DRAFT Earth Runners Circadian Adventure Sandals Review

We tested the Earth Runners Circadian Adventure Sandals and this is our verdict.

January 23, 2023
If you purchase a product from one of our links below, we may earn a percentage from one of our affiliate partners. This does not impact how we review products. Read more about our review process and affiliate partners.

The Earth Runners Circadian Adventure Sandals are ultra-minimalist hiking sandals that are barely noticeable on your feet. They have a 9-millimeter zero-drop sole made of a Vibram Gumlite rubber outsole, a comfortable canvas footbed, and a secure strap system that wraps around your foot and locks it in place as you move.

Product Overview

Earth Runners Circadian Adventure Sandals

Earth Runners Circadian Adventure Sandals
Pros

✅ Ultralight

✅ Comfortable footbed

✅ Secure strap system

✅ Grippy Vibram sole

✅ Great for running

Cons

❌ May be too minimal for some

❌ Not much underfoot protection

❌ Canvas footbed isn’t great in wet conditions

KEY SPECS

  • Weight: 11.8 oz (pair, men's size 10)
  • Thickness: 9 mm
  • Heel Drop: 0 mm
  • Material: Vibram® Gumlite Outsole, Moisture wicking canvas Earth Grip footbed, 9/16” Mil-Spec Reinforced Webbing with grounding stainless steel lacing

The Earth Runners Circadian Adventure Sandals are minimalist hiking sandals that are some of the lightest and most secure underfoot on the market. They feature a 7.5-millimeter thick Vibram Gumlite outsole and a comfortable canvas footbed. The strap system is a single 9/16-inch piece of webbing that wraps around your foot and through the sole before twisting around itself to create one of the best-fitting sandals I’ve ever worn.

These are incredibly light and weigh just over 6 ounces per sandal in size ten. These sandals work well for hiking, running, and anything else you want to do in them. They aren’t the most supportive underfoot, nor do they give much protection if walking over rough terrain. But this is the case with most minimalist footwear with a sole less than half an inch thick.

These sandals are great for anyone looking for a minimalist pair of super comfortable sandals that securely hold their foot in place. There are more supportive options if you’re looking for a sandal for long-distance backpacking, though. Only veteran minimalist sandal wearers will be comfortable backpacking big miles in these sandals. But, many people out there swear by doing everything in these sandals, including backpacking.

These sandals also have an Earthing plug and conductive stainless steel thread. This allows you to be connected to the earth’s electromagnetic field when standing on the ground in these sandals, just as you would barefoot.

I’m here to talk about hiking, thru-hiking, and backpacking, so I don’t want to get too deep into this, but there is some scientific evidence that earthing, also known as grounding, can be very beneficial in your everyday life. You can look into this more yourself, but consider how good you feel after spending a day outside as a piece of anecdotal evidence.

To see reviews on other minimalist sandals and hiking sandals, see our posts on the best minimalist sandals and the best hiking sandals.


Performance Test Results

earth runners circadian adventure sandals review performance score graph

How We Tested:

I have thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail, the Colorado Trail three times, and the Grand Enchantment Trail, along with countless shorter backpacking trips. I tested the Earthrunners Circadian Adventure Sandals on a series of hikes and backpacking trips in Colorado and Utah during the fall and early winter seasons. I hiked miles in these sandals over smooth slick rock and rougher rocky trails. I also carried these sandals as camp shoes on some backpacking trips.

Weight: 9/10

The Circadian Adventure Sandals are some of the most lightweight sandals available. When wearing these sandals, I often forget that they’re on my feet they’re so light. These sandals are so light because they have little extra added to them to increase their weight.

My pair weighs 13.3 ounces on my home scale or 6.6 ounces per sandal. I wear a men’s size 10. Earthrunners’ claimed weight for their size nine sandals is 5.9 ounces per sandal or 11.8 ounces for the pair.

They feature a 7.5-millimeter Vibram rubber sole with a single piece of 9/16-inch webbing that attaches to the footbed in three places. There is one buckle to adjust the tightness of the webbing as well. They have a canvas footbed. Beyond these features, the sandals have very little else.

These do use stainless steel thread and copper Earthing Plug on the sole. This probably adds a nominal amount of weight, but it isn’t much. These are still some of the lightest minimalist sandals I’ve ever worn, even with the heavier thread and copper plug.'

earth runners circadian adventure sandals on backpack

A pair of size 10 Earth Runners Circadian Adventure Sandals weigh 11.8 ounces.

