Earthrunners are the most custom fit shoe I’ve ever seen without going to an actual cobbler. Because the EarthRunner straps (called “laces”) are continuous, they are fully adjustable from tip to tip. After wearing my original pair of Earthrunner Elementals for four years (and counting!), I can promise you’ll want to learn about how to dial in each adjustment point to get the most out of the shoe.
My Earth Runner Elementals were wearable out of the package, however, the toe strap came too tight for my liking. I went through the four steps of the adjustment process:
- Toe-plug rotation
- Top-of-foot strap
- Back-of-heel strap
- Top-of-ankle strap
If you’re a video person, jump ahead.
Otherwise, here’s how:
1. Toe-plug rotation
If the strap is causing discomfort in either your big toe or second toe, grasp the strap at the footbed and rotate it away from the hot spot. If this doesn’t work, later in the process I’ll suggest a different positioning for ankle strap.
2. Top-of-foot strap
If this needs to be shorter, follow it from the toe plug back to the point where the strap enters the footbed and pull excess through from underneath the footbed. If you need the strap to be longer, push excess up from underneath the footbed.
3. back-of-heel strap
Before you start, push the buckle as close to the footbed as possible. If you need the back of heel strap tighter (assuming you’ve got the top-of-foot strap the way you want it), push excess down through the footbed on the inner arch side of the sandal. If you need it looser (again, assuming you already have the top-of-foot strap dialed in), pull excess up through the footbed on the inner arch side of the sandal.
4. top-of-ankle strap
This one is easy! After you’ve done 1, 2 and 3 above, your Earth Runners should now function like a less-custom sandal. The ankle strap can be tightened by pulling the excess through the buckle and loosened by pushing the tail end of the strap back toward the foot.
If your ankle strap has come out of the buckle and unwrapped from the top-of-foot strap, make sure to wrap it once around the top-of-foot strap before feeding it through the buckle.
If you’re a person who tried a toe plug adjustment and you’re still getting toe pain, try reversing the way the ankle strap wraps around the top-of-foot strap. If it goes over the top-of-foot strap before wrapping around, trying passing it under and then wrapping instead. If it goes under the top-of-foot strap before wrapping, try laying it over and then wrapping. For me, the most comfortable position is ankle strap UNDER top-of-foot strap before wrapping.
Once you’ve got the ankle strap where you want it, you don’t have to open and close the buckle anymore. I just slide my heel strap down to remove the sandals and slide it back up to lock them in place.
If you’re more of a visual learner, check out this video:
If your sandals don’t yet feel dreamy check out Earth Runners’ FAQ on how to adjust the straps (aka “laces”). They cover what to do if your foot is sitting too far forward or back in the sandal, sliding in the footbed when on inclines, or if the heel strap is falling off your heel.
All this custom fit fiddling felt tedious to me, but also totally worth it. Future you will thank you!