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View Full Version : Long Distance Hiking in Bedrock Cairn (Pro) Sandals



W8lkinUSA
02-18-2019, 22:26
TLDR:
I've read from Bedrock's columns that some people have used the sandals for entire thruhikes and saved a bundle on trail runner replacements. Am I doing something wrong? Do I need to grow Hobbit feet? Or, do I simply need socks?

BACKGROUND:
I've been on the Injured List for six years. After lots of research and dedication to therapy, I'm slowly getting back on the trails. Oh, how the trails have changed over the years.

I've trekked the same trails along the creek adjacent to my home for years and have taken unmarked trails every weekend. Today, was my third and longest day this week (in six years). I literally got lost on unmarked trails and resorted to an exit by office buildings. After 2 hours and 40 minutes, my feet, now, feels the wrath of the trail.

I've loved Bedrock Cairn sandals for hiking/jogging so much that I purchased the Cairn Pro to overcome occasional slippage on worn underwater rocks/boulders. I'm not fond of the added weight, but I digress.

fastfoxengineering
02-19-2019, 01:19
TLDR:
I've read from Bedrock's columns that some people have used the sandals for entire thruhikes and saved a bundle on trail runner replacements. Am I doing something wrong? Do I need to grow Hobbit feet? Or, do I simply need socks?

BACKGROUND:
I've been on the Injured List for six years. After lots of research and dedication to therapy, I'm slowly getting back on the trails. Oh, how the trails have changed over the years.

I've trekked the same trails along the creek adjacent to my home for years and have taken unmarked trails every weekend. Today, was my third and longest day this week (in six years). I literally got lost on unmarked trails and resorted to an exit by office buildings. After 2 hours and 40 minutes, my feet, now, feels the wrath of the trail.

I've loved Bedrock Cairn sandals for hiking/jogging so much that I purchased the Cairn Pro to overcome occasional slippage on worn underwater rocks/boulders. I'm not fond of the added weight, but I digress.I hiked with the dude "ballflap" who did the AT in them and wrote one of the blog posts for bedrock. As well as most of the PCT. He went thru two pairs on the AT.

Honestly, no matter what marketing says. Your in sandals. Its pretty minimalist.

I think you need to really take it easy in them dor a while. I talked to the owner and he said start with zero drop shoes and then give it a go.

I wear zero drop shoes and ive been intrigued to try bedrocks on the PCT.

Im just petrified of stabbing myself in the foot with a sharp stick. Needing serious medical help. And really just ruining everything lol.

The AT in sandals? I dont think so... its too rocky and rooty for me to feel safe.

I hear the PCT is a little different though.

I cant imagine them having much cushion.

But a bomber vibram sole is gonna last a while.





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Decibel
02-19-2019, 05:58
Remember the Barefoot Sisters. They did the AT both ways Barefoot most of the way.

Slo-go'en
02-19-2019, 10:57
Remember the Barefoot Sisters. They did the AT both ways Barefoot most of the way.

Yeah, but in general, that's not a good idea.

There are people who hike in sandals - typically young people - and get away with it. I'd have 10 broken toes before long...

Two Tents
02-19-2019, 11:57
I have been wearing sandals in three seasons for 3 years now. This is my short list of points; It is rare that I stub my toes. I have gotten small scratches
Any Sandal that has Velcro is not for me. Velcro picks up duff and wears out too soon. Toe posts are out. Some light, liner socks are a must. SealSkinz are awesome. Get them large enough to wear thick socks inside. My ankles are stronger than ever and my arches are higher than my pre sandal days. The Keen Newport are what I use on Rocky trails. Chacos and Xero Genesis depending on the trail type.

blue indian
02-19-2019, 15:11
Ive owned and worn my Bedrocks for about 2 years now.

I do love them. However, I dont know if they would work (FOR ME) for long distances the AT. Ive wanted to long distance hike in them (with a pair of toe socks) but its definitely something you have to work up to. If you arent use to zero-drop or a minimalist shoe then youre asking for trouble

For me, I have to be much more careful about foot placement to avoid rocks, roots, sharp objects etc....

W8lkinUSA
02-19-2019, 22:02
I hiked with the dude "ballflap" who did the AT in them and wrote one of the blog posts for bedrock. As well as most of the PCT. He went thru two pairs on the AT.

Yes!! He's the person that I remember from one of the articles.



Im just petrified of stabbing myself in the foot with a sharp stick. Needing serious medical help. And really just ruining everything lol.

LOL. I doubt that would happen. Thankfully, the fit and adjustment worked well enough for me that I haven't stubbed my toes even though I have "kicked" a rock ever 30 minutes or so.
EDIT:
It's always my lazy left foot that trips over rocks. I need to fix this..

