FAQ Sections:


REFUND: What is your refund policy?

We offer a money back guarantee for sandals returned in like-new condition within 30 days of receiving your order in the mail. Please note, opened socks are non-refundable (no one wants used socks!). More details on our Return Policy below.

​How to return​ sandals: Domestic (USA)​

  1. Fill out the form below to be redirected to our Return Portal.
  2. Return Portal: Look up your order.
  3. Return Portal: Select items to return.
  4. Return Portal: Print Prepaid shipping label.
  5. Pack your return with the prepaid label on the outside of the box.
  6. Drop off your return package in any blue USPS® collection box, or put in your mailbox for your local postal worker to collect.

*If you are making a return via the link above, a $10 return shipping & processing fee will be deducted from your refund. If you are exchanging your sandals there is no return shipping fee.

For International Returns:

Given the limitation with international return labels, we ask that customers outside the USA send their sandals back for returns.

Please send your sandals back to the following address:

Earth Runners Returns/Exchanges
4200 Ross Rd.
Sebastopol, CA

Return Policy: If you need to return your Earth Runners for a refund within 30 days of receiving your order in the mail, be sure you are returning clean, only-worn-indoors-for-testing, like-new sandals. At our discretion, if the sandals show signs of wear preventing us from re-selling as new, we may charge a 35% return-used-sandals-fee. Heavily used sandals will not be accepted. Original shipping and insurance charges are non-refundable. Chat with us anytime for help determining fit or sizing issues, we want you to have the ultimate sandal experience!


EXCHANGE: How do I exchange my sandals for a different size/model?


How to exchange sandals: Domestic (USA)

  1. Fill out the form below to be redirected to our Return Portal.
  2. Return Portal: Look up your order.
  3. Return Portal: Select items to exchange.
  4. Return Portal: Print Prepaid shipping label.
  5. Pack your return with the prepaid label on the outside of the box.
  6. Drop off your return package in any blue USPS® collection box, or put in your mailbox for your local postal worker to collect.


Given the limitation with international return labels, we ask that customers outside the USA send their sandals back for exchange including a note with your desired exchange.

Please send your sandals back to the following address:

Earth Runners Returns/Exchanges
4200 Ross Rd.
Sebastopol, CA

Exchange Policy: If you need to return your Earth Runners for an exchange, be sure you are returning clean, only-worn-indoors-for-testing, like-new sandals. At our discretion, if the sandals show signs of wear preventing us from re-selling as new, we may charge a 20% restocking fee. Heavily used sandals will not be accepted. Call or email us anytime for help determining fit or sizing issues, we want you to have the ultimate sandal experience! When you send your sandals back to us, be sure to include a note stating your name, order number, and which size you need.  Please note, opened socks are non-refundable (no one wants used socks!).

*If there is no note in your return package, we will refund the order.

My laces are wearing out. How do I get new laces?

If your laces wear out before your sandals do, please send us an email via our contact page with some pictures of the damage. All of our laces are covered under a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty for manufacturer defects.

  • $5 shipping/handling charge: DOMESTIC lace warranty 1 year after purchase
  • $10 shipping/handling charge: INTERNATIONAL lace warranty 1 years after purchase

If your laces failed due to normal wear and tear, we sell replacement laces as well.

Lifestyle laces are $17 per pair, Performance laces are $22 per pair. All laces come in a set of two with copper rivets attached.

Laces can easily be replaced yourself by lacing one sandal at a time and using the other sandal as a reference. We also have detailed pictures on our lacing page showing how the laces should be oriented.

Tips & Troubleshooting

How do I clean my Earth Runners and wool socks?

Our Primal sandals that feature no foot-bed can be washed by hand with soap and warm water. Anti-Odor sprays can also be found online or at your local fabric store. Rank Away or Odor Eliminator work pretty well. Another way of cleaning your foot-bed free sandals is using a couple "denture cleaning" tablets in a plastic bag filled with water. As a preventative measure try to not put on the sandals with old dirt where the foot contacts the sandal.

To clean our Chronos, Circadian, and Alpha sandals that feature our Earth-Grip footbed, we recommend spraying them with some water to get them saturated and then let them sit for a few minutes to loosen up the dirt. Then spray them with your hose nozzle on the 'sharpest' setting (Power washers are not advised) and slowly work your way across the terrain of the sandals. We have determined this to be a very effective way to clean off the dirt that accumulates on the Earth-Grip footbed.

Things NOT to do with your sandals:

  • Leave them in a hot car
  • Leave them in the sun for extended periods of time
  • Put them in the washing machine
  • Wash them with bleach
  • Leave your dog alone with them (trouble!)
  • To ensure the longest lifespan for your 'virgin' Earth Runner wool socks hand wash with wool soap (Woolite), then air dry.

My sandals are prone to stink, how do I combat the smell?

Smell is a result of sweat and bacteria getting locked into the footbed material. Sandal smells can be best maintained with a regular cleaning in the shower to avoid accumulation of sediment, bacteria, and odor. We recommend taking your sandals into the shower once a week for a scrub and rinse, see sandal cleaning tools here. Fingernail scrub brushes have proven to work best given their size and bristle strength, like this one here.

