Sandal Anatomy–What Are Earth Runners Made Of?

Michael Dally
Performance Laces: Security

In a quest to create the ultimate water performance lace we worked with a specialty mill manufacturer to create laces with the greatest longevity, function, and comfort on both land and water. Performance Laces feature a 1/2" soft hydrophobic polyester webbing that is wrapped in a highly abrasion resistant Mil-Spec nylon, resulting a in 9/16" wide lace. The outer sheath wraps all the way around the core webbing while leaving a gap down the top center third allowing the toe post to fold tightly between the toes for maximum comfort and performance.

    earth runners performance laces
    Lifestyle Laces: Comfort

    Lifestyle Laces share the same two component design of our Performance Laces, yet the abrasion-resistant nylon trim reinforcement is much thinner which makes the lace more pliant. Lifestyle Laces feature a 5/8" wide nylon and lined with a thin strip of Mil-Spec nylon on the top side. Softer and more flexible, Lifestyle Laced Sandals are the best choice for daily comfort and security.

    Grounded Conductive Laces

    Our earthing sandals are designed to keep you grounded to bare Earth via our Grounded Conductive Laces™. Nature is the ideal place for this, as natural surfaces connect you to the native circadian rhythm and Schumann Resonance of the Earth.

    Earth Runners worn on bare Earth allow the copper lace plug situated on the outsole to make effective connection with the ground, facilitating electron transfer between your body and the Earth through the stainless steel lined lace circuit. This effectively grounds the body via the intimate connection of lace and foot–similar to that of being barefoot.

    grounded adventure earthing sandals

      Adventure-Ready Ergonomic Lacing System:

      The historical use of our lacing system–using a single lace to bind the feet to a sandal–has been in existence for thousands of years; the most well-known example being the huarache running sandal of Northern Mexico. The persistence of this tried and true design speaks volumes to its efficiency and effectiveness.

      Through 6 years of rigorous research and development for creating the ultimate adventure-friendly running sandal for both land and water, we have found the ancient huarache design to be the most simple, comfortable, secure and free. The ergonomic routing of our laces harnesses the least dynamic areas of the foot to avoid friction and maximize freedom. Our triangular hugging anchor points on the sides of the sandal maximize the security of the heel. This helps to minimize lateral and longitudinal heel motion, which is critical to keep you adventure-ready and stable across varied terrain!

      ergonomic laces minimalist
        No™ Toe Box

        Toe and metatarsal freedom assists with proper distribution of body weight and optimal ankle and knee stability, as well as allowing the toes to more aptly sense and react to the environment via less proprioceptive interference. Earth Runners feature a single thong strap over the least dynamic portion of the forefoot with a wide sandal platform and no toe box for full toe mobility. No™ Toe Box allows the toes to extend to the sky unencumbered with every stride and splay naturally upon landing.

        By renouncing the standard cramped and unnaturally-shaped toe box, Earth Runners sandals allow for maximum comfort and movement efficiency.

        • Foot-freedom, no toe box to conform to.
        • Free toes: toes can extend, lay and splay naturally.
        • More powerful toe-off with every stride.
        • Healthy utilization of your natural full body shock absorption system.
        • Feet are able to stabilize pronation (inward tilt) naturally.
        • No Toe Box allowing the foot to breath and sense temperature.

        no toe box minimalist sandals

          Zero Drop:

          Zero-drop soles are the same thickness from the toes to the heel–the natural position of our feet. Many running shoes have elevated heels which promote heel striking and increase stress on your bones and joints. Soles that are zero-drop maximize proprioception and encourage proper gait, which minimizes landing impact. Zero drop shoes don't alter the angle of the foot in relation to the body and ground, (the same as being barefoot) therefore not adversely affecting the geometry and length of the Achilles tendon--the thickest tendon in the human body.

            Responsive Minimalist Soles: 

            Responsive soles avoid the clumsy effect overly cushy soles have on bio-mechanics by offering a responsive interface between the body and ground with minimal yet effective protection. Stable responsive soles provide accurate biofeedback from the terrain underfoot, resulting in a more precise and accurate gait cycle. We aim to avoid proprioceptive confusion caused by feet pushing through thick cushioned soles in search of a stable and predictable platform to react to (the ground). This effort to achieve feedback from the terrain through unresponsive soles results in a loss of energy and bio-mechanical fluidity. We opt to offer minimalist sandals with responsive soles to help promote proprioceptive skills, proper biomechanics, and healthy running form in pursuit of the ultimate barefoot experience.

            wicking responsive minimalist soles
              Earth Grip Footbed

              In extreme endurance events sandals are sure to get drenched in sweat and are likely to become submerged in water. When the Earth Grip Footbed gets wet, the composition is able to pull moisture away from the foot and into the cotton canvas membrane, helping to preserve traction. By preventing moisture accumulation and pooling under the foot, the (mild bare earth equivalent) textured cotton canvas maintains traction in both wet and dry conditions. Two thumbs up for the sweat-wicking and amphibious traction on this footbed!

              Our Earth Grip footbed is dyed in small batches using GOTS certified organic dye in Los Angeles, California. The fabric itself is not certified organic. The farmers in India who grow our cotton use traditional practices that have been in place for over 100 years - before modern fertilizers were introduced. We laminate the Earth Grip footbed to the Vibram® outsole using solvent-free adhesive.

                Locking Buckle:

                The lace routing on our huarache running sandal-inspired design is unique and is made possible by our proprietary locking buckle. We custom designed this hardware with our friends at Twin Performance Engineering to surpass the high performance demands put on our Earthing Adventure Sandals. With their in-house 3D printer we were able to prototype over ten iterations of the buckle until we had the perfect design that proved itself during rigorous testing out in the wild. This low-profile buckle is designed to be (1) extremely durable and (2) hold high lace tension with zero slip or un-buckling while in action. Our buckles are injection molded in Santa Cruz, California.

                  custom adventure sandal buckle
                  Vibram Gumlite Compound
                  vibram gumlite sole

                  An expanded rubber compound with a specific weight 40% less than solid rubbers. Vibram Gumlite compound, the soles for our Circadian and Elemental sandals, is engineered to be long-wearing, and provides improved grip–even at low temperatures.

                  vibram sole

                    Vibram Morflex Compound
                    vibram morflex sole

                    A microcellular compound based on the use of EVA and natural rubber with a specific weight of 50% that of solid rubber. Morflex, the sole for our Alpha sandals, is extremely soft yet ensures excellent grip and durability.