editors have put the UNEEK shoe by KEEN to the quiz .
My discharge around the lake is pushing them well past their intended use as a fooling walk-to shoe .
unusually, my feet don ’ triiodothyronine hurt. These aren ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate run shoes, but the funky, weave cord design hugs my foot comfortably as I round the fold and wrap up five miles back to the agency.
As I stand here typing, I am wearing a couple of UNEEKs. They are indeed original .
No traditional shoe machinery or conventional footwear materials are used in the upper plan. rather, a macramé of cord that is looped and tied is the sum of the upper .
A Different Kind Of Sandal
KEEN Inc. is not afraid of healthy self-deprecation. Founded in 2003, the party once reported its original footwear was deemed by a customer as “ the atrocious thing [ he ] had ever seen. ”
KEEN got the last laugh with this “ atrocious ” sandal, which had an outsize toe bumper. It went on to be among the hottest-selling shoes of the decade .
Earlier this spring, we interviewed a KEEN graphic designer, Rory Fuerst, Jr., about the UNEEK, which is a similarly polarize product .
“ It ’ s a total love or hate brake shoe, ” Fuerst said. “ People are like ‘ That ’ s the coolest matter I ’ ve ever seen, ’ or ‘ I hate that, I want to beat up the guy who designed it. ’ ”
The party is hoping for another unexpected hit with the UNEEK. Though I have not heard any “ I ’ d-like-to-beat-that-designer-up ” type of gossip, while wearing the cord-shoes around I have received a assortment of verbal feedback.
My impression, at beginning blush, was of storm, possibly some daze. They looked crafty, handmade, and somehow related to a paracord survival watchband .
They besides appeared to be possibly uncomfortable — so many rub points with all that moving cord .
indeed far, having hiked miles in the shoes, I can attest that blisters are not an issue for me. The 3mm cord is not abrasive. With its many free-moving loops, the uppers flex with your feet .
As noted in the intro, I besides ran five miles in the shoes to give them some good abuse. Fit was accurate on my foot, and flush after 40 minutes of movement over pavement and on trails the shoes felt very well .
Granted, they are not made for running ; I used the afternoon jog as a litmus. The sole, while flexible and cradle of the animal foot, is not built for pounding on a hunt .
‘Open Air’ Design
The upper has a sandal feel and is superintendent airy — move your foot and you get wind on your toes from all directions .
overall, they are solid all-around outdoor shoes, and you can wear them with socks or barefooted. One warn : Look out for errant pebbles and sandpaper, which can work in through the clear cord.
UNEEK shoes cost $ 100 and come in 14 colors for men and women. They are something new and “ alone, ” no doubt .
look for the “ beloved or hate shoe, ” as Fuerst put it, at stores now .