Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Bad Sneakers and Luna-tics

Don't believe everything your apps tell you.

Kevin du Plessis ‏(@SewiousDeliwium) posted this message from his running app: “Most manufacturers and coaches recommend that you replace running shoes every 300-600mi to help prevent injury. Now might be a good time to reward yourself with a new pair.” His response made me smile:
“Nope. Still good as new 👍🏼 @LUNAsandals”
My Luna Sandals are two years old and also like new. I expect them to last ten years and thousands of miles. Why not? A pair of $100 shoes should still work fine after 500 miles. That idea, however, is heresy in the running world.  
The Luna Sandal is a rubber tread (mine are made from recycled tires) with a rubber footbed and straps with a bit of velcro and buckle for adjustments. They protect the bottom of the foot but offer no cushion or support. I’ve run everything from a 5K to a 31-mile ultra in them. They’re my only running shoes.
Seeing them, runners tend to scoff. I don’t mind. I don’t try to convert. I used to, but these days, I’m just happy to run my way.
I’m free in my Lunas or running barefoot, free from the way things have to be done. Runner’s World and shoe manufacturers demand shoes be padded and thrown away just as they are breaking in. They push pronation and supination and whateverination all of which matter, coincidentally, only when running in padded, supportive shoes.
The author's Luna Origens after a winter run.
Beautiful feet not shown. 
Damn it. I’m preaching. Sorry about that.
I don’t want to buy from giant corporations making products in factories where I wouldn’t want to work. Lunas are made in Seattle in a shop run by Barefoot Ted (from Born To Run) who answers customer questions himself. It’s small, good business. Unlike Nike, Saucony, Asics, and the rest, they’re proud their sandals last far beyond 500 miles.
Good tools should retain value. Running shoes don’t. My feet are good tools as well and the sandals care for them. I’ve run barefoot or in Lunas for eight years without injury. This after four years of plantar fasciitis.

Kevin du Plessis isn’t buying what his running app is selling. Neither am I. There’s a line from Tuesdays With Morrie: “ have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it.” I’m not buying the running world’s “common sense” of waste. I’m merrily running my own way.