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Sandal people, where you at?


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Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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  • #3753827
    Andrew Marshall
    Moderator

    @andrewsmarshall

    Locale: Tahoe basin by way of the southern Appalachians

    Hey folks. I’m writing a formal review of a few Bedrock Sandals options for BPL, and wondering what other sandals people have used in the past and why. I’ve trolled the forums and only found a few lightly trafficked threads, so I figured I’d float it to the top here. I’ve got pretty extensive experience with options from Chacos, Teva, and Xero Shoes. I’ve heard good things about Lunas but never used them. Thoughts?

    PS – If you don’t use or like sandals, that’s cool and I get it! No reason to tell me why right here though. :-)

    #3753828
    Ratatosk
    BPL Member

    @ratatosk

    Tried:  Lunas, Xeros, Tevas, Chacos, Bedrocks, EarthRunners (for a hot second), and Shammas.

    Currently have: Bedrocks

    The thicker bedrocks are hands down the best sandal I’ve worn in my long-haired, barefoot, hippie lifetime. (I think Cairn 3D is the model I wear now, but have worn the thinner soles too.) They aren’t great in water – debris gets trapped underfoot and your foot loses traction in the footbed unless you crank the straps down – but good enough that you can canoe/kayak in them. (You cannot kneel at all in them, lest the toe-thong saw its way into your instep, which is extremely anti-Canadian.) The straps are streamlined and no-brain-needed. They will loosen up when wet. I am very much anticipating Bedrock coming out with a leather, stroll-ready version (called Rokassins, of course) but my psychic powers have not as of yet succeeded in making them appear on the website. Disadvantage: you need special socks under them, if you wear them.

    The Xero z-trails felt great when they were dry, and were very nice to hike in all day, but were absolute murder as soon as they got any sort of wet. (Mud, sweat, water, anything – and to be fair this is the Achilles heel of most light/barefoot sandals.) They’d slip halfway around your foot, and the straps would loosen while they did it. I wore them for five days portaging boats in the St. Regis one time and I will never wear them again on trail. I’ve still got my pair, though, and they’d be good beach shoes or camp shoes or whatnot. Advantage: You can wear normal socks under them, no toe strap.

    Lunas (I think I had skinnybears) were good, they had great soles. The strappage wasn’t the best, in terms of layout and adjustment, and you’d have to have a lot of miles barefoot or in sandals under your belt to last all day on a trail in them. I really liked the shammas but the footprint was huge (very wide) and the way the straps were set up wasn’t very intuitive. A few hours in them and my feet would start to ache, but I don’t know if that’s because they’re simply very thin or there was something affecting my feet from the layout of the shoe. They were extremely comfy for those hours, though. Earth Runners seemed sort of gimmicky, I got a pair but sent them back, they have a little copper plate in the center of the sole but apart from that I didn’t see they were anything different from something I could make myself. (The super-ultra-mega minimalist options from various companies didn’t seem much better than you could make at home, too.) All of these have a toe-thong so you’d need special socks under them.

    Tevas and Chacos, I haven’t had a pair in years, so they may have come out with thinner, lighter options recently, but they’re great sandals all around just very heavy for sandals. I’ve gone totally zero-drop over the past two years or so, and never done a better favor for my knees, so I will say my sandal experience is limited to zero-drop.

    N.B. – I hike a lot in sandals but I don’t run much at all, in or out of sandals; Lunas seem to be more popular with runners rather than walkers.

    #3753838
    Jason
    BPL Member

    @hermantherugger

    I used to be a loyal Luna customer.  I ran in them exclusively for years on both trail and roads, as well as did about half the Tahoe Rim Trail in a pair of their Leadville sandals (blister issues with my shoes).  I have worn through 2 pairs of Mono’s, as well as a good amount of tread on their Oso and Leadville sandals (all original design).

    Their sandals have a wider footprint than bedrocks, I found that to fit my foot shape much better.  The straps do loosen up a little as they’re forming to your foot, and will with exposure to water/rain too.

    Last fall I had a portion of my L4/L5 disc removed due to a bulge causing a pinched nerve. I’m currently back into Tevas and Chacos for sandals, and unfortunately running in shoes again for the first time in lots and lots of years. I have done some shorter jaunts in my Luna’s, but had some pretty rough soreness afterwards that made it not worth it.

    I’ll likely give them another shot after I drop a few pounds and spend some more time getting my feet ready for the barefoot life again. There’s nothing quite like trail running or hiking in a pair of barefoot sandals.

    #3753855
    HkNewman
    BPL Member

    @hknewman

    Locale: The West is (still) the Best

    Recently, I’ve used Tevas (with socks) backpacking in the Oregon mountains, despite owning some Bedrocks.  Partly due to Tevas being on sale (and informal wear in San Diego/Tucson ..though urban wise I’ve been wooed by Keen’s sandals), looked like more support (perhaps just my perception as I just found out one of their guys did the New Zealand TA trail in  them), but also sock options were limited as of last year (now they’ve got Tabi” socks from a major sock maker).   May be giving those a try, though my credit card will cry.

