Luna Sandals and the Monkey Man – Barefoot Ted

luna sandals

luna sandals

YES!  Thats the easiest way to get you into my frame of reference concerning these here sandals which are based on the Tarahumara sandal design –

The company started by Barefoot Ted McDonald in 2006 or so and has grown steadly to have a sweet variety of sandals from Vegan to Dead Animal to Hemp and all of them rock as best we can tell from our personal experience and the experience of others and reading reviews online.

I am the only one currently using Lunas’ on our ride and they work great for pedaling long distances as my feet are FREE!  I am super stoked about the addition of Ergon Pedals [review coming] to my bike making use of Vibrams and Lunas’ so much smoother.

I had never really thought of a sandal as a running shoe, but hey, Im just one guy, learning as quick as I can.  I walked in them for about a month before using them on runs in order to break them in and for me to really get a chance to learn about them thereby avoiding any aches and sprains…. smart ninja… I have run, walked, balanced precariously on slick stones in the ocean and ridden some miles on my bike.  These rock and are a great suuplement to those of us who want the benefit of barefoot health and yet are still too lazy to cut up an old tire and make thier own=]huaraches, tarahumara sandals

As for now, the best I can say is that these are my favorite footwear.  Second of course are my Vibrams, another minimalist shoe that was the brainchild of Barefoot Ted and the Vibram CEO Tony Post.  As with the Vibram, the cost is relatively high for the amount of material used, but thats the breaks for being healthy in this day and age.  Given the money the average person spends on alcohol and various other things which do naught but bring down our bodies, these would be a wise investment indeed.

I havent used them for long distance runs as i still am happy to do those on the beach.  Once I get some real miles on these flippy floppies, ill be able to give those of you who are more avid runners better feedback.  For now, know these are rad and check out what others runners are saying about them online, this may well be the next evolution in your running game.

Motivation from my Parents, if you think you cant change, think again and get on with your days…

My father is 71 or 72, I usually get these dates and ages wrong, my Mom is 63 or maybe 65, i know her b-day is the same day as their wedding anniversary, and I only know this to be in the latter half of April..

They have been married for 42 years, which means that they have had the same home phone number for 43.

they got a cell phone 3 years ago as an offer from AAA and only turn it on when making a call to someone… on the weekends when they have free minutes.  In turning it on and off, they have the look of James Bond disarming a nuclear device.

They do not have cable television nor do they have a computer.

Most of the appliances they have are older than me… by a lot and yet they look as though they were just purchased yesterday.

They have now one car, a Ford Taurus, ’93 model which, looks, brand new even though it has over 100k, and yet, for a car that old, that really isn’t a lot is it?…

It would be an understatement to say they are set in their ways.  From routine doctor appointments, to waking up at 4.30 am to be at the local gym at precisely such and such a time when they open, the refrigerator was always, and still is in precise detail, everything labeled and clean, leftovers are even given a date with little pieces of tape and the fare was always relatively the same, with pork chops on this day, meatloaf on that, scrambled eggs here, and cheese there, the right cereals as based upon the ever omnipotent USDA Food Pyramid (given the current state of transparency in our government regarding Monsanto and ConAgra, we see what a joke this is)…

All in all, they were set and happy to live out their days as shining examples of what you will become if you do everything according to the “book” so to speak…  You now, degree, job, white picket fence, etc.

And then, one day, in the midst of making small changes, like adding more fresh veggies and fruits into their diet, my dad almost died from being taken off a medication he had been prescribed some 13 years ago, an anti anxiety pill.  He was taken off it and promptly tried to commit suicide not once, but twice, to include snatching the pills from the evidence bag in the hospital after asking the nurse for water and once she left to get it, down the hatch with the pills!

Needless to say, things got stirred up in a major way.  You may or may not be able to imagine what a feeling of sheer emptiness this can give a person, especially a son, to come so close to losing a father in such a horrid way…  I still cannot imagine what my mother must have felt like..

This was well over a year ago…

Now, you will see the same in their home, until you peek just a little closer.

There is no longer sugary sweets, meat or dairy in the fridge.  No longer is it a must to be at the gym at o-dark-hundred, nor are regular shoes worn any longer, my father has opted for Vibram 5 fingers and my mom now walks the inside track BAREFOOT!

They are forcing the doctors to do something they would never voluntarily do, and that is demand that my father be made well so that he takes – NO MORE PILLS!!!!!  Can you believe it, with the American Medical system, to demand this and to actually be seeing it through!  This is true, this is not a hoax!

Due to the diet shift, my father is no longer diabetic, they are traveling again, enjoying one anothers company again in a way they never would have realized possible, truly, a fundamental shift in all they do, and it matters to them beyond words, taking life as it comes rather than planning so far in advance, allowing the days slip by unnoticed….  they are alive again.  How many times thhey told me that this is simply how thhey are and how things are and thats that, and now, I find myself wondering who these people are!

