Barefoot Shoes

Luna Sandals ATS Review [Huaraches]

Barefoot Ted and Luna Sandals have released another new model adding to their extensive line of huarache sandals. Lunas are sandals inspired by those worn by the Tarahumara featured in Born to Run. The All Terrain Sandal, or ATS for short, adopts many…

NOTE/UPDATE 1/27/2012: The ATS has been discontinued as a standalone huaraches offering from Luna; however, you can now get the ATS laces on other huaraches (the lacing system is really what makes the ATS unique in this space). For example, you can get ATS laces on the Leadville!

Barefoot Ted and Luna Sandals have released another new model adding to their extensive line of huarache sandals. Lunas are sandals inspired by those worn by the Tarahumara featured in Born to Run. The All Terrain Sandal, or ATS for short, adopts many of the earlier innovations found in Luna Sandals like the LeadCat and combines them with a few new features.


With the release of the ATS, there are now seven models of Luna Sandals from which to choose. The ATS set themselves apart from the others in that they’re specifically designed for “wet, muddy, and rugged” conditions. You can add cold to that list since they’re marketed in conjunction with optional toe socks, the ToeSox ULTRA Sport Socks. I managed to put my pair of ATS huaraches through all of those conditions and on one day, all four.


At first glance, there isn’t much to these sandals. There is a sole and some webbing to strap it to your foot. However, upon closer inspection, you will see plenty of thought has gone into the details of these two basic parts.

The sole comes in your choose of either an 8mm “Pacer” or a 10mm “Leadville” sole. Go with the thicker of the two if you plan to handle primarily rocky terrain. Since that isn’t normally my running surface, I opted for the 8mm soles. Since the ATS were made with wet conditions in mind, the soles have a non-slip footbed that grabs nicely grabs your bare foot or socks when wearing them. There is a moderate amount of tread providing traction on loose surfaces.

The strapping systems is an interesting mix of materials chosen carefully for each part of your foot. It begins with their now standard plug and ribbon system eliminating a knot on the bottom of the sole thereby giving you a smooth sole and eliminating wear. A thin ribbon material runs between your toes to reduce rubbing. A 5/8″ nylon strap connected from there and continues around the heel, however the portion around the heel adds an additional elasticized leather to simplify fitting and keep the strap from slipping. The remainder of the strap is 1/2″ nylon coupled with a buckle for quick adjustments — no knots!

Walking and Running in the ATS Huaraches

Over the last few months, the ATS has served me well as my primary casual sandal. With the wide straps and stealthy black color, I’ve worn them all over town without drawing too much attention. Like any huarache, they are extremely comfortable allowing natural foot motion. Once you have the straps dialed in, they are very comfortable and I encountered no rubbing or other hot spots over the course of an entire day.

Running in the ATS was equally pleasurable. I’ve logged a few hundred miles on them, and they have become my go-to huaraches for a mixed terrain run. They are certainly thicker than they need to be for road running, but those extra few millimeters are welcome when hitting trails and their associated roots and rocks. I put them to the test on a seven mile run up and down the trails of Rothrock State Forest near State College, Pennsylvania on a cold Christmas Day. The trail was littered with wet, sharp rocks, and I found the the 8mm soles provided plenty of protection as I scrambled up or came tumbling down the mountains.

A short break on the descent in Rothrock State Forest, PA

A short break on the descent in Rothrock State Forest, PA

Socks or No Socks?

I had a pair of the ToeSox ULTRA Sport Socks to test along with my pair of ATS. I wasn’t even aware Injinji had any real competition in the toe socks market until trying the ToeSox pair. ToeSox makes a quality pair of socks worthy of consideration, and while I found them a great combination when walking in my ATS, running was more of a challenge. Each time I attempted to run with the socks, the heel strap wouldn’t grip the sock material like it would with my skin. Therefore, the strap would slip down. Continuing to tighten the straps to combat this didn’t work well so finding the right fit was difficult. Inevitably, I would give up, slip the socks off, and drop them in my pocket. The good news is that it has to be pretty cold to run and truly require socks. I was running in freezing weather and my feet were just fine in just their skin alone.


The name ATS is certainly appropriate for these huaraches. They are deceiving in appearance since while they appear no-frills, they are very capable of handling anything you throw at them. If you’re going to have one pair of Lunas, these are the ones.

