These days, I’m taking notes with a fountain pen. I asked for one for my birthday in April and got a LAMY studio imperialblue with an F nib. I used this pen to draw the faces for my Face Generator using T10 blue ink. And I’m still using it. When I looked at the notes I scanned, yesterday, I was reminded of all the note taking I’m doing on those notebooks with my fountain pen. There is an anachronistic pleasure in it.
Uns hat Chur sehr gefallen. Der Brambrüesch war auch nicht schlecht. Claudia war halt mitten in der Chemotherapie und konnte keine längere Wanderung unternehmen.
About two months ago, I read Born to Run, bought Luna Sandals and switched to running with these sandals almost exclusively. I kept wanting to write about my impressions, but then I discovered that Benjamin Baugh had bought the same sandals at about the same time, had written all the words I wanted to say, and when I asked him, he said I could just repost them.
The sandal we’re talking about is the Luna Mono.
Benjamin Baugh writes on Google+:
In my little vaguebook post yesterday about my new sandals, I said I’d talk about how they handled after my run today.
The conditions were about as good as you’d hope for a test – the most technical trail I had easy access to (lots of roots and rocks, gravel, mud, ups and downs), in first the sweaty Georgia heat, and then in a proper thunderstorm. Plus, about a quarter mile on pavement.
Generally, these sandals performed brilliantly. In fact, the only real issue was getting them adjusted just right. I’ve not worn this style of sandal before, so I wasn’t sure exactly how to dial in the fit. I got left perfect, and the sandal hugged my foot, didn’t slip at all, and by the end I didn’t even notice I had it on anymore. Right was trickier, and while I got it satisfactorily snug, it isn’t sitting as well as the left. I think it’s something to do with the heel strap adjustment.
Righty likes to roll a little, and I step off with a twisting motion on the ball of my foot. This eats into shoes on pavement, and on these sandals tended to rotate my foot out of alignment with the shot, so my heel came over the edge on the inside, and my pinkie toe on the outside. I played around with tightness and cinching the tech strap very snug, but that only made it worse. I got the best results by taking the tech strap off entirely.
At some point, I just decided good enough and got to the running. I only did three miles, between time crunch and fiddling with the sandal adjustment, but they were a very good three miles. No blistering, hot spots, or chafing anywhere, despite expecting a few where my feet were rubbed in unaccustomed places. They’re also incredibly light. Even lighter than the Lems I wear casually (and run in more than I should), about the same weight as my old homemade all-leather guillies.
The grip was excellent, and I didn’t get any slips even on a muddy bank with pine straw. I also didn’t hook the shoe on anything, which is something I do pretty often.
Running with open-top sandals was wonderful though. At one point, to test how they felt when soaking wet I stepped into the lake, and then set off running again. It made my feet delightfully cool, but didn’t affect the fit of the sandals or how they wore at all. I could see wading and fishing in these sandals, and then hiking back afterwards no problem.
These are thicker than what I’m used to running in, but that’s actually looking like it’ll be a boon. I’m still too fat, though I’ve started to lean up really well with the daily runs and no crap diet, and my feet would ache pretty badly after runs in really thin shoes, especially as I’ve started to up the intensity recently. With these, the extra padding was just enough, while not dulling my sense of the ground under me. Gravel was no problem, but I could still feel the surface, and how it shifted. On pavement, they provided just enough spring to make it feel more like I was running on packed dirt instead of asphalt, which is just want I wanted.
In terms of keeping rocks and crap out, I had no problem. I actually have a worse time keeping things out of my lace up shoes, A shake of my foot dislodged the one little piece of gravel and the acorn that got under them.
My earlier assessment that these are well made holds up, I think. No signs of distress at any of the potential failure points in the design. I’ll post an update when I have fifty miles or so on them.
So to sum, fantastic sandals, worked as-advertised on many different surfaces very well, comfortable, fun to run in, but with some unexpected complexity in getting them to fit right.
Benjamin Baugh writes on Google+:
I bought a pair of these a couple of months ago, and did a basic comments/thoughts post on them after running in them a couple of times, and said I’d post more when I had some miles on them. I’m waiting for a system here at work to rebuild, so I thought I’d go ahead and do that now.
