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.
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.
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!
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).
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