They practice Yoga together, and my father is re-discoverinng his practice of transcendental meditation.  They have a small garden in the backyard and really look forward to cooking with one another in a completely new way where many of their meals are now experiments.

They come visit me in Mexico and go for walks alone at dusk in a place they have never been, in a world that demands them to be so fearful of this place I am surprised they came and blown away that they are out and about cruising by themselves….

You dig?

Change is only easy once you start, and then, you cant stop, you simply need to start, it is never too late.  All that seems to matter in this process of growth is that you allow it to shape you more than you shape it, give the process the freedom to do what it wants, you end up a hippie on a bike with a dream and a far away look, perhaps it is right to go for it, to simply embrace a different way of being regardless of how fearful you are at first.  With so many stories both small and large, how are you still wondering?  At what point would you allow yourself to believe.  I no longer feel that there isn’t a story that hasn’t been told, we know we are amazing, that things are wonderful and there is so much more the surface hasn’t even been rippled!

Evolution is happening with every moment that passes by.  Evolution is always happening, adaptations are occurring always in all living things, that is their very nature of being.

You are either going with your personal evolution or you are fighting it.

If you fight it, you cause yourself stress.

Stress is the beginning of the end of everything, from rock, to steel, to bones to hearts and souls and of course, the mind is EXTREMELY susceptible to it!

Do yourself a favor.  Simply allow for change.  Dont know wheere to start… try this, anything will do…  wheneveer you go out of the house, promise youurself thhat you will pick up one piece of litter, everyday, everyytiime, rain or shine, for the rest of your life, somehting that would only serve to help your personal environment, you want it clean every animmal does, it helps your fellow humans for the same reason you benefit, it helps your mind begin to look at the world you live in on so many different levels…

That is just a suggestion, you can really do anything, anything that you would ordinarily not do, perhaps you will simply enoble yourself to say hello to everyone you meet, wherever you are, takes no time at all, literally, nor does picking up trash, you simply do it as part of your normal everyday path….. then you can start to see the change, and then you go, go big, you change and love it.


Vibram 5 Fingers, Komodo Sport and the Trek Sport

Vibram Five Fingers

if you dont like reading and just want the scoop on the shoes in a super simple way….  Ninja Radness…

They’re great for your body to the point that following the learning program [sadly, many of you will need to learn to move again=] will help you heal your body!

Before you get into the review, know that it will be ongoing for the time we have the shoes on our feet, currently I am only writing about my shoes [Chris], Diana reads and if there is anything wrong in my account of what happened, we clear it up, this way you get a two person angle on each pair of shoes used.

she will be putting her reviews out sooner or later=]

General Overview

If you are thinking of the shoe, the online process is great and you get a good shoe, for the best fit, I would strongly suggest gong to a store, ESPECIALLY if you plan on using socks, we are dealing with a ninja shoe, the specifications for fit have much smaller tolerances!

For me this shoe represents the pinnacle of shoe engineering for our time and age for the simple fact that this shoe takes into account the foot as the thing at the end of your leg which must be protected, no, it looks upon the foot as a synergistic blend (am I getting too far out=) of its various components which needs to be further and further pushed and utilized to it’s absolute fullest in order to have the most power from your body, the most strength, essentially, to bring you as close to natures intentions on a large scale.

Shoe fit – Some of my toes do not meet the end of the little pocket made for them, pretty amazing from an online order I reckon, so, no matter, as a whole the shoe works so surprisingly well, that we will be using them soley (get it=) for the ride around the world.  Update we are now also using Luna sandals which are soled by Vibram, so I guess we are still using them… SOLEY, hahaha, to get around the globe… Soley…HA!  sigh….  As for the actual orginal sizing/fitting, by using the video and sizing chart on the website, you may be as lucky as I was with how well they end up being even having not tried it on.  Of course plenty of places sell them where you can try them on and I recommend doing so as the fit is specific and as we are trying out two shoes, different enough to be noticeable.

To date we have used the Vibrams climbing/bouldering, hiking, trail running, biking, yoga-ing and kung fu/tai chi-ing, extreme gardening…  Superb.  These shoes increase ones Kung Fu grip exponentially as they allow for a much more precise flow of information back to the brain from the foot.  The more info, the more Ninja.

The sole is ultra flexible, yet provides a good deal of protection from sharp stones, rocks, not sure about punji sticks, not so good with dry grass blades, they get in-between the toes, but Im sure they will come up with something at some point, if the Spyron hasn’t already addressed the issue, and who knows, maybe its just me.

The ideas about barefoot training and warming your legs and body up to the idea on thier site is fantastic and something that completely skipped my imagination when considering switching from conventional to Ninja.  Kudos to them for really bringing all the necessary info to the table.

