Barefoot Shoes

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.

The biggest design change comes in the form of…nothing! No screws, no rivets, no exposed…

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.
A pure sole with zero exposed rivets, screws, anchors, or posts
A pure sole with zero exposed rivets, screws, anchors, or posts
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

What’s changed

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.
The 2015 update next to the 2014 version of the Pah Tempe. Note the exposed anchor points in the older model
The 2015 update next to the 2014 version of the Pah Tempe. Note the exposed anchor points in the older model
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.
The 2015 Pah Tempe now provides an expansive surface area for your foot, while reinforcing the straps for durability
The 2015 Pah Tempe now provides an expansive surface area for your foot, while reinforcing the straps for durability
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 different sized straps in the standard versus the Sleek of the Pah Tempe. Note the new strap keeper, which keeps things in place while running
The different sized straps in the standard versus the Sleek of the Pah Tempe. Note the new strap keeper, which keeps things in place while running
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.
The 6mm Suction Cup Sole. Excellent for trails, rocks, mud, anything!
The 6mm Suction Cup Sole. Excellent for trails, rocks, mud, anything!
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 4mm Star Sole (Shown here on the Wokova) . Great for road running and light trails
The 4mm Star Sole (Shown here on the Wokova) . Great for road running and light trails
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!
The standard 1mm on the Pah Tempe versus the 3mm Cork footbed on the Pah Tempe Sleek. There is also a 4mm Ultra footbed available
The standard 1mm on the Pah Tempe versus the 3mm Cork footbed on the Pah Tempe Sleek. There is also a 4mm Ultra footbed available
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.
Template H. A perfect fit!
Template H. A perfect fit!
It’s a very easy fitting process.


A new favorite!
A new favorite!
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!

By Jarvis

Minimalist ultra-marathon runner with flat dinosaur feet.

50K Ultra-Marathon Runner

Associate Dean

I hold a PhD in Political Science.
You can follow my photography adventures at and Instagram at

15 replies on “Unshoes Pah Tempe and Wokova 2015 Review/Update!”

I just received my Pah Tempe sandals this week (one pair with the 6mm sole and the another with the 4mm sole, both with the 1mm EVA footbed) and was extremely disappointed to discover that the straps on both sandals are anchored to the TOP of the footbed (about 2-3mm from the edge), not the sides. The straps severely cut into the available room on both sides of my feet (big toe and pinky). Specifically, the strap rubs against the big toe, and there is a plastic buckle that anchors the outside front strap that rubs just below the pinky toe, ala 1990’s Teva’s.

It’s as if Unshoes sent me the pre-2014 model, back before the straps became anchored on the sides.

This is my first time to order the Pah Tempe, but I would strongly suggest that everyone be extremely cautious about purchasing these sandals.


That is very strange, as the anchor points should be exactly as you see them in this review.

In my experience, Unshoes owner, Terral Fox, has been very responsive to emails and demonstrates a lot of passion with his sandals and running.

I would highly suggest that you email him directly and he will certainly find an amicable solution for you.



I actually did speak to Unshoes this week, and they confirmed that the Pah Tempe design has changed over the last few weeks due to complaints that the side-based anchor points were coming loose. So Unshoes has chosen to move the anchor points back to the top of the footbed, as was the case in previous models.

However, when I asked Unshoes if they would make my Pah Tempes with the side-based anchor points, they said that yes, they still have the equipment in place to do that.

So I am mailing my Pah Tempes back to them for an exchange.

So that solution should work for me. For others who may be placing new orders, you might consider asking specifically for the side-based anchor points.



That is unfortunate as I really liked the full use of real estate on the sole of the Pah Tempe. In my hundreds of road and trail miles, I have never experienced an durability issue or any loosening of the straps.

The Unshoes website does not reflect any new changes, nor does their blog.

I’ll look into it and will comment later. Thank you so much for letting us know!


First of all, I apologize that you received something that you were not expecting! This was my fault as I told our production team to go ahead and I had planned on photographing the changes. However, we lost our production manager so I had to take over his responsibilities and start the hiring process. Then shortly thereafter, my wife went into labor early. I was preoccupied and dropped the ball on anything that wasn’t urgent priority.

We did change the strap attachment configuration just slightly. However, it is not at all the same as how it used to be. The straps are attached exactly the same way but only slightly inward. The way they are attached makes the straps angle out just like they were before. If you happen to step on the straps at all it doesn’t cause discomfort like our old rivet system did. There is still a large amount of “real estate” on the sole. We still have our variety of templates to accommodate people with different shaped feet.

The reasons for the change were mostly a durability issue as mentioned. The problem was that the straps coming out of the side created a small opening for dirt and other debris to get into. Even with a slight opening, it made the two layers more susceptible to peeling apart. In most cases, it wasn’t a problem but we did see room for improvement. It was more of a problem for those using the sandals for hiking, river rafting, etc. Now the sole/footbed is sealed all the way around the sandal it makes them stronger and more durable.

If the straps cut into your foot so badly, I have some doubts that having a pair of our old design will completely solve your problem. I’ll talk to our customer service so we can work through any sizing issues that you might have. I might suggest trying out our template 6 (I saw that you have a template 1). I saw that you also purchased a pair of Wokovas. Do they have the same fit issues?

Hi Jarvis,

I’ve kinda had my eye on the Pah Tempe after your review last year. Do you have any advice on which sole to pick? I’m a road runner, and my main concern is that I don’t have any slapping.

Much appreciated!