W8lkinUSA
02-19-2019, 22:04
Remember the Barefoot Sisters. They did the AT both ways Barefoot most of the way.

Holy smokes! I don't know if I can handle barefoot unless I'm walking on carpet.. They must have very young feet/legs!!

W8lkinUSA
02-19-2019, 22:10
Yeah, but in general, that's not a good idea.

There are people who hike in sandals - typically young people - and get away with it. I'd have 10 broken toes before long...

I'm not terribly young, but am never wearing shoes at home. Bare feet are important in keeping (literally) crap from the outdoors at bay.
EDIT:
The soles of the sandals seem to provide greater cushion than my Brooks Cascadia trail runners. Despite my lazy left foot kicking at rocks every ~30 minutes, I haven't stubbed any toes. The greater question is your agility while wearing sandals/flip flops.

W8lkinUSA
02-19-2019, 22:15
I have been wearing sandals in three seasons for 3 years now. This is my short list of points; It is rare that I stub my toes. I have gotten small scratches
Any Sandal that has Velcro is not for me. Velcro picks up duff and wears out too soon. Toe posts are out. Some light, liner socks are a must. SealSkinz are awesome. Get them large enough to wear thick socks inside. My ankles are stronger than ever and my arches are higher than my pre sandal days. The Keen Newport are what I use on Rocky trails. Chacos and Xero Genesis depending on the trail type.

Toe posts definitely need some getting used to, but I've worn flip flops for most of my life since I was a child. The velcro on the Bedrock sandals are not bad since they are never removed. Instead, there are plastic hooks on the inside that adjusts onto thoughtfully placed webbing; this allows adjustments for loose-ish around town use versus tighter hiking use.

I love that your ankles and arches are stronger. This gives me great inspiration on injury recovery!

W8lkinUSA
02-19-2019, 22:33
Ive owned and worn my Bedrocks for about 2 years now.

I do love them. However, I dont know if they would work (FOR ME) for long distances the AT. Ive wanted to long distance hike in them (with a pair of toe socks) but its definitely something you have to work up to. If you arent use to zero-drop or a minimalist shoe then youre asking for trouble

For me, I have to be much more careful about foot placement to avoid rocks, roots, sharp objects etc....

I have been thinking about Injinji socks lately. I just don't know how I feel about separation between every toe.

Seeing as I'm used to walking around my home barefoot since I was a kid, zero-drop isn't terribly difficult. During the last 3 hikes, I've adjusted my running stride to account for little cushion. I've also done careful sprints on my toes while barefoot to chase down people whenever they've forgotten something at home. Zero-drop shoes definitely require attention to form/posture as well as foot placement.

At the age of 12, I had become accustomed to foot placement since I accidentally stepped on someone shoe while rock hopping on the way down a Vermont trail. Unfortunately, that guy wasn't courteous enough to shout out that he's flying past me within close proximity. Aside from treacherous situations, jogging through hiking trails is the norm.

At the moment, I only have my sights on 20-30 miles of hiking once my body sufficiently recovers. I'd rather just wear sandals if it's possible. It gives me hope that the Barefoot Sisters didn't even need sandals, but I can't imagine my feet would be strong enough to handle rocks..

Regarding your concern with rock/root avoidance.... If the sandal is properly sized and adjusted, you may not even stub your toe. My lazy left foot tends to kick rocks, but I haven't stubbed my toes yet. It seems to have better cushion at the soles than trail running shoes.

blw2
02-19-2019, 22:44
I bought some last year. Haven't hike much in them though. I wear leather flip flops (Rainbow surfer flips) prob 11 months a year when not at work in the office. Mostly just daily wear, errands, etc... just sauntering around. I have worn them on quite a few short little day hikes. Not good in terrain but fine for flat trails. Stubbing toes and teh like just hasn't been much of a concern at all, in my experience

Anyway, I bought the bedrocks thinking they'd be better for hiking in terrain, wet conditions, etc. I like them but just can't seem to get the straps adjusted correctly. If I get the side and heel straps tight enough to not rub, then they pull the thong strap back too tight. It's mostly when wet I think. For me, I think they just need socks. Basically it's sand or whatever under the side straps that cause me the little bit of grief. I wish I could find some summer weight thong socks, with just the big toe...like mittens.

W8lkinUSA
02-20-2019, 01:22
Anyway, I bought the bedrocks thinking they'd be better for hiking in terrain, wet conditions, etc. I like them but just can't seem to get the straps adjusted correctly. If I get the side and heel straps tight enough to not rub, then they pull the thong strap back too tight.