Price: 10/10

These sandals are some of the least expensive minimalist sandals available. They aren’t the lowest-priced sandals you’ll find out there. But, they’re some of the least costly minimalist sandals that still offer everything you’d want in an adventure sandal.

Even though these are pretty inexpensive, the quality is top-notch. Honestly, I expected these sandals to feel cheaper based on the price. When I first got my hands on them, I was pleasantly surprised at how well-constructed they were.

They feel great on your feet, are highly adjustable, and are very simple. The simplicity of these sandals allows Earthrunners to charge as little for them as they do. Since they only utilize one strap and buckle per sandal, they’re easy to make and, therefore, less expensive. But, this simplicity also makes them easier to use, so you also get a benefit.

Most other minimalist sandals cost significantly more than these sandals do. However, you’re not getting a lot of total material with the Circadian Adventure sandals. These are some of the most minimalist sandals out there. You’re buying the minimalist design as much as you are the materials that went into making these sandals.

These are a great choice if you’re looking for an inexpensive, high-quality, minimalist hiking sandal.

hiker wearing earth runners circadian adventure sandals

Earth Runners Circadian Adventure Sandals is 10 out of 10 in terms of its price. At just $88, these are one of the least expensive minimalist sandals out there.

Comfort: 9/10

These sandals are incredibly comfortable right out of the box. They get even more comfortable as you wear them in the footbed and straps.

These feel like you’re barefoot while providing just enough underfoot support to walk places you couldn’t while barefoot. They’re incredibly flexible and allow your foot to bend naturally.

The canvas footbed on these sandals is very comfortable. It feels soft under your feet. I think it feels like you’re wearing a pair of cozy socks. This differs from most minimalist sandals, which tend to have a rubber footbed. I prefer the canvas footbed for everything but wet conditions. When the canvas footbed is wet, it feels cold and slippery. However, many rubber footbeds always feel a little slippery, so I’d still prefer the canvas footbed in most scenarios.

The straps are soft enough not to cause any discomfort, though I can feel the strap going across the top of my foot. I can also feel where the strap wraps under itself and goes through the buckle. This isn’t uncomfortable, but it is the most noticeable aspect of these sandals. They don’t cause chafing or blisters, but I can feel the straps.

hiker walking in earth runners circadian adventure sandals

I’m used to wearing sandals like these, and they’re about as comfortable as other similarly designed sandals. If these had more sewn segments, they might be more comfortable, but the stitches might cause more discomfort than the places where the straps twist. As the straps break in, they get softer, and these discomfort points diminish.

These sandals are less comfortable after a long day of hiking than some sandals with thicker, more supportive soles. I find these are a little too thin for technical hiking over rough terrain. Some might prefer to hike over any terrain in a sandal with a thin sole like this one, but I prefer more underfoot protection when hiking over sharp rocks and other rugged terrains.

By the end of a long day of hiking, these feel great on my feet. But hiking all day in sandals with virtually no support like these takes a lot of getting used to. My feet still feel more sore after hiking big days in these compared to a more cushioned sandal or shoe, and I’m used to wearing minimalist footwear.

Most in the minimalist footwear world say that once your feet are stronger they won’t be as sore after wearing minimalist shoes or sandals all day. I’ve been wearing zero-drop minimalist shoes and sandals for nearly five years. My feet still get sore after long days hiking on technical terrain with little underfoot support. This is the case with the Circadian Adventure sandals, but it’s definitely not unique to them, either.

hiker using earth runners circadian adventure sandals on camp

Stability & Versatility: 8/10

For a minimalist design, these are very stable sandals. The strap system holds the foot securely in place, so it doesn’t slide while you move. I feel like I can float over varied terrain in these sandals since they’re so light and stable.

Since they’re low to the ground and have zero heel-to-toe drop, my feet feel very planted on the earth. My ankles don’t feel like they’ll roll as easily, either.

These are versatile sandals, too. They’re secure enough for running, light climbing, and water sports. When running, the sandals stay in place and don’t slide under your foot, even when making sharp pivots.

hiker walking in earth runners circadian adventure sandals

Though I didn’t get any pictures, I used these sandals for hiking in some Utah slot canyons through streams and wet sand. Even when wet, the sandals stayed secure on my foot. The canvas footbed does get more slippery when it’s wet, though. Also, it takes this footbed longer to dry than sandals with a rubber footbed. Everything else dries very quickly on these sandals, but the footbed takes a little longer to dry.

These aren’t the best over harsh terrain since they have such thin soles, but they’re better than many minimalist sandals. The thin Vibram Gumlite sole provides more protection than sandals with a foam sole. But the sole is only 7.5 millimeters thick, so it doesn’t offer that much protection compared to a thicker-soled sandal.