Personally, I like both soles (“suction cup” and “star”). The suction cup is thicker and has better traction, while the star is smoother and lighter.

You really can’t go wrong with either one and this choice should be based upon what is your favorite stack height. If you prefer thinner, go with the star. Need more protection? Suction cup!

The suction cup is still smooth enough for road running, but is less flexible.

I got a pair of PT Sleeks a couple of months ago and really like a lot of things about them including the materials and the semi-custom sizing system. However, I can’t seem to keep my foot from sliding forward to the point that my toes are off the front of the soles and there is an inch or more of space behind my heel. NO matter how I adjust them. Anyone else have a problem like that? I’m beginning to think a “Teva” style lace system is better for toe-postless minimalist sandals than a “Chaco” style system.


The PT utilizes an “infinite” loop strap system, which basically has a single strap zig-zagging along your entire foot. What happens is that once you tighten the straps, they eventually even out the tension around the entire foot.

This is different from terminal straps, which have an end-point and you can tighten individual sections (think chaco’s with velcro straps).

What you can do is tighten the straights more than you would consider comfortable, and then after running or walking a bit, they will eventually spread the tension across the entire sandal.

For an alternative, the Amuri Z-Trek DOES have terminal straps. Check out my review for more information. The only issue is that the sizing of the Z-Trek is a single shape and does not allow for custom sizing.

Hey Jarvis!

Do you have any experience with the Unshoes Uinta or Bedrocks Cairn? I love the design and look of the Pah Tempe Sleek but I prefer sandals that have a toe post to give just a little more security. I’m looking for a pretty rugged, secure hiking sandal.

Also, how would you say the Pah Tempe Sleek performs in that respect (staying secure)? I would hate to have my foot slide forwards often when wearing them!



Hey Mike!

I have not tried the Cairn, but they should be similar to the Shamma Mountan Goats in terms of thickness. I am actually not a fan of having such thick sandals, even for tough terrain. I much prefer to be more technical and careful with my footing.

I highly recommend the Mountain Goats. They are very supportive and the toe post is great!

If you check out previous reviews of Bedrock sandals, you should be able to get some idea of the Cairn’s performance, so Bedrock Sandals all share similar design elements, but with slightly different platforms.

The Pah Tempe Sleek is also very secure, but I prefer the standard Pah Tempe with its wider straps; very rugged. Your foot may slide a bit, but its momentum and weight is spread across multiple anchor points. With this design, you have the really good downward control. I prefer it over a toepost, actually.

The more your foot presses forward with the Pah Tempe, the more the multiple straps press back, distributing throughout the full length of the strap. There is more surface area and friction than a toepost, for sure.

Justin and I tried the Uinta last year, but they did not fit our feet well and we decided not to publish a review. I think a narrower foot would do well. I loved the easy on-and-off clasp though.

You should definitely give the Pah Tempe a try!



If you had to pick one sandal between the Pah Tempe and the Shamma Warrior (or Charger) for road running and trail jogging/walking, which one would be your favorite? Thanks for the good write-ups!


Hi MJ!

That’s a tough call. They are pretty different in terms of design. The Pah Tempe is designed without a toepost, while the Shamma Sandals Warrior has a toe post.

I think it comes down to how much you like having a toe post on your sandals. For me, I do not mind and my everyday running sandals have toe posts (I routinely run in the Shamma Chargers and Earthrunners Elementals). I will say that even the Pah Tempe has been designed to be as minimal as it can be, given its design has more materials than a traditional running sandal, so it is slightly heavier.

Another thing to consider is your foot shape. Unshoes provides multiple shoe templates to find a good fit for a wide variety of feet, while Shamma Sandals uses a universal sole that should fit most–and fits me perfectly–but if you aren’t sure, you can always print out sizing templates on both websites to “try on” before you buy!

The Charger and Warriors differ in terms of sole materials. Chargers use Morflex while the Warriors are slightly thinner and use Newflex. Newflex has better grip, but morflex is better for road running in good conditions I actually prefer Morflex for running, but you will get more out of trails with Newflex.


As my 2nd pair of Xeroshoes z-treks is showing signs of wear I am beginning to look for alternatives. My first pair of z-treks were from 2015 and I loved them, however some changes were made by 2016 when I bought the 2nd pair which while subtle changed the feel significantly it also seems as though the quality was diminished. In short I am considering the Pah Tempe as an alternative and I was curious if you knew of any other sandals with the “chaco” style lacing system. I was pondering trying the Luna Oso Flaco winged edition or a pair of Shamas but I haven’t worn shoes with a toe post since I bought my first pair of Chacos over 15 years ago so I was concerned with the toe post rubbing between the toes. This My first time posting here but I have enjoyed your many reviews, truly a great site.

Hi William,

Currently, only the Pah Tempe and Z-Trek are the only sandals to my knowledge that have a lacing structure like this.

I would say that if you are a huge fan of your older Z-Trek, you will really like the Pah Tempe (they come in a couple of flavors from unshoes, make sure to check all the models!).

If you are used to going without a toe post, it will feel different, but have enjoyed Shamma Sandals and Earthrunners sandals for many years. There is a reason they keep coming up, as the makers are very keen on checking up on reviews, consulting with folks like myself, and make new designs and updates from year to year.

The decision might come down to your sole thickness preferences as Shamma starts at 5mm soles, while Earthrunners’ thinnest sandal is 8mm.

I would suggest checking out the Pah Tempe templates and seeing which one fits your foot best and then think about toe-post sandals, if you cannot find a good fit.

Let us know how it goes! Good luck! and thanks for the support!

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