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Earthing Shoes – My Review

Posted by Lloyd Burrell on September 29, 2012 under Grounding | 42 Comments to Read

A few of weeks ago  I was contacted by Hema and Mike Simondes of the website EarthRunners.com. They sent me an email asking me if they could send me a pair of their earthing shoes so that I could write a review on my website. I checked out their website so I could get a feel for what they were about and promptly replied that I would be happy to test their product but I could not guarantee a positive review, I would say what I thought.

So here I am saying what I think. After our initial exchange of emails they then sent me instructions by way of a video on how to measure each foot, because the sandals they were sending me were made to measure. I took the measurements as instructed, using a pen and a few sheets of paper, and sent them the outlines of my feet back to them using a scanner. They then asked me my preferences in terms of materials used and design and 2 days later said my grounded sandals had been posted to me.

About a week later the grounded sandals arrived. Their website says “Earth Runners are minimalist ‘grounding’ footwear inspired by the world renowned long distance runners, the Tarahumara Native American Indians of Northwestern Mexico.” There are plenty of pictures and videos on there so I pretty much knew what to expect.

The peculiarity of these sandals is the sole which appears to have what looks like copper pins inlaid. As far as comfort goes I must say I am not a fan of sandals with straps between the toes but these straps are well placed and they do make it feel as though the sandal is a part of your foot when you walk.

But for me what really counts is whether they earth.

Do Earthing Shoes Really Earth?

With a view to answering this question I did some testing using a basic multimeter to obtain some body voltage readings. I did this test in my home, stood on stone tiles and using the ground on the electrical socket. Here is what I found:

With the Multimeter on the AC setting, my body voltage readings are:
unearthed (wearing insulating soles) 1770 mV
earthed (barefoot) 850 mV
earthed (wearing Quantum sandals) 1050 mV
this indicates that the sandals are effective because the AC body voltage is reduced when the sandals are worn, but the body voltage reduction is not as significant as when going barefoot.

With the Multimeter on the DC setting, my body voltage readings are:
unearthed (wearing insulating soles) 29 mV
earthed (barefoot) 900 mV
earthed (wearing Quantum sandals) 100 mV
this indicates that the sandals are effective because the DC body voltage is increased when the sandals are worn, but the DC body voltage increase is not as significant as when going barefoot.

I ran my results by Mike at Earthrunners and he gave me the following feedback:

I calculated % earthing with your figures:
“With the Multimeter on the AC setting, my body voltage readings are:”

unearthed (wearing insulating soles) 1770 mV         0% earthed

earthed (barefoot) 850 mV                                               52% earthed
                                                            
earthed (wearing Quantum sandals) 1050 mV      -   41%earthed

difference between Quantums & barefoot       =     11%

difference between Quantums & unearthed  =   41%”

Mike has also done some testing, but outside on grass, see  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Nauo9G0rrM&feature=player_embedded. His multimeter results with Earth Runners that were broken in and tested on grass were:

Running shoes                                                     0%    earthed
Thong sandals                                                     75%  earthed  
Earth Runners                                                      99%  earthed
Barefoot                                                             99.8% earthed

Are Earthing Shoes Worth The Money?

Conclusion: these sandals do earth. Would I buy them? Absolutely. As an electrosensitive person, earthing is very important to me and wearing this kind of footwear in a natural environment is a way of obtaining some of the benefits of going barefoot. Plus the fact, for every 10 pairs sold EarthRunners.com donate a pair of sandals to children in need. In buying through them you are also helping them to help others.

Any downsides? My only reservation is that which I have with any kind of grounding. Grounding in a high EMF environment could increase exposure levels, see here.

Many thanks again to Hema and Mike for the earthing shoes which I now wear regularly and I wish them all the best in their venture.

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  • Kelly Wakefiekd said,

    Ola:

    Am familiar with the Taramira folks n their Chia seed n their lengthy mountain foot races.

    Also learned awhile back, Roman sandles were Hob Nailed. interestin, Ya ?

    Have a boy, master electricion, they wear boots witn No metal.

    Foot covers, are works of art, some are Caca.

    K

  • Peter McIntosh said,

    Hi Lloyd,
    Like the review and the honesty associated with it.
    We also believe in earthing, even if only for a short period in the morning and evening or during the day if we can escape the office. Working around and in a high concentration of EMF – EMR makes us both very conscious of the need to take whatever precautions we can.
    We do believe in energizing our biofields also to help us and are putting a lot of energy into that these days.
    Good luck in marketing your new book, you have chosen an ideal target market!
    Pete n Lynn (USA & Australia)

  • Lucille Gherardini said,

    Sounds good for someone one with sensitive feet. The closest I can get to barefoot is leather moccasins. Just natural leather is that being grounded?

