The Luna Sandals are mentioned here because my buddy Don Tamm began using them for an ultra-marathon. I was curious. Sandals are great to have for a variety of uses; beach wear, shower shoes, or walking around town. No one wants to be in shoes all the time and the open and freeing-feeling they give is good when the feet need time away from confining boots and shoes.
Don had been running in the Brooks line of shoes for almost 2 decades. Finally he switched over to the Altra line of minimal shoes last year out of desperation. He had a nagging IT band problem that stayed with him for years and he wanted to find a solution. He tried doing long-term physical therapy, he tried going back to distance biking (something that he’s really amazing at) to exercise his legs differently, he even took time off but none of it worked.
He first went with the minimal feel of the Altras. I asked him how they were. He said it took him about a month to get into the feel of the shoes. You end up feeling the ground more with every foot fall. For those who like to understand how their feet strike the ground, a minimal shoe is optimal, as it allows you to correct your gait. Don, was running 15 miles a day and his calves were blowing up to the size of hot air balloons because his gait was changing. Once his connective tissue and muscles got used to the added strain, he began to build up the strength to withstand the daily stresses on the various terrain he was climbing.
But the Lunas were an interesting idea for him. He wanted to get a barefoot, minimal feel, because he thought they’d really get him back to zero (basically a reset); before the IT pain all started. I called him today and asked about the Luna sandals. He said, other than in winter, he won’t go back to regular shoes ever again when he runs. He said it’s because they feel free on his feet and he likes that for running. All the IT pain is gone. To think he put up with that for 3 years and didn’t see a solution in sight. Now, he puts up to 6 hour days in the Lunas.
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