Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve done a review huh? I better make this one good, or at least make it appear good.
Folks, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Luna. I really have. I WANTED to love their Luna Equus, in fact, I gave them much longer than my typical review time, and I just couldn’t entirely fally in love with them. I WANTED to love the ATS, but I can’t say that I do…I WANTED to love the originals, and I can finally say that I DO! We’ll get into the various reasons in a bit. This review is going to be a review of the different footbed and lacing options that I’ve gone with. With somthing like Luna Sandals, I think this is the best way to go with a relatively comprehensive review. Plus, it is gonna give you a good idea of the customization that makes reviewing a single model difficult. All that awesomeness wrapped up in one post…I spoil you. I really do.
Let’s talk about the laces from Luna that I’ve tried. I’ll give you the pros and cons of each system, then select my preferred lace at the end? I’ll follow the same lay out for the foot bed options too. Savvy?
The elasticized laces and I have pretty rough history. The theory behind them is solid, and they work for countless people. For me though, they were less than disappointing.
A set and forget system. Once you get the lace dialed in, you lock it down and don’t have to fidget with it everytime you put the sandal on. This was my experience. Once I FINALLY got the lace dialed in, it set in place until I needed to move it. Plus, it made slipping the sandals on very easy. In fact, putting the sandals on with this lacing system is by far the easiest method. Thanks to the elasticity, sliding your foot in is a piece of cake, and you don’t have to worry about retying them afterwards.
The lace doesn’t dig into your foot in between the toes. This is because they attached the lace to a piece of durable ribbon that sits between your toes. This was done purely for comfort, and it succeeded on many levels. It allows people that are new to huaraches to comfortably wear the sandals without the common between the toe pain.
There actually isn’t a lot of negative things to say about the system. However, the one negative that I do have is a deal breaker for me.
Luna used a rubber sleeve as a means of protection for the joint where the rubber and ribbon are sewn together. This sleeve sits on top of your foot, and in practice shouldn’t cause a problem. However, the edges of the rubber sleeve are sharp…In fact, on more than one occasion they cut my foot and rubbed a giant patch of skin off. This happened regardless of how tight or loose the lacing was, and made the lacing system unwearable for me. I eventually just cut the sleeve off, and that alleviated the problem, but I still think a better piece of rubber could be used. Cutting the sleeve off also ruined the aesthetic in my opinion. So there is that.
On a minor note, the laces take longer to get dialed in. So the learning curve on these is higher than the others. This is due to the elastic nature of the lace. So it’s a double edge sword. Once it’s right, it’s right for life, but getting it that way takes a ton of time.
Latigo Leather Laces- 3/8 in
Comfortable! Once the natural oils from your feet soak into these laces, they feel like buttah. This doesn’t take that long either. Only a few days of heavy wear and they’ll feel fantastic across your foot.
Long enough for a traditional tying method.
Performs well when wet. This really surprised me. I thought they wouldn’t do well when wet, but I was really surprised. In fact, out of the three options I’ve used, these performed the best in rainy conditions.
Secure. The width of these laces, and the lack of elasticity make for a very secure feeling around your foot. I never feel like that sandal is going to slip off, and when running down hill my foot stays locked into place. This was a problem for the elasticized lacing. I feel safe making cuts on trails with this lacing option, and that really surprised me.
Cheap. Sorry it has to be included. The price of these laces really works in their favor.
Thickness might irritate area between the toes for some. Unlike the elasticized laces, there isn’t a ribbon between the toes. So new sandal wearers might want to opt for the thinner option.
Durability. Even with the countersunk option they’ve gone too, the laces still touch the ground, and are bound to wear down. This is less of an issue thanks to the counter sunk option, but the knot is still going to wear out.
Length: Unless you are opting for a traditional tying method, you are going to have to cut the lace. The problem with doing so is if you cut too much off…You’re screwed. So you’ll probably be trimming these down. Keep in mind that the knot WILL eventually break…So you’ll want to save a bit of lace to make a new knot.
I had a rough time finding a reason to like these laces. They remind me of the Unshoes lacing system, and I constantly found myself wanting my unshoes laces instead of these.
Out of all the laces, I dislike these the most.
Material- I just don’t find the material very comfortable. It scratched my foot in several places, and made them unwearable for long stretches.
Buckle system- Luna attempted a new method of adjusting your laces…A sliding buckle system much like the one on the unshoes. Unfortunately, my buckle doesn’t work very well. To get the lace to move through the buckle I find myself having to take the sandal off…This kind of defeats the purpose. The fault here is not in the system, but in the thickness of the material. It’s too thick to move through the buckle with ease.
