Category Archives: Long term test

Pah Tempe Long Term Test – Final

Final Thoughts
The Pah Tempe can be summed up in one word – EASY.  This is the thought that comes to mind most while wearing them.  They are easy to put on, easy to adjust, easy to run in, easy, easy, easy.  I like them for casual use but LOVE them for running.  The level of comfort is amazing.  All of the straps are soft against your feet and I have never had any chafing or strap pain. 

Pros:
Comfortable
Functional
Versatile
No toe strap
Secure
Inexpensive

Cons:
Toe will occasionally catch and fold under (read on to see my modifications)

 

If you are new to minimalist footwear or don’t like toe straps than the Pah Tempe is for you.  There are many other companies like Luna, Invisible Shoes, and Bedrock  to name a few but none offer the toe strap free design.  I personally own 3 different Luna sandals and love them all especially the originals but none compare to ease of use and comfort (especially while running)

Many people have asked if the newflex will mold to your foot.  The answer: Yes! I have to say that they are more comfortable now than when I first received them and love they they are “my foot”

Final Review Time
As a tester, I take the testing of the shoes that are given to me seriously.  All other reviews are just impressions right when they get them. What happens after a year, what about two. Did they fall apart or wear out? After 2.5 years of daily abuse in every possible situation, my Pah Tempe sandals are still going strong. In fact, they are probably better now than they were when they were new.

Check out my video review for the Pah Tempe sandals and watch why  I think they are the best minimalist running sandal on the market.

 

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Filed under Long term test, Review, Running

Pah Tempe Long Term Test – Part 2

I have spent a lot of time running in the Pah Tempe and have loved every minute of it.  Until recently, I couldn’t find any faults, but then, I finally found the Pah Tempe’s kryptonite.  More on this in a bit, but first a little more scrutiny on the front of the sandal.

As a tester, I wanted to provide as much input on the function of the design as possible.  As part of this, I purposely ordered my test pair of Pah Tempe 1/2 size too large.  I wanted to see how important toe length was to the overall function.  As it turns out, it is extremely important.  My first step resulted in the toe of the sole catching on the ground and folding under the sandal.  I tried to get used to it, but aside from high stepping there was no way to keep from catching the toe.
Lesson:  Trace your foot carefully
Click on the photo below to see what the “too long” sole looks like.  If you look carefully, you can see the tracing of my foot on the sole.  This is where it should have been cut had I not added to the length.

After I trimmed the sole back to where it should have originally been they fit like the picture below.  This length resulted in far fewer fold overs.

Proper sizing

Even though they now fit like they should I was still occasionally folding over the toe.  The sole is so flexible that catching the toe is not as bad as it seems.  It simply folds under and causes almost no change in stride.  Your toes are now exposed but I found it more annoying than dangerous.  This was happening only while walking, when I wasn’t picking my feet up enough.  The original Pah Tempe design was simply cut out of Newflex with the cut being 90 degrees to the bottom as shown below.

I found that I was catching the front edge, which caused the front to fold over.  I decided to take the 90 degree edge and put a 45 degree bevel on it.  This simple change completely removed almost all of the fold overs.  The finished front looks like the picture below.After talking to UnShoes, they said that this bevel will be included on all future Pah Tempe to reduce the chance of the toe catching.

With my modified Pah Tempe, I felt invincible.  It was the most versatile form of foot protection I had ever encountered.  Then one warm and sunny day I decided to play badminton with my family in the grass.  The grass was green and needing to be mowed but we played anyway.  This was the kryptonite that killed the Pah Tempe.  They were completely unusable.  The front would fold under on every step.  The heel folded under when backpedaling.  I had to take them off and play barefoot or face utter humiliation and embarrassment for my numerous falls and missed hits.

In Summary, the toe will occasionally fold under and everyone should expect this to happen.  Proper sizing and the new 45 degree bevel will almost completely eliminate fold over occurrences.  Using the Pah Tempe on the road, trail, or mall will make you smile, however, keep them out of the long grass or the swamp monster get you. (Sorry, I have been watching too much Scooby-Doo with my son)

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Filed under Long term test, Review, Running

BestTough Mudder Shoes Ever!

Soft Star Dash and the Tough Mudder

I’m sure most of you that found this page are looking for a tough, gnarly shoe for the tough mudder, spartan race, or even death race.  What you are probably expecting to see is something like this.