Our hose sandal cleaning nozzle attachment offers a deeper clean, which we recommend using once a month to achieve a full cleansing of the footbed material. To keep odor under control: Brush 1x/week & Nozzle 1x/month.

Baking soda is a known odor-eliminator. Sprinkle your sandals with a nice coating of baking soda, gently rub into the footbed, and let sit overnight.

If combatting a more persistent odor, sun dry (for no longer than 30 minutes) after cleaning, and then spray them with a strong antibacterial essential oil & water blend (lavender or tea tree).

We recommend staying one step ahead of the smell with regular footbed cleaning to prevent the inevitable build-up of dirt & sweat.

I’m having trouble adjusting my laces, any advice?

Our laces that feature a locking buckle may require a few tweaks and adjustments over the course of your first few outings. Don’t worry, the ultimate sandal experience is well worth it :) Soon enough your Earth Runners will feel like an extension of your foot!

 More of an experiential learner? Check out the videos on our page dedicated to Adjusting Laces.

How do I prevent my foot from sitting too far back on the sandal?

Pull some slack through the outside loop A to make the thong strap (1) looser and then pull slack through the inside loop B to tighten up the heel strap (2). You can expect this to happen over the first 5-10 hours of use while you break in your sandals. See more sandal adjustments here.

How do I improve the comfort between the 1st and 2nd toe?

Like most new footwear, our sandals can take some wear to break-in and become much more comfortable. The laces are new and a little stiff, it can take about 10-15 hours to break in the thong portion of the laces before they get much more comfortable. Sometimes getting the thong a bit wet can help speed up this process.

Another trick is to twist the thong attachment away from the area of discomfort (between the toes or on the second toe) as discussed in the beginning of this video here. Or, try putting a small band aid in between the toes to prevent friction directly on your skin, while also wearing the sandals and allowing the laces to conform to the shape of your foot.

See more sandal adjustments here.

How do I prevent the buckle from pressuring my foot/ankle?

Scoot the buckle forward so it is closer to where the laces passes through the sandal, down closer to the the bottom of the sandal.  This will help prevent the buckle from contacting your ankle bone and creating any discomfort.

DO NOT: route the ankle strap over & under the thong strap before feeding it through the buckle.

BE SURE TO: route the ankle strap under & over the thong strap before feeding through the buckle. This will hold the buckle further away from your foot and ankle.

See more sandal adjustments here.

How do I prevent the heel strap from ever falling down?

Adjust your thong strap to 85% (at-least) its max tension.

It may seem counter intuitive, but the angle of linkage between the ankle and heel strap, as determined by the routing around the thong strap, is what holds the heel strap up (after locked into the buckle).

Watch this video for an alternative buckle adjustment to help hold the heel strap up if the above adjustment didn't do the trick. This is best suited for people with smaller sandals due to the different geometry of the straps.

In the video we show how to slide your buckle backward and away from the outside criss-cross junction, 1/8" (3-4mm) will help to increase the angle at which the heel strap is held up by the thong and ankle strap.  

See more sandal adjustments here.


How are Earth Runners supposed to fit?

Experienced Earth Runners have a tendency to size down to a SNUG fit on their 2nd or 3rd pair while new people to our sandals are most comfortable with a BUMPER fit at first.

A SNUG fit maximizes the minimalist experience and reduces the chance of catching debris in your sandals while out on the trail.

A BUMPER fit ensures max protection in our sandals by extending slightly past the perimeter of the foot to serve as a bumper if your foot were to collide with an obstacle out in the wild. This is the fit we recommend people new to Earth Runners unless they feel inclined to go with a SNUG fit.

Shoes are one of the most intimate articles of clothing we use on a daily basis and we understand your dilemma in trying to order the perfect size. We have heard the questions asked in every combination: What size should I get? How should the sandals fit? Does this size fit me? Is this size too big? Is this the right size? What do you think of this size on me? Is this how it is supposed to fit? Which size looks best?

Do Earth Runners follow standard sizing?

Our sandals are true to size, a snug fitting shoe size should correlate with snug fitting sandals in the same size. On our sizing page you can print out our sizing templates in actual size to compare with your foot and confirm your fit.

Because our sandals don't have upper material (i.e. the parts of a shoe that cover the toes, the top of the foot, etc) your feet can cover much more of the sandal’s surface without bumping into any upper material .If you don't like your shoes to fit snug you will most likely need a smaller sandal size than your shoe size. Printing out templates from our size chart it's the only way to be 100% sure of your fit  before ordering.

I currently do not have a printer to print out the template to measure my feet. Do you have any recommendations on ordering the proper size?

