Why I Love My Earth Runners: A Review

earth runners

A couple of years ago, the makers of Earth Runners contacted me and asked if I’d like to try a pair of their minimalist sandals for review. I said Yes, please! I’m embarrassed that it has taken me this long to finally share my review, only because my blog took a back seat in my life due to my son’s high needs. But on the positive side, I’ve had two full years to try them out. I know these sandals and I know that I love them!

Note: I received a free pair, but otherwise, I get nothing if you buy from them. I just think Earth Runners are an awesome product and I want to tell you about them! P.S. I chose the Circadian style, which has the thinnest sole.

Minimalist Sandals: The Second Best Option to Barefoot

earth runners review - minimalist sandals

As longtime readers know, I’m a passionate barefooter. As soon as the temperatures here in Canada are above freezing, you can see me traipsing about without shoes. I believe shoes are (for the most part) unnecessary at best, and harmful at worst. (I’ve written before about why I don’t wear shoes. Wellness Mama has a pretty great article on the benefits of going barefoot, too.)

But occasionally it’s good to wear shoes.

And at those times, I typically reach for my Earth Runners.

Honestly, my primary reasons for wearing shoes are (1) protection from the cold in winter, and (2) to keep people out of my business when I’m in stores and restaurants. (I used to enter public buildings barefoot all the time but got tired of being asked to leave just because I wasn’t wearing shoes.)

Granted, the sandals can’t really help with the first. I have to wear waterproof, insulated boots during our Canadian winters. (In these situations, I look for boots with the flattest soles. Even a one-inch heel can negatively affect your gait.)

But they’re fabulous the rest of the year, especially when I’m in public places.

Why I Love My Earth RunnersEarth Runners review - minimalist sandals

  • They look awesome. Their appearance is unobtrusive and mainstream enough that they don’t draw attention (No one’s like, “WHAT ARE THOSE? Those aren’t regular sandals!”), but they’re stylish and unique enough that I get compliments from my friends. And they go with everything. Casual or semi-dressy. I’m equally comfortable wearing them to the grocery store, on a hike, to church, or on date night.
  • They’re durable. They’re not your cheapo flip-flops made by slaves overseas that only last one season. They’re handmade in the USA. They are well-made and sturdy. You can hardly see any wear on mine after two years. All of the parts are strong and well-assembled.
  • They’re so comfortable. The design of the straps keeps them so secure that they never chafe. The piece that goes between your toes is flat and smooth. Unlike flip-flops, they don’t require an adjustment period in the spring when I first start wearing them. I just slip them on and go. No weird rubbing. No awkward change in my gait pattern to keep them on.
  • They’re as close to going barefoot as I can get. The thin, flexible sole allows my feet to experience the terrain and still move all my foot bones (unlike regular shoes, which immobilize your feet, essentially casting them). The wide toe area allows for proper toe spread. They even contain copper discs in the sole which allow your feet to “ground” with the earth, if that’s something that matters to you.earth runners - minimalist sandals
  • Easy Sizing: If you’re reluctant to buy shoes online because you’re worried about sizing, Earth Runners has an awesome system for finding you the perfect size. They nailed my size exactly.

I still go barefoot more often than not, of course.

If you’re a fellow barefooter, here are the times when I’ve found it helpful to own a pair of minimalist sandals:

  • In the early spring, when transitioning from winter footwear to going shoeless. My feet naturally get more sensitive over the winter when I spend most of my time indoors. It takes a few weeks to adjust to rough outdoor surfaces and colder temperatures in the spring. My Earth Runners are perfect for this.
  • On trips, when I’ll be going in and out of a lot of stores/restaurants/museums. (Normally, if I’m just going into one store, I carry a pair of flip-flops I’ll slip on just before entering, but that’s a pain if I’m going in and out a lot. Better to just keep my pair of Earth Runners on.)
  • When doing yard work. They’re helpful when I need to use a shovel, which are not barefoot-friendly, or when I mow the lawn and I don’t want my soles to be stained green.

So there you go. Whether you’re a full-time barefooter or you just want a healthier alternative to shoes, I love and highly recommend Earth Runners!

P.S. If you want to learn more about the health benefits of going barefoot from an actual expert, and would like information on how to safely transition to minimal footwear, I highly recommend the book Whole Body Barefoot by Katy Bowman. If you’ve been wearing conventional shoes your whole life you may need to transition carefully in order to avoid injury.







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  1. PepperReed says

    <3 Whole Body Barefoot! I just found Katy Bowman (I have a hip injury I'm trying to rehab and her books are very helpful). Thanks for the shoe recommend; I'm a barefooter (not as much as you are, but if my feet are able to be in grass or our home, there's no shoes on my feet), so it's always good to find a quality minimal shoe.

  2. How does the strap between your toes feel? I hate things between my toes (like flip flops) which limits a lot of what I wear on my feet. I need some new sandals though. My kids go barefoot and most stores have given up asking for shoes because they know I always forget­čśé. I’m more of a wimp and only tend to be barefoot at home.
    Marissa recently posted..New Babies on the FarmMy Profile

    • Haha . . . we definitely have the problem of showing up at a place and then remembering, “Oh shoot . . . none of us has shoes!” That’s why we tend to keep a pair each in the vehicle and the stroller basket instead of by the door.

      The strap between the toes is definitely better than flip-flops, because it’s flat nylon and doesn’t move. Since the shoe isn’t dangling from that part of the foot — it’s secured to your foot in a few places — it doesn’t feel so prominent.
      (I gotta say, though, as a fellow Canadian, the currency exchange right now makes them a bit spendier for us than for our U.S. neighbours.)

    • You may want to try the brand ‘XERO’ as they have similar barefoot sandals without something between the toes.

  3. I’ll have to give these a try. When I was a kid people made fun of me because I never had shoes on. Now it’s weird, I can’t stand for my feet to be dirty. Like it makes me cringe. These might be a good balance between the two.

  4. An interesting read! I have been looking for some good sandals for quite some time now, but never found any I like. before Christmas I bought myself a pair from Luna (https://lunasandals.com/collections/2017-luna-collection/products/venado-2-0 ), but returned them to the store as I couldn’t keep my feet from sliding out over the sides. They were not at all slippery, but it seems my my gait (in combination with my wide barefoot feet) pushed my toes over the edge anyway.

    Have you had any such experiences with your Earth Runners? How does skipping, running and turning on your feet work?

    Thanks for a nice post!

    • Hi Edvin! I haven’t personally had that problem with these sandals. I’m surprised that you had that problem with the Luna sandals, only because the design looks fairly similar, so I’m hesitant to say you wouldn’t have the same problem with the Earth Runners. But I find them very secure, and maybe the suede lining on the top makes them more grippy?

  5. These sandles look really minimalist and simple. But I can’t even think of moving around barefooted, it would be really uncomfortable. Any real health benefits?
    John Gatesby recently posted..Hypermobility Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and the Parasympathetic and Sympathetic Nervous SystemsMy Profile

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