Luna vs Shamma Sandals: Which Is Better?

The major difference between Luna and Shamma sandals is their detailed outsole construction. While Luna sandals focus on grippy soles for traction on slippery surfaces, Shamma focuses on ultra-thin soles for comfort.

Both sandals look so identical you have to pay extra attention to notice this little detail.

The rest of the debate is nothing but personal preference. A quick delve into the background of the two sandals companies may help put things in perspective.

Shamma sandals give a small background on their website where it was stated that the company started in 2013 and the aim was to make minimalist sandals that were suitable for running.

Luna was founded in 2010 by Ted McDonald and brothers Scott and Books Muin out of a garage in Capitol Hill.

As you are going to see in this article both sandals have many ways in which they converge in detailed similarities. But before I go into that you may wonder why; why bother about comparisons?

Why the need for comparing the Luna and Shamma Sandals

More and more people are leaning towards the freedom of sandals. They are ditching the encumbrance of shoes and picking up sandals for running and hiking, the things that were traditionally done with shoes and sneakers.

Perhaps you are thinking of doing the same.

Likely you know that you do not just walk into a shop and buy just any sandal and begin to run with it.

Luna and Shamma sandals are specially made for running and hiking.

Buying both sandals before you find out which suits you isn’t the best. I have done the work for you.

This comparison is important to educate you about the differences and similarities, exposing you to the features of the two sandals in order for you to make the best choice that fills your particular need and budget.

Let’s get into it.

What are the pros of Luna sandals

Luna vs Shamma Sandals

The pros of Luna sandals are as follows:

  • High traction
  • Great fit
  • Lightweight
  • Perfect fit

High traction

Luna sandals are handmade, the result of this is the deep grooves in the sole. The treads are painstakingly cut in the bottom of the sandals giving the sandals some of the best grips on surfaces you can find on sandals.

Great fit

The straps on the sandals are ultra-thin. This gives them a better grip around your ankle and over the top of your feet.

For sandals designed for running this is important. These sandals seek to give the runner the same secure fit you will get from running shoes.


Luna sandals are lightweight. This is due to the minimalist design. The major components are the upper straps and the outsole. No extra weight. This gives the feeling of running barefoot.

Perfect fit

Luna sandals give a perfect fit. Many new Luna converts have said this much about the sandals, about how it feels like a part of their body the first time they wore one. Your feet do not slip around when you wear them.

What are the cons of Luna sandals?

Like most things in life, if it has pros, it definitely has cons. For the Luna sandal, they are:

  • Lack of width
  • Less protection on the trail

Lack of width

You may have to pass on Luna sandals if you have very wide feet. They are designed with a narrow silhouette which kind of limits the type of feet that benefit from these awesome sandals.

Before making a purchase make sure to measure your size properly and compare it with the size chart on the Luna website.

Less protection on the trail

There’s a reason running shoes are covered. The trail is fraught with various obstacles that your feet are exposed to when your feet are not covered properly.

Thorns hanging over the road, tree branches, and the sides of rocks near the path. All of this can cause injury to your feet while walking or running. Your feet are exposed to insect bites too.

What are the pros of Shamma sandals?

Luna vs Shamma Sandals

The pros of Shamma sandals are as follows:

  • Ultra-thin comfort
  • Perfect fit
  • Non-chafing strap
  • Durability
  • Wide size

Ultra-thin comfort

Shamma sandals are founded on the doctrine of comfortable running but barefoot. Only this time you are not really barefoot because there’s a barrier.

One look at the sandals and you can see how things the outsoles are. This gives the feeling of running barefoot without hurting your feet on rocks.

Perfect fit

The sandals are designed to strap over any type of foot as long as you purchase your size. The straps are adjustable making it easy for everyone to wear. The velcro in the straps makes them right around your feet comfortably.

Non-chafing straps

The straps are padded to protect your skin from blisters and the in-between toe straps are comfortable and strong. It is a true minimalist design without too many components.


The sandals are super durable. The handmade soles are assembled with durable material and carefully put together to withstand the rigor of trail running and hiking.

