Run A Race Barefoot (OPERATION BUCKET LIST)

By SOLO

“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair”.
– Kahlil Gibran

Screen Shot 2016-08-20 at 6.52.37 PM

Why would I want to run a race barefoot? Not sure. But it’s on the bucket list, so that’s good enough for me. I figure there are enough items on there that I have spent years mulling over, so a couple of random ones just balance the heavy ones out.

And yes, I did get out on a trail once, completely barefoot. And ran. Kind of.

It hurt.

So, when it came to actually running the race, I decided that barefoot STYLE of running would have to do.

feet

I have worn Luna sandals quite extensively already, and even took them for a jog on a beach in Costa Rica. (Or was it Nicaragua? I remember the beach, but for the life of me, cannot remember the country).

IMG_1105e

Notice the indentations in the surface of the sandal? Those are made by your feet over time – just like the ass indentation on your favorite couch. 🙂

For my “barefoot running” experience, I was looking for a short distance trail race, preferably with mostly non-technical terrain, as I was not sure how the sandals would hold up.

The most recent 5 Peaks Trail Race met the criteria nicely – 6.7km on well packed double track trail. The terrain was a mix of packed soil, grass and gravel.

The reactions from fellow runners have been interesting. Many did a double take, noticing my feet. A couple wondered if I forgot my shoes. An older woman approached me after the race, pointing at my sandals accusingly, and asked: “Don’t your feet hurt now?”.

Umm, no. Do yours?

A word of caution… Please do not just randomly throw on a pair of Lunas (or any other minimalist footwear), and head out for a run (or a race). It may seem this is exactly what I have done, however,  I have been experimenting with different shoes for years, and shifting to less support very slowly.

My first pair of running shoes (that I specifically bought for running) was the most supportive model that Saucony made at the time.

PicMonkey Collage1

My next pair came a year later, and it was EVER-SO-SLIGHTLY-LESS-SUPPORTIVE pair of Brooks.

PicMonkey Collage2

And so it went. VERY VERY slowly.

Some observations:

  • I could definitely feel some of the sharper gravel under my feet. If the terrain was mostly gravel, I think I’d opt out for a more aggressive sole (like Leadville).
  • Running downhill, I found myself being a bit more careful, not sure if my toes would slide forward and catch the ground, but that did not happen.
  • Running uphill resulted in a lovely springy stride – think running up the stairs. The uphill slog where you drag your feet is practically impossible wearing these, so you are either hopping up, or you are walking.
  • I was wondering how the sandals would hold up if they got wet, thinking that the surface may get slippery – having run some dewed grass, once again this concern did not materialize. I can also see how having so little on your feet can be beneficial with multiple water crossings, however, I’d be a bit worried if the crossings were rocky, rather than sandy.
  • I found the sandal to be a bit uncomfortable where the strap pushed against the skin between my toes. However, the pair that I have is also a tad too small – and this may indeed be the problem, according to experienced runners. There are also a number of adjustments that I can do on the straps, so I am looking forward to playing around with those.

IMG_1103

Conclusions?

I already loved these sandals, and after having run a race in them, I love them even more. I do not see myself running long distances in these any time soon, and I am still a Salomon fan through and through.

However, I love the fact that I can throw a pair of these in my backpack, travel extra light, and still have a pair of shoes that I can wear for a quick morning run.

I am also officially done with regular flip flops. Why wear those, if I can wear sandals that allow me to break into a run at any moment?

***********

For those curious about Luna Sandals, you are in for a treat. Luna Mono with Performance laces is, perhaps, one of the most versatile models, and is a solid place to start. You can also try the Leadville Trail or the Leadville Gordo for something a bit more aggressive.

Scott Smuin, the company’s CEO, promises that they have some really exciting developments coming soon. I did steal a sneak peek at some of the products coming down the pipe line, and can attest that the excitement is warranted!

Ready to buy? Use “SOLOSAMIGOS20” discount code for 20% OFF. And no, I do not make commission on these – I just love the sandals. 🙂

Hugs,
SOLO

*Disclaimer: Please note that while this gear item was provided to me free of charge, I only agree to review products that I would personally use. Under no circumstances have I been paid to write any positive reviews. Anything you read here is my independent opinion based on personally testing the gear. 

Share
Posted August 29, 2016

Subscribe

Instagram

Load More
Something is wrong. Response takes too long or there is JS error. Press Ctrl+Shift+J or Cmd+Shift+J on a Mac.

Categories

SOLO on Facebook