Mono’s by Luna Sandals – First Impressions

I’ve been mostly running with my Original Luna Sandals for the past 8 months and love running in open toed sandals. Luckily so far, I haven’t stubbed my toes yet. I’d like to believe it’s skills, but know better. Though as I wrote in my last blog, after 700 miles later, the Originals went bust when during a downhill run, a sharp rock almost tore through the sole. The Luna Monkeys helped me order the Mono’s while it was still in beta. Even though I received it a couple of weeks ago, I ran last week’s 30K trail run in my broken Originals since I didn’t have enough time to break in the Mono’s.

Mono’s by Luna Sandals

My kids happen to pick up the package from the mailbox and as soon I saw the Mono’s, their first impression was, “These sandals are much thicker, Dad!”. At 4.6oz with a 12mm thick footbed, the Mono’s are definitely thicker than the Originals and heavier. From the Luna Sandals product page:

The Mono (pronounced “moe-no”) is made up of a light, moldable Vibram sole combined with the Pittards Premium Leather or non-slip MGT footbed for a total thickness of 12mm. The protective, lightweight sole allows for a wide variety of uses from casual wear to trail running, while the overall thickness means the ankle holes can be countersunk to reduce wear on the laces.

Luna Sandals Mono's

Luna Sandals Mono’s

I was definitely concerned about the 12mm sole since I love the ground feel and truly believe that makes be a better, safer and more aware runner. I finally got a chance to break-in the Mono’s on my favorite 10-mile PG&E loop at Ranch San Antonio park. This was a slow recovery run for me, just days after a race. So took it nice and easy. The ATS (All Terrain Strapping) laces are much like in the Originals and can be adjusted easily for the right fit. The Originals hardly have any traction and that was part of my attraction to the Mono’s.

The naked MGT (Monkey Grip Technology) footbed is also new since I had the Suede on the Originals. The MGT footbed felt grippy and my foot didn’t slip over the sandals. After 10 miles, I didn’t feel any abrasion on the bottom of my feet. I don’t know if it’s because the sandals haven’t been broken in yet or it’s because of the thickness, but I felt that the sandals were a little slappier and louder. Maybe the noise will go down a bit after the sole molds and adapts to the shape of my feet. However, I felt much more sure-footed on the downhill runs with the Mono’s.

Overall, I like the Mono’s but do wish I had gotten the Venado’s if anything for the thinner sole. My next 35K run will be with the Mono’s and I’ll know soon how it performs in a race. Have you tried out the Mono’s? What’s your first impression?

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