This morning was my first test of the Luna Leadville sandals. As many of you know I've been searching for true minimalist footwear for over 3 yrs. that I can use when I'm running in the mountains. I have my favorite spot in the southern Colorado mountains and my paths and trails range from 7,000 - 14,000 ft. over rocky trails and pretty rocky country dirt roads. This terrain has proven too much over the years for all the previous minimalist footwear I've tried including KSOs, Treks, Bikila's, Evo's and Ultra's.
Well, I just finished a 1 hr. run this morning at about 8,000-9,000 ft. in the Leadville's and all I can say is "Finally!!!!" They rock big time. I immediately took them to the toughest parts of my runs and it was exactly what I've wanted which is too feel the rocks but not risk a metatarsal injury especially as a forefoot runner. The gives the minimal amount of protection I need for this terrain which is exactly what I've wanted.
They have significantly more cushion than the Luna original which I normally run in now and they aren't great on roads but that's not what they were designed for. They were designed for the tough stuff and they are great in the tough stuff. They force you to stay alert and pay attention which is a requirement of any shoes I run in. I never want to float along without also being alert and I always want to run by feel and feel the ground as I move along.
Nothing matches pure barefoot but I've finally found true minimalist footwear for the easy stuff (Luna Originals) and the tough stuff (Luna Leadvilles). Of course, once my run was over, I had to take off the Leavilles and put on my Luna Originals for walking around. Other than running on the tough stuff, the Leadville is too much shoe otherwise but it's perfect for exactly what it's designed for. I suspect my feet will never tough a pair of regular shoes, not even racing shoes ever again!!!
More to come later . . .