The definition of a sandal is pushed to the limit with the The North Face Hedgefrog, a hybrid design which has open heel and ankle areas but an enclosed forefoot and toe. This does bring benefits when travelling though and makes the Hedgefrog a very useful piece of footwear for wearing around hot countries and for smart but comfortable travel. The upper is all-synthetic so it is faster-drying than leather equivalents. The upper has mesh material on the top and air vents on the sides to create more airflow than a fully enclosed shoe. Underfoot there is good stiffness for walking over earth and grass, and there is also good cushioning for harder surfaces. Use this for travel in warm weather and it will be a useful piece of footwear. But as the toe and forefoot area is fully enclosed, grit and water can be become trapped here. More open sandals than the The North Face Hedgefrog allow more airflow so are less sweaty and weigh less. The upper is slower-drying than synthetic strap designs without the extra material of this hybrid. The outsole does not have the grip on soft ground of some other sandals either.
Upper synthetic nubuck; stretch mesh
Sole HydroTrak sticky rubber; EVA cushioning
Sizes 6-13 (men’s)
Weight 712 (pair, size 11)
Made in China
Stores in the UK 51
The The North Face Hedgefrog useful travel sandal hybrid, but dedicated sandal designs have advantages too for campers, walkers and travellers.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine May 2010