Measure the length of your foot from the tip of your longest toe to the back edge of your heel and refer to the LENGTH column of the sandal sizes on our chart:

1. Select a sandal size the same length as your foot for a SNUG fit.

2. Select a sandal size 1/8” longer than the length of your foot length for a SNUG/BUMPER fit.

3. Select a size 1/4" - 3/8” longer than the length of your foot length for a BUMPER fit.


Sandal Info

I run/walk/hike everywhere. What sandal model is best for multiple surfaces?

Our Alpha offers a little extra sandal to help smooth things out no matter the terrain. They are incredibly lightweight and mold quickly to feel like an extension of your foot. Super comfortable for all day use, yet ready for real adventure at a moment's notice. You can also compare sandals here.

Need more personal help choosing? Call us +1 707-414-8705 or please send us an email via our contact page.

Should I get the Primal model without any footbed, or the Chronos/Circadian with an Earth-Grip footbed?

Our Primal Adventure sandals features non-slip rubber and is great for wet conditions as it dries much quicker. For a bit of extra all weather traction, foot moldability and odor/wetness absorption our Chronos or Circadian is the way to go. You can also compare sandals here.

What's the difference between Spare Lace sets: Old Plug and New Plug?

Plug size has increased and our new laces will no longer work with orders before order #128150. If your order was placed before November 14, 2022 please select option "Old Plug." For all other orders, select New Plug. *We made this change for easier sandal assembly at our workshop, there is no change in appearance or functionality of your sandals!

Why do some laces have 1 stitch and others have 2 stitches?

Our classic 1/2" and 5/8" lifestyle laces have a two-ply construction requiring two structural stitches to hold the two materials together. Our ergonomic 9/16" lifestyle laces are a single component construction only requiring one stainless steel stitch to service our Grounded Conductive lacing system. Voltmeter testing indicates a negligible difference between 1 or 2 stainless steel stitches featured on the lace.

What do you recommend for winter running in Earth Runners?

Depends on how intense your winter is. If it's dry, some of our wool blend tabi socks can keep your feet comfortable down to well below freezing. If it's really cold, or cold and wet, try some tabi booties. Polar Feet out of Canada has some great polar fleece solutions. You can also convert your thin-soled running shoes into earthing shoes with our Earthing Shoe DIY Kit.

Our best sandals for wet applications are our Chronos or Circadian.

How long do Earth Runners last?

We expect all our sandals to last 400-800 miles. Variables like terrain, sandal model, and how you run/walk/move can affect the life of your Earth Runners.

Read more about our manufacturer warranty here.

What’s the difference between Lifestyle laces (Lifestyle sandals) and Performance laces (Adventure sandals)?

The only difference between Lifestyle and Adventure sandals is the lace construction. We recommend “Lifestyle” if you're concerned about the toe post comfort, “Adventure” if you are concerned about security.

  • Performance Laces offer more security and longevity while Lifestyle Laces offer more comfort.
  • Performance Laces feature a 1/2" hydrophobic polyester webbing that is wrapped in a highly abrasion resistant Mil-Spec nylon resulting a in 9/16" wide lace.
  • Lifestyle Laces feature a 5/8" wide nylon and lined with a thin strip of highly abrasion resistant Mil-Spec nylon.
  • The additional tensile strength of our performance laces become more and more noticeable on bigger sandals, with longer laces, as there is a greater the load to secure with a larger user.

Still not sure which laces are right for you? Reach out to us via our contact page

Read more about Earth Runners sandal components here.

Orders & Shipping

Do you ship internationally? How much does it cost?

Yes, we ship worldwide with Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) shipping options to help avoid unpredictable customs fees and shipping delays. Shipped via FedEx, DHL & postal mail, taxes & duties included. Learn more here.

  • DDP Priority: average 9-14 day transit time.
  • DDP Express: average 7-10 day transit time.
  • DDP ePacket (Canada only): average 9-12 day transit time.

I’m an international customer. Will I get charged import fees/customs for receiving a package from Earth Runners?

CUSTOMER RESPONSIBLE FOR CUSTOM DUTIES, TAXES, FEES International orders (orders outside the U.S.) may be subject to import fees, taxes, and customs duties charged by the receiving country– included in our DDP (Delivered Duty Paid) shipping option. Learn more here.

How long will it take to get my sandals once I place an order?

Your order will ship out via USPS within 3-7 business days of receiving it. All orders placed by Monday 7am Pacific will be shipped Thursday. Orders placed by Thursday at 7am Pacific will ship Monday. Any changes to your order must be requested within 48 hours of placing your order. All sandals are made to order in our Sonoma County workshop. *Please note we cannot guarantee changes made to your order 24 hours after it has been placed*

Packages ship Saturday out of California -- you will receive a shipping confirmation email on Sunday or Monday with your tracking details.

*We do not offer tracking on first class international orders.

USA destination in the Pacific time zone: 1-2 business days for delivery

USA destination in the Mountain time zone: 2-3 business days for delivery

USA destination in the Central time zone: 3-4 business days for delivery

USA destination in the Eastern time zone: 4-5 business days for delivery

USA destination in the Hawaii time zone: 2-4 business days for delivery

USA destination in the Alaska time zone: 3-5 business days for delivery

International orders usually take 1-3 weeks for delivery but can take longer due to international customs processing.