My overall impression with 100+ miles on them is positive.
The Mono is Luna’s all-purpose all-terrain sandal – not optimized for road or trail, but providing crossover utility. I hate having lots of different special-purpose shoes, so this was the obvious pick for me. As to how it performed, I have to rate it excellent. The footbed is extremely grippy both on top and underneath. When I got the fit figured out (more on that later), there’s no slipping when they are wet, and they grab the ground better than any shoe I’ve worn. There’s modest wear on the forefoot where I habitually wear down my shoes fastest, but nothing too bad. I have not been gentle on them, and they show no signs of coming apart – the workmanship is great on these. They’re just as sturdy as promised. There are a few thread-ends poking out of areas that have reinforcement sewn on, but nothing coming undone.
As my running is primarily on trails, with a mix of root, dirt, rock, sand, mud, pine straw and leaves, and similar surfaces I’ve found them excellent on everything I’ve tried them on. I have not run on serious sharp rock, but have run on granite gravel without any issue. Only once or twice have I stepped on something that caused me actual pain through the footbed, despite it being dense but fairly soft material. I’ve run in them exclusively since getting them, and use them as my only footwear outside of work, including a recent roadtrip and vacation to Houston.
When I get the fit dialed in properly, they perform brilliantly, but there lies my issue with these sandals. They’re hard to get fitted, and they’re hard to keep fitted.
There are four points of adjustment, and being unfamiliar with how a huaraches type sandal was supposed to fit, I had to mess with it for a month before I got the basics figured out. The side-strap that connects to the one running from the toes can slide up and down the toe strap, as well as tighten. It needs to be a finger’s width from the end of the reinforced slider patch to fit snugly on me. The straps that feed through the footbed need to be adjusted to tighten the heel strap considerably, or it slides off my heel all the time, which is irritating in the grocery store, and intensely aggravating on a run. All well and good… except these adjustments don’t stay put. I have to tweak the adjustments every time I put them on, else they tend to fall off. This is actually more of an issue with walking around daily stuff than running though. I notice much worse slipping when I’m walking casually than when I’m running.
The heel strap is elasticized in this model sandal, and I think that’s where the issue with maintaining a good fit arises. It introduces flex and give in the straps, and that becomes slack that works it way into the system where only tension keeps things in place. The sliding strap always slips forward, the heel strap always gets looser. The Monos come standard with an item that used to be sold separately – a removable ‘tech strap’ which you can see in the pic – the second strap close to my ankle that holds up the heel strap like sandal suspenders. With all the other fits dialed in, and this attached, it solves the heel strap slip issue perfectly, but I think it’s inclusion as a standard item indicates that Luna is aware of the slipping fit issue. I’m not sure if the elastic heel strap adds anything to the comfort or fit of these sandals. I think in future, I’d not buy a sandal with that.
While not perfect, the Monos have proven quite good – they’re certainly a pleasure to run in. I don’t think Luna has the design for an all-terrain all-day sandal nailed down quite yet, but they’re really close with this one. The footbed is certainly there, as is the look. Getting the fit and adjustment system working better and not slipping so much, and providing a bit more guidance on how to go about getting them dialed in would certainly push these from good to excellent .
So, even with their flaws, would I recommend these?
Yes I would, even as they currently are. If you are looking for a minimal light-weight running sandal that can wear everyday as casual footwear, that can handle paved surfaces and technical trails, then these are a winner despite the learning curve and slipping adjustment.
Thank you, Benjamin Baugh, for letting me copy your words so I didn’t have to write anything. I’ll just add that my sandals didn’t come with the tech strap you mentioned, and I do tweak them on every run after maybe half an hour. Oh well. They’re still my favorite way to run because in the last few years my feet have started to complain about my shoes. Small toe feels crushed, big toe feels bent sideways… The sandals are much better than any of my other shoes, running (Asics) or not (Scarpa).
Last Friday, Claudia and I ran 21km and were very proud of ourselves. A week later, she’s been diagnosed with breast cancer. Next meeting is on Monday, where we’ll learn more. Ugh. Fuck Cancer, indeed!