I’m here to say that an unlikely shoe actually makes it to the top.  I was focused purely on performance and function and talked to many people about their shoes.  Read my conclusions below.

Back in September I decided that a custom pair of Soft Star Dash would be the best option for the Tough Mudder.  After running the race I can say that the Dash outperformed every other shoe out there.  They had no weakness and performed flawlessly.  If you are looking for the perfect pair of shoes for the tough mudder, the perforated Soft Star Dash is it.  Here is why.

The race forces you to get wet many, many times.  It also requires about 12 miles of running over a variety of terrain and a little bit of swimming.  Lastly, the course forces you through tons of sticky mud.  Regular shoes are the worst option due the the weight when wet and the amount of mud that gets into them.  Not to mention I saw several people loose their shoes in the mud and were forced to finish the race in socks.  Five fingers would be a great option and anyone that already has these should use them.  The downfall of the five fingers is the mud.  I didn’t see anyone loose theirs but I saw many people complain that they had their feet abraded away once gunk got in.

The advantage of the perforated leather is that the mud gets in but then goes right back out.  I routinely had gravel under my foot just bounce out.  After the muddy spots, tons of people had to stop and empty their shoes out.  Not me, I was able to keep running.

The GA event was also really cold.  My feet were cold when submerged in water but actually dried out very quickly and became comfortable again.  The people in VFF’s had numb feet and were complaining about not being able to feel the ground or their toes.

I wore drymax trail socks and couldn’t have been happier.  These socks don’t hold water, dry quickly and most importantly, keep out all dirt.  After the race, my feet were clean, although my socks and shoes were caked in mud.

Note: Drymax trail socks run way big.  Order one to two sizes down.  (they stretch).  I wear size 13 shoes and the Large fit perfect.

The Dash provided the right amount of traction and protection.  My feet came out happy without any issues.  The dash was great to run in regardless of the conditions.  They were also great to swim in and the enhanced ground feel really helped with the obstacles (especially the balance beam).  Anyone looking for the ultimate or perfect shoe for the Tough Mudder should consider the perforated Dash.

One added plus is that the race didn’t trash my shoes.  They took a beating but a quick rinse brought them back to normal (almost).  The leather needs to get a quick coat of dye to restore the color.  Take a look.

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Filed under Custom Shoe, Dash, Long term test, Review, Running, Soft Star

Pah Tempe Long Term Test – Part 1

I am excited to announce that I am starting a new long term test.  I recently received the newly redesigned Pah Tempe sandal from Unshoes.  The Pah Tempe is unique in that it does not have a strap running between your toes.  I was interested to test the Pah Tempe sandal after multiple people stopped me to ask about my huaraches, only to say “Those are great, but is there a version without the toe strap?”  When Unshoes offered to let me test the newly redesigned Pah Tempe I was excited but also a bit apprehensive about performance.

After lots of testing, I can unequivocally say that Unshoes Pah Tempe is a legitimate contender in the crowded minimalist sandal market.  Not only that, I had a hard time finding a situation that it couldn’t handle (I tried).

Comfort and Versatility
Overall performance was exceptional.  They were intuitive and easy to put on and adjust.  Once on, you can simply slide on and off with no need to readjust.  They were comfortable, in a way that only Soft Star can match.  The wide webbing distributed pressure evenly, ensuring that there were no pressure points.

I didn’t really think of the Pah Tempe as a running sandal but this is where it really surprised me.  This is hard to say, since I love my Luna’s, but the Pah Tempe out preformed them in every way.  I ran in them every day for over a week and never once felt any hot spots, pressure points, or slipping.  After nearly 3 days of no issues I decided to come up with the most brutal tests I could find to see how far these sandals could go.

Day 1 of brutality testing:  Lateral loading
I ran 2 miles sideways doing the grapevine.  My RunAmoc’s are weak when it comes to lateral loading so I was shocked when I had no issues.  I decided to up the ante and do some shuttle runs.  The rubber gripped my feet and the webbing held everything tightly in place.  Hmm, I was actually getting a bit mad that they did so good.

