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June 13, 2023

Middle Bear Winged vs. Earthrunners Elemental | Barefoot Sandals Comparison & Review

Inside this article:

Introduction 👟

Looking for the perfect pair of barefoot sandals that will keep you well-grounded and light on your feet on a variety of outdoor adventures? Well, you've come to the right place! In this comparison, we will be analyzing the Middle Bear Winged Edition by Luna Sandals and the Elemental Adventure by Earth Runners, to help you find the ideal barefoot companion for your outdoor excursions.

Middle bear winged barefoot sandal

Both sandals are designed with the minimalist footwear enthusiast in mind. The Middle Bear is intended for epic mountain adventures and mellow trail runs, while the Elemental Adventure promises to keep you plugged into the world with its light and flexible design.

Brown Elemental barefoot shoes

In this comparison we'll examine the unique features and benefits of these two barefoot sandals in terms of design, performance, pricing, and overall user experience. We'll dive into the specifics of each model, outlining the activities they're best suited for and comparing their versatility across various sports and daily activities. Whether you're a seasoned minimalist footwear fan or new to the barefoot shoe game, this comparison will help you make an informed decision when choosing between these two top-rated barefoot sandals. So, let's get started! And don't forget to check out our minimal-list sales page for unique discount codes and insights on when these brands go on sale.

Purpose and Versatility 🦶

When it comes to outdoor adventures, choosing the right footwear is essential for a comfortable and enjoyable experience. The Middle Bear Winged Edition from Luna Sandals and the Elemental Adventure from Earth Runners are both designed for outdoor enthusiasts and share certain features, but they cater to slightly different activities and preferences.

Man and woman seating on a rock wearing Middle bear winged barefoot shoe

The Middle Bear Winged Edition is designed for epic mountain adventures and mellow trail runs, providing great grip and rock protection while remaining lightweight and nimble. With 9.4mm base + 4.5mm lugs, this sandal offers superb traction on various terrains like muddy or rocky trails, making it an excellent choice for hikers and trail runners. The users have appreciated its extra underfoot protection on harsher trails, but some have also mentioned a compromise in ground feel due to the thickness of these sandals. Learn more about the importance of ground feel in barefoot shoes here.

Legs in water wearing Elemental barefoot sandals

On the other hand, the Elemental Adventure from Earth Runners is designed to keep you light on your feet while remaining plugged into the natural world around you. The ultra-lightweight aggressive soles and thin 8mm Vibram® Gumlite Outsoles give you the sensation of being almost barefoot. These sandals are ideal for various activities such as running, hiking, beach adventures, and strolling around town. Elemental Adventures are highly versatile and minimal, but some users find their feet slipping around a little in wet conditions. If you're new to barefoot shoes, check out this article for some helpful tips.

The choice between the Middle Bear Winged Edition and the Elemental Adventure depends on your preferences and the activities you plan to undertake. Both models offer exceptional performance in their intended purposes, with the Middle Bear providing more underfoot protection and the Elemental Adventure emphasizing a more barefoot feel. Whatever your choice may be, remember that the key to a great outdoor experience is to enjoy nature while ensuring your feet are well protected and comfortable.

Design 😍

Let's dive into the design aspects of these two minimalist trail-ready sandals. The Middle Bear Winged Edition from Luna Sandals features a 9.4mm base with an additional 4.5mm lugs for a total thickness of around 14mm. This offers excellent grip and protection on rugged trails, yet remains lightweight at 8.2oz (single sandal, men's size 9.5). The upper is crafted from vegan-friendly materials, and the sandals are made in Vietnam.

a pair of Middle bear winged barefoot sandals

Luna Sandals' Gen3Wings lacing system ensures a secure, comfortable fit that's easy to adjust on the go, while the Vibram® Megagrip outsole provides exceptional traction on various terrains. The Middle Bear sandals have a more cushioned feel compared to other models, which might come in handy for those who prefer extra comfort during their outdoor adventures.

tying elemental barefoot sandal

On the other hand, the Elemental Adventure from Earth Runners offers an incredibly lightweight and thin design at just 5.5oz in weight and 8mm thickness (6.5mm base + 1.5mm tread). The Elemental's Vibram® Gumlite Outsole provides the right balance between flexibility and protection, allowing for a closer-to-barefoot experience. The Earth Runners sandals come with Grounded Conductive Performance Laces™, letting you stay connected with the natural world around you. These vegan-friendly sandals are also made with 25% recycled plastic buckles, highlighting their environmentally conscious approach to design 🌎

Middle bear winged barefoot sgoe

Comparing the Middle Bear Winged Edition and the Elemental Adventure, the former offers a thicker, more cushioned option for those seeking greater protection, while the latter provides a thinner, more flexible design for a closer-to-barefoot experience. Both sandals boast impressive grip, making them suitable for various outdoor activities. It's worth noting that both models are made from vegan-friendly materials and utilize reputable Vibram® soles for reliable performance.

Consider how much ground feel, protection, and flexibility you prefer before making your decision on which sandal best fits your needs, and don't forget to check out our barefoot shoe sizing guide to ensure a perfect fit!👣

Sizing and Fit Advice 📐

When it comes to sizing and finding the perfect fit, both sandals have slightly different recommendations.

For the Middle Bear Winged Edition, most men tend to size down 1/2 to a full size, while women usually find their true size to be the best fit. With LUNAs, you'll want a close fit without a lot of space around your foot. For more detailed guidance and support, check out Luna Sandals' .

