Earth Runners sandals are inspired by ancient huarache running sandals. Simple single lace design that binds your foot to sandals, with combination with a unique buckle system for easy on-off will ensure secure fit and the maximum freedom of your foot.
Earth Runners sandals needed a little more time to test. I bought my first pair of Circadian Lifestyle sandals last year, but they didn’t fit me the way I had hoped. Mainly because I chose the wrong size and too thick sole for my taste. Last year, I bought another model with a thinner sole in bigger size, which immediately became my favorite Earth Runners model.
At this point, I would like to thank Earth Runners for all the support and helpful tips in choosing the right model for me.
Earth Runners arrived in minimal packaging, including instructions for changing the length of the laces, an elastic band that you can use when performing foot exercises, and a sticker that can be affixed to a water bottle, laptop, car, and more. I don’t think I need to tell you twice who took my sticker right away. Kids, of course: P
Disclaimer: I bought both Earth Runners myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. I’m also proud to be a Earth Runners affiliate and I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase using my discount code KATJA10 or use links on my website.
- Brand: Earth Runners
- Model: Elemental Lifestyle and Circadian Lifestyle
- Colour: Tribal (Elemental) and Charcoal (Circadian)
- Tested on: woman, medium-wide feet, 26.3 cm long and 10 cm wide, low instep, skinny ankles with narrow heel, fin-shaped foot (see my how to measure guide and foot type) – wearing size US 11
| Made in USA | Adult, Kids | Vegan | Ship worldwide |
2. Material characteristics
Earth Runners sandals are available in 3 different sole thicknesses (Elemental, Circadian and Alpha) and in 2 different lace styles (Lifestyle and Performance).
My two pairs on the photo are Circadian Lifestyle model with Charcoal laces (left) and Elemental Lifestyle model with Tribal laces (right).
The main difference between the Elemental, Circadian and Alpha models is in the sole thickness and the footbed.
Elemental Lifestyle are their thinnest sandals with no footbed with the black non-slip rubber on top, which I find great in wet conditions. Their advantage is also fast drying.
The Circadian Lifestyle model is one of their most popular sandals and those sandals I decided to try first. It is slightly thicker than the Elemental model with moisture-wicking canvas footbed dyed with GOTS (Organic) certified small batch dye.
Earth Runners recommend Circadian model ‘for a bit of extra all weather traction, foot moldability and odor/wetness absorption’.
Earth Runners are using single lace to bind the feet to a sandal. They have two different lace options – Performance and Lifestyle. Both are available in several different colours and you can buy them separately too.
Both my sandals have Lifestyle laces which are softer and more flexible to offer more comfort than Performance laces, which are created for more security and longevity on both land and water.
Buckle is available in several different colours and it is very easy to use. It holds the strap really well, but it is also super easy to use (also for kids). It is made to be opened and closed each time you put on the sandals, but sandals can be put on without opening the buckle too.
There is something special about Earth Runners. Have you heard about “earthing” or “grounding” already?
Electrical charges from the Earth can have positive effects on your body and “grounding” electrically reconnect us to the earth. With shoes on we can’t benefit from this, unless we are barefoot. In Earth Runners sandals this is achieved with a special copper lace plug, ‘facilitating electron transfer between your body and the Earth through the stainless steel lined lace circuit’. This effectively connects you to the ground similar to that of being barefoot.
The “earthing” system is integrated in copper lace plug featured on the outsole and connected with two parallel stitches of conductive stainless steel thread hidden in their laces.
You can take advantage of “grounding” on natural surfaces, but if won’t have effect on snow, asphalt, or indoors. Earth Runners recommend that ‘the only times you don’t want to ground yourself are when working with a live circuit (electrician) or in a thunderstorm.
Earth Runners sandals have 3 different sole thicknesses. Elemental Lifestyle with 8 mm (6.5mm base + 1.5mm tread) Vibram® Gumlite Outsole is their thinnest sole and Circadian Lifestyle with 9 mm thick (7.5mm base + 1.5mm tread) Vibram® Gumlite Outsole is their middle sole. Both soles have the same tread. The difference in the tread is only in their thickest model Alpha.
Both models can be rolled into a roll, but with the Circadian model we need more pressure.
In the longitudinal direction, the Elemental model is softer than Circadian, which cannot be squeezed completely.
Which sole thickness to choose depends on what you prefer, how long you are wearing barefoot shoes and on the activity you are planning to do.
All Earth Runners soles are firm, which means they won’t give you this soft feeling when walking on harder surfaces (asphalt, concrete), but they are great for walking on natural surfaces. I definitely prefer their thinnest sole, which is just somewhere in the middle for sport sandals (not too thin or too thick). It gives you some cushion, but you still get decent ground feel.
