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For our early Bedrock Mountain Clogs review, Cass and Virginia test both the Synthetic and “Eco Leather” version on the trails and streets of Oaxaca, Mexico. Read on for details on Bedrock’s latest all-terrain footwear…
To preface this review, I should mention that here in Southwest Mexico, I wear Bedrock sandals at least 300 days a year, on dirt roads and on rowdy trails too, in the midst of the dry season and the heart of the rainy season (you can read my full review of the Cairn 3D Pro 2s in the Related Content grid below, including lots of glorious photos of my bare feet). This meant that as a flat pedal and sandal convert, my real question was, “Would the new Bedrock Mountain Clogs work for the other 65? Or at least, the times I spend up in the cooler climes of the high mountains, or on more technical trails where I might normally reach for a pair of shoes?”
Well, I’ve now been wearing them for six weeks, time enough to form at least some first impressions. Uses have included riding and walking around town, scrambling up to viewpoints, some hike-a-bikes, a few longer days rides (a couple of which had substantial elevation gains), and most recently, a three-day bikepacking trip into the nearby Sierra Norte. There, the temperatures can be significantly lower than in the valley floor – as much as 30 degrees Fahrenheit in difference – which means I often feel a little undressed in sandals.
If you’re a fan of Bedrocks already – and it’s probably clear by now that I am – there’s a lot to like. For starters, the Mountain Clogs feature the same zero-drop profile with very subtle arch support, giving a kind of planted feel that’s akin to being barefoot. They have a similar strap system too, which requires initial tuning in of the heel strap to dial in a perfect fit, then an easily deployed side strap that loosens them off for easy removal, or tightens them up to engage what I call Go Mode! The Vibram soles have the same thickness as my Cairn 3D Pro 2s, but the tread pattern is a little different – grip across a few different pedals feels about the same. Sizing wise, Bedrock suggested I go with the same as the sandal size that I wear, which is actually a size larger than I’m used to running with other footwear (see here for printing off a sizing guideline).
However, whilst my sandals feel spot on in terms of fit, the front of my foot initially felt it was floating around in within the large enclosure of the clog, with no ‘thong’ to grasp onto for a sense of place and purpose. Adjusting the heel clips and cinching in the top strap helped, though this does mean the uppers on mine bunch up a little bit.
First, I tried cycling in the Mountain Clogs without socks, as it’s dusty down in the valley at this time of year (and admitedly a lot warmer than the conditions they’re intended for). I can’t say that this felt too good – my feet quickly became sweaty (thankfully, the leather uppers never smelled!) and in the absence of the ‘toe thong’, the Mountain Clogs didn’t feel secure on anything more than dirt roads – where I was used to my feet being held in place, contact felt notideably vague. I then tried them with Bedrock’s own split-toe socks and they were infinitely better to ride in. My foot was imediately much more secure, to the point that I was perfectly happy tackling more technical terrain – even if I continue to miss the big toe/little toes divider that’s synonymous with Bedrock sandals, and I’ll still reach for my 5.10s for the most challenging trails here.
I can’t say that impailing my toes on thorns or stubbing them on rocks (both of which feature abundantly here in Oaxaca) has ever been an issue for me in sandals. But I do understand such fears and I’ll admit that my feet look more beaten up than some. If these are concerns, rest assured that the big toe box will certainly keep your valuable toes protected and baby soft too. Thankfully, I didn’t find the Clogs prone to collecting errant small stones, as you might expect given their open heels – just note that dust is more likely to permeate your socks than when wearing shoes.
Ventilation isn’t on par with wind-in-your-toes sandals, of course, but it’s still good. As mentioned, I wore mine in Bedrock socks, but of course you can wear whatever socks you like most. When it comes to around camp chill-out vibes, there’s no reason why you can’t loosen off the side strap and swap them out for a thicker pair – or in my case, quickly slip them off and get extra toasty in some additional leg warmers.
My version is the one made Ecco Nubuck leather – there’s a synthetic one too, which Virginia has written about below. Weight wise, one well-worn Cairn 3D Pro 2 comes in at 280g, while the Mountain Clogs are a more substantial 388g. So far, the uppers have held up well to trail scuffs and attacks from sharp-toothed puppies. According to Bedrock, the footbed on my test pair is firmer than on the final production ones, not that it’s proved to be an issue for me. And when you do eventually wear out that hardy Vibram sole, it’s simply a case of sending the clogs off to Montana (the Re-Soul program is $55 and upwards), and not South Korea, where the Mountain Clogs made.
