Cairn by Bedrock Sandals – First Look!

Get ready for a new paradigm shift in the outdoor sandal industry – the Cairn!

Bedrock Sandals reached out to us recently and asked if we would demo their new sandal development. Challenge accepted! I have been wearing the sandals for about 3 weeks straight and these are my first impressions of the Cairn:

  • Adjustability is an absolute highlight of this model!  You can achieve a perfect fit easily. The sandals are comprised of three separate strapping systems. The rear strap is Velcro, outside foot is a pull similar to those on other Bedrock sandals but much beefier, and the inside consists of a new hooking system. Possibilities are endless thanks to this new design so perfect security and comfort can be achieved no matter what activity you are engaged in.
  • No more mid-activity adjustments (unless you want to, of course). The strapping system stays completely secure. In the past, I have noticed the occasional need to readjust the top strap while running in a previous Bedrock model, but not any more with the Cairn. The strap adjustments stay where you put them.
  • Footbed is super grippy when wet. This has always been an issue with wearing sandals instead of boots in the backcountry but Bedrock addressed this with a redesigned deck. The new sandal deck features a diamond shaped pattern called ‘Granite Grip’. Name says it all!  Water and sweat clears the footbed in the ‘mini-grooves’ while the foot maintains constant contact with the sandal. Additionally, I have had no issue with pebbles or sand getting stuck underfoot while on trail.
  • New Vibram Sole is….well it’s just beautiful! Bedrock teamed up with Vibram to create the REGOLITH. The first thing I noticed about the Regolith is the aggressive lug pattern. My first thought was that the sole would be more ‘boot like’ in feel but I was wrong. The spacing and the deep grooved pattern of the Regolith give the sandal a soft and super flexible feel that you would expect from a huarache. I am impressed! Each sandal size will have its own unique Regolith pattern that fits the size of the sandal. These are custom, not cookie-cutter soles.
  • Sandal height is a little bit thicker then other Bedrock models, 14mm total. 8mm of cushy midsole and 6mm of Vibram. This is a good balance. Still flexible enough to give a typical huarache sandal feel but without the ouch! If you have worn this style of sandal before (especially on the trail), you know what I mean. A sharp rock is no match for this sole!

For the past few weeks, I have taken these bad boys on every outing- desert trails, trips to the supermarket, down Zion slot canyons- and the Cairn has truly lived up to the hype! These sandals will be well at home on the river and on the trail. They are perfect for someone looking for a great all-around sandal. Time and wear will be the telling factor for me with the Cairns. It will be interesting to see how they ultimately turn out after the abuse I am planning to put them through. However, there is no doubt in my mind that the Cairn will stand up to the challenge. My previous Bedrock sandals are still kicking and it’s been years. Hats off to Bedrock Sandals for designing this remarkable sandal!



The new Cairn by Bedrock Sandals.


Regolith Vibram soles.


You can see the ‘Granite Grip’ footbed in this shot. Take a look at the new strapping system!


You can see the 14mm of thickness from the side profile. The lugs are 3.5mm deep!


Rocks should never get in the way. This sharp limestone was barely noticed underfoot.

The Cairn is now available for pre-sale (31 May 2016). First 200 pre-sale orders will receive 20% off. According to Bedrock, pre-order sales will ship out sometime in mid-July. We will make sure to post our thoughts in a follow-up article after we get some additional miles under our belt.


If you have any questions or feedback give us a DM on Instagram @backpackingculture. We would be happy to speak with you!

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