Frequently Asked Questions
Paleo Shoes Running Sandals
Paleo Shoes, Barefoot … with Sole Running Sandals® must be returned for an exchange or refund in an unused condition suitable for resale within 30 days. Returned sandals must be clean, only worn indoors for testing purposes, and with no signs of wear.
At our discretion, sandals worn or damaged to the extent that it prevents us from re-selling them as new will not be accepted for refund or exchange. All returns are made at the customer’s shipping expense. To secure a refund include a note indicating your name, order number, the reason for return, and your daytime phone number. We are not responsible for items lost in transit.
Email for help determining fit or sizing issues and be sure to include a daytime phone contact number. We are here to help.
Our return address: Paleo Shoes c/o Returns/Exchanges 18021 Freshwater Circle, Huntington Beach, CA 92648
The Brannock Device is the silver contraption that the professional shoe salesperson uses to size feet. All of our shoe sizes are based on the Brannock Device measurements. A comfortable shoe fit depends on correctly measured feet. Since the size of feet change over the years we suggest that you have your feet professionally measured at a shoe store with the Brannock Device at least every year or two. It is best to have both of your feet measured standing up to get the correct fit. Feet are measured two ways. The first measurement is the foot length which is the shoe size. The second measurement is the width which is indicated by a letter. Since feet vary it is typical for each foot to be a different size. Shoes are fitted to the larger and widest foot.
PaleoShoes Sizing: PaleoShoes sizes are equivalent to typical Men shoe sizes. Example, a regular Men’s size 9 is the same as Paleo 9 Regular, order P 9-R. For a women PaleoShoes are fitted one size smaller than a typical woman’s size. Example, a regular women’s size 8 equals a PaleoShoes 7 Regular, order P 7-R. Custom sizing is available.
Sizing Your Feet: Adult size PaleoShoes are fabricated in Whole Sizes with the choice of either Regular (R) or Wide (W) widths. Note that our wide size begins at Brannock Device width EE.
Fitting Half Sizes: Order the next size higher if you are normally fitted with a half size shoe. Example, a Women’s Left Foot measurement is an 8.5 D & her Right Foot is an 8.5 E. First subtract one full size because women PaleoShoe sizes are one size smaller than men. In this case she would be a P 7.5-D. She would be fitted with our P 8-R. Send an email inquiry for any specific question about your size or for a custom pair of PaleoShoes. Include a daytime phone contact number.
PaleoShoes are delivered with a standard factory adjustment. There are two main adjustments. One adjusts the lace length behind the heel and the other adjusts the lace passing through the cordlock. Adjust your laces to obtain a firm fit by closely following the literature included in each pair of PaleoShoes, Barefoot … with Sole® running sandals. The information contains specific illustrated instructions needed to obtain a good fit.
Here is a quick Summary: First test the factory fit by putting the shoe on your foot. If the lace slides off the back of your heel or if the foot is not centered on the foot pad shorten the lace behind the heel. Shorting the lace moves the foot forward on the sandal. See instructions below.
Remove the shoe. Then grasp the portion of the lace between the inside lace hole (eyelet) near the shoe logo. Pull this portion of the lace upward about ¼ of an inch. Put on the shoe. Next, tighten the lace by pulling the slack lace through the cordlock to tighten the shoe. Repeat the process until the shoe stays on and fits comfortably. Always check the fit before a long run or a race.
Our shoes are normally worn without socks, have reduced foot padding, limited shoe arch support, and no outer foot covering. PaleoShoe sandal locomotion helps to provide precise terrain feedback to the runner’s feet and legs. Improved feedback helps to keep the athlete’s stride in balance. Precise sensory information helps early detection of running gait irregularities.
It is widely reported that running in shoes which overly shield the body’s natural sensors and environmental feedback cause gait inefficiencies. It is common for a running posture to become inefficiently and prone to overuse injuries and muscle imbalance with modern athletic shoes.
Most importantly, the PaleoShoes shoe design discourage heel strike running. This is opposed to the typical thick cushioned running shoes which fully encase the runner’s feet in rubber and fabric. We encourage using a running style that emphasizes quick, soft, and gentle barefoot-like stride with the foot landing on the forefoot directly under the runner. A softer and gentler running style improves running longevity by reducing the stress on the joints, feet and legs. Soft running uses the elasticity of the muscles and tendons of the legs and arch structure of the feet to cushion the foot fall. This action encourages better running form and quicker recovery.
Discontinue the use of PaleoShoes and seek professional advice if any pain or discomfort develops after changing footwear.
As Easy as It Gets: View this ten-minute video for a clear explanation of barefoot running style. Lee Saxby explains the basics of barefoot running.
