KEEN, Inc., Continues to Innovate with New, Custom UNEEK Footwear Robot to Debut at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market

July 29, 2016

Brand pioneers new approach to footwear manufacturing through the use of ABB Robotics and creative engineering.

PORTLAND, Ore. (July 29, 2016) – Continuing the growth and success of its industry-disrupting UNEEK footwear platform, KEEN, Inc. (KEEN), a values led, independently-owned outdoor and lifestyle footwear brand, is taking on the next innovative challenge of automating the process of footwear manufacturing with the introduction of the UNEEK footwear Robot. The Robot will debut at the upcoming Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Salt Lake City Aug. 3-6 at the KEEN booth #32183.

“From its inception, UNEEK was never about a single shoe, but rather the idea of establishing an entirely new platform within the footwear industry,” said Rory Fuerst, Jr., KEENS Director of Innovation.

Instead of building footwear out of flat materials that don’t naturally conform to the shape of the foot, the UNEEK footwear upper is made from two completely independent but engaged cords. The combination of two cords and their junction creates an entirely new footwear experience that allows for unmatched levels of comfort.

Partnering with Idaho-based House of Design LLC, KEEN is now able to automate the UNEEK footwear manufacturing process through the use of ABB Robotics, while keeping the consumer front-of-mind by creating versatile, quality products. The UNEEK Robotic Cell is capable of producing a UNEEK shoe in half the time of the current production process.

“The ability to automate opens up a world of opportunity for the UNEEK footwear franchise, and given the Robot’s flexibility and speed, KEEN will continue to explore future applications in what is an exciting next step in the UNEEK platform for fans around the world,” said Fuerst, Jnr.

Next week, the robot will be front and center in the KEEN booth #32183 at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market show. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about the automation process, and watch the Robot creating UNEEK Original men’s size 10 shoe with a commemorative Live Monumental campaign outsole. This unique outsole celebrates the five areas KEEN’s Live Monumental campaign has been actively advocating for the protection of for the last year, and include: Owyhee Canyonlands, Ore., Mojave Trails, Calif., Gold Butte, N.V., Boulder White Clouds, Idaho, and Birthplace of Rivers, W.V. – two of which have already been protected, Boulder White Clouds and Mojave Trails.

Currently, there are no plans to roll out the UNEEK footwear automation program on a larger scale. The program exploration is about how KEEN continues to innovate and push new boundaries that disrupt the industry.

About KEEN
Inspired by a love of the outdoors, KEEN, Inc., manufacturer of hybrid outdoor and casual products, including footwear, clothing, and accessories, is dedicated to creating quality products that support the lifestyles and outdoor adventures of active people around the world. KEEN products can be found online and through more than 5,000 retail locations in more than 60 countries, as well as in KEEN Garage retail stores in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, where fans can enjoy the branded experience. The company operations and culture reflect a stand-out commitment to building a strong community and a healthier planet so that all can create, play, and care. Learn more at www.keenfootwear.com.