Rockin’ in the Bedrocks: Long Distance Hiking in Sandals

Importance of Footwear

Selecting the right footwear for the trail is undoubtedly one of the most crucial decisions a hiker can make. The wrong shoes can significantly hinder your hike, leading to blisters, discomfort, and even injuries. Since every foot is unique, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the ideal hiking shoe. Therefore, this post is more opinion-based and draws from years of experience hiking long distances, particularly with Bedrocks.

As thru-hikers, we often find ourselves swayed by popular choices, but it’s essential to prioritize personal comfort over trends. Before embarking on a trail, ensuring you have the right pair of shoes tailored to your needs is paramount. Try different shoes, and choose what makes you feel the most comfortable, your feet with thank you.

Why I Hike in Sandals?

Simply put, it’s what I’m accustomed to. I’ve been wearing Bedrocks for nearly nine years, and they’ve become an integral part of my identity. Rarely do they not accompany me for the day, and switching to another pair of shoes is a deliberate choice. So on trail it makes sense for them to be the preferred daily driver.

The freedom of having my toes out has always been preferred. I still wear toe socks most of the time on trail but not having my feet in a closed toe box all day is part of the reason why I like sandals. Even on the coldest days, something just feels right about the freeing feeling. The big things I look for with my footwear are, minimalism, durability, and sustainability, Bedrocks check all of those boxes for me.

Advantages of Bedrocks

While there are numerous hiking sandals on the market, Bedrocks stand out due to their exceptional craftsmanship and the ethos of the company. The Vibram soles are incredibly durable, outlasting even most trail runners. As someone who values sustainability and making gear last on the trail, this durability is a major advantage. Additionally, Bedrock’s re-soul program ensures that I can extend the lifespan of my sandals rather than having to purchase a new pair.


As a long-distance hiker, the lightweight design of Bedrocks is invaluable. They’re barely noticeable on my feet, allowing for a more connected hiking experience. Unlike trail runners, Bedrocks provide a minimalistic feel that enhances enjoyment on the trail. They’re versatile enough to handle any terrain, especially those heavy river crossings, full send into the water you go.

The Struggles with Sandals

While I personally find sandals to be the perfect choice for me, I recognize that they’re not suitable for everyone. Traditional shoes offer greater ankle stability and protection from the elements. Despite my preference for Bedrocks, I’ve encountered lots of challenges. I have post holed in the Sierra, slipped on the lava rocks in Sisters and stubbed my toe in the Cascades. Those are the main struggles of not wearing “proper footwear.”

It definitely takes some getting used to, and possibly needing to re-learn to walk. Every step you take matters, you can’t drag your feet or you’ll feel the consequences. As a result, I still carry a pair of trail runners with me for specific uses. I walk 90% of the time in my Bedrocks, but in heavy sections of snow where spikes are required is where I have my own limits. Always have a backup plan, no matter how used to your preferred footwear you are, injuries can an always occur.

A Pair of Bedrocks for Everyone

Bedrocks are a versatile choice for all outdoor activities, offering a range of models suited to various activities. Whether it’s hiking, river crossings, or simply strolling around camp or town, there’s a Bedrock option to fit the bill. From the high-performance Cairn line to the more laid-back Mountain Clogs, there’s something for everyone. Their lightweight design also makes them perfect as a second pair of shoes when you want a break from your trail runners

Bedrock Sandals have carved out a niche in the long-distance hiking community. While they might not entirely replace trail runners, many who make the switch find it difficult to return. After almost a decade of wearing them, I’ve found sticking by Bedrocks to be a no-brainer. Through varied experiences with different footwear, I’ve come to prefer them for all my hikes. With Bedrocks, every day feels like sandal season.

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