* These delivery time frames are based on most orders but can not be taken as a guarantee. Due to each individual country's processing method and volume may affect processing and delivery times.



Do you ship to PO Boxes and/or military APO/FPO addresses?

You know it! Enter your address info at checkout and we'll take care of the rest.

Can I track my order once it’s shipped?

Any informational changes can be made as long as your sandals haven’t shipped out yet. However, if you need to change the actual product you ordered, please send your request ASAP by replying to your order confirmation email before we chop out your sandals and get them wired up :)

I need to change my order (shipping address, sandal model, etc.). Help!

Please contact us within 24 hours of placing your order with any order change requests. You can email us via our contact page.

Why is there no coupon code field at checkout?

When we run automatic storewide sales 2-4 weeks out of the year, we remove the coupon code field from checkout to eliminate the potential of stacking coupons that we can't honor and account for.

Earthing Sandals

Can you give me the elevator pitch on why your laces are grounded and the importance of earthing?

Earthing is the primal experience of living grounded to the earth, similar to how all life has evolved here on earth throughout time. Modern insulated lifestyles interrupt our bodies ability to connect with earth and effectively tell time (circadian rhythm). The master controller of all life is time, and when our internal timing is off, a myriad of missed biochemical reactions result in inflammation.

Go to our earthing page to read more about the importance of grounding.

Do you guys have any tests showing how effective your grounded conductive laces(™) are in comparison to going barefoot?

We have been making and testing earthing sandals for over 4 years providing much insight into what is the most effective means of maintaining our age old connection. We have experimented with conductive soles vs conductive laces and determined that our grounded conductive laces™ are as good, if not better, than conductive soles. We realized that the intimate connection of our conductive lace-circuit with the foot, allows for an excellent connection that effectively grounds the body through the copper plug on the bottom of the sandals.

This determination has encouraged us to focus on optimizing the composition of our sole elsewhere. We have found that focusing on lightweight, eco-friendly, comfortable, performance oriented footbed and outsole materials better serve the holistic Earth Runners experience. It is also important to note, that when your feet sweat into our Earth-Grip footbed, it makes it conductive and (when combined with our conductive laces) increases grounding performance.

 On our Earthing Sandal page we discuss the primal roots of our ancient inspired sandal design and share a video comparing how our grounded conductive laces™ compare to going barefoot, via a voltmeter test.

Are Earth Runners earthing shoes?

Yes! Earth Runners sandals have stainless steel lined laces, which are grounded via a copper ground plug exposed on the outsole, allowing electrons to flow freely between the body and Earth. Generous surface area connecting your foot and the grounded conductive element in the laces, allows for ample electron transfer: anywhere the laces touch your feet you are grounded to the Earth’s healing energy.

How do Earth Runners grounded conductive laces actually work and make the sandals earthing shoes?

Our earthing sandals are designed to keep you grounded to bare Earth. 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 featured 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 intimate connection of lace and foot–similar to that of being barefoot.

Which of your sandals are best for earthing?

All of our sandals use the same copper plug and grounded conductive laces™ system, and therefore all of our sandals are earthing shoes. Any pair of Earth Runners sandals will provide you with the benefits of grounding.

Do earthing shoes work?

Yes, earthing shoes are a simple technology which offer the primal experience of living grounded to the earth, same as all life has evolved on this planet throughout time. The grounding effect of earthing shoes can also be easily be confirmed by measuring one's body voltage with a voltmeter as you can see here.

What are earthing shoes made of?

Earthing shoes can be made of many materials. Most modern shoes are made predominantly of insulating rubber outsoles–some of the most common means to ground shoes are:

  1. Copper or carbon infused rubber plugs (conductive) through the sole to ground the body to earth.
  2. Leather-soled shoes can be conductive only if they remain wet all the way through and have no other insole materials.
  3. Earth Runners sandals have conductive stainless steel (stitched) lined laces which are grounded via the copper ground plug exposed on the outsole.
  4. Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) safety shoes are conductive safety shoes. This means they protect electrical equipment by sending (conducting) electrical charges to the ground, preventing a static shock, charge or spark. These anti-static shoes offer very low levels of conductivity and are not the best option for earthing shoes.

Can you ground through leather?

Leather's ability to conduct electricity is strictly dependent on how much moisture is absorbed into it. Wet leather is conductive while dry leather is not.

Can you ground with socks on?

Just Socks: Yes, you are able to ground to the earth wearing just socks. Socks are not inherently conductive, but socks become conductive as a result of perspiration from the foot working its way into the socks, aided by the weight of your body pushing through the fabric into the earth This has been shown to test about 90% as effective as compared to going barefoot.

Socks + Earthing Shoes: Yes, you can also remain grounded wearing socks with grounded shoes due to the accelerated perspiration from the foot (that happens in shoes) working its way into the socks, aided by the weight of your body pushing through the fabric into the sole of the shoe or the conductive laces securely wrapped around your foot causing perspiration underneath. This has been shown to test about 90% as effective as compared to wearing the earthing shoes barefoot.

