The Runninger’s Barefoot Transition

One of our Twitter followers purchased a pair of our barefoot running sandals to help his transition to going barefoot. He’s an Australian marathon, triathlon and Ironman runner with an amazing story. Visit his blog here:

Excerpt below:

…Enter Glad Soles barefoot sandals, I found them on Twitter and recently purchased some. Never has my running felt more pure or enjoyable, running barefoot without the stress of hurting your feet is a wonderful feeling and has allowed me to complete my barefoot transition. I call it Pure Zero Drop running.

The Barefoot Bonez Tying Method

GladSoles is dedicated to bringing you the best barefoot running experience possible. In doing this we present new fun and exciting ways to enjoy our barefoot sandals. Among the many ways to enjoy our sandals is the tying method.

There are multiple ways to tie your GladSoles and Barefoot Bonez shares his technique with us. We do recommend trying our method first but we are not opposed to trying other ways. If you have a specific way you like to tie your GladSoles, feel free to share with us so we can share it here on our blog.

The Barefoot Bonez Tying method:

“Around the back, to The right & under on the left. Then around the back on the left & under on the right (REPEAT x3). Now tie off how ever you like.” – Barefoot Bonez

Top 10 Reasons to Buy GladSoles

10. Cruelty-Free, Animal Approved
We do not use leather, glue, or any other animal-based products to make our sandals. They’re vegan-friendly.

9. They’re Ultra-Light
GladSoles weigh practically nothing. Even Nike Frees feel heavy by comparison. It’s a pleasure to walk and run without feeling weighed down below the ankle. They’re also easy to pack since GladSoles lie absolutely flat. My GladSoles take up almost no room in my suitcase or backpack.

8. No Knot Underneath
Some minimal sandals have a knot underneath the sole, ours don’t. Smooth, flat and awesome.

7. Machine Washable
I was out running in the rain, and just at the end I splashed through a mud puddle. I threw my muddy GladSoles in the washing machine with the rest of my clothes and let them air dry. They’re as good as new!

6. Room to Move and Breathe
Letting my toes move freely, and letting the skin on my feet get fresh air and sunlight are what got me hooked on barefoot running. It just feels so good. GladSoles give me just what I need: a little protection, but nothing to encumber me.

5. Rain or Shine
So I was out on a walk / hike / run and it started to rain. My feet got wet of course, but the Vibram® sole didn’t noticeably absorb any water, and the nylon lacing wasn’t phased either. Other shoes get squishy when wet. But in my GladSoles, the rain comes and goes and my feet are perfectly fine either way. No chafing or discomfort.

4. Easy Lacing
Yes, I had to follow the instructions to figure out how to tie them. And it took a little tweaking to get the tension just right. Now that I’ve found the right lacing for me, I can slip them on and off without re-tying them. I wasn’t sure if I’d have to re-do them each time. I don’t! Yay.

3. Zero-Drop = Full ROM
The sole is perfectly flat, which means I enjoy full range of motion in my ankle joint. That means I get full extension of my calf muscles, because my heel fully descends. It’s more functional, and better for my strength and flexibility below the knee. Plus, it just feels good.

2. Vibram® Soles
Vibram® knows a lot about how to make a sturdy, non-slip sole. They’re thin, flexible and ultra-comfortable. They protect my feet without getting in the way of my natural gait.

1. Custom-Made by Hand for My Own Two Unique Feet :)

GladSoles CEO Comes Within Inches of the Win in 5K Race

For the 3rd straight year, Rich Gladstone, owner of GladSoles Sandals, showed up and tried his best to win the Newstead 5K Race. “I’ve been running barefoot or minimalist for about 5 years now, and I typically run anywhere from 25 to 50 miles a week, depending on the terrain,” he said.Gladsoles-running-ad

The Newstead 5K Race benefits the local public school system and this year hopes to raise $15,000 dollars for this wonderful cause. GladSoles is a local mom-and-pop business, that has been producing custom-made, minimalist sandals since 2011.

A record 430 racers turned up and finished the race course, which winds through the leafy streets of the Newstead in South Orange. “The conditions were pretty good for a fast time, although maybe it was a bit humid for this time of year.” Gladstone, wearing his trademark sandals sporting orange laces and white locks, looked determined. “I was running a little late this morning, and only got to the race about 8 minutes before the start.” “I noticed some pretty impressive looking runners at the start line and knew that the winning time would be fast this year.”

The race ended with Gladstone finishing 2nd in his age group. It marked the 3rd year in a row that he finished in the top 10 overall, including first in his age category back in 2011. “I tried my best, but there were a lot of good runners out here today. Next time, I will definitely use the port-o-potty before the race, I was bursting by the end!”

Now that’s good advice for all runners.

GladSoles Running Sandals Support Peace in Newark

GladSoles Running Sandals Returning to Newark for the 7th Annual Global Mala Peace Event

Get Ready for the 7th Annual Global Mala Peace Event this Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013 from 9am – 3:30pm (doors open 8:15am) at the Newark School Stadium in Newark, NJ.

After sponsoring Yoga Festival by the Sea’s beautiful sand mandala last year in Asbury Park, GladSoles (

custom made sandals

) is returning to the Newark location for this year’s peace event. This is the 3rd year in a row that we will be supporting the mission of the Global Mala Project to raise both funds and consciousness for some of the most pressing issues facing the world today.


Since its inception, this annual event has helped so many wonderful causes around the world from AIDS, War, Poverty, Environment, Children, Education and more. This year, 70% of proceeds from the event go to the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund NJ! Global Mala NJ has become the largest Global Mala event in the world.

