Monkeys and Elves Unite! Soft Star Teams Up with Luna Sandals

Posted on October 18, 2013 by Elf Martin There have been 10 comment(s)

Luna Monkeys meet Soft Star Elves

For several years now, the elves at Soft Star have enjoyed a friendly, non-competitive relationship with the monkeys (their term) at Luna Sandals, which operates just north of us in Seattle, Washington. We supplied Barefoot Ted with soling materials back when he originally worked to develop his huarache product and he later became a very memorable visitor to our Oregon workshop. Later, Luna Sales Monkey Tom Norwood kindly let us interview him for our blog regarding his adventures running the Copper Canyon Ultramarathon last spring. We also love their sandals.

Since Soft Star doesn't make running huaraches, we usually direct sandal-seeking customers to the Luna website. After all, it's a high-quality minimalist shoe made in the good ol' USA by great people… thus, elf-approved.

Well, after all those years of good relations we finally had the revelation that we could just become an official Luna retailer. After discussing it with the Seattle monkey team, we're proud to announce that you can now buy Luna Sandals directly from Soft Star!

Luna Mono Sandals from Soft Star Shoes

Click image to visit product page.

We're starting with the Luna Mono sandal—a nice design for hiking, traveling, lounging, camping, running, spelunking… you name it! Last summer, the Mono (pronounced "moe-no") became my go-to footwear anytime I wasn't wearing my RunAmocs, and I'll personally vouch for their awesomeness. The straps are completely adjustable, the sole is durable yet flexible and I think they make me look kind of hardcore (except to the people who know me better than that).

Luna Mono Sandals on the Trail

You can purchase these sandals from our website, over the phone or directly from our workshop if you happen to be in the Corvallis area. Best of all, if you order sandals with a pair of Soft Star shoes then the sandals ship for free!

On a side note: yes, we are still working on our own casual sandal design, which we hope to have available for summer 2014.


Not familiar with the Lunar Monkeys? Here's a brief history:

As a prominent advocate of barefoot running, Barefoot Ted found himself on the adventure of a lifetime in 2006 when he participated in the very first Copper Canyon Ultramarathon deep in Mexico. That race, as documented in Christopher MacDougall's bestselling book Born to Run, introduced western runners to the legendary Tarahumara tribe on their native turf. The Tarahumara traditionally run races hundreds of miles long without the injuries that plague modern runners, and their footwear of choice is a simple huarache sandal cut from old tires.

During his trip, Ted met Tarahumara runner Manuel Luna. The two became friends and Luna taught Ted how to make a classic huarache sandal, which quickly became Ted's footwear of choice (aside from his bare feet). Ted took the lessons he learned from that experience and began his own sandal company named after his dear friend. Luna Sandals has come a long way since that time and now offers a growing variety of sandal options, but they all still follow the classic huarache style and are all made in Seattle, Washington—just north of Soft Star's Oregon workshop.


Manual Luna teaching Barefoot Ted how to make huarache sandals in 2006.

So what's with the monkeys? Ted's totem name in Mexico was El Mono… "The Monkey." The name seemed to have stuck—something our elves understand very well.

For more information on Luna Sandals, visit their website at

To follow Barefoot Ted's latest adventures, check out his blog at

This post was posted in In the Workshop, Running and was tagged with elves, shoes, huarache, soft star, luna, sandals, monkeys, retail, mono

10 Responses to Monkeys and Elves Unite! Soft Star Teams Up with Luna Sandals

  • Anna
    Anna says:

    This is great! You bring different strengths to the table so this is a great partnership. I really like the shape of the sole of the luna sandal (for a vibram sole) but I'm afraid the nylon straps would be too rough. I haven't tried luna sandals specifically, but I've tried sandals with that material and it's not comfortable enough for me. It would be a lot better with leather straps.

    Or perhaps nylon for durability that is wrapped in leather for comfort (and looks)? I'm eagerly awaiting your take on the sandal!

    Posted on October 22, 2013 at 7:38 AM

  • Elf Martin
    Elf Martin says:

    Thanks Anna! Luna does offer leather-laced sandals from their website, but we don't carry them at Soft Star:

    Posted on October 22, 2013 at 7:41 AM

  • Justin
    Justin says:

    I love Luna sandals. I love Soft Star mocs. This is great news of a perfect combination!

    Posted on October 23, 2013 at 5:30 PM

  • Elf Martin
    Elf Martin says:

    Thanks Justin!

    Posted on October 24, 2013 at 4:06 AM

  • Kelly Holman
    Kelly Holman says:

    Another great sandal option is The DYO kit is great for somebody who's frugal (like me) or who can't stand to have a strap between the toes (like me). But be sure you spend a lot of time testing and tweaking the cardboard template, before you start cutting. Your feet are unique!

    Posted on October 24, 2013 at 5:34 PM

  • Elf Martin
    Elf Martin says:

    Thanks Kelly! We're big fans of Xero Shoes here, too.

    Posted on October 24, 2013 at 5:40 PM

  • John Bryant
    John Bryant says:

    Please, please, please mate a Luna Oso sandal sole (their footshape) with an Original Runamoc top!!!

    Posted on October 25, 2013 at 12:26 AM

  • Elf Martin
    Elf Martin says:

    Thanks John. We'll keep that idea in mind!

    Posted on October 25, 2013 at 3:22 AM

  • Anna
    Anna says:

    I second John! Not necessarily the Oso specifically (since that's their least moldable sole) but the same foot shape as an option for the runamoc dash (and/or other shoes that have the vibram soles) would be awesome.

    Posted on November 1, 2013 at 6:30 AM

  • Elf Martin
    Elf Martin says:

    Thanks Anna! We do appreciate feedback like this.

    Posted on November 4, 2013 at 1:24 AM