One foot at a time | One sole at a time | One hell of a good time


Monday, July 30, 2018

BAREFOOT_TED on Instagram & Facebook >> the story continues

The best way to keep up with El Mono these days is through his Instagram and Facebook accounts. Below you can get a taste of what you might find there...

Saturday, March 31, 2018

New! LUNA Roots Sandal Builder

(click here to build your own)

Barefoot Ted here. Quick story to share. The Roots Sandal Builder has been a dream of mine for over 10 years. Now it is here!

From the earliest days of LUNA Sandals in a garage in Seattle, I have dreamed of an online place where in realtime you could step-by-step build the perfect huarache-style sandal. The Roots Builder allows this. The steps are simple and fun.

What does "Roots" mean? LUNA Roots #lunaroots sandals are crafted by hand in our own factory here in the USA. We obsess on finding the finest materials and making the highest quality sandals. We love what we do and you'll notice the difference.

Manuel Luna running in a pair of LUNA Roots

As many of you know, in 2006 I ventured down into the Copper Canyons of Mexico to participate in a now famous footrace with some of the greatest indigenous mountain runners in the world, the famed Tarahumara. The book "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall gave many in the world their first deep glimpse of these people and their amazing running skills and their distinctive footwear, the simple huarache sandals.

Upon my return, I started experimenting with making my own simple sandals using the huarache as my launching point. By 2007, I had returned to the Copper Canyons to see if I could complete the 50 mile course in my own sandals. My success launched a footwear revolution. The "barefoot shoe" craze began and many jumped on the bandwagon.

LUNA Sandals is the outcome of all that experimenting and fun. We feel like surfers making surfboards. We enjoy turning others onto the simple joy of running and living in sandals, and we make them in a way that makes us proud. You'll feel the difference#lunaroots

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Roots of LUNA Sandals as told by Barefoot Ted

March 2006

Monday, February 29, 2016

Endurance Planets interviews "Barefoot" Ted McDonald

I had a great chance to get interviewed by Endurance Planet's Tawnee Prazak. In this interview you will get a chance to hear my latest musings on my philosophy of life. You will learn much more about my thoughts on barefooting and about my favorite footwear LUNA Sandals.

Follow this link to hear the whole interview:

From Endurance Planet's website about the contents of this interview:

On this show we learn about the philosophy of what it means to run barefoot and naturally:

  • Ted’s quest to discover primal natural human capacities. What does that entail? What got him on this path in life? 
  • His SoCal background growing up surfing, skating, and loving brands like “Hang Ten” 
  • His philosophy: Self-experimentation is key. Find your own path. Share what you discover. Repeat. 
  • Patience and mindset when pursuing barefoot/natural running. 
  • It took Ted about 10 years to master barefoot technique, and in that process he regained connectedness, mindfulness, and presence in running and body. 
  • What does Ted see has come of the minimalist craze and injury rate, has it gotten away from what barefoot/minimalist running should be about? 
  • Getting back to the root of why we participate in outdoor activity: whether it’s spirituality, connectedness, achieving the state of flow, etc. 
  • Sport: Don’t get caught up in results and competition; it’s ok just to get out there, move, participate and feel 
  • Anarchistic philosopher J. William Lloyd in 1890 wrote the first treatise on running where he suggests that health and pleasure should be our primary motivation for movement, not competition. 
  • Lloyd wrote in a paper on coed running clubs and games in the 1890s: 
  • “I would advise that each runner leave shoes and stockings at home, but of course this should be optional with the individual; next to bare feet are sandals, next to sandals moccasins, next to moccasins, soft, low shoes.” 
  • How people can safely transition from a life-time of shoe-wearing to barefoot/minimalist. Hint: It depends. 
  • From Ted’s blog; his three goals to master barefoot/minimalist running
  • 1. Master gentle, quiet, forefoot-centric landings, silent and smooth.
  • 2. Quicken your cadence: Running in bare feet encourages this naturally.
  • 3. Stable upright posture: balanced head, core engaged, unbent torso, the feeling of balance, relaxed, yet strong. 
  • The inspiration behind LUNA sandals, the design and how they came to fruition 
  • LUNAs vs. Vibrams or other minimalist run shoes 
  • Comparing LUNA wearer’s to “more traditional” runners 
  • What your footwear says about why you are running 
  • What’s the deal with his latest business: Solowheel Seattle? 
  • “Choose the simplest solution that works well” 


Thursday, May 07, 2015

6 days moving along an ancient Mediterranean footpath

The Lycian Way is an ancient footpath that winds its way along the ancient Mediterranean coast.
Will you join us this coming September? 6 days moving on foot over the most amazing terrain.

