Luna Sandals has been on our radar for a long time but minimalist sandals (other than Xero Shoes) are not the most requested review item from our readers. We have tested various products from manufacturers large and small in the running sandals category but all have fit issues or prone to hot spots or too stiff or restricting your natural foot movement.
We recently received a test pair of their latest sandals, the Mono. The Mono (Monkey in Spanish) is their do everything, go everywhere sandal – a general sandal for the masses. Designed for hiking, traveling, lounging, camping, running, spelunking, or anything else, the Mono is Luna Sandals go-to footwear.
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.
Choose between the Pittards Premium Leather footbed and the MGT footbed. The MGT (Monkey Grip Technology) footbed maintains the black, low profile, look of the naked top Lunas while improving traction and durability. For wet and muddy conditions the MGT footbed is king. The Pittards High Performance Leather footbed adds comfort, helps your sandals form to your feet, and absorbs some moisture. The MGT footbed is still the ultimate in wet weather running, however the Pittards footbed offers a natural and beautiful looking alternative.
The Mono comes with their new secure and comfortable ATS (All Terrain Strapping) laces. The ATS laces include the Luna Plug System, which consists of a soft, tubular nylon between the toes and a flat plug under the outsole for extended wear protection. The remainder of the laces are made up of a 5/8″ climbing-grade tubular nylon with an elasticized heel strap, making the sandals easy to slip on and off. The buckle at the top of the foot allows for simple adjustments thanks to the ability to tighten and loosen the buckle and slide the strap up and down the toe strap. To keep the buckle from slipping while you’re wearing them, a strip of MGT has been added to the buckle area.
So how did the Luna Mono perform?
I decided on a size 10.0 Pittards Premium Leather footbed instead of a size 10.5 (see Luna Sandals sizing chart) because I did not want any excess material and as close to a custom fit as possible. I printed out the PDF template to be extra sure. My pair weighs in at 5.2 ounces and the sizing is almost perfect.
The loop for the heel feels a little on the low side – kind of loose. You can feel it especially when walking. I had to slide the strap (buckle) way up to my ankle to keep the heel strap from sliding down the Achilles. The perfect fit for the heel strap would be at least a quarter inch higher up. The Luna web site has a video showing how you can tighten the heel strap but I did not want it too tight such that it causes hot spots.
The outsole could be a little softer so it flexes naturally – there is some resistance initially but softened over time. The Pittards leather feels a little rough initially. Requires break-in time for the roughness to smooth out. I love Pittards leather as I have two pairs of SKORA, the FORM and CORE, that have uppers made of soft and comfortable goat leather.
Running with the Mono is very enjoyable but I would prefer a slightly thinner stack height and softer sole. The Mono felt more secure (on my foot) running than walking! But Luna has created a general pair of sandals that will appeal to the masses and all kinds of outdoor activities, not just for running. The ATS laces has made Luna Sandals ‘regular’ sandals and eases putting them on or taking them off quickly.
The Luna Sandals Mono is available in two flavor for men and women in either the Monkey Grip Technology (MGT) footbed or Pittards Premium Leather footbed:
The Luna Sandals Mono is now available at: Luna Sandals
*Product provided by Luna Sandals (MSRP $90). CMP.LY/1 Review
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