The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Luna Mono Gordo 2.0 Review

This cushy sandal adapts to a range of activities, but its straps could be more comfortable.
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Price:  $110 List | $95.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Versatile, lightweight, good sole traction
Cons:  Uncomfortable straps, hard to adjust, poor footbed traction
Manufacturer:   Luna Sandals
By Joanna Trieger ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 5, 2018
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70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 13
  • Comfort - 20% 7
  • Traction - 20% 7
  • Stability - 20% 7
  • Adjustability - 20% 7
  • Style - 10% 6
  • Adaptability - 10% 8

The Skinny

The Luna Mono Gordo 2.0 is a well-constructed, versatile sandal that you can wear from the trail to the coffee shop. This zero-drop model has a fat, cushy sole and a wide footbed, so those with flatter or wider feet will particularly enjoy it. While the Luna has earned an almost cult following, it wasn't the most comfortable model we tested, and parts of its adjustment system irked us. Those with higher arches may be better served by the Chaco Z/Cloud 2. And those who don't don't mind a thinner sole may find that the Bedrock Cairn Adventure outperforms the Mono Gordo 2.0 overall.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

Let's get this out of the way: People who love Lunas REALLY love Lunas. Luna loyalists tout their superior comfort, hyper-durability, and classic style. They will tell you that their lifelong hamstring injury melted away once they bought their first pair, that their uniquely shaped feet finally feel free, that Lunas got them out of debt and patched up their rocky relationship with their mom. But we're not Lunatics; we're just gear testers. And while we loved elements of the Mono Gordo 2.0, we did have a few complaints. So will you be joining the ranks of the Luna-lovers, or sliding your feet into a different model? Read on to find out.

Performance Comparison


The Luna's taking on the trails.
The Luna's taking on the trails.

Comfort


One of the things we like best about the Mono Gordo 2.0 is its thick, cushy sole. This "gordo" sole minimized jarring during high-impact sports like running and hiking, keeping our legs and joints comfortable on dirt trails and city streets alike. Those with wide feet will be happy in this model since its footbed is wider than most and there are no restrictive side straps around the toe box.

The Mono Gordo 2.0 (left) has a thicker sole than the other zero-drop sandal in our test group  the Bedrock Cairn Adventure (right). The Luna's cushy sole was a bonus  especially when carrying a heavy pack.
The Mono Gordo 2.0 (left) has a thicker sole than the other zero-drop sandal in our test group, the Bedrock Cairn Adventure (right). The Luna's cushy sole was a bonus, especially when carrying a heavy pack.

Unfortunately, we found the Luna's straps to be a little less comfy. They are fairly thin and need to be cinched down tight to keep the foot in place, which resulted in a few hot spots during the break-in period. The placement of the buckle directly on top of the foot also created a pressure point that persisted even after the sandals were broken in. The slightly wider straps of the Bedrock Cairn Adventure were more comfortable, and we didn't have to crank them down so tight.

The point on the side of the foot where the straps cross can create a hot spot.
The point on the side of the foot where the straps cross can create a hot spot.

We appreciated the foam pad on Mono Gordo 2.0's heel strap, which made this part of the sandal really comfortable. However, this pad ripped easily the first time we tried to adjust it. This is disappointing given this model's price.

Stability


The Mono Gordo 2.0's footbed is wide and flat, which lends a feeling of stability on trails. These are zero-drop shoes (there is no height difference from the heel to the ball of the foot) with no contouring on the footbed, so they might not be supportive enough for those with high arches. That said, our lead tester has medium-high arches and felt sufficiently supported by this sandal's cushy sole.

Even while carrying a heavy pack  our tester felt stable and supported while out for a hike wearing the Mono Gordo 2.0.
Even while carrying a heavy pack, our tester felt stable and supported while out for a hike wearing the Mono Gordo 2.0.

Traction


The Mono Gordo 2.0's Vibram sole with deep treads provides good traction on a variety of surfaces, from steep, rocky trails to creek crossings to running paths. The footbed was a different story: There is not much pattern and no molding there, and it tended to get slippery under sweaty feet or when wet.