Day 2 of brutality testing:  Hills
I sought out every hill I could find.  I ran short steep grassy hills and long steep paved hills.  Running up hill posed no problems at all.  The heel strap and the grippy rubber kept everything in place.  Now for the downhill, every shoes weakness.  Again, the Pah Tempe surprised me with its ability to hold my foot.  Downhills were not an issue at all.  I tried to get my toes to slide off the front and never could.  From an engineering perspective here is the genius behind the webbing system.  One strap crosses you foot 3 times.  This strap is free to move and redistribute as pressure is applied to each section.  Since your foot is essentially triangular shaped in profile the straps act against the wedge-like shape of your foot.  The harder your foot attempts to press forward, the harder the three straps press back, evenly distributed of course along the full length of the strap.  Essentially, there is no place for your foot to go.

Day 3 of brutality testing:  Wet mud
I really wanted to find some wet mud but couldn’t so I opted for the closest thing that I could find.  Wet grass and sand.  Ok, it doesn’t have the same appeal as mud but it was the best I could come up with.  Wetness was not an issue at all.  Sand was interesting.  It seemed to cause less than normal problems.  I didn’t like it, but did notice that since the sandal is not really strapped that tight, the sand seemed to work its way out easier than I expected.  In general, I have more testing to do in the wet mud area so stay tuned.

Sole
For those not familiar with the Vibram Newflex material, it is one of the best minimalist soling options.  It is light, flexible and has good traction.  Combined with the 1″ webbing there is no slapping while running.  Newflex provides an excellent balance between ground feel and protection.

Webbing
Climbing webbing is one of my favorite options because it is strong and smooth.  Webbing feels great against your bare skin.  Unshoe has combined the webbing with a ladder buckle that locks the webbing in place.  Once set it does not move.  Over the last week I have never once adjusted the webbing.  Coming from huaraches, this fact alone is enough reason to buy these. 

Quality
Overall quality is exceptional especially considering the price.  The webbing was all cut and sealed neatly and stitched professionally.  It was even coated with a clear rubber where it could contact the pavement.  However, I was disappointing with the cut of the sole.  It was cut accurately but looked like my first pair of homemade huaraches looked.  My Luna’s came with edges that looked extremely professional.  These came looking like they were cut out by hand (see heel detail below).  This didn’t really affect performance or appearance but it is a small detail could be improved

Tripping Hazard?
When I first saw the Pah Tempe, I wondered how likely it would be to trip in them.  I will have a whole post on this topic but for now lets just say that if sized correctly (see pic below) tripping never happens.  Again, stay tuned for a post full of my crazy antics involved in ensuring that I would never trip.

Summary
Pros:
Comfortable out of the box
Stylish
Set it and forget it webbing
Slide on and off fit
Secure fit
Low cost

Cons:
Non professional finish
The excess strap would never laid flat

This was part 1 of my long term test so stay tuned for more each week or so.  On to the pictures

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Filed under Long term test, Review, Running

Original RunAmoc 1 Year Update

Since most reviews stop after their initial testing, leaving the long term performance in question, I wanted to show the full life cycle of my favorite shoe.  The Soft Star RunAmoc SMOOTH has been my primary shoe for the past year.  I have logged about 500 running miles and over 800 walking/hiking miles in the past year in them.  There was never a single time that I wished for a more substantial shoe.  I was concerned many times that I was going to get hurt due to the thin sole, but it never happened.  I carried a 50 lbs pack and a 30 lb 2 year old over crushed granite while backpacking and came out feeling great.

Overall Impression
The RunAmoc is one of the few products I have encountered where its value far exceeds the cost.  My pair has seen daily use for a year.  That is a year of running, hiking, walking, climbing, digging, building, traveling and generally being abused.  I don’t baby these, and they don’t seem to mind the abuse.  A quick wipe with a damp cloth and they are good enough for the office again.  I have raved about these throughout my long term testing so I will leave those thoughts there.  What I want to highlight here is what happened over the year period.  The sole wore out.  Yep, that’s it.  Post done.

Seriously, the shoe is almost exactly the same as it was when it was new.  The leather is perfect, the stitching is still intact, the sole is still attached.  In a couple of months I’m going to have to replace the sole but that is a minor cost compared to buying a new shoe.

Ok, it wasn’t really all unicorns and rainbows.  I did have two issues over the year.  The first was the insole.  Yes, all RunAmoc’s have insoles.  Mine was glued in, and after 7 months the glue started to fail at the heel (Soft Star now stitches the insoles in, fixing the problem).  The second issue I had was with the leather stretching.  Leather has the amazing ability to stretch and take the shape of your foot.  However, this can be a double edged sword.  My pair stretched too much in the heel which allowed my foot to slip back too far.  I fixed this by copying the dash heel cup.  The added piece of leather greatly helped the heel issue.