  • Lloyd said,

    Hi Lucille
    Leather soles will ground better than most other materials used in footwear (plastic, rubber), but having a metal connection like these earth sandals give you is better still.

  • Paul Von said,

    Hello Lloyd,
    Very interesting product. Thanks! I’ve generally been quite critical of most modern foot wear, as many contain PVC based (toxic) plastics, and the rubber or vinyl soles, isolate the body from Earth ground.
    I’ve always worn 100% leather products on my feet, and have had few foot health problems as a result.
    You are quite correct in suggesting that direct ground products should NOT be used in high EMF zones, as the direct ground only amplifies the body’s natural antenna effect.

  • pamela j. said,

    wow! these look really neat. as i have electromagnetic elf/emf issues, really glad to read about these shoes. just traced my foot and ordered a pair!! yippee!!

  • Derick Frere said,

    Hi Lloyd,
    Thank you for this. I’ve ordered a pair for my daughter and me. Also a question that I’ve asked before that remains unanswered please. Do you think that listening to music on an IPhone with conventional ear phones still transmits EMF from the phone to your ears or is it more the case with actual phone calls?
    Thank you
    Derick

  • Lloyd said,

    Hi Derick
    iPhones can emit radiation 24/7, even when switched off (I have not tested this).This is the principal danger. You need to put the iPhone on airplane mode to stop this. The EMF exposure from listening to music through regular ear phones will be fairly insignificant compared to the potential radiation exposure of the pulsed radiation you will be exposed to if your iPhone is not in airplane mode – making phone calls will expose to yet higher doses still.

  • Ruth Ruddock said,

    Lloyd, I value your opinions so much. Here is a question that came up for me while reading this last post: I have noticed lately that I get dizziness and head “swelling ” effects while talking on my AT&T phone that has the built in digital answering system. The phone is connected to the same phone outlet as my PC here, and I have the slow dial-up service now, since high speed internet is not offered in this area. Also, wondering if the smart meter on the house is somehow connected with this phone line and that may be what is causing my issues with it. Oddly, the phone does not always cause these issues for me, but lately it is happening more often. Any thoughts on this or readers who are experiencing the same thing?
    Thank you!
    Ruth/Wisconsin

  • Paul Von said,

    Hello Ruth Ruddock,
    There are several web sites that list the SAR limit or measured EMF generated by common cell phones. You usually need to input the particular model number of cell phone, but you’ll get an idea of which manufactures are on the right track, and the amount of time it may take to exceed a practical dose limit.
    Do take the time to research the many warnings associated with “smart meter” technology. Here’s a link to one such site. > http://www.magdahavas.com/ Smart meters are a VERY nasty technology, and should be completely banned from manufacture, sale, or usage. Goggle the significance of the Pacific Gas and Electric class action lawsuits in California.
    Please be aware that electromagnetic sensitivity is a cumulative biological process. That is: Most people become more and more sensitive to EMF radiation as exposures multiply. It is extremely wise to limit or eliminate as many exposure sources as you can.
    Best regards and good health,
    Paul Von

  • Ruth Ruddock said,

    Thanks for this comment, Paul Von…I do not use a cell phone except when I have a dire need to (calling the road service for my car, etc.) otherwise this phone I mentioned here is a land line phone, so it is the digital answering machine within it that I question about.
    I have read numerous reports about the dangers of the smart meters…Oct. 4th is National Protest against the smart grid, beginning in Washington, DC…we were encouraged to start our own protests in our areas but I have not been able to do so here where I live. Is there any mention of it in your areas? The place in Wash. DC that is generating it is where the conference for this technology is meeting. I doubt that the protests will make the newspapers, since those things are kept out of the news.
    Thank you again.
    Ruth R.

