Barefoot Monologues

A Journey of the Sole


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Review and Giveaway: Earth Runners Circadian Sandal

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A few weeks back I was approached by Earth Runners to review the newest in their line of minimalist sandals. Until that point I had only peripherally heard of the company, and didn’t really know much about their brand of sandals. But I said yes because the more I looked into them, I realized the Earth Runner sandal is different from a lot of the other Tahuramara-inspired minimalist sandals out there, in two big ways:

The Lacing

It looks a lot like the kind of lacing that you’ve seen in other huarache-style sandals, but the system is a little different. The sturdy toe strap slides between your first and second toe and goes on to create the heel strap much like all the others, but then it comes across your ankle just once and is then strapped in by a nifty push buckle on the outside. It makes for a very clean look that is easily adjustable and very secure. No sliding, no pinching, no tying. And best of all, the closure system assures that the heel strap never slides off my heel: bonus!

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The Copper

Earth Runners subscribes to the concept of earthing, which is the idea that utilizing the ground’s electrical energy can help maintain our health and well-being.  To keep us connected to the earth below us, Earth Runners has installed special conductive copper plugs into the rubber soles and laces of their sandals, and has even “impregnated” the straps themselves with conductive material.

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I’m not really sure where I stand on the whole earthing concept, but I would have to say that it can’t be bad for me, so why not? If nothing else, a little placebo never hurt anybody. That aside, I like my Earth Runners a lot more than I expected to, and I really do find myself wearing them everywhere. I definitely wear them least as often as my favorite Lunas, and that’s saying something. The Circadian model, which is the one I received, has a distinctively feminine vibe to my eyes (although, yes, they are unisex). Most other huarache-style sandals can tend to feel masculine or utilitarian to me. When I walk around in my Circadians, I feel like I’m wearing a regular sandal that goes quite well, fashion-wise, with the casual summer skirts and dresses I like to wear. And the best part is I’m still getting the benefits of a great minimalist, zero-drop huarache. And the benefits of grounding, as well.

I haven’t run in these sandals (they’re just too pretty!), although I know that many people do, and they’re built well enough for running. They have a 6mm thick, really grippy Vibram rubber sole that comes out of the box already partly molded to the natural shape of your foot. I really liked that, because flat rubber sandals can sometimes feel floppy and wobbly (which is why I usually prefer sandals with suede or leather over the rubber), but the gentle curvature in the sole of the Circadian gives my foot a nice seat.

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I’ve taken my dog for several road and trail walks in these and I like the ground feel and the sticky slip protection they provide. The guys over at Earth Runners was also more than happy to cut the sole to a drawing I had of my feet, so they fit just perfectly, which is such a bonus for me and my monkey feet!

The Earth Runners Circadian model (and the Birkenstock-soled Alpha, too) is available currently on Kickstarter.com. Support the startup, y’all! It’s only there until June 2! A few weeks after the kickstarter campaign is over, the two new models will be available for sale on the Earth Runners website.

earthrunnersClick on the image above to head over to the Kickstarter site!

And just to get you all excited about these fantastic sandals, I’m going to give away a pair of Circadians OR Alphas to one lucky reader. Yay! We all love giveaways, don’t we?

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This contest will run until Friday, May 31st. There are five ways to enter:

  • 1 ENTRY for posting a comment: tell me why you want a pair of Earth Runners, and where you’ll take them! Or ask a question if you’ve got one.
  • 1 ENTRY PER DAY for sharing this giveaway on Facebook (please leave a separate comment with the URL to the FB page). You may share it more than once and earn a separate entry.
  • 1 ENTRY PER DAY for tweeting about this giveaway (please leave a separate comment with the URL to your tweet). You may tweet more than once and earn a separate entry.
  • 1 ENTRY for liking the Earth Runners page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EarthRunners (leave a separate comment to tell me you’ve done this)
  • 1 ENTRY for following my blog (please leave a separate comment to tell me you’ve done this so I can verify)

On Friday I will tally up the comments by number and let random.org choose the winner for me. The lucky winner can choose one pair of either the Circadian or Alpha sandal (pictured above). Winner should email me at trishalreeves@gmail.com and I’ll get you all set up!

Thanks for reading, and good luck!

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Review: Bedrock Sandals

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Bedrock sent me a pair of their Earthquake sandals over the winter, and even though I live in warm, sunny San Diego now, I had a feeling that my review would fall on deaf ears if it came out in mid-January. So I have been waiting until the springtime new-shoe-buying extravaganza to pen my review.

The Earthquake Sandal seems to be getting continually improved upon by this little shoe-making factory down in Virgina, USA. Similar to many of the other huarache sandals that you can find out in the minimalist shoe marketplace, Bedrock Sandals feature a thin Vibram rubber sole (mine is 4mm), with a slip on lacing system and adjustable buckle closure. Like many other huarache companies, Bedrock offers a great sizing system to find out which pair to get, or they can customize the size and shape of your shoe sole to the shape of your foot. This is a great thing if you’ve got a weirdly-shaped foot like I do. Bedrock did a fair job of matching my foot shape, but I have seen better.

They’ve also made some recent developments in their sandal, adding some elasticized rubber in the heel, and a new optional rubber webbing material up front to assist the ease of fit adjustment in the buckle (this feature is not on my pair).

Having tried out a few other running sandals in my day, I felt this one was probably the lightest-feeling of all of them. The rubber sole wasn’t covered with any leather like a few other brands have, so it lacks in the whole “mold to your foot” aspect that I love about my Lunas. But the Hurricane sandal’s leather-less vegan sole didn’t feel floppy or heavy, as some plain rubber soles do. That could be in part because they’re made with Vibram rubber, and Vibram is pretty good at the whole minimalist shoe thing. J Another thing I dig about the sole is its surprising grip on the trails. Upon first glance the tread seems pretty basic – it’s not all high-tech and multi-directional like a lot of trail shoes, but it got me up and down the steep trail hills near my house without any slipping. Definitely a trail runner win.

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As far as the straps go, they’re not bad, not the best. I found them to be placed well enough to hold onto my foot and the buckle closure is really quite snug. I did like the addition of the elasticized rubber piece on the heel. It kept the shoe on my foot more snugly, which made it possible for me to run more miles without having to stop and make the usual adjustments to the heel. With some other huarache brands, the heel strap tends to fall off.

Once you get strapped in to the Hurricane sandal, you’re pretty much good to go, not a whole lot of loosening or movement. There is a trade-off, though: the parachute-fabric strap is really stiff and kind of uncomfortable between my toes. Every time I wear these I come away with red marks across my foot and between my toes. After ten or so wears the straps have softened up a bit, but not a whole lot.

Overall the Hurricane sandal is only a fairly good, but less expensive running huarache. I really wasn’t blown away by the shoe, but I still use it occasionally for running errands or to do hill repeats on a hot day. I recommend them if you are just getting into minimalist running and want to try a simple sandal without spending bank.