Luna Sandals Review: Part 2 – Offroading: Running in Balboa Park

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Back to the run again. After my last foray into running with my sandals I have to say, I had no foot pain and while my legs were sore it a normal every day sort of sore after a five mile run for me. If anything the bay front run in it’s romantic glory left me enamored with my Luna Sandals, but I wasn’t done with the test.

As of Tuesday, I was still in San Diego, but I wanted some rough and tumble trails to go around on to test the out how the minimalist runners would hold up to different terrains.

I had a bunch of questions because my five finger kmd sport ls shoes slip a little in the sand, but they’re nearly perfect for light gravel. In fact the only thing they weren’t good for was the razor sharp limestone around my hometown’s Good Water Trail.

But honestly I’m not sure what shoes would work on parts of that trail. So, I needed something a little easier to test this out on, so I headed over to the canyons in Balboa Park. It’s a pretty iconic park and I’ll get around to doing a post on it when I really get a chance to explore.

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The main questions I had for the Lunas:

1) Did they slip on the sand going up or down hill?

2) Did I feel sharp rocks through them?

3) Did sand or gravel get on the top foot bed?

They didn’t slip. In fact I’d say if anything they are not only grippier than my KMD five fingers, they’re actually better than the Bikalas with the thicker sole and chunkier tread. It isn’t like the sandals have a thick chunky tread, it’s a pretty smooth surface. But even with some of the hills I tackled at a near 45% grade, they held as good as any other shoes I’ve had.

Going down hill it’s the same story. If you’re foot placement and form are good, these light weight shoes will let you glide down.

The rocks as you can see in the photo above look neither terribly big nor sharp, but they had a few sharp edges along the trail. You do feel the rocks, but after years of running in five fingers, I’d say I didn’t feel the rocks as much as in my KMDs. Abused feet like mine are probably a little less inclined to sensation in the small pebble area, but the Lunas are just a little bit thicker and they spread the pressure out nicely.

Number three is a biggie. It could make or break these shoes.

Honestly, what I expected was to have to stop constantly to pick gravel out of my shoes. Or perhaps worse, to slip on sand and get blisters from where the sand grabbed on to the straps and rubbed.

But that’s not what I got.

Nope, while sand got on the sandals and I did kick a few bits of gravel, through a three mile run, the gravel never got between the foot and the rubber. The straps didn’t rub, and the sand didn’t build up or rub.

So my verdict. I’m all for these little shoes. They’re great lightweight shoes for trail running or street running. If you have a problem with sliding or are worried about it, buy one of the pairs with a good tread. They don’t seem to practical for winter unless you want to run with toe socks or neoprene booties, and they definitely wont protect you from cactus or thorns. But I’ll be running my luna venados and alternating with my five fingers.

Have fun on the trail out there! And Check Back for my post on Balboa Park!
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About Sean Smith

Husband, Father, Pastor, Swimmer, Writer, Reader, and attempted Adventurer!
This entry was posted in Fitness, Travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Luna Sandals Review: Part 2 – Offroading: Running in Balboa Park

  1. I just got me a pair of these after much deliberation. Now I can’t wait to get them out on my local trails. Thanks for the review 🙂

    • Sean Smith says:

      I hope you enjoy them! I’m getting ready to write an update on using them for longer trail runs after getting a blister, you have to keep the thong twisted in the right direction (the fold in the thong strap stays towards the big toe). Outside of that, they are my favorite shoes to run in!

      Thanks for reading!

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