Also check my video for the close-up and to see how they look on my feet.
3. Sizing information
For sandals it is not good to choose too much extra space in front of your toes. The perfect size is the one where your toes are close to the end, but they shouldn’t hang over the sole while walking. Too much extra space can cause tripping or an irregular walking pattern.
See post How much space do we need in shoes if you want to know more about that.
In the photo below you can see my foot positioned on their template in size US 10.5 and US 11. As you can see there is no difference in the front part between both sizes. The position of the hole is completely the same. The only difference is at the heel (size US 11 has a longer sole) where I have more space in size US 11.
According to the Earth Runners templates, both sizes could work well for me, but I decided to choose a smaller size US 10.5 for my Circadian model.
Why does size US 10.5 don’t work for me?
In the photo below you can see a comparison between both models. In the Circadian model (left), my toes are completely at the end of the sole and while walking they hang over the sole, which is not good. Elemental Lifestyle (right) model is half size bigger.
My toes are long and the position of the hole is fixed, which means I can only adjust the position of the foot in the sandal by adjusting the heel strap. I tried to loosen the heel strap and I moved my heel more at the back, I also moved the buckle, but my foot just didn’t want to stay there in Circadian model. In the Elemental Lifestyle model I decided to size up, to have more space at the heel for modification, even though the hole position is the same.
The Elemental Lifestyle model suits me perfectly. I relaxed the heel strap and the foot doesn’t slide forward. I think the biggest reason is in the non-slip rubber footbed, which holds the foot in place better and not so much in the sizing up.
When choosing your full size Earth Runners sandals, be careful that your toes will stay on the sole even while walking. They shouldn’t hang over, like they hang for me on the left photo.
3.2. Toebox shape & width
Earth Runners toebox shape has a very common shape of sport barefoot sandals. It suits the best to feet with the longest big toe with gentle slope towards the pinky toe (type 2). This rather universal shape covers a large number of feet.
This shape will also work well for type 4 and 5, but if you have longer toes as I do for example, you might have problems with hole position too. Those with type 1 can have problems with too much space in front of little toes and the shape of the sandals is not an ideal shape for this foot type. However, it depends on the individual how disturbing this space is for you.
More about different foot types you can read in my post What is my Foot Type?
The width is most suitable for medium and medium-wide feet, but you can check the width with their printable template. Your foot shouldn’t be wider than the sole. In that case, sandals are too narrow for you.
3.3. Fit around the instep, heel and ankle
Because of the single strap system, sandals can be adjusted well to fit different heights of the instep. The strap is long enough to fit all foot volumes. If your strap is too long, we can easily shorten it with scissors and a lighter, as I did.
Earth Runners sandals definitely need some breaking-in period to become even more comfortable with wear. The biggest problem is strap between the toes. I only have their Lifestyle laces, which should be more comfortable to wear than Performance laces, so I can’t comment how Performance laces feel.
My feet aren’t too sensitive, so I didn’t have any major trouble walking in them, but in very hot summer day they still started rubbing between my toes. I recommend you to start slow. Start wearing them for a short time and don’t go for a long walk in the heat in the new pair.
Earth Runners states that 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.’
If your feet are very wide in the area where the strap is attached to the side, you can feel slight discomfort there too. It feels like you are standing on the strap. If your foot is not extra wide there and you feel just mild discomfort, the laces will get softer and it will accommodate to your foot shape after some time of wearing them.
Sandals also get more comfortable to wear, when the sole moulds to your feet. Thinner soles adapt to your feet better than thicker soles.
5. How and when to wear them?
Earth Runners are sport sandals and they will look good with all your sport clothes. But they have so many colours of laces and buckles, that I think they can work really well with all your casual clothes and you can wear them proudly with jeans or even a dress.
Thong strap also ensures a proper big toe movement on uneven surfaces when exposed to lateral forces.
6. Price & where to buy
Earth Runners can be bought at their official website. The price for Elemental Lifestyle is 60,95 € and Circadian Lifestyle 69,95 €. Laces and buckles can be both separately too.
7. Shipping info
Earth Runners ship worldwide via USPS with two international shipping options: International First Class: 10-21 days for delivery from when they ship cost $10-25 and International Express: 3-5 days for delivery from when they ship cost $65.
8. To sum up
Three different sole thicknesses, two lace styles, several different lace and buckle colours, grounding, high quality materials and more. Earth Runners are definitely high-quality sports sandals, which can suit well to different needs of individuals.
They were definitely a learning process for me. I struggled with sizing and finding the sole thickness I prefer. Their thinnest sole is definitely my favourite now and I’m glad that I found a pair that suits me so well and which I gladly reach for.