I was fortunate enough to have my friend over at Baring My Soles send me a pair of wool laces to test out. I am glad she did because she made my Luna Sandal wearing experience 100% better.
For me, the Original Luna Sandals are nearly perfect. It is just a piece of rubber and leather that you step on. They feel very close to barefoot but there are two problems that can cause discomfort.
- They connect to your foot with laces that run between your toe and can rub
- The toes strap uses a knot which you step on and can become very noticeable and annoying
Each type of strap/string has its own pros on cons concerning these two issues. Taking these in order, lets dive into how the wool laces compare.
The wool laces above all else are comfortable. Amazingly comfortable. They are soft and fairly inelastic so they provide a secure fit without causing blisters, chafing, or hot spots. They tie well and stay where they should. They also do well when wet as wool doesn’t hold water well. Wool fibers aren’t elastic so they don’t stretch when wet. The weave is what stretches with wool so once stretched wet or dry they shouldn’t change much.
They stretch a little. Generally I have to retie mine every third run because they have stretched out. I’m assuming that this will stop once they have reached some equilibrium point.
- The knot has been my biggest annoyance with these sandals. My goal with all of the laces is to make the knot disappear. With the wool laces the standard knot is only slightly noticeable. I played with it a bit and came up with the perfect solution. I will go into detail on knots in a week or two but have solutions for all of the laces that effectively remove the knot from being obtrusive. However, using the standard overhand knot, the knot is almost unnoticeable. The durability of wool is great and a single knot has lasted 30 miles with no noticeable wear.
In the end where do the wool laces fit? I see them as a hemp alternative. The 1/4″ leather is a bit more secure feeling but nothing can compare to the comfort of the wool. Getting your Luna’s to be comfortable is about 3 things in my mind. Toe comfort, knot size, and lacing security. If I were to give my wife a pair of Luna’s (which I’m planning on doing) they would be laced with the wool laces. Good security with premium comfort and easily tied.
What’s a good blog post without pictures. Here are some select pictures from the last two weeks of trying to get these sandals to feel right. I’ve had lots of failures but feel that I finally have it right.
Loop used instead of knot which reduced the bump on the underside. I eventually took this loop and plasticized it
Use this to make moldable plastic. In 3 days you have steel like strength in any shape you want.
Traditional knot vs. Plasticized knot. This was a terrible idea. The plasticized knot was like stepping on a boulder. Back to the drawing board.
Traditional knot vs. Plasticized wool
Traditional vs. Smashed plasticized wool. Before it fully hardens it can be shaped. I smashed mine in the vice to flatten it out. Better but still noticeable due to the abrupt edges.
Plasticized Wool after Sanding. Seriously tough stuff. I had 36 grit sandpaper on my belt sander and it took awhile to sand this down. Now the knot can not be felt at all. Perfect!
Final Product – Long lasting and nonobtrusive
Wool laces in action
The wool didn’t need to be plasticized but if makes me feel more confidant that it will last. For reference the knot had almost no wear on it after 30 miles (both plasticized and traditional). These laces are light and would be a great backup on a run. If you were concerned about rubbing leather laces on a long run, bring these with just in case. Better yet, just use these. Finally, wool laces are 100% different than the Equus laces. If you don’t like your Luna’s because of the laces, try these and you will be surprised how different your Luna’s feel.