What I really loved about my RunAmoc’s was how wearable they were.  I could wear them to the office, come home, take them for a run and then wear them to dig post holes.  I have spilled 218 degree boiling sap on them, dumped red paint on them, played in the rain, worked in the mud and literally destroyed them many, many times.  In all cases, a wipe with a damp rag cleaned the leather and a squirt from the garden hose cleaned the sole.  I can’t think of any other shoe that could have survived this type of abuse and continued to look like they were new.

Leather after 14 months of constant use still looks great

Almost worn through the sole

Almost worn through the heel

Heel detail, note that the leather is starting to wear now that the sole is thin

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Filed under Long term test, Review, Soft Star RunAmoc Review

Soft Star Dash Review

It has been a little over a month since I completed my custom Soft Star Dash project.  I wanted to wait to review them until I had sufficient time to test them.    Overall, I would say that the Dash is a great shoe.  Anyone that is used to wearing traditional shoes will feel at home in these.  Since they have laces, generally feel and look like a shoe, I’m going to say that they are definitely a shoe not a moc.

If you are coming to the Soft Star Dash from a traditional shoes, I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the improvement in comfort the Dash will provide.  The toe box is wide enough to let your toes spread without any compromise.  The heel and midfoot are nice and fitted which provide for a more secure and sleek feeling.

However, if you are coming from the traditional RunAmoc you may be a bit confined feeling.  The Dash is confining in the sense that a sock is confining.  There are no hot spots or pressure points but there is an overall feeling that your feet are being squeezed.  This never would have been an issue had I not been spoiled by the Original RunAmoc’s.

Comparing size of Dash vs Original RunAmoc


Why is the Soft Star Dash is better than any other minimalist shoe on the market

First off, it is a shoe so it is competing with all of the other shoes on the market.  Next, it employs one of the best principles in life – the KISS principle.  By keeping things simple Soft Star has made a shoe that is everything it needs to be but nothing it doesn’t.  Let’s break this down piece by piece to show what I mean.

A shoe is essentially made up 4 parts, the heel, midfoot, toebox and sole.
Heel – The heel is reinforced with an additional layer of leather and some thin EVA foam so that the heel keeps its shape and ensures your heel is positioned where it should be.  There is no ankle padding or ‘extra features’ to rub or cause problems.  I have worn these mostly barefoot and never had an issue with the heel or ankle enclosure.

Heel cup on Dash


Midfoot – This area is dominated by one amazing feature, the tongue.  Shoes have had a tongue on them for over 100 years, but this is what causes me the most discomfort in traditional shoes.  Soft Star got it perfect.  The tongue fits smoothly over the top of the foot and never moves and never causes any discomfort.  Did it really take 100 years for someone to get it right?  I don’t know, but I do know that the Dash has it right and this alone is a reason to get the Dash.  Besides the perfect tongue, the midfoot fits snug and give you the feeling that it is just an extension of your foot.
Toe – You can’t beat Soft Star when it comes to the toe box and the Dash is no exception.  They provide ample room for toes to splay, wiggle, or bend.  Additionally, the leather will conform to your feet and will soon feel like they were tailor made for you.
Sole – Mine are different from what Soft Star offers, but I have tried all of the soles they offer and it come down to simple performance.  You don’t need computer models to perfect a sole, you only need a little protection and some traction, which is exactly what they offer.

Since I’m raving, I’m just going to continue.  This was my first pair of perforated leather shoes.  I love my smooth RunAmoc’s but when it gets hot the perforated is the way to go.  This leather is so much more porous than I had thought.  I said porous since it lets stuff in and out.  Sweaty feet are never an issue, as the breeze blows straight though, which is why I wear these barefoot so often.  They aren’t sandal airy, but very close.  A plus and minus is that I get tons of stuff in them, but I can usually just bounce it out.  Water, rocks, pine needles, and dust all make their way in an out fairly freely.  I rarely take them off to clear them out as the stuff usually makes its own way out.

Now for the grumbling
What I dislike about the Dash is that it is not the Original.  It is not as comfortable, as easy to put on, as simple, or as weird looking.  Ok, my only real complaint is that the midfoot is a little too narrow for me.  I have ridiculously long toes so I think my midfoot is back further than most.  In the future I will probably order a wider pair to accommodate this.  Just realize that it fits like a sock all the way through the arch and then loosens up for the toes.

