Made in the Mountains

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The barefoot running trend refuses to go away. Virtually every shoe company now offers some kind of minimalist footwear. But those made-in-China shoes often defeat the purpose of simple, basic footwear. Fortunately, for the first time, the Blue Ridge now has its own minimalist running sandal manufacturers: Bedrock Sandals, based in Harrisonburg, Va.

Bedrock Sandals began with two friends, Nick Pence and Dan Opalacz , who loved to run trails in homemade Do It Yourself (DIY) huarache sandals. Unsatisfied with the designs they found on Youtube, they decided to make their own. What started as a small hobby quickly grew into a passion. They brainstormed design ideas, built them into their sandals, and took to testing on the trails. Last June, they launched Bedrock Sandals and built the first official batch of 273 Bedrock Sandals. Since then, they have continued to evolve their sandal designs based on feedback from customers, family, and friends. They’re made in the mountains, and every pair purchased benefits local environmental nonprofits. You can buy the sandals directly at

Show your support for local shoes and local trails  at the Bedrock Trail Marathon and Half Marathon on May 12th in Walnut Creek Park near Charlottesville, Va. This brand-spankin’ -new event loops around a scenic lake and across rolling singletrack. Proceeds benefit 1% for the Planet.


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