IIRC, during my initial adjustments, I finally settled on the following:
- Loosen everything
- Set foot in correct position
- Adjust heel strap
- Place plastic hook in tightest position
- Adjust outside strap
- (for casual wear, the plastic hook goes onto the second loosest position)

Sand and pebbles can be difficult to deal with, so I wisely choose the water areas for my walking rinse technique. Since I'm familiar with my trail, I'll try to wait until the next stream/creek crossing for another rinse. I don't get as many pebbles as I anticipated, but have slowly developed techniques to quickly lose them.

Hiking and jogging without socks has been the most strenuous part since friction may be the culprit. My second 50-minute hike/jog felt pretty bad since I was jogging more in order to build strength and agility. The third and most recent hike/jog was the worst since I got lost and spent 40 minutes longer than I had wanted; the initial 2 hours would have been doable; I didn't jog as much this time to protect my knees and ankles on account of increased elevation during a longer hike.

I just don't see how anyone could have done a full thru-hike without socks, but this may be due to ignorance and lack of exercise for 6 years during my injury recovery. My feet may have just gotten soft from too much office work. :-/

I'm very close to getting Injinji socks, but wanted to get some community feedback first since my bare feet **might** grow into the Bedrock sandals.

Hopefully, my tip gives you better fitment so you can share your Bedrock experience.

fastfoxengineering
02-20-2019, 01:27
IIRC, during my initial adjustments, I finally settled on the following:
- Loosen everything
- Set foot in correct position
- Adjust heel strap
- Place plastic hook in tightest position
- Adjust outside strap
- (for casual wear, the plastic hook goes onto the second loosest position)

Sand and pebbles can be difficult to deal with, so I wisely choose the water areas for my walking rinse technique. Since I'm familiar with my trail, I'll try to wait until the next stream/creek crossing for another rinse. I don't get as many pebbles as I anticipated, but have slowly developed techniques to quickly lose them.

Hiking and jogging without socks has been the most strenuous part since friction may be the culprit. My second 50-minute hike/jog felt pretty bad since I was jogging more in order to build strength and agility. The third and most recent hike/jog was the worst since I got lost and spent 40 minutes longer than I had wanted; the initial 2 hours would have been doable; I didn't jog as much this time to protect my knees and ankles on account of increased elevation during a longer hike.

I just don't see how anyone could have done a full thru-hike without socks, but this may be due to ignorance and lack of exercise for 6 years during my injury recovery. My feet may have just gotten soft from too much office work. :-/

I'm very close to getting Injinji socks, but wanted to get some community feedback first since my bare feet **might** grow into the Bedrock sandals.

Hopefully, my tip gives you better fitment so you can share your Bedrock experience.Everyone i know wearing bedrocks had a pair of injinjis in their pack.

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W8lkinUSA
02-20-2019, 05:44
Everyone i know wearing bedrocks had a pair of injinjis in their pack.

Hah!!! The secret's finally out! I had a feeling I was messing up somehow.

W8lkinUSA
02-20-2019, 10:53
Everyone i know wearing bedrocks had a pair of injinjis in their pack.

Now, are the socks used for hiking or just for camp? The idea of hiking with socks within sandals is foreign to me.

fastfoxengineering
02-20-2019, 11:56
Now, are the socks used for hiking or just for camp? The idea of hiking with socks within sandals is foreign to me.50% of the time i see someone hiking in sandals, they're wearing socks.

On a few particular days its because it was 35 degrees.

Others idk.

Joe Valesko, the owner of Zpacks. Pretty much exclusively hikes in sandals. In fact, he triple crowned in them. And most of the photos of him wearing sandals, hes wearing socks.

But really socks and sandals is more popular than just sandals.

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fastfoxengineering
02-20-2019, 15:43
Even ball flap. https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190220/1df6bca7bd410cd84411f5d7106aacff.jpg

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W8lkinUSA
02-20-2019, 18:00
50% of the time i see someone hiking in sandals, they're wearing socks.
But really socks and sandals is more popular than just sandals.

Looks like I'll be changing it up by wearing socks 50% of the time. :-D I appreciate the insight!!

Slo-go'en
02-21-2019, 00:07
I've noticed that those who prefer sandals mostly live in warm climates. Where I live we all wear boots, pretty much year round.

fastfoxengineering
02-21-2019, 00:11
I've noticed that those who prefer sandals mostly live in warm climates. Where I live we all wear boots, pretty much year round.People do wear Merrils in NH year round. Tops of irish feet would get scorched in sandals

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W8lkinUSA
02-22-2019, 03:13
I've noticed that those who prefer sandals mostly live in warm climates. Where I live we all wear boots, pretty much year round.
If it didn't draw so much attention, I'd wear sandals nearly every day down to 55F. :)

Slo-go'en
02-22-2019, 10:52
People do wear Merrils in NH year round. Tops of irish feet would get scorched in sandals
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Maybe those who live in the southern end of the state, work in an office and live in a condo where they don't need to deal with snow...