I don’t love the Dash like I love the Original RunAmoc (1 year review coming soon) but they are a fantastic shoe.  For people that aren’t sure if they want to try a moc style or (as in my case) you need a shoe that will stay on through mud and water, this is the perfect option.

One last note on the newflex sole that I put on.  First, it is exactly what I wanted as far as protection and ground feel.  I just hiked Stone Mountain in Georgia and they did great.  Really, I couldn’t find a fault with them.  Actually, the shoes in general were almost perfect for this all granite steep hike.  My only disappointment is that they are wearing much faster than I had hoped.

Ok, one more last note.  My coworkers say that the Dash look better with my dress clothes than the Original RunAmoc’s.  I think the tighter fit and laces make it look more normal.  However, my wife says that I’m weird enough that I can pull either off.

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Filed under Custom Shoe, Dash, Long term test, Review, Running, Soft Star, Soft Star RunAmoc Review

Luna Sandal Review Summary

I’m about to switch gears and start a new project but I thought after so many posts about my Luna’s it would be helpful to summarize my experience and put everything in one place.

In my experience there are three aspects that make a huarache or Luna sandal

Each of these three work together and can dictate weather you love your sandals or hate them.  Laces come in three varieties:

  1. Elastic – Quick and easy to put on, these laces provide the least security but are great for casual wear.  Since they are elastic there is a constant snugness that I am not overly fond of.  My Equus sandals (which I don’t run in) have the 5/8″ Equus laces and I find them to be the most stylish and publicly accepted option.
  2. Leather – Comes in different sizes and colors.  In my opinion, this is the best overall option.  They are aesthetically pleasing, secure, and comfortable.  Since they are inelastic they allow for a looser fit without sacrificing security.  I like both the 1/4″ and 10mm laces.  Most people will get used to either just fine.
  3. Wool, hemp, rope, etc.  This is sort of the other category.  Since I haven’t tried the hemp I can’t comment personally, but from what others have said they work great and are comfortable.  From my experience with the wool laces I can attest to the fact that there is nothing more comfortable to wear.  Style and security may be half a notch below the leather but the comfort fully makes up for that.

The sole options have gone through a transformation.  When Ted started he had the Originals, then added the Equus and the Leadville’s.  I actually have all three so I will give a short summary of each.

  1. Originals – 6mm neoprene.  It is the original for a reason and is still one of my favorites.  The neoprene has the right combination of flexibility and thinness to provide great ground feel and allow for natural foot movement.
  2. Equus – 2mm rubber and 2mm cordovan.  The cordovan feels amazing but is stiff.  Moisturizing it helps but I am not a fan of stiff and thin.  These sandals look great and have become my church sandals.
  3. Leadville – 10mm newflex.  10mm!!  That is what I said, but the properties of this sole are deceiving.  The material is extremely light and flexible.  Ground feel is better than the Originals but in a muted sort of way.  It is hard to explain but I’m excited that Luna is taking this amazing (and very expensive) material and using the 8mm and 5mm versions.  The Leadville Pacer is being made in my shop now and I’m excited to test it out.  I think that this is the sort of natural progression that comes through testing and striving to create the best sandal on earth.

Once you have decided on the right lace and the right sole the last part is to connect them all together.  My advice – experiment – a lot.  In the end I went with the very standard tying method (the way the Equus are tied on Luna’s website).  I don’t wrap or double up just lace them and tie it off.  I cut all my laces so there is no extra cord since my new knot design will allow for many more miles of wear and I don’t have to worry about knot breakage.

After several months of wearing these exclusively, my originals have molded to my feet and feel like an extension of my foot in a way.  My advice, if you are looking at getting a pair of Luna sandals, is to get the originals with the 1/4″ leather lace.  This is the cheapest way into a truly magnificent sandal.

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Filed under Equus, Long term test, Luna Laces, Original Luna Sandal, Review

Huarache Tying 101

I mentioned last post about feeling comfortable in my Luna sandals.  It had a lot to do with the tying of them and I wanted to share my success to help others.  This is not a tutorial on how to tie your Luna’s (Huarache’s) you can find that HERE and HERE.  This post will help those new to tying understand what each part of the lacing does and how to adjust it for a perfect fit.

Tying should be simple, there are only three parts to deal with.  Somehow after the 300th time tying mine it was still NOT simple.  (but it is now) Lets look at the three parts.

