Natural Running – My first two months in Luna Sandals

Here is my short story how I became a Luna sandals enthusiast.


Three month ago I decided to have another attempt of barefoot /natural running. I tried it 3 years ago with some fake Fivefinger shoes and without any knowledge and got a stress fracture in my upper shin bone straight away. Now, with some thousands miles of running experience, knowledge and patience I tried it again.

After some research I decided to get a pair of Luna sandals. The model „Mono“ was the pair of my choice as it is a good allrounder. Btw, many people who buy Luna Sandals first read the book „Born to Run“ and then they go out and buy their Lunas. For me it was different. I got first my Lunas and then, during Youtube running style investigations, I heard more details about the book. So I just read it some weeks ago. And hell yeah, it’s an eye opener! 🙂

2016-07-23-05-34-22On June 20th my journey began. I am was a typical heel strike runner and walker, so the first steps with the Luna sandals were very painful. The first 2 weeks I only used the sandals to walk around but calves and hamstrings felt like under a constant torture. But after 10-14 days this pain was gone, and I used the forefoot strike as my normal walking style. During the first days I always had to concentrate on every step to walk in the correct way, and I felt a bit like walking on a catwalk, because the backbone and whole body is very straight in this walking style. It felt strange but my body liked it. I felt that I’m doing something good , very good, to my body. Beside this I started to train my toes. At home, while sitting at the PC or in front of the TV I take a small AAA battery and use my toes to grab it from the floor. It is a simple exercise which can be done everywhere and anytime. I also use a silicon toe spreader at home to help my toes getting back their flexibility. Finally I looked many many Youtube videos about natural running where I got very helpful information.

2016-07-24-07-49-15All this I did BEFORE I started to do my first running steps. I recommend this to everybody who think about to switch into minimalistic natural running style. Get a pair of Lunas or Fivefingers and go out for a run without any basic knowledge will end up very painful and frustrated. Well prepared, it will be an amazing experience. A freedom for your feet, you experienced the last time as a baby.

So, after two weeks just walking, I went out with my running watch. 3km later I was back at my home door. 3km!!! I usually run 15-20km in the morning, and now the pain in my calves brought me back after just 3km. Very frustrating feeling. But because of all information I got before, I knew that this will happen and that the body will need a long time to get used to this new running style.

The magic word is: PATIENCE

Again: If you start too fast, the experience is over also very fast. 2016-07-26-08-14-01Slow increases of time and distance at the training sessions is the only way to switch from heel strike to forefoot running. During the next weeks I increased slowly my running distance. If I got blisters (and I got some serious blisters 🙂 ) I switched to a pair of Vibram Fivefingers or I had a rest day but I never went back again to „normal“ running shoes. The Fivefingers are also very nice shoes for natural running but now in this hot tropical summer I prefer the more minimalistic Lunas. For longer races (not training sessions) I still have to use a pair standard shoes. I was running the Angkor-Wat marathon in Cambodia and the Matterhorn Ultraks in Switzerland in August and I used a pair of Inov-8 shoes with a big toe-box for these long distances. I still feel it to unsafe to run a 40 or 100km distance just in sandals.

Around the World with my Lunas

4 weeks after I started to walk in Lunas, I knew that that this would be my way to run in the future. So I bought 2 more pairs of Luna sandals. The „Venado“, a super thin street running model and the „Leadville Trail“, a trailrunning model with enough grip on rough terrain.

During August I increased my mileage, most of the time in the flat Luna Venado here in Suzhou city around the blocks. Right now I can run 15-18k before my calves starts hurting and legs getting tired.

Last Saturday i managed a big milestone. I finished my first half marathon in Luna Sandals. I got again after 2014 an invitation for a half marathon in Helong / Jilin province, close to the Northkorean border and I decided that this race would be a nice test to run races in Lunas. My intention was just to survive and manage the distance of 21km but at the end I crossed the finish line after 1h:38m.2016-09-10-09-50-47

What will be my next steps? I plan to run my first natural running full marathon next year April or May. This all depends how I will survive during wintertime in my sandals and how my training will be. So far I only used them in hot tropical sommer and the upcoming autumn and winter will be the next challenge.

To be continued…!

But at the end one more time:

The magic word is: PATIENCE

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