Barefoot Shoes

Shamma Sandals Ultragrip Chargers Review

Shamma Sandals has updated their lineup with the adventure-ready and waterproof Ultra Chargers! The highlight of the new model is its grippy and waterproof all-weather UltraGrip footbed! Looking for my own adventure, I put the new model to the test…

Shamma Sandals has updated their lineup with the adventure-ready and waterproof Ultra Chargers! The highlight of the new model is its grippy and waterproof all-weather UltraGrip footbed! Looking for my own adventure, I put the new model to the test along the running trails and mountain hikes of Madeira Island! Read through to see my thoughts on the new Shamma Sandals Ultra Chargers!


Here’s what Shamma says about the Ultragrip Chargers:
Tap into your natural strength – Regain your form, balance, and movement. Chargers are light and responsive without even a trace of floppiness. Smooth on the road, and rock solid on the trail. The Chargers are our war horses – strong, balanced, and stable. They’re light, comfy, and snug. While their tread isn’t as aggressive as the Warriors or Mountain Goats, they’re still built for performance on and off road, and if you’ve never tried Shammas we recommend them as a first pair.
Weight | 4 oz (mens size 9) Total Stack Height | 6mm Vibram Pyramid Sheet Morflex Sole + <1mm Ultragrip footbed Barefoot scale | Excellent Ideal Uses Pros
  • Soft suede strap liners for excellent comfort
  • New nylon webbing is softer ever
  • Grippy Ultragrip footbed
  • Accommodating shape
  • Versatile Morflex sole
  • Durable
  • Slightly heavier than previous versions by a fraction of an ounce
  • While the uppers are waterproof, the sole loses traction in wet conditions
  • Morflex sole is a great all-around sole, but is not ideal for most runners for tricky terrain
Price | $69.95 Sizing | True to size and an excellent fit for wide feet Here’s a photo gallery of the Shamma Chargers:


The Ultra Chargers use a revised 6mm Vibram Morflex sole from a pyramid sheet mold. Morflex is a microcellular material, which shapes up to your feet very quickly around mile 10 and is flexible, but not as floppy as denser sole materials, which leads to fewer slapping sounds. The Morflex sole has a slight give to it upon landing, which is excellent for smooth road running and tough trails as well. In terms of their lineup, they use this 6mm Morflex sole for all variants of their Chargers line, a 5mm Vibram Newflex sole in the more technically-minded Warriors line and an 11mm combination sole of Morflex and Newflex for the trail-dedicated Mountain Goats.
If you are looking for something more capable with loose dirt and with better traction in wet conditions, go for Vibram Newflex! Overall, Morflex is an excellent all-around sole that is great for road-running, light trails, and everyday enjoyment. The sole is made from a lightweight, low-density material that you will barely even notice on your feet. When taking long hikes, you will definitely appreciate the lightweight nature of this sandal. After eight hour hikes in Madeira, my feet still felt fresh, while many of my friends had nothing but complaints about their clunky hiking boots; one boot even fell apart on one of them, which is something I would not worry about with the Chargers for hundreds of files, they are that durable and elegant of a design. Different from older models, this sole from Vibram features a slightly more raised pyramid design, while the older ones were slightly flatter squares. New to Shamma Sandals is their new Ultragrip footbed. This waterproof footbed is made from a specially designed Toughtek® material and has excellent grip for your feet and plenty of small channels for water, mud, and dirt to flow out of the sandal surface. The Ultragrip footbed features a very subtle diamond pattern provides a large, sticky surface area for your foot, while channeling away water, dirt, and mud. This footbed is micro-perforated and can take in a small amount of water to maintain optimum performance on your runs.
The new Ultragrip footbed adds an extra level of adherence and stickiness while providing a waterproof platform for all kinds of outdoor adventures
The new Ultragrip footbed adds an extra level of adherence and stickiness while providing a waterproof platform for all kinds of outdoor adventures
Having been a fan of the goat leather uppers of their more premium models, I was a bit apprehensive about this new footbed option, but I am happy to report that this footbed is actually superior to the leather material in a number of ways. For one, this material is much more durable than leather. While it won’t develop a lovely patina over time like leather, it is overall a much tougher material and will not fade, crack, or break like leather eventually will. In addition, the Ultragrip uppers are very sticky, while leather can be a little slippery as it dries out (frequently adding leather conditioning oil helps!), and is completely waterproof. I can easily sink my feet into a river or creek and my feet will be dry in mere minutes, ready for some more fun. Even as they dry, the uppers remain grippy and I never felt like my feet could slip on top of the upper.
 Texture details of the Ultragrip footbed
Texture details of the Ultragrip footbed

