Review: Luna Sandals and the ‘Born to Run’ Minimal Experience


You know that feeling when you discover something really cool? That’s what happened to me when I tried on a pair of Luna Sandals. It was inevitable that my feet would meet these sandals. I am usually barefoot and always game for a new sandal. But the big difference in Luna sandals is that you can run in them. Run? Really? If that were true, that would be quite a game changer, wouldn’t it? Well, the fact is, you’ll believe you can fly in these sandals, just as if they had wings.

If you are reading this, then there’s a good chance that you’re interested in health and fitness. And maybe you’re the type that is open to trying new things. Well, Luna Sandals are one of healthiest things you could try. You have to experience these sandals to fully appreciate them. In my case, I dove in. I read “Born to Run,” the New York Times bestseller by Christopher McDougall (read my review here) that is inextricably linked to this unique runner’s sandal. I’ve been running, walking, and living in these miracle sandals. And, without a doubt, they feel as if you are barefoot which is the ideal state to be in–and which we’ll explore here. Now, to be clear, Luna Sandals and “Born to Run” are separate animals but, as you’ll see, there’s a very interesting link.


Consider that link to be attached to the creator of Luna Sandals, Barefoot Ted. At the time of the writing of “Born to Run,” he was strictly a barefoot running enthusiast. Like McDougall, and oh so many others, he had caught the running bug. His thing was to run barefoot, thus his name. And, as he will be glad to tell you, your feet were not meant to be shod. But he is willing to meet you halfway. That’s what led to the next best thing to going barefoot 24/7. Luna Sandals are minimal sandals based upon years of research and refinements inspired by the handmade sandals from old tires worn by the greatest runners in the world, the Tarahumara People of Mexico. The name, Luna, is in honor of one of the celebrated Tarahumara runners, Manuel Luna. McDougall documents in his book an episode where Barefoot Ted is being taught by Manuel Luna how to make his own sandals from old tires. If only McDougall knew what would lay ahead for Barefoot Ted with his new knowledge.

Interchanging running in Luna Sandals with reading “Born to Run,” I gave myself a taste of a far bigger world of running than I’d ever aspired to. For me, a good half hour run around the neighborhood was my routine. But to read Christopher McDougall’s book, we humans are not only built to run, as the title implies, we are born to run. So, what does that really mean? What McDougall does is nothing short of a masterpiece of reportage. I can see why the book has struck such a chord. Given our collective lack of motivation to exercise, this book needs to become required reading by anyone interested in their health. Once you start reading, you will be swept away by McDougall’s knack for spinning a yarn. If the mystery of Caballo Blanco doesn’t get you, which it will, there a number of other colorful characters, amazing facts and stories to get your attention.

McDougall’s intention is to fully make the case for us humans reconnecting with our feet and our common role as runners. Humans are runners. Humans have mistaken technological innovation, namely Nike’s invention of “the running shoe” with much needed progress. But what if, in fact, that was all a bunch of hype for the sake of making a profit? It shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that a profit motive is capable of leading one astray. He metes out a compelling array of information that points us back to a basic truth: we should trust our own bodies, trust our feet, and run as we naturally have for some 200,000 years.

To read “Born to Run” is to give yourself over to the world of ultra runners, their quirks, secrets and successes. The path to understanding them is through the Copper Canyons, a Bermuda Triangle of desert, gorges, and mountains. Inside that maze live the Tarahumara. They are a very shy and secretive people. So, basically, finding them is as likely as finding a needle in a haystack. But that is exactly what McDougall accomplishes after many persistent efforts. He will interview numerous runners back in the States but it’s what he learns about these primal runners that fires his imagination. The basic truth he learns from them is that they run because they love it, just because they love it. This simple truth will lead the way.

It is the combination of reading “Born to Run” and actually running in Barefoot Ted’s Luna Sandals that has been a game changer for me. There’s always been a big world of ultra runners out there that I never gave much notice to but now I see a possible way in, by running in Luna Sandals. Interestingly enough, Barefoot Ted plays an important role in the pages of “Born to Run.” McDougall does not shrink from painting his subjects in the light he sees fit. At first, he finds Barefoot Ted to be brash and overzealous. However, he is ultimately won over by the sheer fact that Barefoot Ted knows what he’s doing. Leave it to him to cover a rocky jagged terrain in blistering heat, and he’ll give it a go with his bare feet. Just imagine what he can accomplish in the right pair of sandals? Back then, there was only the Vibram FiveFingers. Now, there’s also Barefoot Ted’s Luna Sandals. Try them out yourself. You can visit the Luna Sandal website here. And you can view me testing out my Luna Sandals right below:

I chose the Mono sandal which is right between the Venado and the Oso. You’ll want to check out the Luna Sandal website to see the difference in each. They are all running sandals so no worries there. It’s a question of finding the right fit for you. Once you get your pair, you just take a leap of faith. You may wonder if the strap will come loose or if it will be too tight. Well, you can adjust the straps and, if you should have any difficulty, which should be rare, the Luna staff will be there for you. I didn’t experience any problems on getting a secure fit. While running, the grip of the thong between your toes might tug but that’s perfectly natural. What happens, without any great effort on your part, is a natural running gait. I did feel my back straighten up. I felt an ease in my knees. Everything felt in place. It’s an exciting feeling and it encourages you to run more. On top of that, since you’re running as if barefoot, you’re in tune with the ground and you’re in tune with your body. You’re like you were meant to be, born to run.


Filed under Book Reviews, Books, Creative Living, Creativity, Exercise, Health, Reviews, Sandals, Sports

2 responses to “Review: Luna Sandals and the ‘Born to Run’ Minimal Experience

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