We suggest that the new PaleoShoe customer gradually switch from their usual running shoes to our shoes over a period ranging from several weeks to several months depending on the individual runner and schedule demands. The amount of time it takes to learn to walk, jog, or run in our shoes is dependent on a multitude of factors. Factors ranging from the customer’s experience going barefoot, the condition of the individual’s bare feet, and their initial fitness level. Each runner’s body needs sufficient recovery time between runs to adapt to the pressures created by barefoot-like running. The runner needs to get comfortable with running in sandals, running sockless, and their feet and legs need to slowly adapt to running in flat shoes. Time and mileage is necessary for your shoes and your feet to settle into a comfortable fit.
We found that each walker, jogger, or runner needs a different amount of time to successfully transition to PaleoShoes. The novice who infrequently walks or jogs may need several months or more to adapt to any minimalist running shoe. The experienced runner may need several weeks to a couple of months to transition to barefoot style running. It takes different amounts of time for the feet to adapt to running without socks and to get comfortable without an outer shoe covering. Every runner is different.
Take your time! Stop running or discontinue the use of PaleoShoes if you have any pain or discomfort and consult with a medical professional immediately.
We consider a Fellow Traveler as someone who is committed to joining us in the quest for Better Health and Great Running. It is a person who takes a critical view of modern life’s assumptions, beliefs, and practices. Their commitment is indicated by the willingness to test ours, or anybody else’s theories or products, and who is willing to dialogue with us and others during the journey.
Fellow Travelers trying our sandals have some Sole-in-the-Game, a commitment worthy of special note. Besides having the simplest and lightest foot protection possible without actually going barefoot, customers also have the option to access preliminary versions of our Tested Solutions for Better Health and Great Running.
The Teacher of Doom was the “nom de guerre” nickname coined by my team teacher for Mrs. Lucille Johnson in the 1971 school year. No one ever dared call her the Teacher of Doom to her face, especially me! During my second year as an elementary teacher Lucille was my teaching mentor. Lucille was an older, single, childless teacher who treated and loved her class as if they were her very own children. She learned and practiced teaching in the strict, tough love, no nonsense education style of the 1950’s. In her classroom love and respect for learning was a mutual relationship between Lucille and her fifth grade pupils.
She wasn’t the best teacher in the building; however, she was the most dreaded. The sudden sound of her clicking high heels on the concrete walkway between the classroom wings caused a gloomy atmosphere of doom to descend on everyone. All students, teachers, and the administrators respectfully feared her. She always prevailed in her unwavering opinions, whether they were simple or grandiose, any and all disputes challenging Mrs. Johnson authority were futile.
On her deathbed in 1982 she repeatedly told me, “Bob, the poison is in the cans and bottles.” She urged me to, “Teach the People to Crawl!” Her admonition to “Learn to Crawl” inspired me. Years later I understood that Lucille’s use of the term crawl was the best description of the fortitude a person needs to resist the modern temptations of comfort. I learned to crawl my way back to Better Health and Great running. Lucille was right! It takes the efforts of a marine crawling on a dangerous life or death mission to achieve Good Health and Great Running. Her Life Insights and warnings about the hazards of the modern diet inspired me to consume a paleo diet and develop Paleo Shoes, Barefoot … with Sole®, the lightest and simplest running shoes possible.
The Running Gods are the embodiment of the ancient spirit of fair athletic competition. They have rules!
Their pet peeves are the pompous ungrateful runners who takes their sport and racing victories too seriously. They are offended if we are braggadociosly impressed with our athletic abilities or racing results. It’s acceptable to the Running Gods for us to be proud of our running accomplishments but humility is required. In their eyes the runner is merely performing a basic, common, and simple act of just running. Being a fabulous runner that wins an untold number of races doesn’t impress them. Doing something important, like saving a small child or showing due respect for your athletic gifts, is impressive to them! They have their especially nasty ways of smacking the arrogant runner back to earth.
It is considered bad luck to offend the Running Gods. My serious ultra-running buddies and me are always careful to please them. For example, they would be offended if we did less than our best to beat any of our age level competitors in any race. It’s fine with them if on any day at any race someone who is better prepared beats us with a valent effort. It’s okay with the Running Gods to lose as long as our competitors are made to pay a bloody painful price to best us. Their dictate is to never give competitors a free pass with a halfhearted less than our best racing effort.
The magical words that we love to hear from our running companions are, “The Running Gods would be pleased!”.
This sentence contains the seeds, my genesis, for Better Health and Great Running. Everything grows from it. By virtue of birth into the human condition, with all the human emotions and vulnerability, we need tricks to deceive our human weaknesses. It is quite challenging to thwart the body’s incessant demand to succumb to life’s comforts. Only by fooling ourselves into taking the necessary steps to avoid modern pitfalls can we learn to live a healthy lifestyle. Eliminating the distractions of modern living is a simple strategy to achieve Better Health and Great Running. Removing or diminishing exposure to the distractions of modern life reduces the constant messages advertisers use to convince us to buy and do things that are ultimately counter to our best health interests.
