It's quite obvious that the Oso 2.0 is designed with a spirit of rampant adventuring—and the Luna fan club will sing their praises to the ends of the earth. However, half the testers felt that the minimalist design was more of a hindrance than an advantage. It might come down to individual preference—or patience—but we are here to report our findings. Don't get us wrong, we were fond of certain aspects of the Oso, though a few of our complaints rang loud and clear.
The Oso 2.0 is simple, rugged, and unrelentingly grippy. Though if it weren't for the unparalleled performance of a Vibram sole, we might find this sandal to be lacking some true grit.
Rivaled only by the Bedrock Cairn, traction is undoubtedly the bread and butter metric for the Oso 2.0. The patented Vibram rubber and deep lug tread patterns of this sole make it easily one of the grippiest in our review. No matter what type of surface we encountered—loose and dry or slick and wet—the Oso was capable of digging in and maintaining a secure footing.
Deep lugs and vulcanized rubber are essential for traction on a wide variety of surfaces; the Vibram sole of the Luna's does not disappoint.
Our only gripe with the Oso's traction is that a slippery footbed combined with a funky strap arrangement meant that our feet were routinely sliding around. This impedes overall traction, but not a total deal breaker. The Oso gains exceptional purchase on technical terrain; we just wish that our feet felt more secure when the going gets tough.
While everyone's feet are different, there are some universally accepted ideals for comfortable footwear. The Oso's are a mixed bag of sorts in the comfort arena. A few testers were fond of the minimalist design that left their feet feeling free to breathe. Some found the unique strap arrangement to work with their unusual foot shapes. But most of us found the straps lacking the comfort necessary to warrant wearing these sandals all the time.
The sliding strap on the Oso allows the user to adjust contact points for a personalized fit. This feature also helps to minimize the uncomfortable pressure of the plastic buckle.
Unless you have high arches, you'll likely find the footbed of the Oso to be comfortable at rest. Unfortunately, the rest of the sandal doesn't really provide a cozy ride. Thin webbing helps to cut bulk but also requires tight cinching to get a good fit, which resulted in some rubbing and hotspots. The plastic buckle that slides the toe strap back and forth also created pressure points on the top of our foot, regardless of where we placed it and well after the break-in period. Maybe we just needed to be more patient in finding the perfect fit, though we had much better results from the also-minimalist Xero Z-Trail.
When we rate stability, we look to judge balance, support, and ability to manage disturbance on the trail. In certain ways, the Oso
meets our expectations of "stable"; it's beefy enough to handle hard foot strikes and stiff enough to stay collected on rough surfaces. The lack of a good fit, though, meant that our feet tended to slide around, especially during demanding inclines.
Even though it has one of the stiffest soles in the review, we feel the Oso lacks the stability necessary for certain pursuits.
If you're looking for a zero drop, minimalist trail shoe, you're probably okay with sacrificing stability to shed some weight. But trade-offs aren't always necessary; we found the similarly-styled Bedrock Cairn Adventure to offer much better stability than the Oso.
Similar to the Chaco Z/1 Classic, the Oso 2.0 utilizes a strap design that consists mostly of one continuous piece of webbing that weaves in and out of the sole material. With four individual points of adjustment on a singular piece of webbing, it's challenging to dial in a proper fit. When you adjust one section of the strap, you inherently have to adjust the rest of the webbing as well. One bonus of the Oso, when compared to a Chaco, is that you can adjust the heel strap. We still found the Chacos to be easier to use.
Even past the initial learning curve of this complicated sandal, we were sometimes left scratching our heads when trying to get back into the Oso 2.0. On-the-go adjustments are timely, and it is difficult to get a precise fit that lasts. While we do believe that somewhere exists a formula for the perfect Luna fit, we ultimately were not able to attain that level of adjustment. The Cairn Adventure has a similar style but better strap design that is much more intuitive and easier to tweak on-the-go.
The Oso was undoubtedly the trickiest sandal to get dialed-in. Well past the break-in period, we still found ourselves struggling to get the perfect fit that so many Luna fanatics boast of.
Versatility is another metric that is touch-and-go for the Oso. The sole performance and lightweight construction of this sandal make it a great option for many different types of adventuring—provided it feels good on your feet. Some testers successfully ran, biked, hiked and rafted in it. However, these were the testers that admittedly found the Oso to be comfortable. Other testers who didn't like the fit don't recommend the Oso for anything more than casual hikes and walks on the beach.
For the right person, the Oso could qualify as a do-it-all adventure sandal. It is capable of handling some gnarly terrain if you can dial in the right fit. We wouldn't recommend it to someone who isn't already familiar with the Luna schtick.
At $115, we were disappointed in the materials and construction of the Oso 2.0. In the first week of testing, the heel pad started to tear and lose stitching where it wraps around the webbing. Furthermore, the webbing loops on either side of the foot are exposed to the trail which will ultimately degrade the material. As we see it, a sandal of such high cost should have a more thoughtful design and higher quality materials/construction.
The Luna Oso is capable of taking you off the beaten path provided that you can find a fit that works for you.
The Luna Oso 2.0 has already won over the hearts of countless outdoor enthusiasts everywhere, and rightfully so. It is a uniquely robust trail sandal that can provide stellar performance once you get the right fit. If you're already a Luna fanatic, you will probably love using the Oso. However, if you're like the rest of us, your feet may be happier in a different pair.