The Luna Equus is different than any of the other barefoot “shoes” I have tested thus far.
For one thing, it’s a sandal, not a shoe.
Secondly, like a lot of my favorite people/stuff, the Equus started out as a giant pain in the butt, but with a little time and effort, I came to appreciate and love them.
Here’s why they annoyed me in the beginning:
- Straight out of the box, this sandal is very stiff (thanks to the Cordovan leather)
- The straps kept digging into my feet (especially between my toes)
- They made a slapping noise as I ran in them (very annoying)
- I got a wicked blister on my first run
In fact, I would have given up on them, except that I talked with a few people who had already gone through these growing pains. To a person, my new sandal buddies told me that as…
- the Equus begins to conform to your feet, and
- as your feet conform to wearing huarache sandals
… you will fall in love with these kicks and will never want to wear anything else.
And that’s what happened with me.
The sandals broke in, molded to my feet and my tender tootsies got used to the strap between my toes.
And I fell in love with my Luna Equus sandals.
Unfortunately, I live in Canada…and it’s starting to get cold…and I won’t be wearing sandals in the snow.
But as summer comes around next year, I will definitely be wearing these sandals as often as possible.
Here’s the review.
- Protection – If you’re not going to develop thick natural calluses by actually running barefoot, you need to wear a shoe that will protect you from the occasional sharp stone or chunk of glass.
The total thickness of the Luna Equus is about 4mm.
The thickness of the Equus leather varies slightly but it is usually right around 2mm. The Vibram sole is 2 mm thick also. And the last time I checked 2 mm + 2 mm = 4mm total thickness.
While the Equus sole is thicker than the Sockwa G2s, it still feels very “barefoot”. And yet, you can walk/run along rocky paths without feeling every stone jamming into the sole of your foot. It’s a nice compromise in thickness.
One drawback of the sandal is that the top of your foot is open to the elements. And while being topless feels great when you’re walking on the boardwalk on a hot summer’s day, it’s not so fun when a stick gets stuck between the footbed and your foot as you run through a wooded trail.
- Proprioception – A bare foot provides immediate feedback to the surface it rests upon. A thick spongy sole…not so much. This can be crucial when it comes to avoiding ankle sprains and wiping out while trail running.
Until you “break in” your Equus sandals, there will be a distinct slapping noise as the stiffness of the sole hits the sidewalk. Over time, my pair of sandals has become much more flexible and that slapping noise has gone away.
Along with the reduction in noise, as the Equus became molded to my feet, I stopped noticing the separation between my feet and my footwear. The Equus became barefoot.
How will you be using your barefoot shoes?
- Natural Foot Movement – Does the shoe allow or prevent your foot from flexing & spreading in order to distribute the load uniformly over the entire foot. This analysis will address shoe width (especially the toe box), arch support, shock absorption, etc…
The Equus allows your foot to move, spread, scrunch as nature intended.
This adaptation becomes more natural as the shoe is broken in and becomes more flexible and molds to your foot.
- Weight of the Shoe – Who wants a heavy, clunky shoe?
The Equus weighs 5 ounces. They’re heavier than the Sockwas, but still incredibly light.
- The Drop – Most conventional running shoes raise the heel 22-24mm off the ground while lifting the front of the shoe only 10-15mm off the ground. This difference creates a forward leaning slope which changes your posture and leads to a heel-toe gait which leads a bunch of problems. Long story short, a flat shoe is more natural.
The Equus has a 0 mm drop. perfect.
- Shape of the Sole – As your foot spreads, does the protective sole continue to protect your foot from physical damage?
The Equus can be ordered custom fitted for no extra charge. This guarantees that the sole will fit your sole perfectly.
- Comfort – Do they feel good on your feet?
At first, the Equus gave me blisters, killed the spot where the toe strap rubbed and felt really stiff.
After a few weeks of wear, they molded to my feet and felt like I wasn’t wearing anything.
You have to decide if you’re willing to put up with the break-in period.
- Ease of Use – Are they easy to put on?
Getting the lacing “just right” was another issue with my new pair of Luna sandals. They come laced and ready to wear, but for a better fit, you will need to play with the laces.
Personally, I like the top part of the lace tighter than the heel. When the heel lace was tight, it jammed my foot forward into the toe lace and caused a bunch of between my toes pain.
However, after a few attempts, I got the lace tension just right. Since then, I haven’t had to adjust them once.
Also, the laces stay in place and the sandal is super easy to take on and off.
- Appearance – Do you look like a freak wearing them? Do you care?
Unlike barefoot shoes, the general public doesn’t react to huarache sandals with stares and finger pointing. Of course, if you have gnarly feet, you may want to consider getting a pedicure before striding out in your Equus’.
- Ventilation – Vibrams are notoriously stinky shoes…what about the RealFLex?
Tons of ventilation. No stink. No sweat.
- Durability – Will they stand up to some pounding?
So far, so good. It’s only been a few of months, but I have been running and walking them all over different surfaces – pavement, ashphalt, rock, gravel, dirt trails – and there is very little wear.
Barefoot Ted says that the Equus is made to be a long lasting sandal for everyday wearing and running. He estimates 1000 pavement miles of gentle pavement running for someone accustomed to the lightness of barefoot running. Street scuffing will wear the sole much more quickly.
The Cadillac of huarache sandals retails for $115 USD
However, as with all Premium Model Luna Sandals, The Equus can be resoled and new laces can be added. This means that the Equus can be the last pair of sandals you ever buy.
- Application – Is the shoe applicable for everyday use, running, sports, yoga, weight lifting, water sports, beach sports, etc?
The Equus is a great everyday shoe during the summer months. And while lots of other people use the Equus for running as well as everyday use, I prefer the protection of an enclosed shoe.
Like all barefoot shoes, your decision to buy this shoe should come down to application.
- The Equus is a great sandal
- And while the initial cost is pretty steep compared to other barefoot / minimalist shoes, the fact that I can re-sole the Equus should drive down the lifetime cost.
- However, while lots of other people wear the Equus when they hit the running trail, I prefer the protection of an enclosed shoe.
- The same goes for my weightlifting workouts and sporting activities. I prefer a shoe to a sandal.
But what about you?
- What kind of shoe are you looking for?
- What is the application?
- Does the Equus fit that application?
- Do your feet look fugly in sandals?