Earth Runners- Barefoot Sandals For Adults and Children

In Barefoot Shoes, BLOG, Kids by Gwyn0 Comments

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The “WHERE TO BUY” section can be found at the end of this post, or visit the SHOP page.

 

Attention parents! Before you get too excited about this review, as of now, Earth Runners has an unusual window of time custom made sandals (which is how they make children’s sandals) are available. They only offer custom made sandals in the winter months. I am shocked that they aren’t offered in the season with the most need- summer, however I understand when running a  company some things need to be done for the best of the company. I hope this will be temporary and will be resolved by next year to offer children’s sandals in the actual summer! If you are looking to get children’s sandals and wish to try them in the Fall season, you can signup for a notification email HERE. Adult pre-sized sandals are available year round!

 

GET TO KNOW EARTH RUNNER SANDALS

Earth Runners makes barefoot sandals for adults and children. What are barefoot shoes? Barefoot shoes are shoes that mimic barefoot walking, creating optimal health for your feet, and in turn, your entire body. This requires a shoe with no arch support, no heel rise (also known as zero drop), a sole that lets your feet feel what you are walking on- meaning it has bend or gives with the movement of your foot, plenty of toe space both from side to side and top to bottom, materials that don’t restrict your foot’s movement by being too stiff, and have a way of staying securely on your feet (i.e. they don’t flop around). These are often sometimes referred to as minimalist shoes, meaning less is more. Barefoot shoes provide protection from the elements without restricting the natural functionality of our feet. Doesn’t this just make sense! Let the foot do what it is meant to do.

 

MY STORY

You may have already read a little about my history of arch problems, shin splints, and so on (you can read more here), but I have yet to mention what I did about sandal wear. Obviously you can’t very easily put arch supports in most open toe sandals, so I used to only buy sandals that had an arch already designed into the sole. This way I had the “arch support” I thought I needed all year round. When I learned that the idea of addressing arch support should be focused on strengthening them (meaning not prohibiting their moment by wearing arch supports, but rather letting your feet move the way they were intended), I was saddened when I couldn’t find barefoot style sandals.

Thank goodness for a newer company called Barefoot Provisions. In browsing their new online paleo grocery store, I noticed these sandals on one of the gal’s tootsies. After a little digging, I found she was wearing Earth Runners. I couldn’t wait to try them, but it happened to be winter here in Ohio. After a long winter of waiting, finding Lems Shoes for winter time, and Awesome Toes by YogaBody to help speed up my foot strength, I finally ordered my Earth Runners for an early vacation down south.

What’s even better is that I was able to order both my daughters Earth Runners as well. And we love them!

 

MY REVIEW OF EARTH RUNNERS SANDALS

As I’ve already stated, my girls and I love these sandals! They are minimalist, unisex, comfortable, and available for both adults and children!

They meet the barefoot shoe requirements in addition to being so stylish!

I must be honest in telling you I was rather upset when I first opened them. I thought what the heck, this looks so confusing. It took a few days of adjusting the laces to completely satisfy me. See the below tips for adjusting the laces. Don’t give up, they are worth the initial confusion!

Here are a few pictures of our Earth Runners in action at a farm in Hilton Head.

There is nothing better than being able to see your children walk and use their feet correctly!

My sandals are the Circadian option with a 9mm Vibram sole and hemp foot bed lining. I have the black nylon lace with brown trim. The hemp foot bed doesn’t make my foot sweat like leather and rubber sole materials do (the Vibram sole is rubber, but the hemp part is what touches your foot if you choose the hemp foot bed option).

My daughters both have black nylon laces with black trim, hemp foot bed, and the 9mm Vibram sole.

 

HELPFUL TIPS WHEN SHOPPING FOR EARTH RUNNERS

  • Lacing the Earth Runners can be a tad bit tricky. Ok, that’s a bit of an understatement. I honestly thought I was sending them back the minute I opened them. I didn’t see the helpful piece of paper inside the package. Don’t overlook this paper, you will need it! You will get the hang of it!
  • If they are hurting your, or your children’s, toe gap area, give this area more slack. I let this area be very loose, and then tighten the top band which goes horizontal across the foot, securing the sandal onto the feet. I can easily get my finger underneath of the vertical running lace going to the toe gap, but I make the horizontal lace tight. If this sounds confusing, having the sandal and the instructional piece of paper in front of you is helpful.
  • How do I order children’s sandals? There isn’t a size selection method?
    • Children’s sizes are currently considered custom sandals. You must send Earth Runners a foot tracing. You choose the lace color and sole bed material, add to cart, pay, and then submit your scanned tracing via email. You will need to include your order number in this email, which is why you must order and pay first. They will send an immediate confirmation upon receiving your trace.
    • In case you missed it at the top of this post,
      Attention parents! Before you get too excited about this review, as of now, Earth Runners has an unusual window of time custom made sandals (which is how they make children’s sandals) are available. They only offer custom made sandals in the winter months. I am shocked that they aren’t offered in the season with the most need- summer, however I understand when running a  company some things need to be done for the best of the company. I hope this will be temporary and will be resolved by next year to offer children’s sandals in the actual summer! If you are looking to get children’s sandals and wish to try them in the Fall season, you can signup for a notification email HERE. Adult pre-sized sandals are available year round!
  • The normal adult sandals don’t need a tracing. Custom made sandals for adults are great if you have especially short or long toes. I did just fine with the normal size and I have rather long toes. The normal adult sizing charts can be found here.
  • Earth Runners has a thicker sole option meant for those transitioning from traditional shoes to barefoot shoes. I have not tried these, nor feel they are needed to transition to barefoot shoe wearing.
  • We did have one sort of malfunction that I want to share incase you have the same issue! The grounded copper plug on my daughters sandals stuck out of the sole when we first received them. It protruded out the bottom, not the top, so it wasn’t hurting them, but it made an awful clicking noise every time my daughters took a step. If they were walking on a hard surface, you could hear them from a mile away- click click click! My oldest daughter gets a kick out of clicking them when she walks, so she purposefully stomps. So while it looks she is walking flat footed, it’s intentional. It still drives me nuts so my husband found that the lace at the toe separation area can be pulled to pull the copper plug up into the sole like they are in my sandals. My grounded copper plug was fine upon arrival. I hope this isn’t a common occurrence but if you do happen to have the same issue, I wanted to state there is an easy fix.

– If you need to work on getting the natural spread of your feet muscles back to human, rather than the smooshed specimens typical modern shoes create, check out Awesome Toes. Awesome Toes are toe spreaders that can be worn while you walk and even in Lems Shoes. These aren’t the toe spreaders listed on Lems Shoes’ website. I like Awesome Toes better because they actually wrap around your toes to stay in place.

-A good book for further reading on the concept of barefoot shoes is Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, a story about finding the answers of a tribe filled with amazing athletes despite the fact that their shoes are made of almost nothing. I thought it was a very intriguing book. I found myself shaking my head yes in agreement to many of the things written; the difficulty finding any information about healthy feet and the frustration of why what the author was being told to do, and wear, wasn’t fixing his arches.

 

A NOTE ABOUT COLD WEATHER BAREFOOT SHOES

In case you are reading this during the colder months, below I’ve also listed links to the cold weather barefoot shoe companies I recommend. Their reviews can be here: Wilding Shoe- children barefoot shoe review, Lems Shoes- adult barefoot shoe review.

 

WHERE TO BUY- SHOP…

EARTH RUNNERS

 

LEMS SHOES

WILDLING SHOES

YOGABODY AWESOME TOES

BORN TO RUN

 

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