Friday, 1 July 2011

Luna Sandals

I like wearing Sandals and I like going barefoot. I hate wearing shoes in the summer as my feet run hot. I was made aware of a forum dedicated to minimalist shoes and started having a sniff about at the beginning of the summer looking for something that I could wear for work and also perhaps use for a camp shoe for backpacking.  Toe Salad was duly poured through and I came across Luna Sandals.

Not only do these look cool to my delight they also sold all the component parts to MYOG,  You can choose the sole material, the upper sole material (the bit your feet are in contact with) and the laces.  I went for the 6mm trail nubby sole, the tan suede uppers and the half inch elasticated Equus laces.  The primary use for these sandals was for leisure and work.  I did take a few photos of the construction process but with the death of a laptop I only have a few remaining.

The process is quite simple, basically trace round your feet to make a template, glue the sole sheets and the uppers together with the glue provided. Use the templates to cut out the base of the sandal.

Punch or drill some holes in the sole and thread the laces through and you have a new pair of cool looking sandals.  I would suggest if you do want to make a pair then read the instructions on the Luna Sandal Site and watch the videos.

I've worn the sandals everyday for three months now and they look like this.

So how have they fared and what are they like to wear and use for backpacking?  First things first.  If you're not used to having things between your toes, things such as half an inch stiff leather straps prepare to be in pain, lots of pain.  These things hurt like hell for first week.  People on the forum told me I would get used to it, I didn't believe them, but after a week they didn't hurt and now they are by far the most comfortable shoe I've ever worn.

I've got them tied in the slip on formation of laces to enable me to get them on and off easily.  This works well for casual use, for extended periods of backpacking or running the more traditional methods of lacing would be more secure.

To be fair the suede uppers are not suited to outdoor pursuits, when they get wet it's like walking on seaweed.  For crossing streams I would suggest they would be potentially dangerous, for walking up or down inclines in the rain they can be impossible.  However this is just because of the suede uppers.  The concept is good and lends itself to MYOG well.  I'm hoping to pick up some of the Croc clones that you can get for less than £5.  Crocs are very light and good for stream crossings and camp shoes, but they are bulky.  But what if you cut the tops off and got some long shoe laces and with a bit of drilling you could have a less bulky and even lighter camp/river crossing shoe?  Using the insoles from some old shoes or the worn down soles of a favourite pair of trail runners, plenty of MYOG versions of this idea.

I love these Sandals, perfect for casual use and also backpacking on established trails in the dry, which is not all that often in this country.  I will post again with new incarnations of this idea as when they are developed.


Sunny said...

I've been thinking of making something like this out of a pair of flip flops

Shed Dweller said...

If weight is your primary concern beware of the flip flop as most of them are actually quite heavy in comparison to a croc for example. You'd also have to make sure that the foam is stiff enough for the knot under the front strap not to pull through. Post your results if you do make one!

Shed Dweller said...

Just a quick update. With the very lovely weather we had yesterday I used the Luna's for a full days walking. Eleven miles on paths and landrover tracks. Perfect hot weather (and decent path) walking shoes/sandals. My feet do feel a little tender this morning in a good way due to the lack of cushioning but overall it's all good.