Once upon a time…
Ted McDonald took off his shoes and started running. After a lifetime of being shoed and cast with modern footwear, it took him years to rehabilitate his feet and legs and establish himself as one of the forerunners (get it?) in the field of barefoot running.
In the spring of 2006, Barefoot Ted visited the Copper Canyons of Northern Mexico with a group of elite ultra marathon runners. It was there in the rugged Sierra Madre mountains that Ted met Manuel Luna, a local Tarahumaran, who helped him make a pair of traditional huarache sandals out of an old tire. The seed for Luna Sandals had been planted.
A few years later Ted found himself at Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill in Seattle, Washington, where he serendipitously met the Smuin Brothers: Bookis, an accomplished web designer, and Scott, a primitive tinkerer and aspiring survivalist. They were exactly what he needed to really get Luna Sandals off the ground.
Within 6 months they had moved sandal production out of Ted's garage and into a humble factory at 19th and Prospect on Capitol Hill, launched the Luna website, and, as they say, the rest is history.
Shots of Lunas from around the world.
The Luna Philosophy
We believe that when we become more connected and in tune with our own bodies, as well as with each other, we can often regain a fundamental source of happiness and good health. Our bodies are not broken by design, and when we trust them, our instincts, and our desires, we often find a more genuine expression of who we are.
We are interested in the designs of traditional sandals from all over the world: sandals made out of natural, sustainable materials that are easy to make by hand with simple tools. Minimalist footwear traditions are part of our shared heritage and we should preserve them and encourage others to do the same.
Our sandal collection represents the best fruits of our experiences and experiments with old-school footwear and gleanings from insights that we have gathered from both our ancestors and our customers. Through small-scale, sustainable production, we give a growing audience a chance to try what we consider to be fine minimalist running sandals that happen to also be great everyday footwear.
We believe that building community, encouraging health, wellness, fun, and adventure is more important than a standard business model.
Luna Sandals has always been closely tied to the Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon, but now we're officially donating 1% of our online revenue to CCUM, the organization responsible for the race.
To donate or sign up for the race, please visit ultracb.com.
What's the big deal?
- Lunas have been shipped to over 65 countries and every continent, even Antarctica!
- Lunas have been worn at the Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon, Leadville Trail 100, Ford Ironman World Championship, the Manhattan Beach 10k (which was won by Lunar Monkey Patrick Sweeney), and dozens of other races.
- The Original Luna was chosen as "Best in Show" at the 2011 Outdoor Retailer Expo by Gear Junkie.
- The Original Luna was listed as one of the 5 best barefoot options by Stuff.tv.
For more on Luna, check out our press page.
What are people saying about us?
- If you want high quality, low maintenance minimalist footwear get a pair of Luna Sandals.
- Adventure World Magazine
- Luna has taken it to the next level using comfortable materials and an advanced lacing system to provide a feeling as close as you can get to having nothing on your feet – without making you cry every time you go over a pebble.
- The best type of huarache sandals are made by Barefoot Ted at Luna Sandals.
- John Durant, well-known Urban Hunter-Gatherer
- No company has come as close to paying homage to the incredible super-athlete Tarahumara as Luna Sandals.
- Huarache Blog
- Compared to Vibram Five Fingers, [Luna Sandals] are beyond minimalistic.
- Pieter Joost
- If you’ve wanted a barefoot alternative for a while but found that FiveFingers didn’t fit right, these are the way to go. Plus, you can call them your 'gladiator sandals'.
- Matt at FreeFitGuy.com
- The most comfortable, fantastic, handmade-by-a-friend sandals, and I can't stop running around in joy wearing them!
- Callie McNew
Barefoot Ted, Spokesmonkey
BFT is the founder, spokesmonkey, innovator, and troublemaker.
Bookis Smuin, Chief Monkey
Bookis is CEO, Web/Tech Guru, and a Crazy Running Fool (CRF).
Scott Smuin, Operations Monkey
Scott is Head of Operations and a true lover of Peanut Butter.
Philip Stark, Silverback Monkey
He thinks too much, such men are dangerous.
Tom Norwood, Sales Monkey
Tom is our Sales Monkey, but he's so much more than that.
Dylan Romero, PR Monkey
Dylan is our PR Wizard and the only one of us with any real business training.
Jeff Smuin, Craft Monkey
Jeff is a sandal-making fool. For realz. He's probably making you a pair right now.
Eli Duke, Makeshift Monkey
Eli does a lot of things, usually involving a computer, a camera, or his HUGE head.
Marilyn Young, Distribution Monkey
Marilyn makes sure that the right sandals go to the right places at the right time. Awesome, right?
Hannah Tyo, Stitching Monkey
Hannah is a sewing savant, creative costumier, and a big reason why your ATS laces look so snazzy.
Mothra, Mother Monkey
Mothra keeps the factory cleaned and organized, and she packs our lunches. :)
Patrick Sweeney, Running Monkey
Sweeney is our sponsored Lunar Monkey, a true lover of avocados and booze. He is Bourbon Feet.
Hand-crafted, minimalist sandals that preserve the age-old
connection between the Human Foot and the Earth