Join us as a Fellow Traveler on the path to Better Health and Great Running by using these seed concepts: Learn to Crawl, Practicing Your Ignoring, Stuff Wax in Your Ears, and Put on Your Blinders to Feel Good Again.
While traveling with us you have the opportunity to see what we see, feel what we feel, know what we know, and run like we run. As the miles melt away you may feel your body exploding with strength and know the prehistoric kinetic joy of our Ice Age ancestors. Our feet are flexible, strong, and free from the sweaty hot restraints of modern running shoes. Yours can be too!
My health and running was noticeably deteriorating by my early sixties. I was nicknamed Ultrabob because of my accomplishments in endurance races during the 1980s. I once was the guy that they just had to beat. Now, I had become slightly fluffy, creaky, and slow. A typical condition for an older man in his early sixties. I didn’t feel bad but I didn’t feel good and running hurt all my joints. I believed and practiced the popular health and running rituals discussed in the media, “Run so you can eat anything you want and stay slim and healthy!” The suggested ideal food for runners was high in carbohydrates. Pizza, spaghetti, and various carbs are all savory and satisfying. I had a lifetime of purchasing, eating, and using products advertised as being good for my health and running. I consumed ‘Heart Healthy’, ‘Organic’, ‘Whole Grain’, ‘Low Fat’, and I always ate the recommended three healthy square meals a day. Still, I didn’t feel great anymore.
I could afford to use the best and the highest rated running shoes available. I tried most of them. The latest big cushy running shoes felt great the moment I put them on. It felt like I was walking and running on natural spongy earth. They felt great but they weren’t moving me along the path to Better Health and Great Running. Instead of good health, the latest products were leading to declining health and worse running. I hoped that the conventional wisdom of unavoidable declining health was wrong. As a member of the baby boomer generation I wanted more. I expected more! My declining years’ obsession became, “I just want to feel great again. I want to feel good one more time before I die”.
Since retiring from my chosen profession, teaching, I had the time to research, study, and to learn how to be healthy again. I had time to separate fact from fiction. I began exploring different training alternatives. I am a lifelong skeptic who has tested almost everything I use. Surprisingly, I was easily fooled by advertised practices and suggestions from my friends. Manufactures relentlessly advertised claims that were easy to follow without a critical eye. When the industrialized food fare was eliminated I soon realized that I was a lifelong sucker for sophisticated advertising. I knew better but I was a turkey for products sold with a smooth style. I hate being the turkey! It still isn’t common knowledge that the primary benefit of many consumer products is to enhance a nice corporate profit for the demanding shareholders. Better consumer health is a secondary corporate concern. Even worse, I discovered that some items, like sugary drinks, are sold with the complete knowledge that these commodities are ruining people’s health.
Discovering the prevalence of unhealthy products in most people’s diets and the realization of my personal turkey problem ticked me off. I was irritated and frustrated when I completely comprehended the damage done to mine and the public’s health. Further, I realized that if I continued to consume the advertised healthy food and ran in modern running shoes, both of which actually promotes an unhealthy lifestyle, I was never going to feel great again before I died.
Having plenty of time, I started testing alternative products, researching unconventional ideas, and I stopped using many of the highly touted modern training ideas, foodstuffs, and products. First I channeled my frustration into developing a better shoe product. My quest to develop the lightest, simplest, and healthiest footwear possible without actually going barefoot resulted in PaleoShoes, Barefoot … with Sole®. Then I started building this website.
In addition to developing an alternative athletic shoe line I am in the process of authoring blogs, summaries and a learning guide to Better Health and Great Running in book form. The written commentary will discuss my research and testing results. There will be comments about the discoveries and rediscoveries that I have made. Detailed will be great running and training techniques and the suggested nutritional benefits of an ancestral diet. The discussion will focus on the quickest way to achieve a healthy lifestyle without wasting your precious time. The guide is targeted for both the Fellow Traveler who only has 3 to 5 hours a week to devote to feeling better to the Fellow Traveler who has the time and desire to be an age-level champion.
Some elements of the learning guide are available for my Fellow Travelers on this website. Travelers can read about the research and the serendipity that turned my life back to good health and great running in the NOTEBOOK. Meet the Teacher of Doom and be instructed by my Ice Age teaching assistant, Paila and her dog Falo. Be enlightened by some of my Life Insights. Find out how I discovered Better Running and achieved, “Feeling good one more time before I died!”
The unbelievable joys of running free, Barefoot…with Sole® and enjoying Better Health may be yours by choosing this journey on the path less taken!