The Vibram Gumlite sole gives an excellent grip on rocks. I found it easy to hop across rock fields with these. On wet rock, they also grip pretty well. This isn’t Vibram Megagrip rubber, which works better on wet surfaces, but it does better than many rubber compounds on wet rock.

Compared to other competing models, these sandals are about as stable as many minimalist sandals. When moving over uneven terrain, they’re not as stable as some sandals with thicker, grippier rubber soles. But, these sandals keep you closer to the ground than most minimalist sandals, which adds a lot of stability and versatility.

hiker walking in earth runners circadian adventure sandals

Adjustability: 10/10

The strap system on the Circadian Adventure sandals is straightforward and clear. This simple system works well and is very easy to use. I could quickly and easily get a great fit with these sandals immediately after putting them on for the first time.

Some minimalist sandals have a complicated strap system, and though a more complex system often works really well, a simpler one is often just as effective. With the Circadian Adventure sandals, there is one buckle and one strap to adjust. This makes the sandals easy to tighten, loosen, or otherwise adjust the fit.

The single strap on these sandals runs from a copper plug anchored between where your big toe and second toe sit. The strap runs up between these toes and across the top of your foot. It then wraps through a hole on the outside ankle area of the sandal, wraps around itself, and feeds through a camming buckle.

earth runners circadian adventure sandals features close up

The Earth Runners Circadian Adventure Sandals have a very simple and straightforward strap system, unlike other minimalist sandals in the market.

The strap wraps around the heel from the buckle and loops through another set of holes near the inside ankle. The strap twists around itself after looping through the sole. It then wraps across the top of your foot, close to the ankle, and through the camming buckle.

You can adjust any segment of this continuous strap by pulling more or less of the strap through the various holes and the one buckle. It’s easy to slide your foot into the sandals. Then it’s easy to tighten them to fit with the easy-to-use camming buckle.

Compared to other minimalist sandals, these are some of the most straightforward and adjustable. Maybe my feet just fit these sandals well, but I find the strap design fits better than most sandals.

earth runners circadian adventure sandals close up

Material

These sandals are made of a Vibram Gumlite rubber sole, a canvas footbed, and a 9/16” webbing strap.

Though it’s very comfortable, the canvas footbed does take longer to dry than entirely rubber-soled sandals, though. The canvas absorbs water, whereas a rubber footbed doesn’t. This means you can’t simply shake the soles of these sandals dry like you could with other sandals. If I were solely going to use sandals in wet conditions, I’d probably go with another model because of the canvas footbed.

Compared to other competing products, these sandals use similar strap materials. They use a Vibram sole, which is also a selling point. Some other sandals use a Vibram sole, but not all. If A Vibram sole is important to you, these are a great choice.

hiker wearing earth runners circadian adventure sandals

The Earth Runners Circadian Adventure Sandals are made of a Vibram Gumlite rubber sole, a canvas footbed, and a 9/16” webbing strap.

Durability: 9/10

The Circadian Adventure sandals are relatively durable and made of high-quality materials designed to have similar life cycles. This means you likely won’t wear out the straps or sole before the other part wears out.

I suspect the laces will wear out the fastest in the spots where they loop underneath the sole. In these spots, you’ll be walking on the laces all day. After a few months of wearing these sandals, the laces don’t show much wear. But I’ve mostly worn these sandals while walking on dirt. I think the straps would wear faster if used for walking on concrete or rock more often. If you do wear out the straps before the sole wears out, you can buy a new lace set.

The Vibram® Gumlite outsole is durable enough to show few signs of wear after hiking in them regularly for several months. But, this rubber seems to effectively toe the line between durability, comfort, and grip. The soles are only 7.5 millimeters thick, so they will wear out faster than a thicker-soled sandal, though.

Earth Runners sandals come with a warranty for the lifetime of their Vibram sole. Once the Vibram sole wears down to 3 millimeters anywhere on the sole, the sandals are no longer covered by warranty.

hiker wearing earth runners circadian adventure sandals

Shop here

earthrunners.com
Sam Schild photo

About Sam Schild

By Sam Schild (aka “Sia,” pronounced sigh): Sam is a writer, thru-hiker, and bikepacker. You can find him in Denver when he’s not out exploring in the mountains somewhere..

About Greenbelly

After thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, Chris Cage created Greenbelly to provide fast, filling and balanced meals to backpackers. Chris also wrote How to Hike the Appalachian Trail.

Stoveless Backpacking Meals
  • 650-Calorie Fuel
  • No Cooking
  • No Cleaning