See more photos from my first adventure there in 2012: Click Here

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Powerade RunFire Ultra Marathon 6 Day Adventure Run - Some Photos

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Lunafication of the World


The start of LUNA Sandals can be traced back to March 2006 on the day Manuel Luna made me my first pair of huaraches.  By 2007, I was able to run the Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon in the first LUNAS that I made myself with Vibram soling material.  Things really got fully underway when I was joined by co-founders Scott & Bookis Smuin and moved from my garage to the "Factory" on Capitol Hill in Seattle in 2010. Since then, LUNA has singlehandedly jump-started the age-old tradition of making minimalist adventure sandals by hand, and through hard work and constant vigilance we are continually improving on a classic piece of footwear. 

Like surfers making surfboards, we hone our sandals and refine them. Form, function, style, durability, comfort and ease-of-use, all these things go into making LUNAS by hand in Seattle. We proudly carry on a sandal making tradition that extends back into pre-history, the sandal likely being one of the oldest human inventions, the first manmade vehicle if you will. 

I'm proud to say that LUNAS have now become a worldwide brand.  We are actively building our ability to supply retailers in countries all over the world including: Japan, Mexico, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Canada and Germany, with many more to come.  Our goal is to remain a Seattle made sandal so that we can focus on the quality of both the sandals and the working/living conditions. 

Of course, LUNAS can always be ordered online here:  We ship LUNAS to Lunar Monkeys aka "Lunatics" who live all over the known universe.  ¡Gracias!

BFT in Prague

Friday, March 22, 2013

Join me! 6 Day Running Adventures in Turkey

I am currently in Istanbul exploring the city on my Solowheel preparing for two Turkish runs later this year - both are six day adventures ;-) (learn more about Solowheels here

RunFire Cappadocia Ultra Marathon 
& 6 Day Adventure Run - July 20-27

Lycian Way Ultra Marathon

Will be in Prague at end of May for a barefoot event and launch of LUNA sandals. Then to England for a three week LUNA sandals launch. While in England I will be part of an amazing run along the coast of Cornwall from Lizard Point to Lands End on June 8. 


PS. See you in Turkey!

Monday, January 28, 2013


I started riding Solowheel on November 23rd last year.  It is the most amazing vehicle I have ever ridden.  It is my new car.

The future is now...the first vehicle that honors the human form and rewards good running posture with effortless movement with an engaged core and active legs.  The new age of exhilarating commuting is here.

Learn more at


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Monkey Spirit: A Chinese Folktale

The Monkey Spirit: A Chinese Folktale

Monkey eats Immortal Peach...the rest is History.

A monkey was born from a stone egg that had been fertilized by the wind as it lay on the peak of a mountain. For having found a heavenly grotto in which other monkeys would reside safely, the stone monkey became the Monkey King of the monkey tribe. He soon became very adept at magic arts and learned skills from a Taoist immortal who among other things gave him the personal name of Discoverer of Secrets, and taught him to change his shape at will and to fly through the air. The Monkey King organized all the monkeys and slew a monster who was persecuting them. He obtained a magic weapon from the Dragon King of the Eastern Sea with which he began to make himself a master of the four quarters.

After a great feast given in his honor, Monkey fell asleep in the shade of a pine tree. In this sleep he saw two men approach. They tied him with rope and dragged him to the King of Death, who had him chained in the Region of Darkness.

However, he broke his bonds and stole the register of deaths from which he deleted his own name and that of all monkeys making them immortal. As a result of all the trouble which he caused he was summoned to Heaven Stables to keep him quiet.