Toe Strap – This part is only useful in keeping the sandal on your foot.  Think of this as the part that controls flop.  The toe strap DOES NOT keep your foot from sliding forward!  Tie this tight and your foot will never leave the sandal.  Loosen it up untill it is comfortable but not overly sloppy and floppy.

Heel Strap – The heel strap keeps your foot from sliding back.  It is important to have this tighter than you might think.  Keeping the toe strap firmly between the crack of your toe will be more comfortable and will reduce chafing.  Play with tension a bit, I have found that I rarely over tighten the heel strap.

Midfoot Strap – This strap is the key to tying success.  It is also more complex due to two factors.  Tension and location.  The midfoot strap keeps the heel locked in place both vertically (down) and horizontally (sliding forward).  Look at the picture, notice that the knot can slide along the toe strap.  Moving the knot towards the toe opens up the foot and allows more movement.  Sliding it back towards the heel locks the foot in place.  The tension magnifies what the location is doing.

Trouble Shooting

Heel strap falls off
– Slide midfoot strap knot further towards heel

Toe strap rubs toes
– Tighten heel strap
– Use narrower strap (see picture below)

Foot does not feel secure
– Tighten midfoot strap

In the end, I found that a slightly looser approached works better for me.  I start with the toe strap loose enough that the sandal will “just dangle”.  Then I tighten the heel strap so that the toe strap is deep into my toe crack, but just before it becomes painful.  Finally, the midfoot strap is tied off.  It is not tight or loose just tied.  Fit is then determined by the location of the knot on the toe strap.  For sprints I move it as far towards the heel as possible.  For walking I move it more towards the toe to loosen up the feel.

Average tying

Very loose casual fit. Notice location of midfoot strap

If the toe strap hurts choose a smaller lace or make it smaller (pictured: 5/8" Equus lace wrapped in wool yarn)

Note:  Use an inelastic strap until you learn how to tie.  I started trying to learn with the Equus laces and became very frustrated.  The 1/4″ leather, hemp, or wool laces make learning to tie much easier.

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Filed under Long term test, Luna Laces, Original Luna Sandal, Review

Epiphany of sorts

 

Two great things happened this week.

First and probably the biggest is that I finally feel totally comfortable in my Luna’s.  It was a very sudden change and took a rather long time to get there (4 weeks of daily use).  I always felt a little insecure in them, like they might fall off at any moment.  This caused me to tense up and not stride naturally.  I have played with lacing endlessly and am finally confidant that I can run without concern.

The transformation on how they feel is nothing short of amazing.  I now feel like I am running barefoot all the time.  Graceful and free.  The sandals are almost unnoticeable beneath my feet.  It also helps that the foot bed is smooth and supple and starting to take the shape of my foot.

The second great epiphany came when lacing up with the wool laces again.  I have never liked the double strap on my heel due to the tenancy of one of them falling.  The wool is so soft and supple that I realized that I could wrap them to create one larger heel strap.  Perfect!  Then I realized that I would wrap the wool everywhere and it would lock itself into place and not require a knot to tie it off.  Now I have super comfortable slip on luna’s that have no knot anywhere.  Very clean looking.

I am very happy with these sandals.  More than I could have imagined several months ago.

Very clean lines with no knot anywhere
1 Month Update – Now silky smooth

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Filed under Long term test, Luna Laces, Original Luna Sandal, Review, Running

Luna Sandal Knot Fix

I have been feeling like the princess and the pea lately.  The knot on my Luna’s really bothers me, especially while walking.  Even when very small the knot hits the joint of my toe and causes a bit of discomfort.

I have come up with a knot fix for all of the types of laces.  Now, with the new method the knot should not only last much longer but will also not provide any “bump” to step on.  The best part is that this is easy, cheap, and quick.  Here is what you will need.

  • Plastic epoxy (available at any home depot)
  • Pliers
  • Nail, staple or wire (basically any small bendable piece of metal)

I had some heavy duty staples so I used those but any type of thin 1″ long metal should work.  It just needs to be able to be bent.  Bend half of the metal into a u shape.  Slide it over your lace and bend the other half over the first half.  See photos below.  Once it is secured I usually use my pliers to smash it down flatter before adding the plastic epoxy.  The plastic epoxy serves two purposes.  First, it helps to secure the metal and second, it helps extend the life of the knot.

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Filed under Long term test, Luna Laces, Original Luna Sandal, Review