This is covered on the site as well, we will have more good stuff up shortly AND, check out Barefoot Ted and his ninja techniques!

Komodo Sport

All apologies for the size of the pic, its the best I could borrow from the website, bigger pics en route –

I have found this to be an indoor shoe, I initially used it for outdoor training and it started to separate on the left front side where the sole meets the upper.  It was a small separation and the shoes were replaced with a pair more suitable for what we have in mind.  The fit was really nice, ordered using the video form the website and then ordering online NEVER trying them on prior anywhere.  When they came, the fit was pretty fantastic.  A bit hard to get on at first, no more difficult than ice skate, snowboard boots, etc.  After using them for a month this is now a moot point, slide right in.  When we told cust. serve, they identified the problem, told me it was an indoor shoe which is why I can sound so official in line one of this paragraph, and sent us what they deemed a suitable replacement!  We are now nearing the one year mark for the shoes, Dianas’ are also slightly separated and we are endeavoring to hold it’s advancement at bay with super glue.  They are doing remarkably well when being used for what they were not intended!

The shoe for me is no longer being used for my outdoor running, well, a little, but I do use it when doing any routine activity, or if I were actually going on a ninja mission, the thickness of the sole gives great sensory input and does a really nice job of protecting your foot.  Grip is good in both wet and dry surfaces as best I can tell, of course the ultimate test would be running on a tin roof in a Hawaiian rain storm, but, happily looking forward on the journey, that test awaits at the finish=]

This would be a sweet yoga shoe, shopping, around the home, lazy afternoon bike rides as long as your bike pedals are not too aggressive in the spikiness.  Using this shoe on a beach walk I only accumulated a 1/4 of a ramekin [the little thing you put condiments in at a restaurant or fine meal] of sand.  Very good as far as I am concerned!

Walking with this shoe on a hard floor gives me a smug sense of regal satisfaction as I get that immensely satisfying clack clack, from my steps and that i am using my whole foot, my posture automatically improves and i walk with a more regal air=]

I suggest you get socks as wearing these barefoot has made them stinky shoes.  I can usually wear them 5 days and then they have to be washed, or 2 heavy days of use.  Easy to wash, in machine, done, use cold water.

Trek Sport –

This is the shoe that was sent to replace the Komodo Sports above and give us a better angle on the kind of use that we were already putting on them and the use that we perceived ourselves as capable of administering on our shoes.

The sole is thicker, has an activated coconut lining, vegan, has a fantastic grip and is fantastic for off road running: from stones to pebbles to drive way gravel, boulders, loose dirt, sand, this shoe really rocks.  Easy to clean, smell quotient is very low due to tricky activated charcoal coconut material.

The only trouble with this shoe seemed to follow me from the other one.  In this instance the  toes began to separate from the sole.  I put to work the discovery form the first shoe which was Super Glue, called Kola Loka here in Mexico.  I have had the opportunity to speak with Justin Owings from Bithdayshoes about this separation and he agrees that it may be a torque related issue, i.e. we are using these for some serious work and play.  For one we are putting in a garden [ you were probably expecting some serious s%$t =] on a roughly 45 degree slope [!], lots of torque, especially when putting the big stones in place.  Super glue has seemed to arrest the problem for the most part.  Over a year and counting, this shoe is ninja.

To give this shoe the depth of feel you need in this type of review, I would feel well equipped if a Zombie Apocalypse occurred and I managed to have or to get these on my feet.

Why are we so stoked…  These shoes in essence help you heal and move correctly – of course to fully understand what we are talking about, you must first get a general idea of the basics – Walking.

You would be surprised at what goes into moving and ninja-ing about and how much covering your feet in regular shoes is much to your detriment, not only in wear and tear on the parts, but highly decreased performance!  Imagine your shoes as casts for your feet, what happens to other body parts when put into a cast?  THATS what happening to your feet!

One idea for Vibram is that they look into making the shoes with recycled tires, to include the kevlar radials, talk about protection!  Lead the way not only in performance, but ecology…!

Review “out of Ten” rating…. drum roll…… – 9 out of 10!  Again, you become a ninja…  Thats saying a lot.

As for the environmental situation and its importance as we see it to outdoor related businesses, we give them a 2 out of 10.  This is separate from the afore mentioned 9 and is not a jab, it simply is, no recycled materials are used and it is made far away.  That being said, its a rad shoe that will make you a ninja if you let it.

Thanks for bringing feeling back to my stride and please think about the use of recycled products being involved in production, you have the ninja shoe!

Mahalo and Aloha!

The pic below is cleaning glass from La Lagunita project in Baja California Mexico.  If you cant let your kid be in an area unsupervised, change the area, not the kid.  To let this happen to nature is a shame and it speaks to us, all of us, the litterers and the non pickeruperers.  Everyone is to blame for a world unfit for children.  Aloha.