While strolling through twitterland the other day, I came across a tweet from Barefoot Ted that caught my attention. Who is Barefoot Ted you ask? Seriously!? He’s only the craziest barefoot runner around. Well, maybe he’s not crazy (or even completely barefoot) but he was one of the main characters in Christopher McDougall’s best-selling book, “Born to Run.”
In the book, Ted constantly had to defend his shoes (Vibram Five Fingers) from the criticism of his fellow runners. Throughout the book, McDougall explored the benefits of running barefoot, or in minimalist shoes. He found that the human body has evolved to run and that traditional running shoes are only a setback for the competitive runner.
Okay, back to my point. So I noticed this picture Barefoot Ted tweeted of his Luna Sandals. He had just finished day one of the PowerAde RunFire Cappadocia Ultra Marathon, which is a six-day race located in Istanbul that covers over 150 miles of rugged and dry terrain. It would appear that Barefoot Ted has ditched the Vibrams for a pair of running sandals. This isn’t much of a surprise, as many ultra-runners wear sandals on their long journeys.
What’s really cool is that Barefoot Ted is making the sandals himself. In the spring of 2006, when Barefoot Ted visited the Copper Canyons of Northern Mexico to run the original Copper Canyon Ultra, he met Manuel Luna. Luna is a local Tarahumaran, who helped Ted make a pair of traditional huarache sandals out of an old tire. At that point, the seed had been planted.
A few years later, he started up Luna Sandals from his garage and started production. Within months, business grew and he was forced to move operations into a bigger building. Below is a time-lapse video of their sandal production.
This got me thinking – is it time I try out a pair of running sandals? If I were going to, it would probably be Luna Sandals. Here’s why:
- Lunas have been shipped to over 65 countries and every continent, even Antarctica!
- Lunas have been worn at the Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon, Leadville Trail 100, Ford Ironman World Championship, the Manhattan Beach 10k (which was won by Lunar Monkey Patrick Sweeney), and dozens of other races.
- The Original Luna was chosen as “Best in Show” at the 2011 Outdoor Retailer Expo by Gear Junkie.
- The Original Luna was listed as one of the 5 best barefoot options by Stuff.tv.
Luna Sandal Philosophy
We believe that when we become more connected and in tune with our own bodies, as well as with each other, we can often regain a fundamental source of happiness and good health. Our bodies are not broken by design, and when we trust them, our instincts, and our desires, we often find a more genuine expression of who we are.
We are interested in the designs of traditional sandals from all over the world: sandals made out of natural, sustainable materials that are easy to make by hand with simple tools. Minimalist footwear traditions are part of our shared heritage and we should preserve them and encourage others to do the same.Let me know if you’ve tried running in sandals. What do you think about Luna Sandals?
Update: I ordered the Venado Sandals. Read my review here.
Also, I encourage you to read my Gladsoles Trail Sandals Review. These sandals are in a league of their own.