Luna Origen Review – First Impressions

It’s no secret I’m a bit of a Luna addict, so it’s no surprise that I have yet another pair of Lunas to run in. There are other Luna sandals that I’ve looked at and not considered buying, but when I saw the Origen, I was suckered in. They are actually made, in part, out of tyres! So, last Wednesday I decided I’d waited enough, visited LunaSandals.com and ordered a pair.

By Friday, I was amazed as always, as to how quickly they arrived from the US. Then I got them out the FEDEX envelop and first impression was their weight. They’re heavier than any of the other sandals I own, but then I flipped them over and grinned.  

There’s something oddly rad about having some tyres strapped to your feet when you’re running, so the day after, despite feeling a little ropey (virus induced as apposed to alcohol!), I headed out to one of my favourite trail routes.
The route is actually a great mix for testing shoes out, with a mix of sharp rocks, polished limestone, mud, concrete and gravel trails, so the Lunas were strapped on, adjusted and it was time to have a little gentle trot.

All strapped up and ready to go

The first thing you’ll notice if you’ve ran in any other Lunas is how bouncy these things are. They seem to flex and mould to any and every bump and groove in the trail, but they gave enough protection so that no sharp bits of rock stabbed the sole of my feet. I did notice the difference in weight in these sandals, and I started off being a bit more sloppy than I should be usually. Now, I’m not sure if this is because of the density of the tyre rubber, the weight or just bad form on the day, but after a few minutes of running they got quieter.

As soon as I got off the road leading to the trail, I knew the sandals were awesome. They handled everything the trail had to offer, giving just enough grip in the mud, just enough ground feel on the tricky technical sections and surprisingly good grip on the wet polished limestone rocks! This last bit surprised me as there is nothing known to man that can grip polished limestone. So after 6 miles, I’m a fan.

They seemed to grip everything from mud to polished limestone trails!

Testing the flex in he sandalss on a rocky river bed. they seem to flex and mould to the terrain tge way your feet would.

What are the sandals like in comparison to other Lunas?
I’d place them at the perfect midway point between the Oso and the Leadville Pacers. I think they have the same foamy rubber mid section as the Mono (or at least the top feels like the same rubber), so I’m going to presume they will mould to my feet as I put the miles in, and I’m actually looking forward to giving them a baptism of fire on the gnarly terrain of Mordoresc Crib Goch and Tryfan in Snowdonia at some point very soon.

Getting more to the point, they are heavier and more protective when you compare them to the Leadville’s and I think they are going to mould better and quicker, but they are more flexible and match the form of the trail better than the Oso, feeling a little less stiff from the off.

Only more miles will tell if they are going to be a repeat purchase in the future, but first impressions are that these are going to be a favourite for most of the trail runs I do, the Leadville Pacer’s have been relegated and the Oso will come out for those days where I want to feel the extra responsiveness that the stiffer Oso give.

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They’re Not Flip-flops! They’re Sandals! A Love Affair With Nylon & Rubber

  As odd as it seems, I tend to get more comments when running in my Lunas than I do running barefoot.  Maybe it’s the utter disbelief that someone would actually run with no shoes on that stops the comments, but regardless, there seems to be something about wearing them that attracts people attention.

Now, I’ve tried huarache sandals in the past, and I really didn’t like them, but something about the Lunas kept catching my attention.  Maybe it was the fact that I’d read about Barefoot Ted and seen some of the videos he’s posted on the internet, maybe it was the fact that they just looked and sounded good to run in, or maybe it was all the positive reviews I read.  Either way, I’ve ended up with a few pairs (3 to be exact) and really do enjoy running in them.

Running barefoot is not like running in barefoot style shoes.  You may think your stride and movements are the same, but I’ve grown to realise that actually…  They aren’t!

So what makes Lunas different, and why have I considered them as a sound footwear choice in case I need them between the 26th of July and whenever it is I finish this adventure?

  1. They are just simply comfortable!  There’s no more to it than that on this score.
  2. They don’t seem to effect the way I run.  This has actually surprised me, especially since comparing the wear pattern on the bottom of my sandals, they are actually different to the wear pattern on my “barefoot” shoes.
  3. Your feet don’t get that nasty trenched look if you are running in wet, boggy terrain.
  4. Blisters are a thing of the past!
  5. They are super easy to put on and take off.
  6. Grit is easily removed and mud between your foot and the foot bed (which is a problem) is solved by running through puddles.
  7. There is more toe space than any other shoe.  I know this is obvious, but I think this is the key to getting your movement mechanics right.
  8. They last around 1000-2000 miles!  This is ridiculous to me.  I’ve spent so much money on shoes that generally last me around 200-300 mile of running, which is actually only a coupe of months max.  These cost less than the average shoe and last 3-5 times longer.
  9. You get to call yourself a Lunatic.

I could keep going on an on about how great they are, but they are the main points that make them so good if you are wanting to go minimal.  Over the next week or so, I am going to have to make a decision about which sandals I am taking with me on my journey, so I guess the next thing to do is to write a little post about each one and the reasons behind my eventual choice.

Barefoot Ted…..  Thanks for going to that canyon and learning how to make these bad boys!  They really are amazing to run in 🙂

Train The Body, Train The Mind – Reaching Exhaustion The Night Before The Day After 

Tuesday, May 26th

I wake up and do the normal routine of some random exercises.  Then it’s a walk to get shopping, fuel up, rehydrate, and generally get plans for the next day in place.

Then I have some time to spare after doing some publicising stuff and speaking briefly to Vicky at Stroke Association’s Media Team.  So, I go to the gym, heart rate monitor on and on the treadmill.  I up the pace until I get to a comfortable heart rate.   This is how I train.  Not based on pace, which doesn’t really tell me if I’m using sugar or fat.  23 minutes later it’s on the rowing machine with 500m row followed by 5kg medicine ball, single leg squats (5 reps each leg) and repeat 4 times.

Then I have half an hour to refuel again!  Thank goodness for Tailwind.  It doesn’t need digesting to be absorbed so I know after about 10-15 minutes that sugar is in and working its magic.  Then it’s one for crossfit.

1 hour of pull ups, followed by pressups (3 pull ups, quick up and hold, slow down, 3 pressups slow down, hold and quick up), then some wall climbers, followed by a WOD.  5 burpees, 300 row, squaring and then launching a medicine ball at a wall, over box jumps, and then sit ups all until the timer reaches 14 minutes.  After 60 squats and throwing the ball up my legs felt used.  1.5 litres of Tailwind later and the workout is done.  My legs feel used and I have that glorious hazy feeling that accompanies a tiring workout. 

Tomorrow will the real mental challenge.  35 miles of running with the current full LeJog kit. Now I just have to refuel, rehydrate and get myself focused on the end of night camp site, somewhere in the hols surrounding Hathersage in Derbyshire.  As Barefoot Ted said in his brief and to the point message to me earlier today….

“Let the adventure begin” 

😀