Is earthing dangerous?

The only times you don't want to ground yourself are when working with a live circuit (electrician) or in a thunderstorm. The chances of getting struck by lightning are one 1 in 700,000– if you are grounded, the chances of absorbing residual shock via the earth are increased slightly.

How do you know if earthing is working?

Many people notice chronic pain diminishes, that they are falling asleep quicker, waking up happier and more rested, or that their brain fog clears. You can read more benefits of earthing here.

For hard evidence that earthing is working, you can use a voltmeter to test to see if you are grounded, and sharing the same voltage with earth (0 volts). The way you do this is by measuring the voltage gain/difference between the two leads of the voltmeter by connecting one to earth (staked in the ground) and the other touching your skin. It should read very close to zero (eg. 0.01volts).

How long should you do grounding?

If you want to really get your blood charged up–because your body does act as a capacitor, and you will hold that charge–you need to be sufficiently grounded for 30 minutes. This gives you enough time to soak up electrons which calm inflammation, and to collect and store electrons for your red blood cells and other healing mechanisms to use.

How do earthing shoes work?

Most shoes and sandals have insulated soles that prevent us from connecting to the earth through earthing. Earthing shoes work by having a conductive element through the sole, allowing electrons to flow freely between the body and Earth to keep you grounded.

Where can you ground?

You can ground outside on natural surfaces such as grass, dirt, rock, and sand. You cannot ground on snow, asphalt, or indoors.

Does earthing work inside?

To be grounded inside you would need to use a grounding pad or earthing sheets. To ground via your feet (either barefoot or in earthing shoes) you must be outside on a natural conductive surface.

Why is grounding good for you?

So many reasons–grounding essentially restores your body to its natural electric state in which we have evolve more millennia! Earthing reduces inflammation and helps regular circadian rhythm, your body's internal clock. You can read about the benefits of earthing here.

What is the difference between earthing and grounding?

Earthing and grounding are two different words for the same thing–an electric connection with the Schumann Resonance of the earth. The word "earthing," used to refer to humans restoring their connection to the earth, was coined in 2010 when when a telecommunications technician, Clint Ober, wrote the book Earthing which outlines the health benefit of grounding the human biology to the earth, a widely understood ancient concept, with science and studies to substantiate the practice.

Does grounding help with inflammation/sleep/recovery/etc?

Earthing has been shown to reduce inflammation, expedite wound healing, speed up sleep onset, more restful sleep, and more! You can read about the benefits of earthing here.

Running Sandals

I’m new to barefoot/minimalist running. Do you have any advice or tips?

Check out this link to a blog of ours "Barefoot Running: 5 Tips for Getting Started"- it is short, sweet and will get you started off on the right foot. ;)

Also check out our minimalist sandal and running sandal resource pages for more information.

Are Earth Runners just for running?

While Earth Runners have been used to traverse long distances, from 5k's to ultra-marathon, we like to think of them as sandals that allow you to truly be free (#BeFreeSandals) -- footwear in which you can run, walk, hike, play and adventure while remaining connected to the earth.

Can I really run in Earth Runners sandals?

There is no reason you can't run in sandals if you have enough protection from the terrain you plan to traverse relative to the strength of your feet and legs. If you will be running on steep grades you will need a secure lacing system that can adequately and comfortably secure the foot to the sandals up and down the hill. The ancestral approach to running footwear relies on the foot's natural ability to function, unsupported, if properly accustomed and unobstructed.

Are running sandals good for running form?

Running sandals are an ancient and proven solution for runners of all applications! One reason runners like incorporating running sandals into their repertoire is due to their effect on gait cycle and running form. Due to the minimal sole and upper-lacing system of running sandals they offer a very unencumbered running experience. Runners immediately notice their need to adapt by increasing their cadence (shorter steps) and shifting their foot strike to more mid or forefoot dominant, as opposed to heel striking. This is a result of less technology under foot. Many runners view these adaptations to running in sandals advantageous as they have been shown to reduce impact and injury. Read more about running sandal history & application here.

Can you run in Earth Runners sandals?

Yes! Earth Runners are inspired by the ancient huarache running sandal which is composed of a thin, flexible, zero-drop sole, and a seemingly simple–yet strategically designed–lacing system to secure the foot to the sole. This style of running sandal provides protection underfoot, without impeding on the foot's natural range of motion. When people wear Earth Runners for the first time they are surprised by how secure their foot sticks to the sandal and what they are able to do in their adventure sandals.

Can everyone run in sandals?

No. Running in the less assistive technology of running sandals requires strength, awareness and coordination. For a runner accustomed to highly cushioned and supportive running shoes, it takes months for tendons, ligaments and muscles to adapt to the additional work and mobility associated with running in sandals. However, humans are extremely adaptive creatures. Read our tips on transitioning to minimalist footwear here. You can also reach out to us if you have questions about switching to minimalist running! Email us via our contact page.

