Bio Earth Runners – Maximizing A Minimalist

Bio Earth Runners

The Bio Earth Runners minimalist footwear from Earth Runners is in the funding stage on Kickstarter.  I was given a pair made just for me and this review.  Earth Runners takes inspiration from old-world footwear as used for centuries by the ultra-distance Tarahumara Indian runners, and manufacturers that footwear using modern methods so that it can reach the masses.

I jumped on the ‘˜minimalist‘ bandwagon quite early.  I was not necessarily drawn by the zero drop or the ‘˜barefoot‘ designs.  Rather, I was glad to find footwear that was light, airy,  and relatively unnoticeable while still providing protection from rocks, sharp objects, and other hazards. Originally, I thought the Earth Runners would be a great, lightweight fireside alternative to regular shoes for taking on bikepacking trips.  Seeing as how I have my Earth Runners now, yet am still in the process of getting my gravel bike, I decided to put the Earth Runners through their paces in my normal daily indoor and outdoor activities.

I first wore the Bio Earth Runners  for a core workout including some stability ball work, one-legged squats, and split jumps.  The sandals were secure and didn‘t shift even when wearing the Injinji toe socks.  The little extra platform provided by the sandal as opposed to bare feet also provided lateral stability on the jumps and squats.  In addition to core work, I did a yoga session with these.  The grip provided by the Bio Earth Runners allowed me to concentrate on proper technique without my feet slipping.

Bio Earth Runners

Outdoors, I wore them on a short hike followed by a brief run. I carried a 17 pound pack on the hike.  The hike started with an ascent up a steep, loose gravel service road and ended with a descent down the same.  The trail was covered with leaves and traversed larger rocks.  Several sections were still wet from continuing melting of a recent snowfall.  I didn‘t expect the sandals to be very good hikers, but I was pleasantly surprised with the stability, grip, and comfort. Ascents were not a problem after adjusting the heel strap so that it contacted a little higher on my Achilles.  I honestly expected steep descents to be painful and difficult due to the single toe strap restraining the foot. However, what I didn‘t account for in this thought was the incredible grip between my foot and the BioTac Bedding due to the material of the footbed which is made from recycled car tires. The combination of the traction of the footbed and the toe strap made steep descents neither hurtful nor problematic.  The only surface which proved somewhat a challenge was walking along an off-camber trail where my foot would roll to the outside.

I‘m not a very good runner, and I honestly don‘t enjoy it at all.  Therefore, it is difficult for me to assess the Bio Earth Runners in this regard.  Running hurts no matter what I am wearing.  However, I can say I did enjoy the natural feel of the sandals compared to more common padded running shoes I normally wear.  As expected after the hiking experiment, the sandals did not slip in the least.  The grip between the foot and sandal was so high that I could even loosen the straps quite a bit without the sandal slipping.  I found this to be the most comfortable for running.  I also found that running with toe socks was more comfortable for me.

Bio Earth Runners

The strap system on the Bio Earth Runners is what the company refers to as the “race lacing style.”  While it appears simple, the lacing provides multiple ways to adjust the fit and comfort.  Once dialed in, slight adjustments are quick and easy.  Each of my activities required different levels of strap tension.  For the core work and yoga, I cinched them firm but not tight.  For the hike, I had them tighter.  For running, I loosened them slightly.  Each adjustment was easily done in much less time than even retying a shoe or boot would have taken.  And adjustments to the toe strap can be made by rotating the strap which can be done should the toe strap be uncomfortable.  There are videos and written instructions for this, the proper lacing, and adjusting the fit on the company website.

As a testament to how secure the laces of the Bio Earth Runners hold the foot, the connection between the foot and footbed was so great that even small, loose gravel from the service road portion of my hike did not get between my foot and the footbed. This is not only due to the laces, however, but to the material chosen for the footbed.  This and the sole both have amazing traction. The Mitosis Tread of the sole and the material chosen provided traction on wet and slippery surfaces that is superior to any other shoe I own. I was highly impressed by this.

Initially, I requested the Bio Earth Runners as a lightweight campsite shoe.  After using them for many other activities, I have found that these sandals are great for everything from just chilling at the house to a lightly loaded hike.  Take a look at for more information and current products.  Also, please check out their Kickstarter page and see how you can help fund the production of Bio Earth Runners and get your own pair.

– Alex (Steak Sauce)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the Bio Earth Runners for free from Earth Runners as coordinated by Deep Creek PR Outdoor Retailer Public Relations, in consideration for review publication.

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Very informative article!!

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