Review: Xero Z-Trail EV Hiking Sandals (Barefoot Style Shoes)

Review: Xero Z-Trail EV Hiking Sandals (Barefoot Style Shoes)

If you’ve been following my blog for some time, you’ll know that I’ve been on a barefoot shoe journey! I’ve basically transitioned all of my shoes over the years, but still had some old sandals that I wanted to swap for a more minimal style. After some research, I finally took the plunge and bought Xero’s Z-Trail EV Hiking Sandals. Join me as I dive into the features, pros, and cons of these sandals and share my firsthand experience with you!


This post contains affiliate links. I purchased these sandals myself and this review reflects my honest thoughts. Thanks for reading and supporting my blog!


About Xero Shoes 👟

Xero was founded by husband and wife, Steven Sashen and Lena Phoenix. Steven experienced a myriad of injuries as a runner, but switching to barefoot shoes virtually eliminated his injuries! The brand was also on the TV show Shark Tank. They make a variety of shoes such as running, fitness, casual, boots, rain boots, and ballet flats (for men, women, and kids).

  • The prices are a bit more reasonable compared to other minimal footwear brands!
  • Have an “environmentally intelligent” approach and use fewer materials than traditional shoes with simpler designs (and use renewable materials whenever possible such as hemp)
  • The soles are built to last longer and come with a 5,000-mile warranty
  • Headquarters are in Colorado and the shoes are responsibly, ethically, and fairly manufactured in China
  • Some of the styles are vegan-friendly (but some do use wool or leather)
  • And of course, the shoes utilize all the barefoot principles: zero drop, light, flexible, etc.

Review: Xero Z-Trail EV Women’s Barefoot Hiking Sandals 🩴

I own a pair of Xero’s Prio shoes and love them, so I was curious to try the Z-Trail EV Hiking Sandals for spring and summer to replace my decrepit Tevas! I chose the Dusty Rose color which is super cute.

Honestly, I looked at some other barefoot-style sandals on the market and it was hard for me to justify the price because some of them are literally like a thin, tiny strap 🙂‍↔️ But these seemed like they actually have some substance to them (while still being minimal)!

Xero Z-Trail EV Women’s Barefoot Hiking Sandals

About the sandals:

  • $79.99
  • Adjustable velcro straps
  • Vegan-friendly materials
  • Have a thin foam comfort layer
  • Made with recycled water bottles
  • Rubber grips on the bottom for traction
  • Also available in sizes for men and kids!
  • 11 mm soles and only weigh 4.3 ounces (keep in mind that you might be able to feel texture on rough terrains due to the thin sole, but that’s kind of the whole point of barefoot shoes in general, your feet have over 200,000 nerve endings and it’s natural for them to get ground feedback)

Overall, they are versatile sports sandals (similar to Tevas or Chacos, but without arches or excess support) that you can wear for walking, hiking, and being outdoors.

Shop Xero Z-Trail EV Sandals Here

Also available here on Amazon.

Xero Z-Trail EV Barefoot Hiking Sandals Dusty Rose

Xero Z-Trail EV Barefoot Hiking Sandals

Xero Z-Trail EV Barefoot Hiking Sandals Dusty Rose

Xero Z-Trail EV Barefoot Hiking Sandals Dusty Rose

👍 Pros:

  • Breathable
  • The foam layer is comfy
  • Very lightweight and flexible
  • Variety of colors to choose from
  • Dry relatively fast when they get wet
  • I don’t notice rubbing or anything uncomfortable
  • Being able to adjust straps is nice (they are not stretchy, FYI)
  • I like the traction grips! They help with rocky, uneven, or slippery surfaces.
  • They do not look like “clown shoes” (some barefoot styles can look wonky)
  • I can wear them for long distances and my feet still feel comfortable after a long day
  • I like that my toes don’t have to “grip” or “crunch” and the sandals effortlessly move with my feet
  • Even though they’re a hiking/outdoor type of sandal, I still think they’re stylish enough to wear with a casual outfit
  • It has a short lip on the back behind where your heel sits. It doesn’t bother me at all (I usually can’t even feel it) but provides some protection and prevents your foot from sliding back too far.

👎 Cons:

  • Not available in half sizes (more on this below)
  • Since they’re open-toed, you won’t get complete protection while hiking
  • While I like the treads on the bottom, stuff can get stuck in there (small rocks, sticks, etc.)
  • They are not the quickest sandals to slip on. I can get them on fairly fast, but it takes two hands and a couple of seconds to maneuver your feet in and align the straps.
  • If you have really wide toes that splay out a lot, I feel like this style might feel a bit restrictive because of the top strap. It still allows your toes to be free and spread out, but the strap gently nudges your big toe and pinky toe inward. They’re not extremely wide and I might suggest sizing up if your feet are broader. Or, check out Xero’s H-Trail Sandals which are similar but have an inset T-strap instead of the Z-strap.
  • Most of the reviews for these are five stars, but I did read some complaints that the sandals were poor quality and not very durable. I can’t speak to this since mine are still in good condition and not showing signs of wear and tear, but I’ll definitely update this post after I’ve had the sandals for over a year and let you know how they’ve held up. I also know people who own these same sandals and they told me that theirs are still in great condition after 1-2+ years, so who knows! I’m sure it depends on what types of activities you do and how roughly.

Related post: “Feelgrounds Chelsea Boots Review (Barefoot Style, Vegan, Unisex)

Sizing:

Xero claims these to be True to Size (TTS) and I mostly agree. I still suggest using their “Find Your Size” tool to be sure. Because of the adjustable straps, they should work for all foot volumes.

However, these do NOT come in half sizes, and I wish they did! I typically wear size 6.5, so I had to choose between sizing up or down. In this case, I sized down to a 6 because I feel like you don’t have to worry so much about toes being constrained with open-toed sandals since your feet can move freely.

Size 6 fits me okay, but I definitely couldn’t go any smaller because my toes would run over. I think size 7 would have been too large though. Xero, please make half sizes for these! 🙏

Final Thoughts 🦶

In summary, my experience with Xero’s Z-Trail EV Hiking Sandals has been mostly positive! They’re lightweight, comfortable, and offer good traction (though debris can get lodged in the treads). While there are no half sizes available, the adjustable straps help with customized fit. I’m eager to see how they hold up long-term, but for now, I’m enjoying them. Overall, they’re a versatile choice for outdoor activities, and I recommend trying them out!

Shop Xero Z-Trail EV Sandals Here

Also available here on Amazon.

To learn more about switching to barefoot shoes & other brands I recommend:

Why I Wear Minimal Barefoot Shoes (& My Fave Natural Shoe Brands)


Let me know if this review was helpful, or if you have any questions below in the comments! Thanks so much for reading and enjoy that foot freedom 👣

Becca Signature

 

 

Review: Xero Z-Trail EV Hiking Sandals (Barefoot Style Shoes)

Written by: Becca

Becca is a blogger, wife, and dog mom living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Having seen firsthand the benefits of switching to a natural lifestyle herself, she's passionate about helping women make the switch to clean beauty products, organic skincare, and a holistic way of life (without the stress of being perfect about it!).

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