Wir waren wandern! Am Freitag von Art-Goldau über den Gnipen zum Wildspitz und dann wieder runter nach Sattel, und am Abend dann noch mit der Gondel hoch auf Mostelberg. Im dortigen Restaurant haben wir ausgezeichnet gegessen und dann übernachtet. Am Samstag sind wir um den Engelstock gewandert und dann weiter über Mosteleg, Haggenegg und Zwyschet Mythen nach Holzegg, am Fuss des Grossen Mythen, wo wir übernachtet haben. Das Essen war gut aber kein Vergleich zum Vorabend. Am Sonntag sind wir dann weiter über Stäglerenegg, mit Abstecher zum Rotenflue, weiter über Müsliegg, Ibergeregg, zwischen Gross- und Chlishijen durch nach Laucherenchappelen, und dann über Seebli runter zur Bergstation vom Laucheren Sessellift. Mit dem sind wir runter nach Oberiberg gefahren und heim. Sehr schön! Unsere armen Füsse. Wer hat die Wanderschuhe kleiner gemacht?
Bilder gibt’s bei Flickr.
Als ich etwa zwanzig war – wohl schon etwas vorher – fand ich mich so scharfsinnig und so redegewandt, ich dachte, ich könne es mit jedem aufnehmen. Insbesondere mit den Erwachsenen! Mit den Freunden führten wir hitzige Wortgefechte und führten uns auf wie Kinder, die miteinander raufen. Klar, so üben die Kleinen.
Erst mit den Jahren merkte ich, dass mein Auftreten, mein Diskussions-Stil dazu führte, dass man den Diskussionen mit mir aktiv aus dem Weg ging. Mit der Zeit legte sich meine Rechthaberei.
Noch ein paar Jahre später – vielleicht war ich da schon dreissig – merkte ich, dass es oft gar nichts brachte, Recht zu haben. Hierfür gab es verschiedene Gründe. Gewissen Leuten war der Diskussions-Stil mit Argumenten dafür und dagegen fremd. Nach einer Weile wussten sie nicht mehr, was man denn noch sagen “durfte” und sagten lieber nichts mehr. Was aber nicht bedeutete, dass ich sie überzeugt hatte. Oder eine Diskussion wurde mit Allgemeinplätzen beenden. “Da kann man halt nichts machen.” Ja hallo, wenn jegliche Reaktion darauf egal ist, warum haben wir denn darüber geredet?
Oft hatte ich übersehen, dass es verschiedene Gründe für ein Gespräch gibt. Man will sich gegenseitig überzeugen. Man will sich gegenseitig kennen lernen. Man will die Zeit überbrücken. Ich dachte oft, small talk sei Zeitverschwendung. Wer so denkt, versteht nicht, dass small talk ein notwendiger Schritt ist, um eine Beziehung aufbauen zu können. Hier werden grundsätzliche Kompatibilitäten geprüft.
Auch der Umgang mit irrationalen Argumenten musste geübt werden. Ich musste nämlich mit erstaunen feststellen, dass nicht alle davon überzeugt waren, dass rationale Argumente die einzigen Argumente sind. Wer Angst hat, wer traurig ist, den kann man mit rationalen Argument nicht trösten. Wer verliebt ist, den kann man mit rationalen Argumenten nicht warnen. Wer zögert, den kann man mit rationalen Argumenten nicht ermutigen. Aber manchmal kann man mit irrationalen Argumenten etwas erreichen. Eine Ablenkung, ein scheinbar unzusammenhängender Satz, ein Argument, welches nichts zur Sache tut und “trotzdem” wahr ist, ein Bild, eine Pause wie ein leiser Paukenschlag, ein kurzer Moment der Ergriffenheit, des Rapports, ein unwillkürliches Mitnicken. Das waren meine neuen Werkzeuge.
Und selbst jetzt, mit über vierzig Jahren, lerne ich noch hinzu. Über den Aufbau, Kreise innerhalb von Kreisen, Rückgriffe und Vorankündigungen. Wie kommt es überhaupt dazu, dass die Leute uns zuhören wollen?
