The The North Face Mead is a nice stiff sandal, so use it for river crossings and it is going to be ideal. Underfoot there is a reasonably aggressive pattern of lugs that are designed to channel water away, but also there are lugs to give traction on muddy grass, say when crossing a campsite. The footbed is antimicrobial, so it shouldn’t get as smelly as others, but also it provides good cushioning. The straps have three-point adjustment with Velcro, which is ideal, but more importantly the straps are synthetic for fast drying after a soaking. I also like the extra width at the forefoot to protect the toes a little more than some others. These have everything going for them including a very respectable price of £40, which is excellent considering the features on offer here. It’s hard to find any major faults with the The North Face Mead, although for more money you can get an even better sole unit with more grip, more stiffness and more cushioning, which would make walks more comfortable on a wider variety of surfaces.
Upper synthetic straps
Sole sticky rubber; EVA cushioning; antimicrobial footbed
Sizes 6-13 (men’s); 3-9 (women’s)
Weight 664g (pair, size 11)
Made in China
Stores in the UK no info provided
Verdict: The The North Face Mead is a superb sandal that is only bettered by paying more for an even better sole unit. But for £40 it is highly recommended.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine May 2009