    Now when they first came out, I used the heavier but more supportive Chacos in northern New Mexico mountains.   Worked great until I hiked into an unavoidable puddle full of mud .. and horse poo.  Those socks got a rinse, but really had to wash my hands after that.  Another reason I’m a little hesitant besides rain, but maybe I need to experiment with unused “bread bag” plastic, choosing trails with less horse-riders/cattle grazing.  Then again, would fabric trail runners have been any better?

    Future? Some long thru hikes have altered my forefoot shape it seems, so I’m looking at using hike ready sandals like Bedrocks .. or Tevas.

    #3754176
    Andrew Marshall
    Moderator

    @andrewsmarshall

    Locale: Tahoe basin by way of the southern Appalachians

    Thanks all, this is really great feedback.

    #3754217
    HkNewman
    BPL Member

    @hknewman

    Locale: The West is (still) the Best

    If doing a comprehensive article, you may want to reach out to “Medicine Man” on the PCT Facebook sites if he’s not on here (I’ll PM you his real name).  He recently hiked the PCT in its entirety using Tevas (including snow) so that would be interesting.  He’s older so that’s a plus as he can provide a prospective on how it affects his joints, feet etc.. vs younger sandals wearers whose young feet can take anything.

    Met a couple younger hikers using Tevas on it too,  this year in “the desert”.  They are more the nose ring set so may look for sandals, Tevas, nose ring hashtags?

    #3754231
    Bonzo
    BPL Member

    @bon-zo

    Locale: Virgo Supercluster

    I’ve always worn Tevas, but not any longer; I’m tired of killing them in about five months.  I literally get one season from them, anymore, whereas I used to get years from a pair…but that kind of longevity has been years in the past.  Nowadays I just throw on a pair of Birkenstocks; not very stylish or useful for hiking, and the straps don’t fit me that well, but they last and they don’t kill my feet and ankles like all of the other options…and I’ve been through more of those options than I care to realize.  Sadly, Bedrocks don’t fit me at all; thong-style straps are incredibly uncomfortable.  My partner wears them and loves them, but as that is the only real option from Bedrock, they don’t work for me.  The Teva strap arrangement has always been the most comfortable for me, but I’m just not into paying a lot for sandals that die so quickly.  I’m not sure where to look, anymore, so I’m settling for good enough.

    #3757136
    Hope W
    BPL Member

    @hopearotieyahoo-com

    I backpack most of the year (and everyday wear) Chacos  (Banded Z Clouds). My feet hate shoes. No blisters with sandals. Only time I wear shoes is in the desert of southern Utah (oddly shoes are needed for that). But my mountain (typical backpacking) Chacos all the way. First off, no socks required (less crap to pack and keep track of). Better for creek crossings. Feet dry fast and so do the shoes. 2nd, no blisters. I seem to get blisters no matter what and my feet hate shoes. I played college basketball and was forced to wear team shoes…man did that ever suck. So after hiking in shoes that I always seemed to get blisters I switched to sandals (I was a wilderness therapy trail guide so I have plenty of experience lol). Sandals for me are easier, less stuff to fuss with work just as good and have excellent support. Again, all this is specific to terrain, time of year and trail conditions. But if I’m not bush whacking or in sand I will almost always be in Chacos.

    #3757137
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    I’ve worn a pair of Tevas for years.  They’re getting pretty worn out and ready for replacement.

    But I just wear them around the yard.

    I don’t like driving with them because they might slip off although I’m probably being paranoid

    I’ve worn them backpacking a little but I don’t like how dirty my feet get.  And dirt and sticks and rocks.  They’re great where I’ve had a lot of stream crossings.

    #3757230
    HkNewman
    BPL Member

    @hknewman

    Locale: The West is (still) the Best

    ..  and sticks

    Tbf I’ve had a small pointed branch slice through trail runner fabric like butter in the Gila once.  Some companies were making Kevlar socks as standalone footwear but think a lighter version would be ideal for use with sandals.

    need for toe socks

    There’s toe socks even in “warm” versions but a Japanese maker of waterproof “tobi” socks stops at a smaller size than many westerners (at least males) need.

    #3757253
    Diane “Piper” Soini
    BPL Member

    @sbhikes

    Locale: Santa Barbara

    I’ve hiked in Luna Monos and Mono Gordos, Xero Ztrails, Bedrock Cairns and Chacos.

    Lunas: Like the relative softness of the foot bed. Don’t like that they are super slippery under foot when wet. Don’t like that the tread wears off really fast, although it actually doesn’t make much difference. Don’t like that they don’t sell a wide width anymore.

    Xeros: Like the no toe strap, the width is wide. Don’t like that they are so minimal. I need more cushioning.

    Bedrocks: Like the strap system and the soles never seem to wear out. Don’t like that they have no cushion. The cross-hatching is too abrasive on my bare feet. They are too narrow. My toes overlap the edges.

    Chacos: I buy wides from their custom sandal builder website and they come with much better soles than store-bought Chacos. I like that these are more cushioned than other sandals and even more cushioned than older versions of Chacos. My feet feel locked in and I don’t slip around on the footbed. No between the toe strap. I don’t like that they are so heavy they can’t be carried as extra footwear.

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