  • Paul Von said,

    Hello Ruth R.
    Yes. Smart meter technology is being rammed down people’s throats in my area (Grand Marais, Mn) as an integral (yet unnecessary) part of a local fiber-optic system. I’ve tried informing many local people about this health and security threat, but they’re too busy talking and texting on their ‘smart-phones’ to come out of the daze they’ve been acclimated to.
    A big watch out, for all and ANY wireless devices, including portable DECT phone systems. Most use pulsed digital frequency modulation, and all are dangerous to biological life as we once knew it.
    Thanks for writing.
    Paul Von

  • Delores Brown said,

    Hi Lloyd,
    I’ve just learned about earthing and I’m going to buy a sheet and mat soon. I’m a barber, standing on rubber cushion mats and holding corded electric clippers for hours each day. I want to know if buying a grounded mat and wearing grounded shoes will get me the benefits I’m looking for. Aml I at risk of EMF exposure? I try to keep my cell phone in my purse. Any advice for my work environment? Thanks for any advice. Delores

  • Paul Von said,

    Hello Delores Brown,
    The grounding issue is becoming a seriously complex issue, as we pump more and more electrical signals into the Earth’s ground plane. As time has moved on, we are now dumping vast amounts of electrical energy from power generating plants, into the ‘neutral’ lines of our household electrical systems. There are some situations, where this would create a monopole or dipole effect, actually incorporating the body into an antenna system
    Here’s an introductory link to the potential problems. > http://www.feb.se/EMFguru/EMF/ground-currents.html Or > http://www.feb.se/EMFguru/EMF/stray-volt.html

    Also> http://michiganstopsmartmeters.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/electropathic-stress-in-animals-and-man-by-donald-hillman.pdf

  • Lloyd said,

    Hi Delores
    Using corded electric clippers will be exposing you to EMFs for this reason I would be wary about grounding because in grounding yourself in a “high EMF” environment you may well be exposing yourself to significant electric fields, see http://www.electricsense.com/1861/using-earthing-to-combat-electromagnetic-pollution-my-review/
    An EMF meter is the only way of being sure what your exposure levels are but I would suggest using battery clippers, in theory this will expose you to less EMFs compared to mains versions. Better still, use scissors.

  • star said,

    this sandals will work in the city as well where we walk on paved and sidewalk only ?

  • Lloyd said,

    The sandals will also work in cities. You are likely to be slightly less well grounded compared to walking on soil. The possible downside is that being grounded in towns and cities can expose you to stray current problems, see http://www.electricsense.com/1861/using-earthing-to-combat-electromagnetic-pollution-my-review/

  • Cheryl said,

    I’ve been wanting to switch to leather-soled shoes and boots. I’ve looked at moccasins. Does anyone have any favorites (women’s) to recommend ?

  • Michael said,

    I recently posted the study that Lloyd referenced above regarding the ‘antenna effect’ when grounding in a high EMF environment on the Earth Runners Facebook page. Somebody wrote to the Earthing Institute to ask about this effect and Martin Zucker (One of the coauthors of the Earthing book) replied.

    Here is the study: http://www.electricsense.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/plugin-FINAL_ACHTUNG_ABSCHIRMDECKE_WEB.pdf

    Check out the Facebook post to see all that he said: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=549062028467001&set=a.441541452552393.100666.408694569170415&type=1&theater

  • Paul Von said,

    Hello Michael. Mr. Zucker claims to know about the dangers of EM exposure, yet fails to define even a basic understanding of the rules of electromagnetic frequency propagation through air, wire, building materials, or biological cells. EM radiation effects are frequency dependent modulations operating in a complex frequency domain, and as such; do not operate as purely resistive or conductive elements. Attempting to measure electromagnet induction in biological cells using an ohm meter, is misleading at best, and grossly incompetent in terms of understanding the biological concepts of cellular functions in humans. For instance, DNA strands in biological cells make for excellent fractal antennae. http://www.emrpolicy.org/science/forum/adey_encneuro_emfs.pdf
    Any connective wire carries frequency dependent artifacts such as simple resistance (ohms law) inductive reactance’s; capacitance reactance’s, and all these are dependent on the applied field frequencies. These frequency dependant products all change with wire gauge, wire length, shielding materials, metallic composition, and their relationship to electromagnetic potentials.
    A ‘ground’ wire in an average 10-story apartment building is being modulated with multiple frequency artifacts as it travels through the building to the source ground plane.
    This wire also presents significant high frequency inductive reactance’s, an undetermined amount of low frequency capacitance reactance’s, and thus may provide almost no ‘grounding’ effect at gigahertz frequencies. Thus: Every ‘ground wire’ situation would present a unique ‘grounding’ characteristic.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cx0VmLUDF48
    In short: Mr. Zucker needs a basic course in radio electricity. The marketing of products that do nothing to address the biological hazards of EM radiation, would hardly an answer to the total collapse of our ecosystem due to EMF proliferation.