Lastly, let’s talk about looks. In my opinion, the Mountain Clogs are definitely handsome footwear, especially if you jazz things up with a pair of your favourite socks. For sure, I’ll be reaching for them when I next head up to uber cool Mexico City, where I always feel a little shy and out of place in my sandals.
By Virginia Krabill
“Shoulder season sandals” is how we are affectionately referring to the new Bedrock Mountain Clogs. They’re not exactly sandals in the truest sense of the word, but for those who are accustomed to Bedrocks—folks who live in them—they’re a good alternative that provides a little more warmth and security than our go-to adventure footwear.
In terms of cycling, the greatest benefit to the Clogs versus the Cairn 3D Bedrocks is the reinforced toe. While we haven’t experienced any injuries in the thong-styled sandal, there’s a risk that a rock or errant root could cause some damage. With the guard, there’s a lot less to worry about in that respect. More generalized benefits are the added warmth that the upper provides and the fact that any sock can be worn with them. On cold days, a more robust wool could keep your feet nice and toasty.
The Clogs are also quite comfortable for everyday use. We’ve put them through their paces, walking countless city miles that include uneven sidewalks and rough cobblestone and hiking on off-road trails. The Vibram soles offer enough cushion to absorb a surprising amount of impact relative to their minimal size.
We don’t think the Clogs perform quite as well as the Cairns for riding rugged trails, but for commuting, they’re great. They have the same grippy Vibram sole that keeps the shoe engaged with the pedal, but without the toe strap, the feet aren’t as securely positioned within the Clog. We feel that compromises some pedaling efficiency and control. That could be different for folks with wider or more voluminous feet.
All in all, the Bedrock Clogs are pretty great. They extend the sandal season, providing year-round comfort to those of us who feel strangled in ordinary shoes. They also perform well for a variety of activities. And, when compared to the Cairns, their more “formal” appearance makes them a great choice for heading out on the town.
I tried a pair of the Synthetic version of the Bedrock Mountain Clogs. They’re made from Synthetic Clarino Micro fiber and are different from the leather version in that they have perforations. The “brushed suede” style synthetic uppers are nice and seem to be holding up well.
The new Bedrock Mountain Clogs come in Eco Leather and Synthetic—in two colors: Clay and Gray (as shown)—and are available in 10 unisex sizes from 5/6 to 14/15. Details here:
Model Tested: Bedrock Mountain Clogs
Actual Weight (size 11-12): 388 grams (13.6oz)
Place of Manufacture: South Korea
Price: $160 (Synthetic) / $175 (Eco Leather)
Manufacturer’s Details: BedrockSandals.com
Warmth boost compared to sandals, with a similar sense of toe freedom
Good looks – and more urban friendly than sandals!
No stinkiness, even in warm weather, unlike some shoes
Offers protection from rocks and cacti and gnashing dogs
Vibram soles are tough and feel good on a number of flat pedals
Can be resoled and repaired in the USA, so they should last many a year
Not as secure feeling as Bedrock sandals, at least on more techy terrain
Narrow feet folk might find them a bit too wide and roomy (or need to try different socks)
Overall, I’ve grown to really like the Mountain Clogs, but it has taken some time to get used to life without a toe-thong and there’s been a caveat, at least when it comes to long-distance bikepacking. I much prefer them when worn with socks! That’s likely what Bedrock intended anyway; I think I’d imagined slipping into them barefoot like my sandals, albeit with a bit more built-in protection from the elements.
Still, even with socks, the Mountain Clogs feel much more sandal-like than a shoe. My toes have room to stretch out, and I’m not itching to kick them off at the end of the day. If you’re already a Bedrock sandal fan, the zero-drop footbed and three-point strap system will feel like a more familiar shoulder-season transition than lacing up a pair of conventional shoes. The Vibram soles are reassuringly tough (and eventually replaceable, when the time comes). The clogs don’t stand out as much wearing sandals, plus, they’ll prevent your feet from looking too gnarly, whilst avoiding those giveaway thong-and-toe tanlines too.
When it comes to long-distance backpacking and even technical trail riding, I still feel more confident with my Bedrock Cairn Pros 2s, worn with Bedrock’s split toe socks for a boost of warmth when needed. But, for shorter trips into the cool, high sierras above me, I’d have no hesitation wearing the new Mountain Clogs, be it for big days on the bike, scrambles up to viewpoints, hike-a-bikes, and chilling out around camp with a coffee (perhaps paired with some locally woven wool leg warmers!)
Additional action photos by Emma Bucke
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