Fit and Materials

The Chargers have an updated Ultra Lacing system from Shamma Sandals. This system, as seen in previous versions Shamma maintains a secure fit, but with more comfort than many other sandal designs. Nearly every aspect of the fit can be adjusted to my needs. The center buckle can be moved in all four directions on top of your foot for the most comfortable fit, the main velcro strap can be adjusted forward and back, and the rear heel strap (my favorite aspect of the system) really locks in the sandal and rounds out the entire system. In addition, the velcro straps have been given little tabs to assist with tightening down and removing the straps. This was the first time I had seen a little tab like this and I hope that other sandals start taking note.
 Little velcro assist tabs were added to make the adjustment system even faster
Little velcro assist tabs were added to make the adjustment system even faster
It is a very polished system. No need to fiddle with self tying, cutting excess strapping material, or using a match to seal things up. I have had to do a little “sandal surgery” on some hikes when I encounter a paracord snap, or when narrow webbing rubs too much and I get a blister around the toe post; no such issues will occur with the Shamma Sandals lacing system. Most huaraches have a weakness in the rear heel strap and can cause some irritation over time, especially if they are too tight or too loose, but the webbing and suede combo really makes the entire sandal feel invisible.
 flexible, adjustable, and comfortable heel straps
flexible, adjustable, and comfortable heel straps
The webbing has been updated to be more comfortable right out of the box and important contact points are given extra comfort with suede liners. Even though the wide webbing is already very comfortable, the suede is a nice touch and makes the Charger the most comfortable sandal in my closet and the easiest to live with. Strap adjustments are incredibly quick and easy with the velcro straps and center buckle and everything is very secure; once I locked everything down, nothing is going to move even after an entire day of hiking.
 the ultra lacing system returns with some improvements in customization and comfort
the ultra lacing system returns with some improvements in customization and comfort
In a previous review, I used Shamma’s Power Straps to get a little extra security, but I left those at home and never regretted leaving them behind. The Power Straps are extra straps that add extra security around the top of the foot. However, the sandals are plenty secure on their own and do not require the Power Straps except in very specific conditions.


Having reviewed Shamma Sandals in the past, I decided to just go for it only bring the Ultra Chargers to the trip with no alternative sandal, shoe, or option should I encounter tough terrain, poor weather, or a strap break. I went in with an open mind and was rewarded with a wonderful running and hiking experience that I will never forget. Portugal was an amazing place to visit and the Shamma Ultra Chargers made this trip even more enjoyable. I was free to dash around, maneuver past trees, people, obstacles, clamber on rocks and man-made structures, and run to my heart’s content with these light sandals. I have been a huarache runner for many years and believe that less is more when it comes to shoes. Shoes should provide minimal protection without interfering with the movement of the foot; Shamma Sandals has always been excellent in this regard. During my many hikes—as is a common occurance—I would be stopped by people telling me I was “crazy” for hiking in“flip flops”, but after a little chat and some demonstrations of how secure the sandals were, many gave an impressed grin and carried on with their hikes—still thinking I’m crazy, but perhaps a little less so.
 Conquer and climb EVERYTHING with your sandals!
Conquer and climb EVERYTHING with your sandals!
It became readily apparent that I had a number of advantages over my fellow hikers and trail runners around Vereda da Ponta Sao Lourenç and Achada do Teixeira, where lifting up heavy hiking boots would tire out other hikers, while I was still springy and bouncy after an entire week of hiking. On one occasion, I had forgotten my phone in someone’s bag and I had to run back to the beginning of the Vereda hike and back again, all the while I saw others huffing and puffing along. To my surprise, I ran into a random couple that recognized me as I was passing them “Wait, are you Jarvis?!”—my wide feet are world renowned! The Ultra Charger is an excellent platform for all but the most treacherous trails. Having something light, thin and flexible on your feet trains you to be lighter with your steps and landings, more efficient with using your body weight and more fluid in your motions. Clunky boots and shoes do not readily train our bodies to move efficiently, they merely provide protection while adding too much weight. Other hikers looked HEAVY while I was feather-footed. Everyone looked tired, while I was energized. No one had more fun on that trail that that “crazy guy with the flip flops” during that week.
 new pyramid sheet Vibram Morflex vs the older flatter sheets
new pyramid sheet Vibram Morflex vs the older flatter sheets
The Morflex sole is great for a variety of activities, but as an all-around sole, it is not perfect. It is basically a bald sole, so it won’t have the same traction as, say, Morflex or Gumlite soles, and it can be slippery on wet rocks, so you will have to be a little more careful. However, this sole is a joy to use as it feels more connected to your feet because of its molding nature. It does not take very long for the sole to have your footprint embedded into it and it truly becomes yours.

Future Improvements

Shamma is always coming with improvements and have been open to my suggestions. For future models, I would like to see a second side velcro strap and some new colors! Having been a fan of the Yellow Flash Earthrunners from my previous review, all black felt very minimalist, incredibly functional, albeit a bit drab. I would love some navy, deep red, or vibrant yellow straps in future models. I am wondering if it would be possible to shave a mm or two off the width of the straps for a more streamlined


Shamma Sandals continues to impress with their latest updates to their popular running sandals. The Ultra Chargers are an excellent addition to their lineup and my favorite huarache for all purpose use. The Ultragrip footbed is incredible and is a marvel of durability, grip, and function. Coupled with their strap system and the excellent Morflex sole and you have an incredibly polished and easy to live with sandal. MSRP $69.95, Available at

By Jarvis

Minimalist ultra-marathon runner with flat dinosaur feet.

