Unshoes Pah Tempe and Wokova 2015 Review/Update!
For 2015, Unshoes gave us a full model range refresh of all their running sandals with a more streamlined, polished and overall more running-oriented designs. Unshoes flagship sandals are the Pah Tempe (a toe-post-less design) and the Wokova (Channels a huaraches-style design).
Today I'll be focusing on the changes and updates to the Unshoes Pah Tempe! Read on!
2015 Updates to the Unshoes Pah Tempe
For 2015, the biggest design change on the Pah Tempe comes in the form of … nothing! No screws, no rivets, no exposed pieces, etc. The only thing that touches the ground is the Unshoes sole and there are no exposed connections, glues, adhesives, screws, or anchoring points, leading to a very sleek and smooth appearance across all models.
In 2014, Unshoes added an EVA top to all of their sandals and that went a long way to adding comfort, durability, and the shoe’s ability to conform to the shape of the runner’s foot better than a barenaked sole. This update makes the entire surface of the shoe—of which there are several custom-like templates—usable and there are no awkward sections to rub against your toes, strike area, or heel due to strangely placed anchoring supports, or straps. While other sandals may have exposed nylon or leather webbing under the sole, sunken--yet exposed--toe posts, or holes for strap loops--all of which can be worn away over miles of running and impact--the latest model from Unshoes allow for the entire sole to absorb impact and transfer groundfeel and the entire surface of the sole for your foot to splay, toes to spread, and arches to do their thing.
Photos of the 2015 Pah Tempe Update
Photo comparison to the 2014 (second generation) Pah Tempe
As with the rest of Unshoes line, the new Pah Tempe is now completely rivetless.
Previous versions (reviewed numerous times on birthdayshoes) had four exposed anchor points on the bottom of the sole, three rivets and one strap reversal anchor.
In doing so, the anchoring sections of the strap are pushed all the way to the edges of the sole, providing a much larger area for your foot—a huge plus for wide feet!
It might look like the straps are just glued into the sole, but they are actually reinforced sewn and glued to both layers of the sandal (the sole and the EVA top, both of which come in a variety of choices in thickness and materials). The straps are first sewn to another substrate, sandwhiched between the two sections of the sole and then they are glued in.
In doing so, allows the straps to distribute the load across a larger surface area and the substrate material they use sticks the straps to the glue better than the nylon straps alone.
Unshoes also added an elastic strap keeper for the Pah Tempe.
With the last generation, the excess strap will kinda just...dangled there and flopped around as you ran. It never got in the way when running and you coud have just cut off the exess with scissors, but it’s great that Unshoes added a strap keeper so you can choose to leave some more excess for fit adjustments, rather than cutting it short.
The same Pah Tempe versatility, now with more choices!
The Pah Tempe line has expanded with the Pah Tempe Sleek, new color choices, and multiple sole, and EVA or EVA/Cork hybrid footbed options.
Unshoes added a new 6mm "suction cup" sole to their lineup with an aggressive tread, complementing the smoother 4mm "star" sole.
While the old sole (and the current 4mm sole) has a pointed “star” design, the new 6mm sole features a “suction cup” design that provides better traction and grip than the star sole. The rubber is the same, which has excellent slip resistance and good durability (just slightly less durable than Vibram Newflex in my testing experience).
The total stack height with the 4mm “star” sole and sub-1mm eva footbed is less than 5mm and less than 7mm with the new 6mm “suction cup” sole.
The Pah Tempe Sleek has thinner straps than the standard Pah Tempe, much like how the Wokova Feather is a sleeker version of the Wokova huarache.
Overall, the Sleek is lighter than the original Pah Tempe with less Spartan-looking straps. The sleek is just as versatile as the Pah Tempe but the slimmer form factor gives it a nice look, whereas the super thick straps of the Pah Tempe might have put off some potential buyers.
The Pah Tempe’s thicker straps do distribute weight and force slightly better than the Sleek—it’s just physics—but the Sleek performs just fine for trail and road running, uphills and downhills, and just about anything else you can throw at it.
The cork/EVA hybrid footbed is perfect for wet terrain running and may be a viable option for individuals with rubber sensitivity. Adding about 3mm to the overall stack height, the cork footbed is also sweat resistant!
In my time with the hybrid footbed and sleek, I found the combination to be best suited for river runs, forest hikes, and camping. I actually prefer the thicker straps of the Pah Tempe, but the Sleek could handle the same activities as its sister shoe.
Unshoes also has an Ultra footbed, which is 3mm thicker than the normal EVA footbed. It’s good for runners looking for a little extra protection or technical trail runners looking for a bit more sole to the pressure off of rocks and other nasty things you may encounter on tough terrain.
What hasn’t changed
The same great Unshoes purchasing experience.
Unshoes provides multiple shape templates for their customers to get a near custom fit for their shoes. Naturally, the template best for me is their widest template with short toes, but just about anyone can find a great fit for their feet by printing out the numerous templates and testing them out on your living room floor. Just choose your size, print at 100% scale, step on the templates, and pick what fits best.
It’s a very easy fitting process.
Unshoes 2015 update to the Pah Tempe is a fantastic overhaul of their popular “toepost-less” running sandal. The addition of a more trail-capable 6mm “suction cup” sole and seamless, rivetless design makes the Pah Tempe even better than before. Without any exposed bits, the Pah Tempe is more comfortable to wear across a wider range of foot shapes and is more durable as well.
The Pah Tempe Sleek provides a more steamlined alternative to the Pah Tempe and the cork/EVA hybrid footbed is excellent for wet conditions.
Overall, Unshoes innovates again with their latest Pah Tempe models, securing this model’s position as the best toepost-less huarache on the market and Unshoes best sandal. If you're interested in trying out the Pah Tempe, find it on Unshoes Website! If you want to read more about the Pah Tempe, check out my review of them from last year!