Tested: Keen Uneek 02

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The Uneek O2’s are a lighter weight version of Keen’s original Uneek sandals that, with their new closed heal, gives more of a ‘trainer feel’ in the back – perhaps confusing how to really classify these shoes! Whether sandals or trainers, after several months and a lot of use, I can honestly say that these have been some of the most comfortable footwear that I’ve ever worn.

The O2’s are still constructed with the same two-cord design that makes the entire Uneek range so ‘unique’. This construction moves with your foot and almost makes you forget that you’re wearing shoes at all. It also allows air to flow – my feet kept cool in all but the hottest weather – though the closed heal does make these slightly warmer than their predecessor which had a sandal-like strap in the back. The cushioning in the heel adds to the all-around comfort of this shoe, and the heal itself offers a bit more protection to the foot. The fit can be adjusted simply using a cord lock to tighten or loosen the lacing, but I haven’t had the need to adjust these at all as they’ve provided enough stretch to form perfectly around the shape of my foot.

On Keen’s website, they suggest buying a half size larger than your usual foot size, but I actually found them to be true to size so, like many items of outdoor gear, perhaps trying them on first is the best bet. The O2’s use Cleansport NXT to provide natural odour control, which for the most part hasn’t been a problem; however, during a particularly hot spell the shoes did start to smell a bit (as you wouldn’t wear socks with them), though a simple wash had them good as new in no time. When it comes to the bold look of Keen’s Uneek footwear, there seems to be a mix of reactions – most people seem to really like it, though. The good news for those looking to make less of a statement is that the O2’s come in more neutral, toned-down colours than some of the vibrant colours that we’re used to seeing in their past ranges. Whether buying them for base camp, a light hike, travel, or just around town, the Uneek O2’s have proved to fit a variety of situations!

Verdict: Super-comfy and ventilated shoes whose looks you’ll either love or hate!

Price: from £44.99
More info: www.keenfootwear.com

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