Why barefoot sandals and not minimalist shoes?

New to “barefoot shoes”? Trying to decide between the minimalist shoe options?

I know the feeling. Back in 2009, when I knew I wanted the benefits of being barefoot, but with a bit of protection (and something that would let me get into restaurants), I tried everything.

I LOVE our new minimalist shoes… they’re built off of our sandal base so they’re as close to barefoot as any shoe I’ve ever tried.

That said, if you want a “more barefoot” experience, you’ll want to try a sandal at some time. Here’s why.

  • Better Bare Foot Feel — You want to feel the ground as much as possible, without having to worry about what you’re stepping on. With our FeelTrue® outsoles, you get the closest thing to a barefoot feel, but with the protection you want. BTW, don’t be fooled by some shoe companies that claim to have a 4mm or 6mm outsole. If the sole is stiffer, it’ll reduce the ground-feel. And if they add any padding on the inside of the shoe, that contributes to the thickness.
  • Natural Movement— You want to let your feet move and your toes flex and wiggle without anything getting in the way. With the dual-direction chevron treads and the flexibility of our FeelTrue® rubber, our outsoles let you grip the ground. And with nothing restricting the top of your foot, your toes can lift and splay as much as you want.
  • Anti-bacterial/Anti-Odor — The air circulates around your foot, instead of having your feet wrapped up.
  • Easier Fit — Our sandals will fit your foot, no matter what shape it is — curved, straight, narrow, wide. And you can trim some of them with a pair of kitchen scissors for a perfect fit.
  • Lightweight — At 3.4 ounces for a men’s size 9 (the 4mm DIY kit), you’ll have a hard time finding anything that feels like, well, you’re almost barefoot. We’ve had customers forget they were wearing their Xero Shoes and go to bed with them still on!
  • Multi-purpose — People all around the world use Xero Shoes for everything from walking, to hiking, to camping, to yoga, to stand-up paddleboarding, to sea kayaking, to sky-diving, to running, to tackling 100-mile ultra-marathons!
  • Convenient — Xeros roll or fold and fit in small spaces. Stick ’em in your pocket so you have them handy for a hike or to get through the airport faster.
  • Personal Style — With 5 different sole colors, dozens of lacing styles, and even more decorative add-ons, you can have sandals that are high-performance, ultra-minimalist or fashion-forward and ready for a night on the town. In fact, those could be the same pair!
  • Inexpensive — I don’t get how minimalist shoes and sandals can be $150-$200! Ours are under $80. Xero Shoes’ sandals are a fraction of that price. You could get 5 pairs (one in each color! 😉 of our DIY kits for the price of some minimal running shoes.
  • Long-Lasting — People often ask how long Xero Shoes will last. True to our tire-sandal heritage, Xero Shoes come with a 5,000 mile sole warranty. Compare that to running shoes that you’re supposed to replace every 300-500 miles!
  • E

    I live in an area where winter is often long and cold. While I would love to go barefoot year round, it’s not often really an option– I don’t really want to condition my feet to withstand the cold and wet. What do you suggest for keeping my feet a bit warmer in the winter time?

  • Michael_Rudd

    Long-Lasting, that’s a joke, mine only lasted about 15 miles, shame because I really liked them, comfortable and cool, very disappointing 🙁

  • VitaIy

    I used to run on rough terrain, like boulders and pebble beach. Usually sneakers sole goes through in 300 miles. Men, no way thin sole could last 17 times longer.

    • Our FeelTrue rubber is made very differently than the rubber typically used in sneakers. Their soles are designed to last for 3-500 miles, tops.

      When we told the factory how we wanted our FeelTrue rubber made, they said, “But that’s not what sneaker companies do.” We said, “WE KNOW!”

      So, you don’t need to worry about whether the soles last 5,000 miles or not, frankly, WE guarantee them.

    • Bratman

      I’ve ran over 2000 miles already in the 4mm version on an old railway trail made of CINDER and the shoes still look brand new, that maybe because of my barefoot running technique but these shoes are tough.