Middle bear winged barefoot shoe

Earth Runners suggests choosing the size with as little extra space between your toes/heel and the edges of the Elemental Adventure sandal, as a close fit reduces sloppy strides and tripping hazards. To find your ideal size, print the in 'actual size' and compare it to your foot. If you're not satisfied with how your sandals fit, both brands offer a 30-day return policy as long as the sandals are unworn, unwashed, and unaltered.

Eemental barefoot shoe

Keep in mind that the fit of these sandals might also be influenced by your foot structure and the activities you intend to use them for.

Price Comparison 💰

Let's talk about the value for money and compare the prices of these two excellent barefoot shoe options.

Middle winged barefoot shoe

The Middle Bear Winged Edition is priced at $120, while the Elemental Adventure comes in at a lower price point of $79. It's worth considering your budget and the specific features you're looking for in a barefoot shoe when deciding between these two models.

Earthrunners elemental barefoot shoe

While both have their unique selling points, such as the Middle Bear's exceptional grip on trails and the Elemental Adventure's lightweight design, it's essential to balance these factors against the price difference. Consider which shoe best suits your lifestyle and activities before making a choice. Also, don't forget to factor in any potential discounts or sales that may be available. For example, you can use our Minimal List discount code 'MINIMAL-LIST10' to get 10% off on Elemental Adventure shoes, which adds even more value.

We always strive to provide the best value for our readers by scouting for deals on barefoot shoes. Be sure to check out our sales page for any special offers on these brands and other fantastic barefoot shoe options. Additionally, you can subscribe to our email newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest discounts and promotions. Happy shopping! 🛍️

About Luna Sandals and Earth Runners

Luna Sandals and Earth Runners are two distinguished brands within the barefoot shoe industry, each with their own unique approach to designing minimalist footwear. Let's learn more about these brands and what sets them apart.

Luna Sandals, founded by Barefoot Ted McDonald, is known for their high-quality, comfortable, and durable huarache-inspired sandals. They are dedicated to making minimalist sandals that promote healthy feet by offering a lightweight, zero-drop design suitable for various outdoor activities. Luna Sandals uses Vibram soles in their products, which are known for their durability and excellent grip. The
is a prime example of the brand's commitment to providing functional yet stylish sandals for avid outdoor enthusiasts. Moreover, Luna Sandals offers vegan-friendly options and manufactures their products in Vietnam.

On the other hand, Earth Runners has built its reputation on creating grounded, conductive minimalist sandals inspired by the ancient huarache running shoes. Their sandals offer an ultra-lightweight design that feels almost like going barefoot. Earth Runners also uses Vibram outsoles for their sandals, ensuring quality and durability. With a focus on earthing, Earth Runners incorporates conductive laces that help people stay plugged into the natural world around them. The brand maintains a strong commitment to sustainability by donating 1% of all sales to True Messages, a non-profit organization that supports the Tarahumara culture's running heritage.

Both brands have proven their dedication to creating superior minimalist footwear designed to keep you connected to the earth while pursuing your outdoor adventures.

Returns & Customer Reviews 💬

When it comes to the satisfaction of customers, both the Middle Bear Winged Edition and the Elemental Adventure's seem to have their fans. Fans of the Middle Bear have commented on the sandal's comfort, durability, and performance on trails, appreciating the extra underfoot protection for harsher terrains. However, some mention the ground feel is compromised compared to more minimal sandals. The balance between protection and ground feel is always a consideration in the world of barefoot and minimalist footwear.

Luna Sandals offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee for returns and exchanges on the Middle Bear, with some stipulations. Returned sandals must be in a condition that allows them to be resold, and customers are responsible for paying return shipping costs. Luna Sandals also offers a detailed sizing guide to help customers find the perfect fit.

Elemental Adventure users praise its lightweight and flexible design, making it ideal for a variety of activities. The thinness of the sandal creates an excellent ground feel, but some users have mentioned difficulties with the lacing and adjustment system. Earth Runners offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for returns and exchanges, with sandals needing to be in like-new condition for returns. Customers must also pay for the return shipping costs.

Final Thoughts ⭐

When it comes to minimalist sandals for outdoor adventures and daily activities, both the Middle Bear Winged Edition from Luna Sandals and the Elemental Adventure by Earth Runners are excellent choices. While the Middle Bear provides more cushioning and trail protection, the Elemental has an ultra-minimalist design that allows a close-to-barefoot experience. Ultimately, it's about your priorities and preferences. 🤔

For those who prioritize a more cushioned and protected experience on the trails, the Middle Bear would be a fantastic option. With its thicker sole, it offers a balance between comfort and trail protection, especially for the more rugged trails. On the other hand, if you're looking for the lightest and most flexible minimalist sandals, the Elemental Adventure is the better choice, as it provides the closest feeling to barefoot while still offering protection.

Concerning price, the Elemental Adventure is more affordable, while the Middle Bear provides extra cushioning, making both of these sandals great value for money, depending on your preferences. Don't forget to check our sales page for any discounts or deals, and to use our Earth Runners discount code 'MINIMAL-LIST10' to save on your purchase.💰

Both the Middle Bear and the Elemental Adventure are excellent choices within the barefoot shoe community for various reasons. Your decision should ultimately be based on your preferences, activity level, and the specific advantages each model provides.

Ready to take the plunge into minimalist sandals? Share your thoughts, questions, and experiences in the comments section below, and don't forget to subscribe to our email newsletter for more insights on barefoot shoes and minimalist footwear. Happy trails! 🌲

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