Here’s an idea: a trainer and a sandal… in one. The brains behind shoe brand Keen’s “open-air sneaker” – called Uneek – is Rory Fuerst Jr, Director of Innovation. Traditional Keen sandals, as created by company co-founder Rory Fuerst Sr and his pal Martin Keen, could win an Ultimate Dad Shoe contest: thick straps in various brown and grey colours. Eww. But 39 year-old Fuerst Jr’s new design is decidedly more modern. Conceived over a decade ago, the decision to expand to a younger market “didn’t happen overnight,” he says. The new shoes feature a rubber sole with an all-around elasticated cord and are constructed in 14 minutes on a special machine also designed by Fuerst Jr. The company hopes Uneek’s blend of functional and fashionable will kick Keen’s “lifestyle” sales up from 16 per cent to 40 per cent in the next five years. And they’re off to a good start as Uneeks have already appeared on high-fashion runways, sold out of exclusive designs and are on track to sell their one-millionth pair this year.