Which surface can I run on in running sandals?

There is no reason you can't run on virtually any surface in sandals if you have enough protection from the terrain you plan to traverse, relative to the strength of your feet and legs. If you will be running on steep grades you will need a secure lacing system that can adequately and comfortably secure the foot to the sandals up and down the hill. In addition, you will need adequate traction to offer sure footing on your given terrain. It is a misconception that you can't run rocky technical terrain in sandals–running in open toed sandals dramatically increases proprioceptive awareness which in turn helps to avoid collisions with trail hazards. However in the case of a foot collision, most of the time you are still protected by the sandal body itself.

There are two surfaces to avoid in running sandals:

  • Pea sized loose gravel is difficult to navigate if running in sandals as the rocks inevitably get lodged in the sandals causing discomfort.
  • Wet sloppy mud combined with elevation change is a bad use case for running sandals. When your running sandals get coated in fresh mud, or clay, it acts as a lubricant between the foot and sandal. Given that running sandals have no enclosure, mud can easily coat the footbed disrupting the friction between sandal and foot making their function futile. No footbed surface will stick to the foot in this scenario.

Is it safe to run in sandals?

Running in minimalist sandals increases proprioceptive awareness which helps increase sure footing. Exercising in running sandals uses less assistive technology and creates more stimulation of the body as a whole, which can lead to a more efficient and holistic workout. Modern athletic shoes tend to cause the lower body to atrophy by preventing the natural movement of the foot and deadening proprioception.

Slowly progress into running in sandals as it will take time for your body to adapt--listen to your body.

Is running in sandals good for you?

Running in running sandals is a freeing experience! Regular flip flops are not advised, but an intentionally designed pair of running sandals is a time-tested way of traversing your terrain. In comparison to running shoes, running in sandals will increase your cadence and shift you to a foot strike that is more mid or forefoot dominant which has shown to reduce joint impact and injury.

Is it better to run in shoes or sandals?

Running sandals are similar to minimalist running shoes in that they provide minimal support while still offering various options for different uses. Running sandals differ from running shoes in that they can provide the least amount of structure, support and restriction possible, allowing the foot to effectively grip the earth's diverse terrain via the complex mechanics of the metatarsals and toes as if barefoot. For example, the nominal upper of a running sandal (just a strap) and the extreme flexibility of the minimal sole forces the foot to grip the sandal with the arch and toes which affects running form positively by encouraging a higher cadence and lighter steps. You can read more about running sandals -vs- shoes here.

Will my feet hurt after running in sandals?

If you are new to minimalist footwear you will inevitably get sore unless you incrementally increase your use to this less assistive technology slowly over time. To avoid foot pain in running sandals, start off with a sandal thickness that is closest to the stack height of your current running sandals. This way you can allow your foot to adjust to zero drop and no toe box first, and then you can slowly reduce that sandal thickness over time as your feet and legs become well acclimated to the new freedoms and mobility of running sandals. This is the best strategy to prevent your feet from hurting after running in sandals.

How do you make running sandals?

There are different running sandal designs, like the "Z" strap system (over the foot) or huarache (toe post) lacing system. The most common design is the huarache-inspired lacing design, as this time-tested lacing system is the easiest to make and arguably offers the most foot security and freedom. The huarache running sandal consists of one continuous strap or thong originating through the bed of the sandal between the first and second toe and then binding the foot to the sandal creating an incredibly effective and elegant design. Many people in modern day make their own huarache running sandals consisting of whatever soling material they have on hand (ie. existing thong sandal soles, car or bike tire cutouts, outsole resoling rubber cutouts, etc) combined with a suitably comfortable and strong lace material (ie. faux or genuine leather lace, paracord, shoe lace or webbing) to bind the foot to the sandal via three anchor points (Toe post originating, inner anchor point, outer anchor point) on each sandal.

Is it bad to run in sandals?

The dose makes the poison. Meaning, if you overdo it, and shock your body with too much stress and strain, running in sandals can cause potential injury. Acclimate into running sandals slowly–allowing time for the tendons, ligaments and muscles to adapt to the additional work and mobility associated with running in sandals. Humans are extremely adaptive creatures if given ample time. Running in sandals can be very healthy if your body is adapted to the less assistive technology. Slow progression into running in sandals is best as it takes time for your body to adapt to the new bipedal vehicle--listen to your body.

Minimalist Sandals

Are Earth Runners sandals good for your feet?

We'd say so! Earth Runners provide the foot strengthening benefits of minimalist footwear along with the anti-inflammatory benefits of earthing to help restore one's inherent yearning for freedom and primal adventure.

Are minimalist running shoes good for flat feet?

