Sandals and outdoor activities have been going steady for decades. I’ve always associated the adventure sandal with hardcore thru-hiking, or professional dirtbaggery (I mean that in the best of ways). And if you would’ve asked me 10 years ago if I would ever ride my bike on flat pedals while wearing sandals, I would’ve asked if you were high.
And then, while looking for a different way to approach my cycling, getting bored with the same ol’ way of doing it … I tried it.
I’m here to tell you, it’s a good time. I’ve been riding my bike exclusively with sandals for many years and on many, many different terrains, including during a torrential hail storm on the way to ride Mr. Toad’s in South Tahoe.
I first started my cycling-in-sandals adventures sometime in 2016, with a pair of Tevas. I can’t remember the model, it was the Hurricane somethin’ or other. But it’s not important because I didn’t like them much.
After discovering the benefits of “zero drop” footwear, I looked to find another sandal to ride in. After some searching and review reading, I discovered Bedrock Sandals in 2017. I’ve been wearing them nonstop ever since.
But hold on, what does “zero drop” mean? Zero drop simply refers to the angle of where your heel sits compared to your toes. Traditional footwear, like the Tevas I was wearing (as well as all of my other shoes), elevates the heel between a half and a full inch (14-24 mm). Some say that this misaligns the spine and causes an “unnatural heel strike.”
Zero-drop footwear keeps your piggies (toes) and heel level, mimicking the natural state the foot is in while barefooted and standing on a flat surface. Simple.
I went ahead and ordered a pair of Bedrock’s Cairn Adventure Sandals. I kinda fell for them right out of the box — I loved the way they looked and they were instantly comfortable. After wearing them for the first week, my feet felt great, and they felt light while walking. While outdoors, camping, and riding, they performed great. The aggressive tread held on to the pedals perfectly.
I ended up putting hundreds and hundreds of miles on my Cairns. But, when the weather got cold, I put them away for the winter.
When Bedrock announced the launch of its Mountain Clog, I thought “all right, now I can wear Bedrocks all winter long … with socks.”
Upon the initial unboxing, I noticed that these new Mountain Clogs ($160-175) are very similar to my Cairns. They have three adjustment areas, adjusting similarly to the Cairns, so I tried to match the settings of the Cairns and started wearing them.
The side and heel daisy chain adjustments are adjusted just once when you get them on to find the right fit. Then to remove and tighten the clog, you just pull and loosen the strap on the outside of the clog.
They have a Vibram Megagrip rubber outsole that looks like it will be super durable. The Mountain Clog is re-soulable (not a typo), just like Bedrock’s other sandals as part of its Re-Soul Program.
The Re-Soul program is Bedrock’s attempt to lessen its environmental impact, “redefining conventional product lifecycle.” If you damage your Bedrock footwear, or wore out your sole, it offers comprehensive repair and re-sole options for reasonable pricing.
The new clogs felt pretty light out of the box, so I decided to weigh them against my Cairns. The new Mountain Clogs came in at 381 g and my Cairns weigh 324 g. So, the clogs were not that much heavier than the Cairns, even though there is much more material used on the clogs.
The synthetic leather version makes the Mountain Clog 100% vegan in its construction. I have to say, I think the actual leather will “patina” nicer than the synthetic over time, and I’m curious how the synthetic will hold up. So far, it seems durable, but I’m just getting started. I plan to use these as I’ve used my Cairns: for everything, every day.
The clogs’ footbed is anatomically molded and is zero drop but feels more cushioned than my Cairns. It’s made of polyurethane and if your socks are a little baggy, you have to do some wriggling to get your foot all the way in, making it a smidge difficult to “quickly” slip on.
I’ve spent all day long in them every day for about a week now, and so far they a very, very comfortable. The weather here in Southern California has been a little colder than normal for this time of year, and they’ve kept my tootsies warm.
These Mountain Clogs seem to be a really nice pair of foorwear. I will be putting them through the same conditions as my Cairns. And I’ll be returning here to tell you all about it in the full review.
In the meantime, check out the goods at Bedrock below.