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LUNA Roots Story

by Irem Guroglu April 18, 2019

LUNA Roots - Barefoot Ted Meets Manuel Luna from LUNA Sandals on Vimeo.

As chronicled in the bestselling book Born to Run, Barefoot Ted tells the story of his meeting with Manuel Luna in 2006 down in the Copper Canyons. He describes how that event sparked his imagination and has lead LUNA Sandal where we are today.



perhaps one of the oldest human inventions. Human beings have learned that protecting the bottom of our feet can give us a huge advantage in many environments.




to learn how to run pain-free. That simple desire led him down a rabbit-hole of a quest to learn as much as he could about natural running form, the natural selection of footwear, and the evolution of human movement.

On his journey he re-discovered that the human body is not broken by design. We, as humans, have an amazing capacity to move well solely with the equipment we were born with, our own bodies.


As he learned more about the natural selection of footwear in human cultures, he kept finding the simple sandal as the footwear of choice for many cultures past and present.



This fascinating quest into the world of movement, running, and simple footwear led him to a man named Caballo Blanco and into the Copper Canyons of Mexico in 2006; the story of which is famously chronicled in Christopher McDougall's best-sellerBorn To Run. If you’ve read Born To Run, you are familiar with Ted's story. 



down to the Copper Canyons of Mexico to run a 50 mile ultra-marathon with the legendary Tarahumara natives, and while there, Ted became friends with Manuel Luna. Manuel made Ted his first pair of traditional tire 'huarache' sandals. The spark for LUNA sandals was born and as they say, the rest is history. 


Ted began tinkering and experimenting with sandal designs. In 2007 he went back to the Copper Canyon Ultra and ran the race in a pair of huarache sandals that he himself had made. He was hooked, and knew he was onto something that he really wanted to share with the world.



BFT was inundated with requests for the simple sandals he had been developing and making in his garage.  In March of 2010 at Volunteer Park in Seattle, he met two young brothers slacklining in the park. 
As if it was meant to be, Scott and Bookis Smuin knew who Ted was and had already been making and running in tire sandals. They quickly became friends, the stars aligned, and a business plan for LUNA Sandals was born.


IN LATE 2010...

LUNA grew enough to move production into a small space on Capitol Hill in Seattle where they got started on the adventure of developing, learning, struggling, and growing the business of LUNA Sandals.



Now located in a beautiful space just 3 blocks north of the Space Needle, in Seattle with 19 full time employees, LUNA's team, products, and processes have grown and evolved immensely. Ted and Liv are running the show along with an amazingly talented team of people!




Irem Guroglu
Irem Guroglu


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