RUBBER SLEEVES- Ok Ok, one rubber sleeve was enough with the elasticized laces. But the ATS, they took the level of torture from irritating to painful. Not only do they have rubber sleeves on the connection between the toes, they have rubber sleeves on the connections around the heel…Not only did I lose skin on top of my foot, I lost it on the sides just under my ankle as well. This made running with this lace absolutely miserable.
Ok, so now that you know what I liked/disliked/hated about each lace, which ones would I recommend you get? I’d recommend the original latigo leather laces. They provide the most bang for the your buck. Sure, they may not be as conventient as the elasticized laces, but I think that they are the better option. They are the best option for running by a long ways, and they hold their own against the elastic laces for day to to day wear. I’ve replaced ALL my laces with the 3/8in latigo laces, and couldn’t be happier.
I’d stay as far away from the ATS as possible. Maybe those issues won’t bother you, but for me they are deal breakers entirely.
Finding a winner for the footbeds was more difficult than it was for the lacing systems. Each footbed is good, but one finally made its way to the front for good.
This is Luna’s premier sandal. Their top notch, their show stopper, or at least it’s billed that way.
Cordovan leather: Once broken in this is foot bed will mold to your foot and is the thinnest model that Luna offers. The leather feels great under your foot, and is the major selling point of the footbed.
Groundfeel: Once broken in, the groundfeel of these sandals is unparalleled. I’d put in on par with the Invisible Shoes.
Style: These sandals really look world class. They are nice enough to be worn to casual events where flip flops would be in appropriate. I even spotted a pair being strutted across the stage at my sister’s high school graduation.
Expensive. Sorry, no way around it. These sandals aren’t cheap. The leather is high quality and the price reflects it.
Break in time. Once the sandal is broken in the comfort is unbeatable. However, breaking these things in is hit or miss. As is the case with my pair, the leather was pretty dried out when I got it. Combine that with a dry summer here in oklahoma, and the oils from your feet won’t be enough to break them in alone. I had to buy a leather conditioner and have to apply the conditioner once a month for the leather to maintain it’s moisture and suppleness. It’s a small price to pay, but a price to pay none the less.
This is a trail specific model. It’s built for trails and in that regard it delivers.
Naked top is fantastic for running on dusty dirty trails. Also maintains grip when running through a creek bed or in the rain.
Perfect thickness. At 8mm this foot bed is the perfect thickness for trails. It’s not so thick that you can’t feel the ground, but it’s not so thin as to feel every small stone underfoot.
These sandals have a lot going for them. However, I don’t recommend running them on single track smooth trails. They just aren’t necessary. I’d stick with something thinner. Same goes for day to day wear and road running. They aren’t meant for that and you are doing them a big disservice by using them in that way.
Basically the only con is one that is user imposed. Keep to the gnarly trails for these and you’ll be more than happy.
Ahh, the originals, the middle of the roaders, the building block for all things Luna
This foot bed does all things well. Road running, day to day use, trail running, this model handels it all.
Groundfeel: while not as high as the Equus, it provides adequate groundfeel for just about every application you could want to use them for.
Suede top: Provides comfort and a bit of style. Breaks in much faster than the Cordovan leather.
Denser rubber makes for a more “plush” ride. It’s not squishy by any means, but it provides a bit of comfort between your foot and the ground that is missing from the Equus.
Price…Again, the original is the cheapest way to go.
Only found one problem. The suede top can get slippery when it’s REALLY wet out. I mean torrential rain. That’s really the only issue I’ve had with the originals.
Again, I recommend the originals. They do everything you could want your sandal to do, except handle maybe the gnarliest of gnarly trails. I liked all 3 of the foot beds for different reasons. The Equus is my go to when I’m just out and about for the day or at a nicer event in the summer.
The original is my go to for running when I’m wearing my Lunas. They just do everything well.
I wear the ATS when I’m headed out in the Whichita mountain range and need a bit of meat between my feet and the ground. They make the cacti around the desert mountains much less frightening.
You can’t go wrong with a footbed from luna. That choice should solely be made based on their use. I’d never buy the ATS as an everyday sandal. Just like I wouldn’t get the Equus for trial running. Use your head, and you’ll be happy individual.
So for a total package sandal and what I’d recommend people for people is the Original Luna with a suede top with the original Latigo laces. It really is the best option offered by Luna, and it’s the cheapest too. Sometimes you can’t do much better than a classic.
Until next time,