Bedrock Minimal Sandals – Perfect in and out of the water
In my sup classes, I am often asked what you should wear on your feet while you sup. I absolutely, positively prefer to go barefoot because of board feel (ie a better connection with the board allowing for improved control as well as balance.) Off the water, you’ll almost always find me in a pair of Olukai flip flops. And it takes A LOT to get me out of my Olukai’s. But, there are times when you need something on your feet- whether it’s because you have to navigate a lakeshore laden with fishing hooks or broken beer bottles, or you want to have something on hand in case you have to abort your paddle becuase of some kind of emergency, like a thunderstorm that forces you off the water. Neoprene booties are out- those are simply rubber foot prisons only to be worn with it’s just too dang cold. Tevas or Chacos are too heavy and cumbersome, and Five Finger shoes are just a pain to put on. And let’s face it. They have long overstayed their hip fashionista welcome.
I used to work with a fellow at REI who wore these extremely minimal huarache style sandals that I always thought were cool. When something similar showed up in my Facebook feed (you know, those ad posts that are usually annoying as heck, if not outright distracting) I decided to see what they are all about.
I ordered a pair of Bedrock Cairn sandals and took them with me on a weekend where I was product testing gear and camping. I never took them off. Even when I paddled. Even my co-workers remarked on how I wasn’t in my flip flops. It was, in a word, amazing.
Bedrock sandals are sort of like a flip flop but with two adjustable points- one on the heel and one across the top of the foot. They have a distinct following with the minimalist running crowd. And I can totally see why. The Vibram sole is extremely thin, but on the Cairn and Cairn Pro, it’s lugged. It’s super rugged, yet, you still feel like you are almost barefoot. It is absolutely, positively not heavy, like Chacos, which because of the rigid, hard rubber and the scored pattern on the footbed just make my feet hurt. While Chaco arch support is great, their heft is just too much. Bedrocks are light weight and flexible and yet, I can spend all day in them, walking around on a concrete floor with no fatigue issues. On the sup, these same qualities allow me to easily walk the board, pivot turn, whatever. I never even noticed I had them on.
The Cairn Pro is a little bit beefier and perfect for transitioning off the water and into the woods. I brought them with me to Maui – the Land of the Eternal Slippah – where only crazy tourists from the mainland wear sports sandals. Here’s a pro tip: push down the rear heel strap and your Bedrocks look just like flip flops! I wore them for a day of pool dipping and river stomping and hiking in the Iao Valley and it was here that the Bedrocks shined.
We scrambled over river stones and boulders of all sizes. I swam with them on, and my feet were completely protected. Yet I was not hindered in the water. Climbing down rocky, slippery embankments and over muddy sections of rainforest trail, they were grippy and supportive. They never slipped. And the whole time, I felt like I was barefoot.
Meanwhile, one of my hiking buds actually blew out her flip-flop in the rugged conditions.
I wore them up to the Haleakala Crater several days later where we did some light hiking in amongst the lava rocks. They held up just great. They may be minimal but they are not flimsy.
These are going to be my go-to shoes this summer for paddle camping, backpacking, hiking, sup teaching and possibly even OC training. These are my new Adventuring Shoes.
Check them out!