I'm coming up on 1 month since I decided to cease any running in racing shoes or any running shoe that isn't a true minimalist running shoe (rocky mountain trails excluded). I've been running exclusively in Luna's and Ultra's (and barefoot) and there's no going back now as the last and final changes in my form have occurred and I've reverted back to my true barefoot form which I experienced twice before when I went 100% barefoot for 3 months, averaging 40 miles per week of barefoot running.
I have to say the Luna's are awesome and I look forward to increasing my miles in the Luna's and ultimately racing in them. As with the VFFs, of course, I'm back to having people look at me in shock or amazement to run in Luna sandals and I've already had a few folks disrupt my run to ask about the sandals I'm running in but, all in all, it's all good and I'm happy to stop and talk to folks about running. My attitude has changed since I kicked all watches/Garmin's to the curb as I now "run by feel" so I'm not concerned with specific times and splits as I know when I'm running hard, medium or easy, and know I don't mind stopping mid-run for a conversation (that's how it should be and shame on me for running selfishly all those years . . . running should be about sharing). I also know my race paces by feel so I don't need any technology.
While the Ultra and Luna both have about 6mm of sole, they feel quite different when running. The Luna is a firmer sole while the Ultra is softer with a bit more of cushion feel than the Luna. As for barefoot-like experience, I give the Luna a slight edge as the foot strike is a bit more similar to the barefoot feel but I'm thrilled to have both in my rotation. Due to the construction of the Luna, I'm closer to the ground vs. the Ultra and I know that due to the additional work on my calves and Achilles but I've had no issues with pain or injury and I get a great workout in the Luna's. I look forward to increasing my Luna miles and ultimately racing in the Luna's.
The single biggest thing I've noticed yet again is my switch back to my natural forefoot strike vs. mid-foot strike. In running shoes (Nike XC's, Nike Katana's, Inov-8 F-Lite 195's, etc.) and some minimalist shoes (Evo's, Neo's, etc.), I tend to mid-foot strike but when I run barefoot or in minimal footwear like Luna's and Ultra's, I forefoot strike. I can't connect any performance or injury differences between the forefoot vs. mid-foot strike except to say that if I forefoot strike while barefoot, then any shoe that alters my strike to mid-foot is un-naturally altering my gait. That alone is compelling to me.