2014 version, A New Generation of Unshoes

The basic concept at the heart of Unshoes designs is the dynamic mix between ancient huarache type designs and contemporary sport sandals. The idea is to take the best of both worlds. We have been happy to offer a huarache inspired minimalist sandal that keeps the straps up off the ground. We used screws to attach the straps to the top of the soles. They worked great at first but we found that they were prone to coming unthreaded or ripping out of the sole. We made the switch to rivets which have held up much better than the screws. However, there was still one big thing that never sat right with us. It was the fact that this design narrowed the area of the sole more than we would have liked. Especially with the Wokova and PT Sleek models. The straps are pretty thick and it makes a “lump” that could be rather uncomfortable if you stepped on it.  Meanwhile, we’ve been testing a myriad of non-slip surfaces to add to the soles to keep them from being so slippery. The bare, smooth rubber tends to get slippery when wet. We got samples of many different materials and tested them.

imageWhile working on these issues, we discovered that we could solve both issues with one solution. Our favorite footbed was EVA foam stamped with a texture. EVA is surprisingly durable and comfortable. It adds a little thickness to the overall sole but still allows good ground feel and flexibility. It also molds to the foot with use like the soles.

From now on, the straps will be sandwiched between the sole and the footbed. They are cemented and riveted in for maximum durability. The idea came from our new Wildflower Series sandals for women.

This design maximizes the area that the foot has on the sole because the straps wrap up and around the foot. This is especially nice for the Pah Tempe and PT Sleek models. It also makes the sandals look more professional and dramatically increases the durability of the sandals. The texture grips the foot better but since the material is soft, it doesn’t hurt the foot or create hot spots like some of the non-slip surfaces we tested. The two potential drawbacks (depending on your perspective) is that it adds a little bit of thickness to the sole and it also adds a little weight. Despite the extra material, the sandals are still incredibly light weight.

This image features a tan EVA footbed. This footbed was a sample that was used for prototyping and is not available for purchase. Our standard non-slip footbed will be offered in black to match the sole. Our cork footbed is still available with this design.

This image features a tan EVA footbed. This footbed was a sample that was used for prototyping and is not available for purchase. Our standard non-slip footbed will be offered in black to match the sole. Our cork footbed is still available with this design.

Because of the extra room this creates on the sole, we are in the process of modifying the sizing templates. The templates will be the same but slightly narrower in the heel area since the new system creates so much more room. The image below is a tight tracing of my foot in the template that fits me best.


Please note that this is a tracing of my foot with the pen angled inward. If I were to stand on the template and look down, my foot would visually cover more of the sole area. Especially where the ankles are.

The gray outline is the current sole templates and the red line shows the differences that will be made. The changes to the templates accommodate the new system but if you have already chosen a template, they sandals should still fit without problems. The strap on the outside of the sole on my Wokova bothered my feet before, I changed to the new design and those straps are perfectly comfortable now. The new design is available immediately, however, we are still working on the templates. They will be updated on our website soon.


About unshoes

Creator and designer of Unshoes minimal footwear.
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12 Responses to 2014 version, A New Generation of Unshoes

  1. Cake E. says:

    Will the cork footbed go on top of the EVA? That would be great for me since I want a little more cushioning.</p

  2. Jake says:

    Those prototypes look really sharp – the rivets, especially, give the sandals a clean, sturdy look. I was actually just getting ready to order a pair of Wokovas – I have a pair of Pah Tempes that I’ve been wearing for a year, and they are still in great shape and still as comfortable as ever, but I was thinking I’d like more room for my big toe to splay out, and the place where the toe strap attaches to the sole on my Pah Tempes keeps my big toe from fully splaying to the outside. But with the new design it looks like my big toe might have more room to splay to the outside. Can you confirm that, Terral? Does the Pah Tempe with the new, riveted strap design afford more space for your big toe to splay to the outside of the sole? If so, that’s great – both the Wokovas and Pah Tempes look really nice, but I prefer the looks of the Pah Tempes.

    • unshoes says:

      Whenever there is a strap that goes over the toes, there will be some restriction but this new design gives the toes much more freedom of movement. The goal is to minimize any restrictions of movement.

      • Jake says:

        Thanks for the reply! For anyone considering buying a pair of Pah Tempes: The strap doesn’t actually bother me at all when I wear my Pah Tempes – I’m just looking to train my big toe to move to a more spread-out position to help keep my foot stable since I have flat feet. The Pah Tempes are perfectly comfortable, and if the new model allows for a more spread-out big toe position then I’ll certainly have to consider buying a new pair.

  3. Heidi T. says:

    Will these positive changes affect the 4mm Wokova feather sandals? I am very interested in the more non slippery surface for trail walking use. I placed a very recent order on 6/18th, which will be my first time trying your sandals. I used the F template for a Women’s size 9 order. Please let me know if I should contact someone to get the upgrade if it’s available.

  4. asq says:

    do you have aby plans for antibacterial treatment?

  5. LarzLarz says:

    exciting! I won’t need to buy another pair of PTs anytime soon, but when I do, I look forward to the changes.

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