Jambu for instance, a company that I knew was out there, but until recently I had never gotten the chance to try out any of their shoes. But recently I had the opportunity to put their brand new Bedrock hiking shoe to the test, and came away extremely impressed.
The first think that struck me about the Bedrock shoes was how they didn't really look like a hiker at first glance. In fact, it would be easy to mistake them for a casual loafer if you didn't look closely. This gives them the ability to be equally at home on the trail as they are running around town, a level of versatility that I personally appreciate both while I'm at home, or traveling abroad.
The Bedrocks have a nicely understated design that doesn't make them appear overly flashy in any way, yet they still look stylish and attractive. They have a classic look about them that allows them to be worn with your typical hiking gear, or with casual clothes while out on the town with friends. As someone who likes to travel light, I truly appreciate their ascetic, as they can easily pull double-duty on any trip.
I have to admit that I wasn't enthralled with these shoes right from the start. While they looked good out of the box, when I put them on my feet I found them to be overly stiff, and a bit uncomfortable. But over the course of a couple of days I wore them around the house, gradually breaking them in a bit more. It wasn't long before they felt great on my feet however, and I started wearing them everywhere. I've read other reviews online that indicate that there is no break-in period required with the Bedrocks, but in my case it took a little time. Just keep this in mind when you're trying out these shoes for the first time, in case your experience is closer to mine.
In terms of performance, the Bedrock delivers everything you would expect out of a light hiking shoe. It has a waterproof upper made from nubuck leather that keeps your feet well protect from moisture. It also breathes well too, although I did find my feet getting a little warmer as spring temperatures rose.
The shoe also features what Jambu calls its Hypergrip soles that are designed to provide good traction on a wide variety of surfaces, both wet and dry. I can attest to how well the shoe holds its grip as I've used them on everything from pavement with snow and ice, to muddy, rocky trails slick from recent rainfall. The Bedrock provided sure-footing no matter where I took them, and I was continually impressed with their performance on any terrain that I used them on.
As mentioned above, it took a few days of wearing the shoes before my feet got completely comfortable in them, but once they did these I found that they were amongst the most comfortable hiking shoes I've ever worn. The footpads provide plenty of cushioning, and at the end of the day your feet and legs still feel refreshed and strong. In fact, I was never in any hurry to get these shoes off, which is something I can't say about every hiking boot I've ever put on.
Considering the level of performance they deliver, the Bedrock shoes are also quite light. They tip the scales at just 5.6 oz, which is surprisingly light for everything they offer. I appreciate their lack of weight as well, as once again it comes in handy when packing for a long trip.
Jambu has priced the Bedrocks at $129, which makes them a real bargain as far as I'm concerned. I've tested shoes that cost twice that much and weren't nearly as comfortable nor offered as good of performance.
If you're looking for a new shoe for spring adventures, than look no further than the Bedrock from Jambu. They look great, are very comfortable, and are versatile enough for both trail and town. They just might become your new favorite shoes that you'll want to wear everyday.