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Are Xero shoes legit? In this Xero shoe review, I’ll take a closer look at who Xero are, what their shoes are like, and more importantly, help you decide if they’re worth your hard-earned money.
With over 79,000 followers on Instagram, Xero Shoes has been written about extensively in the Los Angeles Times and National Geographic, among other places. They’re a shoe brand that is increasing in popularity.
However, I am not interested in focusing on their advertising or word of mouth. Instead, I want to look at their shoes, which claim to have a smooth, natural fit and feel.
I also want to see how Xero shoes compare to their most relevant competitor, Vivobarefoot.
One of the promises made by Xero shoes is that they would “conform” to the foot and provide a natural fit, sensation, and motion for everyone who wears them.
Let’s see if that is real and discover if Xero Shoes are legit.
Table of Contents
- What Makes Xero Shoes Special?
- Are Xero Shoes True to Size?
- What Are the Best Xero Shoes for Running and Why?
- What Are the Best Xero Shoes for CrossFit and Why?
- Xero Shoes vs. Vivobarefoot
- Would I Recommend Xero Shoes for Everyday Use?
What Makes Xero Shoes Special?
Xero Shoes emphasizes its footwear’s natural fit, feel, and motion. These three elements interact with one another to create a shoe with a custom fit, but how well do they work together?
Xero shoes provide a more natural fit, because of their roomy toe boxes giving more of a sense of freedom of movement. And for good posture, they use what is known as a “Zero-Drop” shoe, in which the heel is not raised.
I feel that, these features make Xero shoes more pleasant to wear and more beneficial to your posture when used together.
Upon investigating my purchased shoes, I noticed that most have Tough Tek toe bumpers, Bare-foam insoles, and rubber outsoles, which give me comfort, flexibility, and protection.
The natural feel of Xero Shoes comes from the soles, which are flexible and made to let the foot bend naturally.
For me, the natural fit and feel are both great. These benefits alter how my feet feel and lead me to walk differently than I would without shoes.
Are Xero Shoes True to Size?
According to Xero Shoes, their shoes are designed to fit “true to size,” meaning that they should fit the same as your standard shoe size. However, it’s important to note that different shoe styles and materials may fit differently, even within the same brand.
To ensure a good fit, it’s always a good idea to follow the sizing instructions provided by the manufacturer and to measure your feet using a standard sizing chart. Xero Shoes provides a sizing chart on their website that you can use to determine your size. They also recommend measuring your feet in the afternoon, as your feet tend to be at their largest at this time of day.
In addition to using a sizing chart, it’s also a good idea to read reviews and try on the shoes in person if possible. This will give you a better idea of how the shoes fit and feel, and whether they’re true to size.
What Are the Best Xero Shoes for Running and Why?
There are a couople of Xero shoes which come most highly recommended for running. There are several on the site which do work well for running, but the following two come with the best recommendations.
Xero Shoes HFS
“If you’ve never run in barefoot shoes before, I’d suggest getting used to them slowly and intensifying your runs as you feel ready.”
I think you’ll like the Xero Shoes HFS if you’re new to barefoot running or want to try a barefoot-style shoe for lifting. They don’t weigh much, are easy to move around, and are durable.
I like this model for everyday use. They’re simple to put on and take off, and the toe box gives them more space.
However, there will be a small adjustment period if you’re used to supportive shoes.
But, in general, this model works very well for running, especially for people who land on their forefoot or midfoot and have faster stride rates.
If you’ve never done barefoot running or tried barefoot shoes before, I’d suggest getting used to them slowly and intensifying your runs as you feel ready.
Xero Shoes Zelen
“An excellent barefoot shoe for short and medium-distance runs. They also work really well for gym workouts too.”
Another option you can try is the Xero Shoes Zelen.
It is an excellent barefoot shoe for short and medium-distance runs. They also work really well for gym workouts too. So they have a little more versatility
But what makes the Xero Shoes Zelen different?
The difference is in the materials. Its knit top comes from recycled rPET a recyclable but durable material.
If you prefer a more self-sustaining barefoot running and weightlifting shoe, consider the Xero Shoes Zelen.
What Are the Best Xero Shoes for CrossFit and Why?
If you do CrossFit workouts, I think the following are your best Xero shoe options:
Xero Shoes Prio
For lifting and cross-training exercises, the Prio is a very popular choice. They have the comfort and the traction you need in a cross-training shoe.
The Xero Shoes Prio is a terrific choice if you’re a CrossFit geek or athlete trying to go barefoot.
They are a great hybrid barefoot lifting and running shoe with a reasonable price range and a robust top design.
For lifting exercises and running, the Prio is a very popular choice.
This detachable insole is also nice. Providing a little more cushion and comfort.
What else can you try? If you’re into CrossFit, you should also check out the Xero Shoes 360.
Xero Shoes 360
“The Xero 360 are great for various gym activities, from weightlifting, rope climbs, HIIT workouts and they will hold up well.”
Aside from Prio, another great choice is the 360.
The Xero 360 are great for various gym activities, from weightlifting, rope climbs, HIIT workouts and they will hold up well.
I can also squat, jump, row, and run freely in them. But do note, these are better suited to wide foot, so if you have narrow feet, these may not be very comfortable for you.
In my opinion, with its design, I’d only use the 360 for the gym.
Xero Shoes vs. Vivobarefoot
The moment has come for a shoe fight! Here, I pit Xero Shoes against Vivobarefoot in a head-to-head showdown.
To assist you in making a better buying decision, I include Information about materials and quality, flexibility, fit, shoe soles, and pricing.
Materials and Quality
You may feel safe walking about with Vivobarefoot since the materials are often considerably more robust, such as rubber or plastic.
However, this is only successful if the shoe has a good fit. If you don’t, you risk developing blisters and other sores.
On the other hand, the materials used in most of the Xero shoe collections are forgiving and may fit a variety of deeper, broader feet. However, this may sometimes cause one to feel unsafe while switching directions. So getting the right fit is very important.
If you can, try on several pairs if you are unsure of your fit.
Both Xero shoes and Vivobarefoot have exceptional flexibility, enabling your foot to bend in any direction without restriction.
If you take the time to examine each shoe, you’ll see that their intricate tread designs and materials provide you with a wide range of motion, you can twist and bend without any problems.
Vivobarefoot shoes can be narrower towards the back of the shoe and broader in the front.
Xero Shoes are a little bit wider in the forefoot and have a generously padded heel.
If you require more room in the toe box, the arch, the ball of your foot, and the heel, Xero Shoes are your best option.
Xero shoes unlike Vivobarefoot are very unforgiving when it comes to fit. If you get the wrong size shoe your experience will be greatly impacted. That’s why I stress, be sure you get the right size shoe.
Both manufacturers provide shoes with thin soles that give wearers a more realistic connection to the ground.
Of course, I can’t end this battle without mentioning the price. To be honest, Vivobarefoot shoes come in a little higher. Most of the time, they cost $40–50 more than the same Xero Shoes.
This is probably the biggest reason why a lot are moving towards Xero right now
Would I Recommend Xero Shoes for Everyday Use?
Overall, I’m a Xero shoe fan. I have several pairs of Xero shoes, but the models mentioned here are what I can confidently recommend.
Not all Xero Shoes are the same. So, it’s a good idea to read many reviews before buying one.
If you dcide to buy a pair, as mentioned, make double sure you get the right fit. Although the shoe does feel great, there is little room for error when it comes to fitting. If your shoe is a little too small or a little too much on the big side, your experience will be greatly effected.
It’s not a product that will appeal to everyone. But if the way they fit, feel, and move naturally enhances your workout, then it’s a no-brainer.