Recently I bought my son and I both a pair of their Z-Trail sandal, expecting a lot of outdoor warm weather adventures this summer. (Thanks Covid19 for ruining that idea…) He has a narrow foot so I bought him the women’s size 8 in black and though I have a wider foot, I bought myself a woman’s size 8 in Santa Fe, not wanting it to be too wide if I went to the men’s size.
I’ll start with how much I love the Xero Shoe sole. The Z-Trail has the same tread as their other footwear. It has a great amount of grip, no slipping on rocks in these, I’ll feel very secure hiking in them when we finally get let out of the house. They do feel a little more rigid than I was expecting, but do seem to soften and flex more once on.
No concerns about them getting wet or walking along the beach in them. The straps are tough but soft on my skin and the adjusting pieces do not rub me. I LOVE that they have a nice secure fit without a thong piece between my toes. I’m not slipping forward with my toes hanging over the front. Perfect strap placing for those who may have bunions as it won’t rub or put any pressure on that joint. Not constricting and still allows a little toe spread.
I do have a few minor complaints. If you want them snug and form fitting once on, you’ll have to loosen them up a tad to get your feet back in them and pull to tighten back up each time. Not a lot, and I’m optimistic the straps will break in and make things easier with time. (Update: the straps do get a broke in feel and I no longer have to adjust anything, just slip my foot in and Velcro the heel. ). The back heel strap Velcro’s for easy closure but it might have been better if they had aimed the stiffer loop Velcro side away from your skin rather than towards it as it may irritate you if you don’t get your strap perfectly straight to cover it. I didn’t have this issue but it was Riley’s first comment about them as he tends to slap the Velcro together without a care as to straight or even barely attached… kids…
Have to admit though, I’m going to be living in these suckers all summer long! If you want to try a pair of barefoot shoes I highly recommend the quality, fit and durability of Xero Shoes. Check them out here!
Update: I’ve now had these for a year. I can walk 5 days straight at Universal Studios with no pain or blisters. My feet are super happy in them. My son outgrew his quickly and I confiscated them. So now I keep one pair for yard work or hiking and the other pair for “nicer” walking locations. I did have one break. A tread piece came off the bottom. I contacted the company and they sent me a replacement pair right away. Love their customer service! Seriously the best, most flexible soled sandals I’ve owned.