This sandal's sole has great traction  even on wet rocks  but the footbed can get pretty slippy.
This sandal's sole has great traction, even on wet rocks, but the footbed can get pretty slippy.

Adjustability


Like the Chaco Z/Cloud 2, the Mono Gordo 2.0's adjustment system consists mostly of one continuous strap that flows through the sandal at different points, so when you adjust one strap, you adjust them all. You can control the length of the heel and side straps, and you can also adjust the length of the thong strap by moving the buckle backward or forward. Finally, a removable tech strap for more rugged applications runs just below the base of the shin.

It's fairly easy to make small adjustments to the Mono Gordo while you're out on the trail  but to change the length of the heel strap  you must take the whole sandal off and adjust through trial-and-error.
It's fairly easy to make small adjustments to the Mono Gordo while you're out on the trail, but to change the length of the heel strap, you must take the whole sandal off and adjust through trial-and-error.

Sounds complicated? It kind of is! This model was one of the hardest to get the hang of, and weeks into testing, we still had to take it off and furrow our brows each time we needed to adjust. So while there may be five adjustment points on the Mono Gordo 2.0, making quick adjustments — like when you switch from walking to running and want a sturdier fit — is not easy. By contrast, the Bedrock Cairn Adventure has fewer adjustment points, but making these adjustments is quick, easy, and intuitive.

Adaptability


The Mono Gordo 2.0 shines here. We took this sandal on steep hikes, bike rides, walks around town, off-trail scrambles, through rivers, and to the (admittedly casual) office, and it was a solid performer in each of these situations. We were impressed that after getting mucked up on the trail, we could give the Lunas a quick rinse and be presentable to meet friends for coffee. This is also one of the lightest models we tested, so it can easily be tucked into a backpack or tote for travel and adventure.

The Mono Gordo is a great option for a bike ride around town.
The Mono Gordo is a great option for a bike ride around town.

Unlike most of the models we tested, the Mono Gordo 2.0 is marketed as a running shoe. Our lead tester, a distance runner who had never run in sandals, took these for a four-mile trail cruise and was pleasantly surprised by the experience. While the sandal's footbed got a little slippery under sweaty feet, the sole was thick and supportive enough that our tester's legs felt great for the rest of the day.

With a fat sole and a strap system that adjusts at multiple points  this sandal provides a nice  gentle introduction to minimalist running.
With a fat sole and a strap system that adjusts at multiple points, this sandal provides a nice, gentle introduction to minimalist running.

Style


Like the Bedrock Cairn Adventure, the Mono Gordo 2.0 has a technical style that one friend described as "climber chic." These were harder to dress up than the Merrell Ari Lattice or even the Chaco Z/Cloud 2, but they were cute enough for casual wear around town. One sticking point among our judges was the tech strap — people thought it looked uncomfortable, unbalanced, and like an after-thought.

While the Mono Gordo 2.0 comes in standard black, for $5 more you can customize both your main strap and tech strap colors. The color options Luna offers are attractive and add to the style of this sandal.

Best Applications


The Mono Gordo 2.0 can handle pretty much anything you throw at it, though our feet slipped around on the footbed when the sandal got wet. Dry hikes, trail runs, and around-town wear are ideal for this model.

Value


At $110, we were disappointed that a crucial component of the Mono Gordo 2.0, the foam heel pad, ripped in our hands during routine adjustment. These are generally well-made, durable sandals, but for this price, every component should be outstanding.

Conclusion


The Luna Mono Gordo 2.0 is an adaptable, thick-soled sandal that can take you from your trail run to your coffee date without missing a beat. However, its straps are not the most comfortable, and adjusting them can be a pain. The Luna's footbed lacks traction, especially when wet, and some of its components are not of sufficient quality to justify its high price.

And if you're a dyed-in-the-wool Luna person…well, you're not reading this, are you? You're out on the trail, loving life in your sweet kicks. We'll let you do your thing. For everyone else, while there's a lot of good in this cushy-soled cult classic, we think you might be better served with another sandal.


Joanna Trieger