Ordering, Pricing, Availability

You can order the ATS in sizes from 4 through 13, but I always recommend getting them custom made. It costs nothing extra, and you’re guaranteed to get exactly the perfect fit — the key to comfort and performance. Simply trace your feet on a piece of paper, scan or photograph it, and e-mail it to them when you order.

The ATS start at $85 for the 8mm Pacer soles. Add $10 for the 10mm Leadville soles The ATS as it’s own sandal (with the Pacer soles) has been discontinued, but never fear, you can still use the ATS laces on the Leadville Lunas. Note the ToeSox ULTRA Sport Socks are also $10. You can purchase them directly from Luna Sandals, or if you’re in the Pacific Northwest, you can visit the Born to Run stores located in Seattle and Bellevue, Washington.

By James

James's life was changed forever when he tried running in Vibram Five Fingers in July 2010. He'll occasionally go barefoot, but he primarily runs in his homemade huarache sandals. He loves to experiment with different types of minimalist footwear and has previously reviewed huaraches (homemade, Invisible Shoe, and Luna Sandals), the Teva Zilch, and the VIVOBAREFOOT Achilles running sandals.

16 replies on “Luna Sandals ATS Review [Huaraches]”

Thanks for the review, James. Were you in State College visiting someone, or are you from the area? I’ve been living around State College since 2007, and there are a ton of places to go if you’re into trail running or hiking.

A couple hundred miles in the ATS already?! Thanks from the Luna team for such a thorough review. Luna loves BirthdayShoes!

Thanks for the review, wish it would have come out a few days earlier though. I just ordered these a couple days ago and still waiting for my order. I don’t really run trails a lot but here in the Pacific NW it gets soggy a lot and things flood where I run pretty frequently and I need a sandal with traction for the sole and grip on the footbed. These are much thicker than I wanted or need (I typically run barefoot) so hopefully in the future they will make a thinner model that has traction on the bottom and grip on the footbed. I did the custom sizing as well on the ATS.

I have homemade huaraches that are amazing for dry but when wet they are horrible and they aren’t overly great for trails either. Hopefully the ATS will fill my need.

Are these sandals suitable for high mileage type runs? (12-17)

thanks for the review, thinking about buying a pair of ATS

@Chris: Assuming your feet are already conditioned for that kind of distance in some kind of sandal, then yes. I’ve gone on a number of 10 mile runs with no problems at all. I doubt a few more miles would make any difference.

Thanks for the reply. I am up to around 12 miles in VFF (sprints usually- sometimes bikila). What are the major differences between sandals vs. VFF?

Thx again- Chris

@Chris, huaraches(sandals) let your feet move even more naturally than the vff’s as your toes are not restricted by material. Depending on the huarache and your lacing method you may not feel as stable and secure as you do in a normal shoe or vff. The type of running you do can also affect the stability as well. I typically run barefoot or in huaraches because I have less pain and can run more naturally and I feel very stable and comfortable this way. Plus I am a very warm blooded person and my feet get hot and sweaty easy in shoes and barefoot or huaraches let my feet breath. Hope this helps explain them a little bit.

So your feet dont slide around at all when using these sandals? I have this idea that when running the things start sliding around making it uncomfortable.

@Chris, my feet don’t slide around at all. Once properly adjusted (snug, not too tight), your foot is locked into place. Keep in mind that the laces are designed for running and not lateral motion. If you were doing excessive lateral movements, you would properly shift a bit in them. However, running is no problem at all.

Luna has discontinued the ATS, fyi. I was told that the ATS lacing is still available on the Leadville (but it doesnt have the nonslip footbed). Thought I would relay that info.
thx- Chris

Anyone knows why they have been discontinued?

I thought they said in a recent news letter that the ATS is the best selling Luna Sandal to date.
And they’ve only just been introduced.

Anyway, got my pair in the mail today.
Looking forward to trying out them out on the trails.

@Mats, From what I understand, they were discontinued because the the application of the footbed to the sole proved to be problematic. Whatever it took to do it, I think it was worth the effort and I would pay a few bucks more for the trouble. They are holding up well for me. There is a little bit of separation along the edge, but nowhere near anything which would cause a problem.

I wanted to mention that with the ATS lacing/strap, the cost of this sandal is $100 (the ATS add-on is $15). Sorry but that price seems kind of crazy to me.

Thanks for the wonderful review. I just ordered the Leadville with ATS lace with naked top. Hope this is good for Trail and road running. Plan to do half and full marathons. (Have run few Halfs and one full Marathon). I am moving in from an Asics shoes to a barefoot for the first time. any suggestions?

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