Ein gutes Beispiel hierfür ist die Verwendung der Gnade Gottes, grace, in Obamas Eulogie für Rev. Clementa Pinckney. Er denkt nach über grace. Er sieht Gottes Hand in den Ereignissen. Grace. Der Mörder konnte nicht wissen, was geschehen würde. Grace. Amazing Grace. Das Publikum erkennt den Liedanfang, aber Obama hält sich zurück, bringt die Zeilen so, dass man aufstehen will, es aber nicht tut. Dann redet er weiter. Über die Gesellschaft, die Gewalt, den Rassismus, über unsere Aufgabe in dieser Welt, und dass unsere Taten der Gnade Gottes Ausdruck verleihen sollen. Der Gnade Gottes. Grace. Amazing Grace. Und dann singt er. President Barack Obama delievered the eulogy at the funeral for Rev. Clementa Pinckney. Transcript.
When you’re moving out you’ll be thinking about things to buy. Considering that I have no kids and still have the urge to impart the wisdom gained by age, whether appreciated or not, as illustrated by me having this blog, here are two things I did not consider when I was young:
You won’t be buying too many beds. You’ll probably be sleeping in your bed for ten years, at least. You might be changing beds when you break up after a long relationship. I don’t know much about that. But assuming that you don’t, don’t feel bad about buying expensive, good looking bed linen. It is expensive when it’s ugly, it’s even more expensive when it’s beautiful, but considering for how many years I usually keep my bed linen, I don’t feel bad about having bought expensive, good looking bed linen.
You will not be buying a lot of towels in your life. Switzerland is a rich country. I have a job that pays well. New towels aren’t high up on my priorities. We bought some nice dish towels when we were in France. I don’t think I have ever thrown away a towel. I may have used a dish towel to apply stuff to wooden furniture. I have never thrown away a bath towel. Some of them are old, many of them are frayed, there’s one with a small hole I made there with a Swiss army knife. Don’t ask. They still work. They’re still useful. I still like them. Which means that I still have those sienna and firebrick towels I took with me from my parent’s household 22 years ago. And I still have those tropical fish and jungle flower bath towels I bought 18 years ago.
Whenever there are things you won’t be buying much in your life, take a moment and think about it.
I’ve recently read Born to Run and it really makes me want to run more. A while ago we started training for 10km runs and these days we moved to training for a half marathon. This book is about 50 miles runs and 100 miles runs, however. It’s also about buying cheaper shoes, eating healthier, running more, and people living in remote areas of the world that still run for hours on end. This book really makes me want to run more.
Beyond all the people that love to run making an appearance in the book, I think it was the statement that humans are made for running and that some of the greatest runners don’t need expensive shoes, training, workouts, plans, and any of that. We are born to run, and so you can just start, on your bare feet if you must. Just start small and work your way up.
There is a passage where a woman likes to run, starts to run on lunch breaks and ends up running 15 miles to the office and back every single working day.
The book is not about tips but about the joy of running. Works for me!
One of the persons mentioned in the book was Barefoot Ted. It turns out he now has a shop and sells the running sandals he saw the natives make from old car tires in Mexico. Yesterday, I bought some from a Swiss web shop. That’s how excited I am. At first, the order didn’t go through. I typed a comment into a chat window, got a response, got a call and had a friendly chat with the guy running the web shop. What a surprise to talk to the people running a web shop.
If you’re wondering about the use of sandals for running, you can find a summary of what the author of Born to Run had to say on his website: the barefoot running debate. It convinced me because of a few things:
There’s plenty of stuff on YouTube.
If you're already running, switching from heel striking to forefoot running is dangerous. I’m guessing that if you’re running 20km a week or more, switching shoes and style is going to be brutal. You have muscles in all the wrong places. I was lucky. We didn’t run. Claudia gave up dancing and was looking for something to do. A friend suggested running. Claudia was skeptical at first because one of the reasons she had stopped dancing was the pain in her feet. But we tried it. I bought some shoes. She bought some shoes. We started with a “recovery” training plan that started with 20min runs and worked our way up. Since we both started basically at zero, I was spared a sudden change in style. If you’re going to switch, I suggest to run 19km a week using your old style and your old shoes, and just run 1km using forefoot running. Switch style as fast as you learned to run in the first place.