Back in 2015 my New Year’s resolution was to only wear high quality footwear. I’ve managed to keep that resolution and believe it’s making a positive impact on my body. When Earth Runners contacted me and asked if I would review a pair of their shoes, always happy to try new things, I jumped on their website to see what they were all about. What I discovered was outstanding reviews, what looked like quality craftsmanship and a very interesting product concept so naturally I was intrigued.
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The Earth Runners Concept
Earth Runners have designed a shoe which can help you tap in to your primal instincts of running barefoot whilst still protecting your feet. When we wear shoes we disconnect from the earth’s healing and grounding electrical energy. Their conductive laces which lead to a copper plug between the toes on the sole helps you reconnect with the earth which in theory leaves you feeling balanced and energized. This grounding technology was news to me so I was more than keen to give it a try.
As they’re a minimal and lightweight shoe in comparison to many other footwear options, I thought they would be perfect for my backpacking trip around North America this summer.
While selecting which range would suit me best I was pleased with the variety of choices. I used their comparison chart to find something just right. The perfect shoe would need to be suitable for water based activities, have a solid tread for hiking, would stay on my foot while running and have a nice amount of cushioning for those extra long walks. I chose the 9mm thinner sandals in the Circadian Model as the hemp earth-grip foot bed sounded appealing. They are made with a Vibram Sole for ultimate grip and I chose the Silver Nylon with Khaki Trim lace colour to match the rest of my travelling wardrobe. A little unsure if I was making the right sizing decision, Lauren from the team sent me a size guide to print off to check, then I could order with confidence. After my request was submitted the Earth Runner team got to work constructing the shoes in their Californian factory and were soon shipped to Australia.
It was an exciting day when my Earth Runners arrived. Once they were home I opened the package to admire the well-crafted shoes. Adjusting the foot strap was a little fiddly so it was good they came with instructions. Not completely sure how tight they should be, I first tested them around the house with one tighter and one looser to see which was best. The perfect fit was somewhere in between the two for walking, then a little tighter for running.
These sandals were comfortable as soon as they were first put on. There was no “wear in” period. The laces don’t rub and the hemp foot bed feels so nice under the souls of my feet. They feel weightless when running and make it easy to be light on my feet. The flexibility of the flat sole moves with my foot and the security of the straps is reassuring, making for a very comfortable shoe. There’s no slipping, chafing, blisters or squished toes.
The only time the Earth Runners were slightly unpleasant was when I walked 6km on an asphalted road. The shoes were still comfortable but the heels of my feet and my knees felt tender from the hardness of the ground and I was left wishing the soles had more padding. If you do a lot of asphalt walking, the Alpha model would be much more suited to you.
The other downside is that the woven hemp foot bed can get dirty quite easily. To prolong the life of the shoe I wash them frequently with mild laundry detergent then let them dry well. It’s not a big deal but it’s just something to stay conscious about. There are other foot bed alternatives if this is something you would be concerned about.
I wear my Earth Runners nearly every day. When they’re not on my feet, they tucked neatly away in my backpack. I have a feeling these shoes are going to last a very long time and I won’t hesitate to get myself another pair when they finally do wear down.