Lately, I’ve been curious about running in Huaraches. I recently spoke with evolutionary biologist, Daniel Lieberman on the podcast and he mentioned that he likes to run in them. Another thing that piqued my interest in huaraches was watching Xero Shoes on Shark tank. Now that summer is here and the temperature is rising, it would be nice to have something to just slip on for a run.
Barefoot Ted is the owner of Luna Sandals, and Luna seemed like sturdy pair of Huaraches to start with. I ordered a pair for both my wife and I. I decided to go with the Mono because it is an all around sandal that has just enough cushion so it can be worn on trails and road. When ordering you have the 3 footbed options: suede, leather or Monkey Grip. I went with the Monkey Grip footbed, as it is supposed to have improve traction in wet conditions. Also, because I have an extremely wide forefoot I chose to pay extra to order the custom sandals where you trace your foot and email the tracing to Luna.
Fit & Function
Getting the straps to fit was a bit of a challenge, and requires some experimenting. The heel strap is elastic, which allows you to easily slip them on and off. Once I started running I began to notice a few things that were a little concerning. First, the stitching on the logo started to rub against the top of my foot. Maybe I had the straps too tight? I stopped, adjusted the straps and kept going. I picked up the pace slightly to around a 6:30 min/mile pace and noticed my heel slipping out the back of the sandal. Too loose, I stopped to adjust again. I backed off to around 8 min pace and things started to feel better. Still, they felt a little sloppy on my feet, but maybe that was something I needed to get used to.
Hot-spots, Blisters & Monkey Grip
After about a mile I started to notice a distinct hot-spot on my heels and ball of foot. Was the Monkey Grip footbed too strong for my delicate feet? It seems that the Monkey Grip was gripping a little too well and causing some serious hot-spots on the bottoms of my feet.
My next trip with the Mono was a 2.5 mile walk. My wife was wearing her Mono sandals as well. After about 1.5 miles I looked at my wife and said, “do your feet feel like they’re burning or is it just my feet?”, “yes, I think I have blisters on both feet” she said. This was definitely something to do with the sandals and perhaps the Monkey Grip footbed. It seemed to be gripping both of our feet a little too well. When we got back from our walk, we felt like the bottoms of our feet had rug burns. My wife’s feet had 2 well developed blisters.
Maybe it was the Monkey Grip footbed, maybe our feet were not used to wearing Luna sandals, but I can’t see myself using the Luna Mono, at least with the Monkey Grip footbed. I might try out the leather footbed to see what it is like. If you are going to give Luna sandals a try I would recommend getting the suede or leather footbed, maybe you’ll have better luck than I did. Also, you can try Luna’s risk free as they have a 30 day money back guarantee.
What has your experience been while wearing sandals when running? Let me know by posting your comments below.