My friend Cristina Mendoza is my first guest story teller. I have known her a few years via social media, but did not meet her till the NOLA GRT Family reunion. She is a kind and unique soul. Thank you for sharing with all who read this. I look forward to seeing you again Baby Bash.
People in the GRT community love to ask dumb questions. But the most common question is:
“What boots should I wear?”
Well, boom. I made this real easy. The best boots are no boots. The best boots are sandals. Luna Monos, to be specific. People love to tell me it’s so hardcore to do endurance events in sandals, and although I love to be showered in compliments and praise…it’s not that difficult. It’s actually much, much better.
I’m the type of person who likes to do events with the least amount of gear possible. I usually roll up in RPs and a sports bra, with my bricks and some cookies. It’s common for me to decide to do an event, like, several hours before it starts. So, having my packing list simplified is ideal. I was starting to get tired of the whole boot/shoe/sock debate when I heard people mention things about sandals and names like Kurt Stein, Christian Griffith and Joel Gat. I thought ‘wow, these people sound really fucking dumb’ and then ‘I wanna be just like them.’ And then Bee Yang started telling me about his DIY sandals, and I was convinced that I needed to approach this whole GORUCK thing completely differently.
I was at the point that I had done a handful of Challenges, but I was still too scared to do a Heavy. So, I wanted a way to take the Challenge up a notch if I was going to keep doing them. I ordered a pair of Luna Monos as some form of self-sabotage, but uhh, joke’s on me because it actually made the whole ordeal much easier. Here’s why:
They cure bitch feet. Most people have some degree of bitch feet, and in my case that means fallen arches. You basically have two options: Keep The Walking Company and Hoka One in business by babying yourself, or train your feet to be less fragile. Luna sandals help with the latter — the better choice. By wearing footwear with minimal support, your legs can step their shit up and learn to operate the way they’re supposed to. As a result, you’ll actually have less aching during ruck training and events. Well, less of that specific kind…and still plenty of the other kinds.
You won’t be wearing socks, which means you won’t have wet socks, which means you won’t need to change socks. Fuck socks.
They love to get dirty. My Lunas and I have that in common. When they get wet, and then get sandy, the particles of sand feel like tiny knives. When that happens, rinse them off! Don’t be a hero. They stay put on all kinds of terrain. For example, my favorite dumb pastime is to wear them and ruck up and down mountain bike ramps made of sand in the woods. However, their performance is questionable in duck shit, should you ever find yourself stuck there. I did in New Orleans a few weeks ago. I don’t think that’s a Luna inadequacy so much as a time to ask yourself about the choices you made in life that led you to that pond. I still can’t quite piece that one together.
Packing is easy when you only need one pair of shoes for everything. I’ve taken week-long trips with Luna Monos as my only shoes. You know how the GR1 is designed to be the only ruck you’ll ever need? Lunas are like that for your feet. They’ve got a removal tech strap for when you want to make sure they can’t fall off, like when you need to help push press some picnic tables.
If Mowgli wore shoes, they’d be Lunas. One of the best things about GORUCK events is that the training is simply spending time in the outdoors. I strap on some Lunas, let my hair down, and take a trip through the woods. It makes me feel like the kind of adult that my childhood self would want me to be. When Baloo said to look for the bare necessities, I think this is what he meant.
So far, my Lunas have been through 3 GORUCK Challenges, 2 GORUCK Lights, 2 BattleFrog races, the entire Shark Valley Everglades trail, a ton of training rucks and 8.5 miles across the island of St. Thomas. And if you don’t believe me, well, you should. But here’s some other input:
“I ran from Washington Monument in Baltimore to Washington Monument in DC with some November Project folk. 42 miles or so in pouring rain.” — Kurt Stein
“Ahem. I wear Bedrock Sandals, not Lunas. And many of my dumb things have been in flip flops. As for dumbest… I tried to run the 2015 888k in my bedrocks. Foot injury in the first 26 miles, screwed my race, ended up 2nd place after taking 3 days off to fix my foot. Dumbest in flips — my feet really hurt in the first 100 miles of VolState, so I bought some foam flips at a thrift store and ran 200 miles in $5 flip flops.” — Joel Gat
“I made my own [sandals] and failed survivalrun:huntergatherer. /mostawesome.” — Bee Yang
“I climbed Volcan Maderas in my Monos (4,500 ft volcano on Isla de Ometepe)” — Christian Griffith
To order some fancy sandals.
For more info about GORUCK.