Here are some great tips for running long distances in Lunas. We gathered these tips in the form of a Facebook conversation with several ultra runners. Most of the contributors below are veteran Luna ultra-runners and a couple of them have been running in Lunas for the past six months or less. Also most of them are ‘Mas Loco’, which is the title for someone who has ran the Caballo Blanco Ultra in the Copper Canyons. We decided to post the conversation in its original format because it seemed to add a nice dynamic to the information.
- Conversation started 5 September
Banya Spa Santa Fe [Mas Loco ultrarunner]
Hey gals & guys! Tom & I are putting together a piece for Luna called something like Tips for Lunatic Ultrarunners & would love your best ideas for any challenges you have faced & your resolution to them. You can post here or email me thanks in advance!
Tom Norwood [Luna Sales Monkey and Mas Loco ultrarunner]
When traveling to a new area or a different climate: bring lotion and Nexcare Skin Crack Care, just in case.
If your laces are start bothering you half way through a race, stop and readjust them at an aid station - part of the beauty of traditional footwear is being able to make it work to your foot, not forcing your foot to work to it.
Toe socks or tabi socks are great for long runs - less friction plus moisture absorption means less foot problems. For hot weather wear the thinnest ones you can, I like the smartwool PHD toe socks.
For traditional laces - start with them a little tighter than you think you need, if they feel perfect at the start of the race, they will be too loose at the end.
Its never a bad idea to carry a spare pair of traditional laces on a long training run or race. In fact its a great idea.
Karen Jackson [Luna ultrarunner, has longest disastance ran in Lunas in one go; 160 miles.]
I use lotion on my feet twice a day. Period. And I agree 100% about taking time to adjust the laces rather than dealing with them. Always worth it. Also agree on the socks… One thing I carry in my gear to trail races is duct tape. I will tape my feet up if there are sticky, prickly things on the trail that socks don’t protect from.
Peter G Smith [British Mas Loco ultrarunner]
I always use traditional laces, and (since they came out) the ribbon laces. In ultras I always carry a spare pair of both types of laces (including the washer). I wear toe socks and change them halfway through ultras (a good opportunity for a refreshing foot clean to get rid if all that trail dust that penetrates the socks using those baby wipes we all carry). If any toes tend to develop blisters (my Mortons toes always does) then tape them before the event.
Tyler Tomasello [Mas Loco ultrarunner, has ran several 100’s in Lunas including the Leadville 100.]
i have a lot of tips im heading to work now but will shoot you an email tonight… i finished 19 races this summer and have learned a lot over the last few months… hope i can help.
I think this is a great idea… every race i do people are giving me respect for wearing lunas the whole time.. when in all actuality its way easier in sandals than in shoes, much respect to the shoe wearers out there.
Love that Tyler - perhaps our next shirt should not say, “Yes I’m running in sandals” but “You are running in SHOES?! Respect.”
And Tom on the back of the shirt should say “they’re not ruddy flip flops!”
Only on the UK version - I had to look up ‘ruddy’
Mike Miller [Mas Loco ultrarunner]
I am sure that there are better qualified folks to talk about sandals as I am just getting started with my Luna’s. I will say that most people will need to alternate between shoes and sandals for a bit until they build up calf muscles, callouses, etc. I found that after starting to wear sandals my feet got wider and no longer fit in my shoes. Or maybe the confinement of shoes just felt that way. I heard that Altra Lone Peaks had a wide toe box and I found that to be true. They are also zero drop so you can continue building your calves and are comfortable without socks so you can continue turning your soles. The perfect transition shoe or winter alternate in my opinion until you are tough enough to be a full-time sandal wearer.
You guys posted awesome stuff while I flew to Houston. Great start!
Josue Stephens [Mas Loco ultrarunner, race director of the Caballo Blanco Ultra, and obstacle racer.]
I have a few things to contribute, but one of the biggest is foot slippage. Even if you have the MGT, foot slippage between the foot and footbed is bound to happen in mud or when very sweaty (aka Texas).
I will usually stop, slide the sandals off, then rub the footbed with a wad of leaves, pine needles, cedar branches, or even sand. Anything I can get my hands on.