Minimalist running shoes are typically absent of arch support. Think of the arch of the foot as a leaf spring, everybody has a different curve to their leaf spring (arches) endowing them with more or less spring potential in their feet. The shape and resistance of the spring muscles making up the arch of the foot are largely affected by how they are used, (or not used, and beginning to atrophy). The ancestral approach to minimalist footwear relies on the foot's natural ability to function, unsupported, if properly accustomed. This would mean if your feet are highly domesticated (from a life in conventional shoes) and flat you should slowly transition to running shoes or sandals that offer no arch support. This will allow you to work and develop your arch musculature to have more spring. If you over do it you can injure your foot from stress and strain. If you slowly progress into running sandals you will eventually come to realize that the arch or your feet is a dynamic attribute and the crutch of an arch support limits the inherent function of your arch--which is to be loaded from the top, unsupported.

Why is walking barefoot good for you?

Walking barefoot or in minimalist footwear is a great thing to incorporate into your health regime because you are able to stack many benefits with one practice. Some of the benefits include unadulterated foot mobility and function, foot strengthening, reflexology simulation and meridian channel activation, softer and more supple facia via uneven terrain massage, detoxification–soil's absorbent properties allow lymphatic drainage through the soles of the foot, and electron absorption via earthing.

Does going barefoot cause flat feet?

Quite the opposite! The beauty of the arch is that it becomes stronger when loaded from above as the tighter its parts mesh. However, an arch supported from below (like with arch support) compromises the integral distribution of the load, causing an inevitable collapse. In short: when you let your arch do the job it was designed to do, it gets stronger!

Should flat feet wear arch support?

We believe the ubiquity of weak flat feet has been caused by modern-day footwear, arch support, and orthotics. Arch support is a crutch that causes feet to become "lazy" and weaken over time. Read our tips on building foot strength here.

Does walking barefoot help plantar fasciitis?

Yes, walking barefoot or in minimalist footwear on uneven terrain helps create softer and more supple fascia while strengthening the feet. The anti-inflammatory benefits of earthing also help to improve recovery and healing.

Is walking barefoot bad for you?

Walking barefoot or in minimalist footwear is a great health habit that stacks many benefits including: increased foot mobility, foot strengthening, reflexology simulation, softer and more supple facia, and the anti-inflammatory benefits of earthing.


Can the iON SYNC® earthing plug be removed?

Yes, you can push the earthing plug through from the bottom by pressing hard with a medium sized philips screw driver (or something similar in diameter) on the flat barb surface after the pull tab has been removed.

Can the iON SYNC® earthing plug be removed and reinstalled?

No, our earthing plugs can only be installed once. Once they are installed they can’t be reinstalled.

Are iON SYNC® earthing plug watertight?

Yes, the compression fit rubber design up our earthing plugs mates with shoe outsole making a watertight seal when installed properly.

What makes these rubber iON SYNC® earthing plugs conductive?

We worked with industry leading polymer experts to formulate a proprietary rubber formulation featuring a conductive filler to create a conductive network throughout the material that allows for electron transfer of low voltages--great for earthing.

How do I determine what size earthing plug to use for my shoes?

Determine the base thickness of your shoes (Base thickness = Stack height - Lug height) and then refer to our sizing chart. Most shoe manufacturers list the stack height (total sole thickness) on their product page. Then you just need to measure and subtract the lug height to account for the recession where you plan to install the earthing plug in the middle of the outsole. The height of lugs usually range from 2-5mm based on their level of all terrain grip.

If the base thickness of my sole is on the cusp of two different iON SYNC® earthing plug sizes, should I order big or small?

We recommend going with the bigger size iON SYNC® earthing plug if

the base thickness of your sole is on the threshold of two sizes.

Do you feel the iON SYNC® earthing plug underfoot?

If you properly install the earthing plug in the middle of the sole with the right size recessed into the outsole, you should feel it slightly when wearing your grounded shoes for the first time. After ~1 hour the sensation will normalize and you will forget it's there.

Do the iON SYNC® earthing plugs work with socks?

Due to the weight of your body bearing down onto the head of the earthing plug head, combined with the common perspiration of our sole into socks, our testing has shown a negligible difference in the measurable voltage drop between when earthing wearing ion sync grounded shoes with and without socks.

Can you remove the iON SYNC® earthing plug once it's been installed?

Our iON SYNC® plugs are designed for one-time use; they can only be installed once. If your earthing plug becomes compromised due to reasons such as accidentally cutting the barb too small, the barb becoming worn out, the plug falling out, or accidentally installing the wrong size plug, you can remove them using a Philips screwdriver from the outsole side.

Is the iON SYNC® earthing plug through the sole watertight?

Yes, our earthing plugs have been tested to be watertight across various shoes in our testing. The barb of our iON SYNC® plugs features a suction cup design to create a watertight seal with the outsole when properly installed. Here are some tips to ensure a watertight seal: Use the recommended plug size based on the thickness of your sole, ensuring to subtract the thickness of the lugs to account for the thickness of the base sole. This ensures the elasticity of the polymer plug creates a compression seal with the outsole. Use the correct hole punch size for your plug size to ensure the plug can freely compress and achieve a proper watertight seal. Ensure the outsole area around the hole is large and flat enough for the barb to mate with and achieve an uninterrupted watertight compression fit. Ensure the barb is well protected via a void in the middle of the outsole that is at least 1.5-2mm deep to protect it from abrasion, blunt force, and excessive wear.