All was peaceful until the Monkey King learned from the other ministers that his new position was one with no rank. He started angrily breaking everything up in heaven and then withdrew to a mountain. The Lord of Heaven called for a siege of the mountain, but was repulsed by the Monkey King. Seeing that the only way to keep him from doing more harm was to keep him in heaven under their watchful eyes, the Lord of Heaven and his followers agreed that the Monkey King would be accorded a new title, The Great Sage, Equal to Heaven. When the Monkey King heard of his new position, he agreed once again to behave himself. Unbeknownst to the Monkey King, his residence was built next to the Garden of Immortal Peaches, a source of immortality. But because he had no duties, he idled away his time becoming chummy with various stars and heavenly constellations. Other immortals were afraid that his idleness would lead to more roguery. They asked the Lord of Heaven to give him a duty to perform. Thus, the Monkey King was made Superintendent of the Garden of Immortal Peaches.

Unfortunately he was not invited to come to the Peach Festival (held every 3000 years), and to revenge himself he not only ate all the food and wine prepared for the feast but also stole the Pills of Immortality. As the Monkey King had already eaten the peaches, he was therefore made immortal.

He retired to his mountain kingdom, but his irresponsible behavior had now infuriated all the gods and goddesses. After a long siege in which the Monkey King employed all his magic skills to avoid defeat, he was finally captured and brought before the Jade Emperor, who condemned him to death as a criminal in revolt agains the Heavenly Throne. The sentence could not, however, be carried out because the monkey King was protected both by the peaches and the pills. He was handed over to Lao Tzu (the father of Taoism) to be distilled in the alchemists' furnace.

The furnace was heated to white heat for forty-nine days, but at the end of this time the Monkey King lifted the lid and threatened to destroy Heaven. In despair, the Jade Emperor sent for the Buddha, who asked Monkey King why he wished to possess Heaven. The Monkey King's reply was that he knew with certainty that he was sufficiently powerful to rule Heaven. When the Buddha demanded proof for his claim, the Monkey King explained that he was immortal, invulnerable, able to change his shape in 72 different ways, to fly through the air and to leap a distance of 108,000 li (1li = 1/3 of a mile) = 36,000 miles.

The Buddha doubted whether the Monkey King could even jump out of the Buddha's palm, but agreed that if the Monkey King was successful, then he was surely entitled to rule the Heaven. So the Monkey King leaped into the air and sprang across Heaven to the furthest corners of the earth, where he came to rest at the base of a great mountain, where he urinated as animals do when they wish to make out territory of their own. Then he returned in a single bound and confronted the Buddha.

But the Buddha laughed at his claim of having traversed the whole universe at a single bound and showed him that the mountain where he had urinated was but the base of one of the Buddha's fingers and that he had not even escaped from the palm of the Buddha's hand. Then the Buddha created a magic mountain and shut the Monkey King up within it.

Here he would have remained but the Goddess of Mercy obtained his release so that the Monkey King might accompany a monk on a great pilgrimage to the Western Paradise (India) to get authentic versions of the Buddha's teachings. The Monkey King swore faithfully to obey his new master and to protect him from perils. He did this despite many temptations and dangerous situations on the way.

On their return, the turtle who was carrying them across a flooded river left them to sink, because the Monkey King's companion had not fulfilled the promise he made to turtle on the way to the destination. But they swam safely to shore and were greeted with great honors by the Emperor of China and the people.

Their final honors came from a heavenly committee of welcome presided over by the Buddha Yet To Come. The Monkey King was made God of Victorious Strife. At the beginning of the pilgrimage a helmet had been fitted on the Monkey King's head which contracted upon his skull when he was wayward or wanton. The agony of the contractions had caused him to refrain from wickedness. When, therefore, he was given his new title, the Monkey King begged to have his helmet removed since he had now become an enlightened one. The answer that was given was that if the Monkey King Was indeed enlightened, the helmet would have gone of its own accord. The Monkey King reached up to feel his head and found that the helmet had disappeared.

The interpretation of the Chinese folktale below (from Pacific University's Asian Studies Resources).


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