  • CT said,

    Does anyone know if satellite radio, which does emit EMF/R, also emits it when it is NOT activated via the contract you purchase for the service? In other words, laptops and other devices continuously search for a signal unless you go in and disable this feature. Does satellite radio on a car work the same way? It’s not operational/active but its inner components are always searching for a signal…. Thanks.

  • Eric Brody said,

    I got some Pluggz ? What do you think?

    Thanks for everything you do!

  • Lloyd said,

    According to their website this is another way of earthing…I’ve not tried this brand but the principle is the same as for the earth runner shoes reviewed above.

  • Jean-Louis said,

    Would like to hear more about some EarthRunners.com success stories and overall results to date if possible from their sales of earthing shoes. Seems to be so much potential with the shoes. Several shoe stores here in Ottawa, Canada have no idea about the idea of grounding or earthing. Seems several mocassins I noticed available for sale could be used as earthing shoes/mocasssins IF IF the rubber/plastic insole and outsoles or any cushion/buffer or layers/ and,or any plastic-like chemically-created insown insulation parts that are underfoot … could be removed. Cut them out? Use or keep just the inside or undersole leather in contact with the human skin and the ground? Possibly even sew the leather back in or “on” as needed for a useful earthing shoe. I’m thinking also of using old shoes I have and making several holes in the bottom to open to the ground, and especially the grassand beach and use for (occasional?) “grounding/earthing workouts or wellness walks”.

  • Lloyd said,

    You will need to contact EarthRunners for information about their sales etc….but I know there are several other companies selling earthed shoes, which shows there is a growing interest. You can also adapt your own shoes to earth better or just walk barefoot (where its safe to do so).

  • Michael said,

    Hey Jean,
    Thanks for you interest! Things are going pretty good taking into account we launched a sandal company in the winter. We are getting ready to launch our new line of sandals on Kickstarter very soon with many new options!
    Cheers!

  • Roger said,

    Greetings Lloyd,
    Great web site.

    RE: Your idea that earthing products should NOT be used in high EMF areas, where there is electrical equipment as
    the direct ground will amplify the body’s natural antenna effect.

    I sent it to the Earthing Institute and here’s their reply….

    “We have never seen a problem with using Earthing products in high EMF areas. To the contrary, Earthing eliminates EMFs induced on the body. see pp. 42, 78-81, and appendix B of the earthing book. I have no idea what Burrell’s statement is based on.”

  • Lloyd said,

    Hi Roger
    Avoiding earthing in a high EMF environment is not something I’ve invented. The Institute of Building Biology (Baubiologie-virnich.de) has researched this subject, there’s a link to their study on this page http://www.electricsense.com/1861/using-earthing-to-combat-electromagnetic-pollution-my-review/…. I have also discussed this subject extensively with other readers who are also confused on this issue and contacted the Earthing Institute myself to get their considered opinion…..they just said it was a non-issue. Consequently people are confused. You need to make your own mind up on this, which is what I’ve done…..on these pages I just share my opinion. The Earthing Institute do some excellent work in raising awareness about the beneficial effects of earthing…. but I don’t understand why they don’t acknowledge the possible dangers of earthing in a high EMF environment. Baubiologie is one of the most respected independent bodies in the EMF arena they have nothing to gain (financially) in publishing research of this kind, the Earthing Institute is essentially selling earthing products, any doubt about the effectiveness of these products would harm their sales. In the final analysis you need to listen to your body…I’ve tried earthing in a high EMF environment it doesn’t work for me.

  • Roger said,

    OK, I sent the Baubiologie report to Earthing Institute and here’s their reply. It seems there’s disagreement. Hopefully time will bring everyone together on this.
    ———————

    Dear Roger
    There was a skewed paper done by German Bau-Biologists back around 2005 I believe. We talk about it in our paper Understanding Earthing. You can read about it if you like at http://www.earthinginstitute.net/statements/understanding_earthing.pdf
    What we wrote in the Earthing book sums up our position on EMFs. As far as we are concerned, the issue of EMFs, and Earthing’s ability to elimininate them from the body, are wholly secondary to the primary effects of Earthing, and that is the reduction of inflammation, restoration of a natural electrical state in the body, and improved circulation. Those are massive benefits.
    Please read our paper, and the book, and make your decision accordingly. Earthing is one of the most natural and safest things anybody can do.
    Cheers

  • Paul Von said,

    Hello Roger. It is important to recognize that the grounding issue can be quite serious. I tried grounding myself in a high EM building two years ago. I ended up with shooting pain through my left shoulder, and significant neurological damage in my neck. This was after just two weeks of experiment, and it took nearly two months to recover. I had no idea the building ground was carrying a high EM ground potential, until measuring the difference between it and a copper rod I drove into the ground outside. The reading varied between 2.8 and 3.9 volts. That’s billions of times more than body cells can safely tolerate. Lloyd’s answer above is very well founded.