The purpose of the Global Mala is to unite the global yoga community from every continent, school or yoga approach to form a “mala around the earth” through collective practices upon the sacred cycle of 108.

Global Mala coincides with UN’s International Day of PEACE as well as the Fall Equinox. If each of us imagines and believes in peace and if we each do our part, no matter how big or small, we will all see meaningful differences and together we will manifest peace. Peace is Powerful!

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” –Mahatma Gandhi

In the barefoot shoes industry, we would like to consider ourselves the best running sandals maker.

Race Winners to Receive Free Pair of GladSoles at the Newstead 5K

GladSoles, minimalist barefoot sandals maker, sponsors Newstead 5K race in South Orange, NJ

On Saturday, September 21, 2013 the 11th annual Newstead 5K race will take place in South Orange, NJ at 9am. Join the GladSoles Barefoot Sandals team and support our local public school system. And, if you are one of the top finishers, you will win a free pair of the Original GladSoles Custom-HandMade Barefoot Sandals.

This highly visible event is a hallmark for the South Orange and Maplewood community and for runners from the surrounding area. In 2012, the Newstead 5K celebrated ten years of supporting public education for the children South Orange & Maplewood.

The race rings in the start of the school year, transforming South Orange’s tranquil Newstead neighborhood into a vigorous throng of runners and walkers of all ages winding their way through the rolling, leafy streets. The energy is contagious, with lively music, colorful signature t-shirts and over 500 participants. The race features chip timing by Compuscore and a Fun Run for children. With the help of more than 40 individual and business sponsors, and 75 volunteers, the Newstead 5K raises $10,000-$15,000 annually to support all Achieve Foundation programs.

From Race Founder, Helen Dubowy:

“Each year our notable sponsors, old and new, come through to help us exceed our expectations. Last year’s sponsors included families, neighborhood ‘mom and pop’ stores and large corporations. Everyone teams up to support educational excellence and innovation for all nine of our district’s schools. The proceeds go to all of Achieve’s important programs, including Teacher Grants, volunteer tutors, technology upgrades and more. I am so proud to have witnessed the growth of this endeavor over the past 10 years. The community genuinely rallies together, because nothing is more important than educating our children.”

Maplewood in Motion 5K Race

Today the GladSoles racing team showed up and and took part in the 11th annual Maplewood in Motion 5K Run.  It was a little bit chilly at around 50 degrees when we arrived, but we warmed up quickly and posted some solid results today.  Sam had a personal best time of 27:08, putting him in 4th place among the 10 and under age group. Mia’s time was 27:19, another strong performance for her, finishing 4th in the 14 and under category.  My time was 19:17, just 3 seconds off of my personal best, putting me at 5th place overall, 2nd in my age group.

Usually there are a couple of people in Vibram Fivefingers or Vivobarefoot shoes at these events, but this time I didn’t see anyone else running in minimal footwear.  A lot of people wanted to know more about our GladSoles sandals and how it feels running in them.  It’s very simple, they are the most comfortable “shoes” that I’ve ever worn.  That is why I run in them and why I enjoy making them for others to wear.  The only thing more comfortable for me is being barefoot, but it is nice to have a little protection on the rough streets of Maplewood.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to getting into some Injinji Yoga Toesocks for when it really gets cold.  I’ve been testing various flip-flop socks, and I think that the Injinji Yoga Series might be the best for running with our sandals.  I’ll post more about winter options as the weather gets colder and I get more miles in them.  That’s all for now – enjoy some pix below from the race courtesy of Jennie, our fine photographer!

Farinella 5K at Seton Hall University

Today Mia and I decided to run the Farinella 5K at Seton Hall University.  We were drawn to this race because of its name – Farinella, which reminds us of our beloved cats, Pharah & Penella.  It was also a great opportunity to get another race in before the Maplewood 5K which is coming up in 2 weeks.  Plus, it was really cool running around the campus and checking out all of the awesome facilities at our local university.

Well, it turned out a lot better than we even expected.  Mia came in first place in the 18 and under category with a personal best time of 26:24.  And she is only 12 years old!  I also set a new personal record, 19:14, and was first place overall!  Once again the GladSoles ruled and we got a lot of great feedback and interest in our unique running sandals.  With a starting time temperature of only 61 degrees, it was also a good test in slightly cooler weather.  I might have to break out the injinji socks for the next race – we’ll see how the temperature is in mid-October.

If you’re in the area, definitely stop by Seton Hall University today or tomorrow to enjoy some of the festivities of University Weekend.  To show our appreciation, all Seton Hall students and faculty get $10 off their GladSoles.

Check out some pix from the event taken by our very own GladSoles photographer, Jennie…

Saturday, September 24th – Newstead 5K Race

The GladSoles Racing Team
The GladSoles Racing Team

Today the team showed up and ran our first 5K race sporting the “blue” lace GladSoles.  We had an awesome time, and I even set a new personal record and won my age category!  Sam ran and completed his first 5K and looked good doing it.  The weather held up nicely and the conditions were perfect for this lovely event, benefitting the Achieve Foundation for the South Orange and Maplewood public school system.

Mia woke up early and took some great photos of the event.  We got a lot of questions and people were very impressed that we were able to run in our custom-made sandals.  I’m still wondering how people are able to run in their heavily cushioned sneakers – one day people will lose the shoes and get with the barefoot movement.  I felt like a little kid out there, now onto the next race…