Wide width

If you have wide feet then Shamma sandals are your go-to sandals. They are wide around the forefeet area giving your feet more room to wiggle.

The cons of Shamma sandal

Unfortunately, there are a few downsides to these great-looking sandals. They are:

  • Footbed can get slippery
  • Could use deeper treads
  • Low strap strength in some sandals

Footbed can get slippery

The footbed is made of leather in some of Shamma sandals. After breaking them in, your feet mold into the footbed and the leather fades.

When some of the grips are gone it becomes slippery when water gets in it. This is the case with the Shamma Mountain Goat LE.

This presents a challenge when going downhill on wet days.

Could use deeper treads

In some Shamma sandals, the treads feel insufficient. This is the case with the Super Browns. For a sandal that is intended for a rigorous activity like running, it needs more treads for traction than it has.

One might argue that some running shoes don’t have more treads than this. But running shoes make up for that with the overall protection they give your feet.

Low strap strength

Shamma Mountain Goat sandals may have too little volume of your feet is wide. This means they may come off when you brisk walk or run with them.

What are the similarities between the sandals?

First glance: Shamma sandals

Luna vs Shamma Sandals

All the basic features of a sandal appear to the eyes when you see a Shamma sandal, namely:

  • You have the straps with three adjustable points on them, the power strap, buckle, heel, and velcro strap.
  • You can see the outsole of double Vibram in some of the types which gives it a bulky look.

First glance: Luna sandals

Luna sandals share the same features and they are:

  • The strap style
  • The outsole of the leather footbed
  • Buckles, Velcro closes and some do have power straps.
  • High-tech rubber sole: mortlex EVA and natural rubber.

Overall Quality

Both sandals share similarities here where they are both minimalists. Being so, they have few moveable parts hence will endure under physical stress.

The straps are made of artificial materials that are sturdy. Shamma makes some straps out of thick leather and they’re durable too.

The soles are tough rubber, can be folded around for when you need to pack them for travel.


There isn’t much in common when it comes to leather except that both brands use leather in their straps. Some Shamma sandals have leather footbeds too.


Both sandals are extremely durable. Given the kind of rigor, they have to be put through as hiking or running sandals. They are tough.


Here’s where there might be a little bit of a jive. But as I always say about great footwear, you get what you pay for.

Luna sandals range between $70 and $130. You can purchase Luna sandals here on Amazon.

Shamma sandals have more variety so their sandals have even wider price ranges. The Cruzers are sold for $49.95, Blacks for $75, Browns for $85, Old Goats for $110, and the Mountain Goat are sold for $104.95.

You can shop all the ranges of Shamma designs by visiting their website here.


The insole is one of the most important elements of comfortable footwear.

Shamma sandals have no-slip insoles made of leather at the top with rubber at the bottom giving it a blend of stretch and strength at the same time.

Luna’s on the other hand have insoles made from their own Monkey Grip Technology (MGT).

For sandals with extremely flat and zero-drop silhouettes, these sandals pack an awesome lot of functions.

Sizing and fit

Sizing both sandals isn’t really much of an issue. All you have to do is know what your size is and make your orders. The sandals come true to size for women but men are almost always a half size smaller.

So folks just order your usual sizes for these sandals and you’re good to go.

Why you should choose Luna sandals

Luna sandals present you with the opportunity to feel for the first time what it was like for the native Mexican farmer who wore Huaraches.

If you love the therapeutic feeling of barefoot walking and hiking, Luna sandals are definitely for you.

They are comfortable and extremely durable.

Why you should choose Shamma sandals

I believe every runner should have Shamma sandals in their arsenal of running shoes. Every other day you need to remind yourself just how strong your feet are.

If you love barefoot running you should buy Shamma sandals. They have a great grip and are extremely lightweight.

Final thoughts on which sandals are better

Barefoot running is my hobby. I’ve been running in Shamma sandals for two years and have since not gone back to wearing sneakers.

My favorite is Shamma sandals and I highly recommend them.

I feel that, overall, considering all the elements that make a sandal ideal, Shamma sandals are better. They cross all the tees in my opinion.


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