  • Roger said,

    Thanks for the info. Exactly what constitutes a high EMF environment?
    I just have a computer, monitor and a printer in front of me on a desk. That’s it.

    Is that a high EMF environment?

    Roger

  • Roger said,

    I live in a Sthapatya Vedic building which is by definition an extremely low EMF environment.

    I have a computer, a monitor and a printer in my living room with a cable internet connection. No cell phone or wifi.

    I would like to know if you consider that a high EMF environment ?

  • Paul Von said,

    Hi Roger. From the Earthing Institute article: “The Earth is a natural source of electrons and subtle electrical fields, which are essential for proper functioning of our immune systems, circulation, synchronization of biorhythms and other physiological processes.”

    Perhaps these folks mean well, but they are neglecting to realize that the majority of the world’s populations live in high-density urban areas that are SATURATED with lethal EM radiations. These EM radiations are being broadcast at multiple pulsed frequencies and power levels, which have no relationship whatsoever to any previous natural biological conditions on planet Earth. It is grossly incompetent to suggest that urban areas resemble the Earths natural EM background in any way.

    They are willfully exposing their readers to obvious disinformation. As an “Institute” they apparently possess a faulty understanding of the biological sciences, and a complete disregard for the operating characteristics and parameters of electronic broadcast technology. They are blithely recommending potential exposures to a known biological hazard.

    Other than that, their information is excellent.

  • Lloyd said,

    Hi Roger
    From what you are saying your RF exposures are possibly low (assuming there are no significant external RF sources) the only way to know what your exposures are is to take some readings with an EMF meter…there are many sources of EMF pollution in the home. The best policy is to assume nothing.

  • star said,

    when science is in conflict with facts ,who wins “?
    we need to explore to get to know ,why people experience adverse symptoms when grounding at areas where the ground is saturated with high emf ;otherwise we facing a blind spot with its accompanying consequences

  • Lloyd said,

    The role of science is to establish the facts. This role has become perverted. Corporate interests are being allowed to manipulate the studies to create doubt about the harmful effects of EMF exposures. The Telecom industry is doing this on a massive scale, see http://www.electricsense.com/2597/cell-phone-radiation-studies%E2%80%93-is-this-as-much-truth-as-you-can-fit-on-one-page/ just as the tobacco industry did before them. Rest assured, there is no doubt in my mind that grounding in a high EMF environment is harmful to your health.

  • Roger said,

    Lloyd, I totally agree with you.

    I’m pretty safe here on the top of a mountain in a near-zero EMF environment, in a Sthapatya Vedic building.

  • Paul Von said,

    Lloyd,
    An excellent and concise response to the question by Star. The electromagnetic radiation debate has indeed been grossly distorted by the utility and communications industry. Their refusal to address the biological destruction of our environment, and the crippling of millions of people, puts them in the same category as the lowest war criminals and political executioners.
    I very much appreciate your development of this site, as it is one of the very few sites that provide diverse information regarding electromagnetic radiation issues. My best wishes for your continuing success.

  • Lloyd said,

    Thanks Paul. My best wishes to you for your health.

  • susie said,

    Hi Lloyd,

    After watching a documentary on grounding, I’ve become very interested in the idea. It seems to make sense and I do believe it could provide wonderful health benefits. I was considering purchasing a grounding blanket or pad to see for myself but after reading through your comments, now I’m not so sure. I’m trying my best to wrap my head around the concern with EMF’s. I live in an urban environment and like many homes, I have wi-fi for my laptops and smart phones and am directly attached to homes on either side with the same. Based on this, would it be a fair assumption that my home has high EMF’s and that grounding would NOT be a safe option for me??
    Please advise,
    Thanks!

  • Lloyd Burrell said,

    The risk is that by grounding you increase your exposure to ambient RF radiation from these wireless devices. Personally I wouldn’t ground in such an environment.

  • Carol Ferguson said,

    Hi Lloyd, Hope you have the opportunity to try
    other brands of earthing shoes. I am looking for
    an earthing full coverage shoe. Been thinking about
    the soft star brand grounding shoes.

    I sleep in an earthing recovery sac. Been doing this
    for 3 years highly recommend! cheers

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