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Five Fingers versus Luna Sandals

by Tyler Hurst » on Mar 09, 2011 6

I’ve expanded my minimalist shoe lineup recently. After nearly a year and a half of rotating Sprints, KSOs and Classics on a daily basis, I couldn’t help but long for a different shoe. I needed something for summer that worked as a flip-flop without the flipping, flopping or huge, over-cushioned sole.

Hello Luna Sandals. Built by Barefoot Ted and crew, Luna Sandals are an improved version of the huarache, which is still worn by many, many countries that eschew modern footwear. They’re little more than a Vibram sole with rope pulled through punched holes (very little more, as the only option besides laces is a leather footbed, which I very much love) giving anyone the ability to wear what was definitely the original Jesus slipper.

There are other models with varying sole widths, but I chose the original Luna with the standard laces.

After a week of wearing my Sprint Five Fingers for workouts and my Luna Sandals for everything else, I’ve prepared a bit of a comparison list.

1. Are they equally comfy?
No. The Luna Sandals feel like a better version of the flip flop, Five Fingers feel like a second skin. This gap will definitely decrease as I break the sandals in.

2. Do they stink?
My Five Fingers sure can, but the open-air design of the Luna Sandals prevents that. The leather may get dirty, but I do not care.

3. Are they okay to run or walk in?
Absolutely. I thought I’d have an issue with the knot between my big and next toe, but the 6mm of sole does a lot to cushion that. The huarache I bought from Invisible Shoes was thinner, which made the knot harder to initially deal with.

4. What happens if they break?
Buy new ones. (Kidding. Well, at least for the Luna Sandals. Superglue may help with Five Fingers breaks.) I can’t imagine they’d break all that often, and if they do they could likely be jerry-rigged, but it can’t hurt to have a spare set laying around. I highly recommend that you get the elasticized leather. It’s comfier than the rope.

5. Which do you prefer?
I’m sticking with the Five Fingers for working out and most of my running and using the Luna Sandals as more of a leisure shoe. There’s no reason for them not to be interchangeable, but because I only wear four pairs of shoes (Sprints, Classics, KSOs and Luna Sandals), I’m likely to use the sandals for leisure only.

What’s your favorite minimalist shoe?


  1. Luke

    March 09th, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    I got Luna Sandals (the Equus) recently also and have been comparing to my Smartwool Classics. Obviously I didn’t do any running in my Classics and my Luna Sandals have completely replaced them as my everyday footwear. I have done a few short runs in the Equus and liked it once I dialed in the lacing style and tightness. As far as the laces go, I’ve never tried the rope but I prefer the thin black leather over the thicker elasticized leather (those being the only two I’ve tried).


    • Tyler

      March 09th, 2011 at 12:54 pm

      I think you mean the Leadville 10mm leather, right? Or are you talking the 1/2 inch elasticized leather?

      I’m looking more for comfort than anything in my Lunas. Every day shoes.


  2. Corey

    March 09th, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Definitely loving the Equus laces. I highly recommend them for anyone thinking of purchasing a pair. As a reformed flip flop junkie, I highly recommend for casual use.


  3. Melissa

    May 06th, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Can you compare you experience with Lunas and the huarache?


  4. Shaun

    August 03rd, 2011 at 11:54 am

    This post is about the only information I can find about Lunas vs. Vibrams. I’ve had my Veebs for 2 years, and they’re pretty much done for. I’ve used them for: Surfing, rock climbing, mountain climbing, running (on and off-road), and fishing. Can the Luna’s handle mountain climbing?


    • Tyler Hurst

      August 03rd, 2011 at 11:56 am

      If you’re talking hiking, sure. Just tie them tight. But climbing? Not sure I’d trust my knots.


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