What makes the polymer earthing plugs conductive?

Recent advancements in conductive polymer research, particularly in high-performance molecular materials, have led to exciting design possibilities, including our new iON SYNC® earthing technology. Through persistent effort and global networking, we collaborated with a leading compounding company experienced in working with industry giants like Apple, Tesla, and SpaceX. After more than 15 iterations, we formulated a compound that combines the durability of shoe outsole rubber with the required conductivity, meeting the standards for therapeutic earthing (less than 10^3 Ohms resistance). Our conductive lattice-infused polymer has been precisely designed to strike a balance of mechanical and electrical properties to achieve our easy-to-install earthing plug application.

How do I decide what size earthing plug to use?

The right size plug for your shoe is determined by the stack height minus the lug height, which equals the base height. If you are uncertain about what size to use, please feel free to ask our Customer Service team for assistance.

Do the iON SYNC® earthing plugs work with socks?

Due to the weight of your body bearing down onto the head of the earthing plug head, combined with the common perspiration of our sole into socks, our testing has shown a negligible difference in the measurable voltage drop between when earthing wearing ion sync grounded shoes with and without socks.

How does the material and construction of different socks affect one’s earthing potential in iON SYNC® grounded footwear?

The two factors to consider regarding the conductivity of socks in earthing shoes is their weight and wicking potential of the fiber composition. The heavier the weight of the sock results in more distance between the foot and the plug and the more wicking volume and therefore more time/sweat to saturate the sock with perspiration to make the sock conductive. The other factor to consider is the wicking ability of the fibers used in the sock. Natural fibers have great wicking properties while only some synthetic fibers do. Polyester COOLmax fibers for example, or other similar engineered fibers that feature a capillary filament profile, have good wicking capabilities that give rise to conductive properties via perspiration.

Do the iON SYNC® earthing plugs release microplastics?

Our earthing plugs use a polymer that is food-safe. Food-safe polymers do not release microplastics into food or the environment.

How do socks affect grounding?

The conductivity of socks in earthing shoes depends on their weight and the wicking ability of the material. Heavier socks create more distance between your foot and the plug, while also holding more sweat before becoming saturated. The type of fiber in the sock also affects wicking. Natural fibers and some synthetics like Polyester COOLmax have good wicking properties due to their capillary structure.

How does the iON SYNC® rubber earthing plug kit compare to the Shoe Sync copper earthing rivet kit?

Comfort: iON SYNC® [more comfortable than] Shoe Sync copper

Installation difficulty: iON SYNC® rubber [easier to install than] Shoe Sync copper

Conductivity: iON SYNC® rubber [less conductive than] Shoe Sync copper

Does wearing iON SYNC® grounded plugs increase your chances of absorbing excessive ground current via a peripheral lightening strike?

Wearing iON SYNC® grounded footwear provides a similar experience to being barefoot during a storm. However, the conductance of iON SYNC® plugs is designed to handle limited low amperage and voltage, which prevents the transfer of harmful amounts of ground current from a lightning strike through the plug and into your foot. It is important to note that the limited low amperage and voltage capabilities of iON SYNC® plugs do not have a negative impact on the low amperage and voltage range within which earthing operates.

How does the installation of the plug affect the water-proofing of the sole? Have you tested the water seal?

Our iON SYNC® earthing plugs are designed with a barb that connects with the outsole of the shoe, having a plunger-like shape to enhance the seal, much like an o-ring commonly used in plumbing. The polymer hardness of our iON SYNC® plugs is designed to conform to the shoe profile, ensuring a secure seal. Through extensive testing, we have determined that when the right plug size is correctly installed in the suitable shoe sole thickness, achieving the proper compression fit, we have successfully prevented water from seeping through the sole.

What if it’s really hard to pull the earthing plug barb through the hole and seat it on the outsole?

Solution 1: Use something like a screwdriver or a pen to pre stretch the hole through the center of your shoe before rehoming and quickly installing the earthing plug.

Solution 2: Use the next size up earthing plug that is a bit longer.

Solution 3: Use the next size up hole punch to cut a slightly bigger hole. (This should be your last resort.)


Stickers & Decals

Can I put the stickers on my car?

Yes! Our stickers and decals are screen printed of the highest quality vinyl and ink to ensure adherence, durability, and resilience to UV bleaching. This makes them perfect for cars, laptops, water bottles, & more!

How do I apply the decal?

Please see detailed application instructions here.

Sales & Promotions

Do you have any Earth Runners discount codes or coupons?

Click here to get Earth Runners discount codes & coupons.

I just missed the sale, can I get a price adjustment?

The discounts and promotions offered during our sales can only be applied to orders placed during the duration of the sale. We do not offer retroactive refunds of orders placed outside of the sale window.

How do I add a coupon code during a sale?

The ability to enter a coupon code is deactivated during site-wide sales as we do not offer the option to stack discounts.

Didn’t find what you were looking for? Contact us.