Over a year ago, Earth Runners contacted me to ask if I wanted to try their eco-conscious sandals. With the option to choose whichever style I liked, I decided on their Circadian Lifestyle Sandals with the Lifestyle Laces. A little skeptical but willing to give them a go, turns out they were the shoes I didn't know I needed but absolutely loved! Though the Circadian Sandals are still going strong, curiosity got the better of me. What are the other styles like? Would the Performance Laces be better than the Lifestyle Laces? So, after jumping back on their website, I decided to test out Earth Runners' Alpha Adventure Sandals with the Performance Laces. I'm doing this for you, of course!
The Earth Runners Concept
In case you're new to this brand, Earth Runners came to existence due to a gap in the market for eco-friendly, grounding, minimalist sandals. Their shoes are inspired by the ancient Tarahumara huarache sandals but modernized to connect you with the earth's healing and grounding electrical energy. They do this through the conductive laces (sewn with a stainless steel thread) which connect to a copper plug on the soles of the shoes.
Earth Runner's say: "Earthing shoes offer the primal experience of living grounded to the earth, same as all life has evolved on this planet throughout time. Insulated modern rubber shoes interrupt our body's ability to connect with the earth in the way our ancient ancestors lived."
Is grounding yourself to the earth a thing? Apparently! Do I feel different when I wear them? Honestly, no, but I do feel good when I wear them! If you want to read more about grounding technology, check out this page.
This page probably contains affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission if you choose to purchase through a link I provide (at no extra cost to you!). This helps to keep me on the road and continue to bring awesome content to you!
What's so good about Earth Runners?
- The shoes were created for trail running, hiking, walking, water activities, slacklining, and plenty more
- Vibram soles with a lifetime manufacturer warranty
- High-quality craftsmanship
- Lightweight to wear and carry
- Grounding technology
- Custom made for you in California
- Global shipping
What's the difference between the Elemental Adventure Sandals, Circadian Adventure Sandals, and Alpha Adventure Sandals?
Elemental Adventure Sandals & Elemental Lifestyle Sandals
- For people who don't like wearing shoes but have to
- 8mm Vibram Sole - the thinnest of the three, made to imitate walking barefoot while protecting your feet
- Vibram Gumlite Outsole and no footbed
- Quickest drying of the three
Circadian Adventure Sandals & Circadian Lifestyle Sandals
- 9mm Vibram Sole with a cotton footbed
- If you're new to minimalist soles then they can take some getting used to if walking extremely long distances
- The most amount of traction out of the three and are suitable for water activities
Alpha Adventure Sandals & Alpha Lifestyle Sandals
- For people who are new to minimalist footwear or will be walking long distances
- 12mm Vibram Sole with a cotton footbed – the thickest of the three
- The most cushioning but the least amount of traction
What's the difference between the Performance Laces (Adventure Sandals) and Lifestyle Laces (Lifestyle Sandals)?
- The Performance Laces take a little longer to wear in but feel much more secure, will last longer, and are better for water activities.
- The Lifestyle Laces are instantly comfortable, they stretch a little when wet, and they're not as secure. Good laces to begin with if you're hesitant.
Now we’ve covered the basics! Let me give you a review on my new Alpha Adventure Sandals.
I chose the Camo Performance Laces to add a little color to my wardrobe. I knew my size from the last time I ordered, but if you're unsure, there is a size guide on the ordering page.
My shoes arrived within a couple of weeks (I did order just before the 4th July weekend!), and I was so excited when they were delivered. The Earth Runners packaging only consists of 1 small cardboard box, a piece of paper with instructions, a receipt, a sticker, and the shoes with an elastic band around them. No plastic or unnecessary packing - well done guys!
After trying on the Alpha Adventure Sandals, my first impression was that they're much thicker - even though it's only 3mm – you can feel the difference.
The performance laces are significantly stronger. They are taking a little longer to get used to though, mainly between my toes. I jumped on the Earth Runners website and had a browse through their FAQ's to find this:
"If any discomfort between the toes persists after the break-in-period (10-15 hours of use), grab the thong part of the laces coming through from the bottom of the sandal as close as you can to the sandal bed. Now rotate the laces (slightly) away from the toe (Big toe-or-second toe) that is in the most discomfort."
My previous pair had a hemp footbed, so it was interesting to see they've changed to cotton. To me, it doesn't seem any different, but it will be interesting to see how the cotton canvas holds up after 6 and 12 months.
- High-quality materials: Heavy duty cotton canvas dyed in small batches with low impact dye in Los Angeles, and Vibram outsoles for ultimate grip
- The laces are incredibly sturdy. No adjustments were needed while running in them
- Although they're thicker, they still feel weightless to run in and keep their flexibility
- The sole is a comfortable thickness - great for walking and running
- The laces don't rub on my ankles or heels
- The laces between my toes took a little longer to adapt to compared to my Circadian Lifestyle Sandals - though I fixed the problem from the FAQ's on their website
- I noticed the footbed isn't sewn around the edges like it is on my Circadian Sandals. It will be interesting to see how well the fabric stays connected to the sole
- The base has a different tread to the Circadian Sandals and doesn't grip quite as well, but they are still better than most other shoes
I wear my Earth Runners nearly every day in warm weather. If I have my hiking boots on, my Earth Runners are usually in my backpack. So far I'm really liking the Alpha Adventure Sandals and prefer them over my Circadian for everyday use and for water activities. I feel the Circadian Sandals are more practical for hiking and running as they're a little more flexible and cooler.
If you're undecided about which style to get, check out my review on the Circadian Lifestyle Sandals which I've had for over a year now.
I highly encourage you to give Earth Runners a try. They're ethically handmade in the USA, have a 30-day money-back guarantee, and ship globally - there's no excuse!
I was provided with this product in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this article are my own and not influenced by the company.