Trail Running (Doi Surthep, Chiang Mai, Thailand) – Luna Trail Sandal + Icebreaker Tracer Shorts

The Luna Trail Sandal

The Luna Trail Sandal

As I was preparing for my move to Thailand I wanted to keep as slim as possible. So I ditched my trail running shoes and ended up going with a pair of Luna Trail Sandals . I found them in a store in Bellevue washington called Born 2 Run.  As soon as I got to Bangkok I hit the ground…walking many miles each day. I was extremely impressed with the comfort of the Lunas after the first day. And then after 8 days I knew that if they could hold up to the harsh environment of Bangkok, they could probably hold up anywhere.

Now I’m in Chiang Mai. A smaller city of about 1 million that is located about 700kms north of Bangkok. Finally, after many days of no running, I found a downhill mountain biking website that had a map of multiple routes. So I motorbiked out to this lake, where the trail ends for the downhillers, with the plan to run up the mountain. Running up a mountain(Doi Surthep) from 400m to 1600m over 6 miles, through the jungle, wearing only my Luna Trail Sandals and Icebreaker Tracer running shorts.

Luna Sandals are made in Seattle from the best materials.

Luna Sandals are made in Seattle from the best materials.

A 20 minute ride from Chiang Mai to Huai Tung Thao Lake and the trail head.

A 20 minute ride from Chiang Mai to Huai Tung Thao Lake and the trail head.

After I parked my biked I had a short jog over to the trailhead and then started up. From the very beginning I knew it would be a very difficult run. Uneven terrain, lots of rocks and trenches and very steep. And the best/worst part is that I really didn’t know where I was going. So I just followed my instinct which initially took me to a beautiful waterfall. After this wonderful “wrong turn” I went back about 500m and found my way up the mountain.

Took a "wrong" turn and ran into this :)

Took a “wrong” turn and ran into this 🙂

I used MyTracks to track the run.

I used MyTracks to track the run.

Luna Trail Sandals

Ok, first let me say that I’ve never been a barefoot runner. I’ve always ran in trail shoes while on the trails or in the mountains. This is the first pair of running sandals I’ve ever had and one of the few times I’ve ever ran almost barefoot.

Now the Sandals…wow! I’m not sure I ever want to wear shoes again. I love how free I feel in these sandals. My feet are not suffocated and I’ll feel more one with the trail. I never thought that I would be able to wear a pair of sandals and do this kind of running. But the people at Luna thought of everything. These Trail Sandals are so comfortable that you forget that they’re even on your feet. They stretch in the back, at the heel, so when you run it allows for movement that gives an even greater “barefoot” feel.

The vibram sole is absolutely amazing. The terrain on this run was extremely steep and slippery but I was able to keep traction. Of course there were some slips but that is expected.

Not only do I run in these sandals, but I wear them on a daily basis to walk around the city, go out at night and motorbike around town. They are truly the only pair of “shoes” you need.

Check out this video from the run yesterday!

Icebreaker Tracer Shorts

If you know me, you know that I couldn’t be a bigger fan of Icebreaker. It’s literally all I wear. Many people might thing that Merino Wool is only for cold weather…well think again. I’ve been living in Thailand for 25 days now and Icebreaker is all I wear. Keeps you warm when it’s cool and cool when it’s hot. And it doesn’t stink! Absolutely amazing!

On this run I wore the Icebreaker Tracer Shorts. These shorts are so lightweight and breathable. And they way that they’re constructed…the shorts couldn’t be more comfortable. You’ll basically forget that they’re on. So these shorts coupled with the Luna sandals…might just give you the feeling that you’re running naked 🙂

They dry super fast and don’t stink! (even after the sweatiest, hottest, longest trail runs).

Getting ready to take off!

Getting ready to take off!

The trail

The trail

Dirty feet is a small price to pay for running in these sandals.

Dirty feet is a small price to pay for running in these sandals.

I was so dirty after the run...so I went and dove in the lake and went for a swim :)

I was so dirty after the run…so I went and dove in the lake and went for a swim 🙂

Well there it is. My first legit trail run since being in Thailand. Now that I got the first one out of the way I have no doubt that I’ll have no problem finding many more amazing runs. I love it here! 🙂

Distance: 5.3 miles (roundtrip)

Elevation Gain: 2300ft

Cheers,

Brandon

 

 

 

Advertisements

3 responses to “Trail Running (Doi Surthep, Chiang Mai, Thailand) – Luna Trail Sandal + Icebreaker Tracer Shorts

  1. I’ve been running in Inov-8s for the past three years, but you are really making me think about picking up a pair of those sandals once the weather gets warmer. I’ve always assumed that the trails I run are too technical for barefoot style running, but if they worked in Thailand…

    • Hey man, I’ll check those out. Yea I never thought this would be possible either. When I lived in Seattle I wore La Sportivas. Which is a mountain running shoe company. I loved those shoes. They fit like a glove and felt absolutely amazing. But now I’m loving these sandals. I wear them all the time and I don’t have to worry about if I have my running shoes. I always do! Most people think I’m crazy but then they see how well they work. People here run around in Haviannas. Try running in those…ha!

      I spent some time reading some of your post. Very enjoyable 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s