50K Ultra-Marathon Runner

I hold a PhD in Political Science.
You can follow my photography adventures at and Instagram at

11 replies on “Shamma Sandals Ultragrip Chargers Review”

Hey @Miha,

Hoping Jarvis chimes in on this, too. That said, I’ve got a few thoughts.

* Luna Sandals are much more a traditional huarache-style design. One strap that originates at the toe post wraps the ankle at two insertion points on either side of the ankle, going around the heel, terminating using a buckle on the instep (top) of the foot that you can adjust. If you want to tighten Lunas you tighten at the endpoint buckle and then work backwards through the various loops that go into the sole. See the Oso Flaco here.
* Shammas (mostly) use two adjustment points: the first is the “traditional” spot on the top of the foot. You can tighten or loosen the sandals at this point, similar to Lunas, EXCEPT 2 Shammas have a static adjustment point at the heel. (See the Chargers photo here.) This is a fairly big difference in the two sandal styles as it changes the way you adjust the sandals. In practice, the Shammas are going to be much easier to adjust relative to the Lunas b/c you don’t have to fuss with the friction of running one strap through the sole at two different points. The downside to this is that you have a more complex build with some static spots and an additional strap to mess with that uses velcro (added materials).
* Xero Shoes huarches use a two strap method, too, but use another novel take on adjustment. Bedrock Sandals take yet another approach.

It’s sorta amazing how different companies adapt the huaraches design.

Hope that helps. I’ve only got one pair of Shammas, personally, and they’re the “Old Goats,” which are arguably the most similar to Luna Sandals Chocolate Mono (mine lack the now-added power strap). These two sandals are both leather and both use one strap (though the Mono uses the traditional knot to end it off and the Goat uses a buckle). Even here, the Lunas and Shammas are very different in feel and style, despite being highly similar “on paper.”


Thanks for asking!

They are similar in that they are running sandals, or huaraches, but you can say that all running shoes are similar in that they are running shoes–at least from a glance.

Justin provided a very good overview of many of the notable differences between the two companies and their sandals.

Aside from Vibram Morflex in a few select options, both companies use different soles, entirely different strap designs, fabric and sole materials, manufacturing techniques, etc.

Basically, they are different interpretations of the running sandal design.

Personally, I have always enjoyed the simplicity and the thoughtfulness of the Shamma designs. They are very easy to use and live with. The use of two velcro adjustment points (one on top and one on the heel) makes a huge difference in dialing in the right sense of security on foot and fluidity of movement.

Each sandal maker has their own interpretation of how to design a sandal and this gives us, runners, a wonder world of options. The most custom fit will be a sandal that is traced from your foot and tied using a single cord, but this requires a lot of practice and play. On the other side of the spectrum, there are sandals that have dead easy adjustments, but are less customized because of, as Justin said, static parts within the design.

Shamma Sandals, aside from their Goats line, are also thinner and more flexible than their Luna counterparts. This will depend on your own running experience and needs, but I prefer thinner sandals over thicker ones–and I while I have a very nice working relationship with Shammas, I did have to knock the overly thick nature of their goats trail sandals, but purely from my own perspective, they would be excellent sandals for a great number of people.

Another difference is pricing and you can decide based upon your budget and needs. Most huaraches are very competitively priced, in my opinion.

Please feel free to keep the questions coming! I hope you find a sandal that brings you lots of joy!

Excellent and detailed review Jarvis, thank you.
I think my next pair of Sandals will be a pair of Shamma’s ; hey look well made and comfortable
On a side note, I love running in Sandals and own many different brands but I seem to get Heel cracks very often as opposed to running shoes. any advice or solutions?

Hey Claude!

I agree! I love running in sandals as well! (clearly!)

Yeah, my heel cracks, too, but this was always an issue for me when running.

Because sandals are so exposed, we get lots of air and can also dry out because of contact from water, dust, sand, etc.

I actually recommend using a ped egg or something similar to help wear down the callous–a huge help–and a thick moisturizer.

There are a number of speciality, feet-centered creams that you can try out. Many will have ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, or manuka honey, all of which add a nice thickness to help absorption.

Have an awesome time running! Let us know how these remedies help with your heels!

Hey and thanks for super steady content!

Seems like they’re spot on with the new upper. Congrats!

I’ve been making my own sandals for a couple of years now and they’re pretty much the only thing I run in. But the footbed is still bugging me. Veg tanned goat leather works perfect in dry condition, sticky and comfy. But for wet conditions it doesn’t work at all.

I want to be able to depend on my sandals in wet conditions during my trail races as well.
Do you have any ideas on materials?

Kind Regards


That site has sketchy written all over it!

Obviously, you can do your own thing and have a good relationship with your credit card company to eliminate risk, but I would not make purchases on such an odd looking site.

If the Ultra Chargers are anything like my Shamma Warriors-which I love,

I may be tempted into buying a pair.

Sandals are great but Shamma customer service is lacking. They don’t respond to voicemails or emails… and I’m a repeat customer. Too too bad!!!

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