I reviewed the original Bedrock Sandals back in December and found them to be a solid option for a basic huarache sandal suitable for both casual wear and running. I'm pleased to report that based upon feedback, Nick and Dan have tweaked the design to address an issue I experienced with the original model — a new heel strap design greatly simplifies fitting. The original sandals are now called the Classics, and the revised sandals are called the Earthquake Sandals. Along with the new sandals, they are also introducing their Bedrock Merino Ninja Socks made with Merino wool.
Full review after the jump!
Earthquake Sandals Design
With the exception of the heel strap, the rest of the parts remain the same. The sole is still 6mm Vibram rubber providing a minimum amount of protection while offering great ground feel and a bit of traction thanks to tiny nubs. The strapping is also unchanged using 1/2" nylon in your choice of colors and a plastic buckle for fastening the strap. The olive drab straps are a bit wider and thicker than the other colors if you're looking for something more rugged. You get all the benefits that come with huarache sandals: lightweight, flexible, and air cooling!
A little bit of strategically placed recycled bike tube rubber makes a huge difference. To solve the potential issue of the slippery nylon sliding off your heel when running, the heel straps on the new Earthquake sandals incorporate rubber. This accomplishes two objectives. First, the rubber fits against your skin to grip it better, and second, the design of the rubber piece allows it to gently pinch your heel. The overall result is an easier time getting a comfortable, secure fit.
I immediately put the new design to the test with some running on a variety of terrain. I took a few initial minutes adjusting the straps to my liking using the included instructions before heading out. Thanks to the new heel strap design, I never had to readjust the straps again. Not only that, since the straps didn't have to be tightened excessively to keep the heel strap from slipping, I was able to wear them with slightly looser straps resulting in a much more comfortable experience.
Bedrock Merino Ninja Socks Review
If the weather turns cold, and you would like to continue wearing your sandals, you're normally limited to wearing toe socks. However, in extreme cold weather, toe socks aren't ideal because unlike wearing Vibram FiveFingers, huarache sandals don't require all the sock toes to be separated, and separated toes are cold toes. Bedrock Sandals has just the solution with their Merino Ninja Socks or as Dan calls them, "toe mittens". These are modified from the DeFeet Woolie Boolie V-2 socks. With only the big toe separated, they are perfect for sandals. Plus, they're made from a blend that contains 65% merino wool -- ideal for cold and even wet weather.
So how well do they work with the new Earthquake Sandals? In the past, I haven't had much success pairing socks and huarache sandals for running. Keeping the heel strap from slipping off has been the major challenge. Thankfully, cold weather wearing huarache runners can rejoice. Thanks to the redesigned heel strap, the socks and the new sandals performed wonderfully together. At last I have an alternative to numb toes on cold runs.
The new Earthquake Sandals don't look much different from the Classics, and they handle the same tasks too -- they're well suited for casual wear and truly minimalist running. The small change in the heel strap design makes a huge difference in how much you'll enjoy the Earthquake Sandals for running. Getting them dialed in is now a breeze, and with the introduction of the Bedrock Merino Ninja Socks, you now have a great cold weather option.
Ordering, Pricing, Availability
All Bedrock Sandals are available in unisex sizes from 4 to 13, and there is an option to get them custom made and no additional cost. Instructions on the website will help you properly create a pattern for your foot. Other than size, the only other option is the strap color. Straps are available in red, yellow, blue, black and three shades of green: olive drab (wider/thicker), sage, and basic green. The Classics are still available for $45, and the new Earthquake Sandals are available from the company's website for $54. To celebrate the release of the new sandals, they're offering a special deal. The first ten orders of Earthquake Sandals include include a free pair of Bedrock Merino Ninja Socks (normally $18/pair).