After years of being inside the design conversations and testing multiple prototypes, Spencer Harding is here to usher in Bedrock’s just-released adventure Mountain Clog. Made from synthetic or leather uppers, these clogs are a great alternative for those toe-stubbing fearful folks out there. Turns out it makes a pretty darn good mountain bike shoe as well! If you’ve ever wanted to be a granola-crunchin’, mountain-munchin’, clog-rockin’, hippie, nature-druid dad then look no further.
I’ve been a longtime sandal fan for bike trips, and switched to wearing them on my second-ever tour. Seeing someone wearing Birkenstocks with flat pedals made an early and distinct impression as I gazed on enviously, toes crammed in my thrift store-found clipless shoes (road cleats too, no less). And that was it.
I soon went out and bought a pair of Chacos that I devoutly wore for almost a decade until Dan Opalacz (owner of Bedrock Sandals) literally gave me the sandals off his feet to try on the Baja Divide. Built with a lighter sole and a superior rubber compound, Dan nailed it wth the original Bedrock Cairn and I was sold, never to put on a pair of Chacos again.
I think the amount of people wearing Bedrocks riding bikes these days is a testament to this amazingly simple yet comfortable style of footwear. And yet, I still hear some riders say, “I could NEVER wear those, I’d stub my toe ALL the time.” Well, I’m happy to report I haven’t stubbed my toe nearly as much as you’d expect while letting my feet enjoy the fresh air, but Bedrock now has the answer for the sandal-leery crowd, too. Meet their Mountain Clog.
The Mountain Clog builds on the Cairn’s successful formula by using a similar outsole and strap system. Notably, the Mountain Clogs come standard with Vibram rubber soles (a grippy compound that minimizes pedal slip), which Bedrock’s Montana HQ are able to resole should you wear them down.
Unlike the Cairns, the Mountain Clogs are produced in South Korea, an overseas shift that made the leather upper option possible. For the weight weenies, the Mountain Clogs clock in around 12.5oz (354g) per sandal compared to 7.5oz per Cairn Sandal, which may tip some folks’ scales.
My prototype clog was a size 9, a bit small but still usable for me. My production pair is a size 10 which fits better and offers more adjustability. For comparison, over the years I have sized up to 11 in the Cairn 3D sandals, to prevent my toes from hanging over the edges of the footbed. Obviously, this is not an issue with the Mountain Clogs and I can comfortably wear a size 10, consistent with my average footwear fit. The toe box is plenty roomy for donning cozy wool socks, if you so choose, without having to get the split-toe model that Bedrock makes to accompany the Cairns.
I’ve been testing the Mountain Clog since October of 2021, but living in the desert, I only get a few months out of the year to comfortably wear them before I transition back into my trusty open-toed sandals. The clogs are comfortable whether you choose to wear them with or without socks, though I did find that longer hikes without socks caused some rubbing on my toe knuckles.
Another niche use I found for them was as an approach shoe for rock climbing. The sticky Vibram soles and the easy slip-on/off design makes them a great choice for not only getting to and from the crag, but also for giving the toes a rest from often tight-fitting climbing shoes in between burns. Of course, they don’t offer the same secure fit as a full-on approach shoe for low-grade technical climbing, but for short approaches and the casual scramble, they’ve been splendid.
By now I’m sure you’re thinking, “okay but how about riding bikes in them?!” For me, a devout Bedrock fan, it almost goes without saying that these have been great on the bike! I’ve never been thrilled with many of the options for flat pedal mountain bike shoes out in the world. Most wind up looking like puffy DC skate shoes from an era I’d rather forget. I also personally find most of the soles on that style of shoe too stiff, whereas the Mountain Clogs provide support and a confident amount of compliance underfoot. The Vibram rubber provides plenty of grip, so much so that I’ve gone back to mostly riding composite platforms without metal pins when I do choose to ride flat pedals.
So if you’ve been sandal-curious but are toe-stubbing squeamish, I can confirm these are fine to kick cactus with. I’ve worn these clogs for casual tours and full-squish-send missions alike and, while I do prefer a clipless shoe for the rocky bullshit of southern Arizona, the Mountain Clog hits the spot for flowier times.
I don’t see these replacing the Cairn 3Ds as my primary adventure footwear, but I love all of the DNA of the Cairns that has been infused into this closed-toe model. The beauty of these clogs is their extreme versatility, from ripping flowy singlerack to shuffling the grocery aisles for your next burrito resupply, they fit the bill equally as a multi-purpose, adventurer-ready tourer and sturdy, casual shoe. And don’t forget, just send ’em back to Bedrock Mountain Clog for a resole when you need some new rubber.
- Protected toes!
- Grippy Vibram rubber
- Quick break-in time
- Tried and true strapping/adjustment system
- More of a mild/cold climate shoe
- Pricey, but similar pricing to Birkenstocks’ offering
- The leather upper can be abrasive on longer sockless hikes
The Mountain Clogs are available today at 10am MST for $175 in leather and $160 in synthetic. I’m looking forward to putting many more miles and pedals on my production pair, but now I need to find my sandals as the heat is quickly approaching down yonder. Snag a pair at Bedrock Sandals..