+ Sandal Testing with Manuel Luna Gutiérrez

LONG AGO, OUR FOUNDER BAREFOOT TED HEADED DEEP INTO THE COPPER CANYONS of Mexico in search of adventure, seeking to learn how to run free with people who have been doing it for generations - the Raramuri (native running people) of the canyons and mountains surrounding them. If you’ve read the book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, you have a pretty good idea of the deep friendships and primal living and running principles that were re-discovered there.

Manuel and BFT

BECAUSE OF OUR RICH HISTORY, the Copper Canyons hold a really special place in our hearts here at LUNA, as they are still home to Manuel Luna Gutiérrez and family whom our company's name pays homage. Each year Barefoot Ted (and other LUNA crew members) make the long, arduous and beautiful journey down to the oasis that is Urique, Mexico, where on the first Sunday of March each year the 80km Ultra Caballo Blanco foot race is held in honor of Micah True.

THIS RACE BRINGS TOGETHER PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE WORLDand directly benefits the local economy most especially the Rarumuri people and the locals of Urique and nearby canyons. Mexicans from all over Mexico along with a growing number of international travelers and runners start showing up at the end of February each year to participate in the race. The week leading up to the event is basically a giant party as the streets of Urique are transformed from a little town square into a sparkling, banner strewn festival version of the town - complete with a stage, music, and events throughout the days leading up to the race. 

EACH YEAR WE RECONNECT WITH OUR FRIENDS in the Canyons above all else, especially Manuel and his family.  This year was extra special, because we were getting ready to release our newly designed "Winged" sandals. Naturally we wanted to show Manuel how far his initial sandal tutorial had evolved. While showing him the new sandals, Barefoot Ted learned that Manuel was actually considering running the race in shoes instead of his green-laced LUNA Mono sandals, because he was afraid they weren’t thick enough for the extreme terrain found in this year's new, rockier course. 

OF COURSE BAREFOOT TED KNEW HE HAD TO HELP MANUEL, and asked if his thicker Winged Mono Gordo sandals would do. Manuel smiled. Manuel became the first person to run an ultramarathon in the "Wings". Not only does Manuel approve of the new Winged Edition LUNAs, which makes us undeniably happy, but his family, and friends also wear LUNA Roots sandals made by Manuel himself with materials we supply. You can make you own Roots sandals with our online Roots Builder.

Manuel's son at San Isidro Lodge

IF YOU HAVEN'T BEEN TO THE COPPER CANYONS, it is hard to describe the vast beauty there. Desert, rocks, forests, mountains, lush rivers and waterfalls, technical trails, vivid sunsets, dancing in the streets and tons of smiling faces, tough dirt roads, deep canyons and of course views to die for. You just have to see it for  yourself to absorb it all, and we are sure if you make the trip it will be an unforgettable one. There are actually several opportunities to visit and run in events coming up including the LUNA sponsored Copper Canyons Endurance Runs starting in October 2019.

BFT's feet and sandals after the marathon




1 Response

James O'Brien

James O'Brien

April 15, 2019

This is such a feel good story! Reading this just puts me in an awesome mood! Thank you!

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