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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Natural Born Heroes Review – Kind Of!

Claire, the editor of Trail Running magazine was kind enough to send me a copy of Christopher McDougall’s new book, ‘Natural Born Heroes’ a few weeks back.  The story is based around the adventures of several World War II heroes, working to thwart Nazi progress on the island of Crete, but that’s all I’ll say about the story.  I’m not really qualified to review a piece of literature, so if you enjoy a good story, and don’t mind some simplified scientific ideas, then grab it, read it and just enjoy it. 

Having said that, I’ve slowly trundled my way through it, enjoying the story unfold and even more importantly picking out the nuggets of wisdom that are hidden in the book.  In true McDougall style the book meanders around a main story and repeatedly bounces backwards and forwards, giving an insight into movement efficiency and feeling that movement.

Now, the following is a real short summary of the key points McDougall brings up:

  • Learn to move efficiently.  As humans we evolved to move quickly over lots of different terrain and doing it using muscle power isn’t necessarily the best way of achieving an end goal.  I mentioned this in an earlier post and it was nice to see some evidence based writing to back it up.
  • Learn to burn fat as fuel.  Fad diets aside, this makes perfect sense just based on the energy content of fat per gram.
  • Train to be useful.  This is probably the best bit and in short…  Don’t specialise and be adaptable.  Go for a training run, but throw in a climb or two along the way, pick a route where you have to climb and jump around and learn that all important lesson.  Trust your instinct and let your body instictively workout what it needs to do, including feeling and hydration. 

So, is the book worth a read?

The answer is yes.

Is the book a manual on how to be a heroe or preach about barefoot running, diet change or any of the above billet point?

No.  It mentions them in the context of what the main characters of the book achieved and how they managed it, despite a diet and hydration plan that according to today’s thinking should have caused their death beiges they started. 

I’ve finished the book, it was given to me for free and so it needs a new home and this is how it’s new home will be chosen.  All you have to do is say why the book should make its way to you next by commenting here, on barefootlejog’s Facebook page or tweet @fat_man_runs with the #barefootlejog. 

Best comment gets a free book 😉