- 5 September
Patrick Sweeney [First Luna sponsored athlete, has ran and won more races in Lunas than anyone else.]
1. Other than for warmth socks should only be used transitionally, they are a crutch but I would not recommend them for regular use as they take away from the sandal experience. If you must wear socks you might as well wear shoes.
2. Learn to tie a traditional lace. There is no right or wrong way to do it, experiment and have fun.
3. If wearing the ATS lace system don’t be afraid to take your sandals off for a few minutes during a race especially during a water crossings. Doing so can really revitalize tired feet.
4. Lube contact points w/ lace.
5. If you don’t have any lube, covering your feet in a fine layer of dust or dirt before you run an reduce friction.
6. for long distance’s anything over a marathon I wear my sandals loose for anything shorter I wear them tight.
7. If you become a good a barefoot runner it will make your sandal experience more enjoyable.
I think its important to never forget why we run in sandals or run at all. Because its fun. If that keeps me from from being close to the podium so be it. I always say “i might not win, but i am going to go out there and have more fun than anyone else.” And at the end of the day when i finish im smiling, laughing and hugging with all my new friends i met that day and i feel pretty damn accomplished. Other than that ..Tips? Not much…I guess.. if it hurts fix it. Put a band aid on, or adjust your Lunas until you get the right fit. Long runs are not easy so I dont take many chances.. I want to finish, and i want to be as comfortable as possible while im doing it.. If that means taping or socks so be it.. BUT… I think the most important advice is…. Have FUN.. be HUMBLE.. and SMILE as much as you can..
If you cant do that… your doing it wrong.
I completely agree with Tyler. We are all running in the same sandals, but with different terrain, altitudes, temperatures, countries, aims and ages. Whatever helps you to continue to enjoy running in your Luna Sandals is right for you!
My transition 3 years ago from marshmallow shoes to half marathon in Luna’s in 3 months was due to switching to a pair of a UK barefoot shoe manufacturers “Office type” shoes for work, which allowed me to be zero drop all day, rather than just when I went out for a run. That was the best compromise for me as wearing Luna’s with a suit would not have gone down particularly well at work. TMTS (Too Much Too Soon) is the biggest risk with Luna’s as they feel soo good!
Tyler hit the nail on the head. Some of my “fast” friends tell me “you’d be so fast if you’d take it more seriously and stop running in those flip-flops(ugh)”. And I tell them it doesn’t matter how fast I am, I’m having more fun than they are! BTW I’ve broken all my pr’s this year, pr’s that are over two years old from BEFORE I was wearing Lunas. Every single distance from 5k-50k.
And I’ve never worn “shoes” for any distance over 50k, only Lunas.
Always check your knots before a run. If you use the plug it’s probably smart to check that as well.
Along with what Tyler said. Know that Sandals are not the perfect shoe for every situation. Embrace the adversity and have fun.
THANKS EVERYONE for some amazing input!! This a fantastic amalgamation of huarache running tips. I’ll figure out the best way to compile this info - PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE QUOTED on any of the above. Thanks also for all that you Lunatics are doing to spread the joy of running in Lunas to the world!
Thanks for the opportunity to provide input Tom.
Quick list of tips for long distance running in Lunas:
1. Always check your knot or plug before a race or long run.
2. For traditional laces start with your laces a little tighter than you think you will need. They will loosen a little with use.
3. Carry a spare traditional lace.
4. Use lotion on your feet especially if you are going to a new area or climate.
5. Toe or tabby socks can help reduce friction and absorb moisture to help keep your feet in good shape.
6. Ease into using them. Don’t do too much too soon.
7. If your foot is slipping on the footbed from mud or water take the sandal off and wipe the footbed clean with whatever you have; a bandana, shorts, grass, leaves, sand, etc.
8. Lube points that come in contact with the lace.
9. If you become a good barefoot runner it will make your sandal experience more enjoyable.
10. Washing your feet and sandals midway through a long run can be refreshing.
11. Use tape on any spots that tend to develop blisters.
12. Know that sandals are not the perfect shoe for every situation. Embrace the adversity.
13. Have fun and enjoy the experience!
Tyler flying down Hope Pass at the 2013 Leadville 100.