Here are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions we get about Xero Shoes.
Can you really run in these things?
Tens of thousands of people all around the world of all ages use Xero Shoes for running… and walking, hiking, biking, camping, going to the beach, hitting the gym, doing yoga, even running 100-mile ultramarathons. Our former Customer Service Manager, Bill, ran from his house to the bus, from the bus stop to the office, back home, and then around with his dogs… then he does his fun runs on the weekend! He put about 120 miles on his Xero Shoes each week!
How do you run in these huaraches sandals?
Light and easy.
I can’t give you a barefoot running lesson here (for that, see the links on our home page).
But just by wearing them, you’ll find quickly that you don’t want to land hard on your heel as you walk or run in Xero Shoes.
The best advice I can give is: play with your gait and stride, looking for the thing that feels the most comfortable and is the easiest. But, most importantly: TAKE IT EASY at first… remember, Xero Shoes are just like barefoot, only with protection and style. If you’re not used to walking barefoot, that alone could take some time to get used to.
Plus, since you’re not putting as much stress on your skin when you wear huaraches, which means it hurts less, it’s tempting to do too much, too far, too fast at first. I know that no matter what I say you’ll probably overdo it (I did). Besides, how do you know what “too much” is, unless you do too much!?
Well, even though that’s true, I recommend you break into your huaraches SLOWLY. Walk around in them for a while first. Maybe only a half mile or so. When that’s comfortable, extend the time you’re walking and, when you feel ready, try running. If you’re already running a mile a day, try half a mile in these one day and see how you feel. Give yourself a day or two off and then repeat. If that’s not a problem, build up SLOWLY.
I also use the “slap-test.” If my sandals are slapping on the ground when I walk or run, I need to make some kind of change, probably by not reaching my foot out as far, or using better posture, etc.
Will running in huaraches (or barefoot) cure my running problems and injuries?
If you have a headache because you’re hitting yourself on the head with a hammer, wearing gloves won’t stop the pain.
In other words, it’s not just a question of taking off your shoes and experiencing magical healing powers.
Running barefoot, or in running sandals, gives you a lot of feedback about your running form. In short, if it hurts, you’re probably doing something wrong.
If you are willing to listen to that feedback and use it as an opportunity to change the way you run, to adjust your stride, to find a way to move that doesn’t hurt, then there’s a good chance any problems you had that were caused by bad form sure might clear up.
In other words, barefoot and minimalist running could show you how to let go of the hammer.
Being barefoot, or in huaraches, is an opportunity to find a cure, not a cure in and of itself.
Check out this post to read about people who, instead, thought barefoot running was about putting on gloves.
How long will the Xero Shoes huaraches last?
Frankly, we don’t know. We’ve had people put over 10,000 miles on a pair… and they’re still going!
Like any shoe, how long they last depends on your running style. If you use good barefoot technique and are light and easy, without scraping your foot on the ground, you’ll enjoy them for quite a while.
Besides, considering how inexpensive they are compared to big, padded, running shoes, we expect that you’ll be saving a fortune by using Xero Shoes.
And, more importantly, Xero Shoes come with a 5,000 mile sole warranty!
How do you tie huaraches?
There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of different ways to tie Xero Shoes, from ultra-simple minimalist, to way-extravagant decorative, to everything in between.
It seems like there’s been more creative ideas about tying these sandals since we started selling them in 2009 than there was in the 14,997 years before that when they were invented 😉
Check out our page of tying ideas and, if you’re experimental and come up with your own, share what you create!
Won’t the knot at the bottom wear out?
But since the knot is kinda flat, and since the rubber is flexible, and since the knot tends to be in between your toes, it’ll last WAY longer than you think.
Many Xero Shoes customers have put thousands of miles on their shoes without wearing out the knot.
And, we give you enough lace that when/if the knot does wear out, you can just pull another inch of lacing through the huaraches sole and make a new one.
You can buy extra laces for just a few dollars.
Do you ship internationally?
We do! We’ve sold Xero Shoes to people in more than 85 countries around the world.
We use the US Postal service to send our shipments. The cost to ship will depend on the weight of the package and the delivery speed you select; several options will be provided at checkout.
All domestic shipments come with tracking. Limited tracking is available for some first class international shipments depending on the country, and full tracking is available with all Priority Express and Express International shipments.
Though almost all of our international orders arrive without incident, we strongly advise you to select Priority Express International or Express International if you live in a country with a less reliable postal service, including (but not limited to) India, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, and Indonesia. We cannot guarantee delivery of packages shipped using First Class International.
International delivery can take anywhere from 3 days to 8 weeks depending on how long your order spends in customs at the border.
Please note that some countries do require the payment of import duties for international shipments above a certain value. We advise you to know the import regulations of your country and understand that you will be responsible for payment of any duties and fees imposed by your government at the border.
All packages will be marked as merchandise; as a commercial shipper, we are not able to mark a package as a gift (if you’re giving Xero Shoes as a gift, that’s not the same as us sending a gift).
Also, check our Stores page. There may be a Xero Shoes dealer closer to you.
What’s your return policy?
Some people get their Xero Shoes, put them on, and immediately love them. They walk and run painlessly and with the freedom that Xero Shoes provide.
For others, there could be a process of learning how to tie huaraches, and how to walk and run in minimalist footwear. In fact, one of the points of going barefoot/minimalist is to let any discomfort teach you how to move in a different way… a way that will be more efficient and potentially healing. Getting a blister, or feeling some tension in the cord isn’t a sign that there’s a problem with your sandals, but rather they’re working as they should: They’re giving you important feedback about your form (usually overstriding and/or landing too hard). Once your body/mind naturally figures out how to adjust, those issues resolve themselves. If you have any questions, check out Xero Shoes Forum to see if someone else has already answered your question or solved your problem (they probably have). We’re also happy to help, and we’re really good at coaching over the phone, so don’t hesitate to call: 303.447.3100
All that said, please go to Xero Shoes Return Policy page to learn about our 45-day return policy and free exchange policy.
What’s your Warranty?
Please check out this page for the details about our 5,000 mile sole warranty and our manufacturer’s guarantee.
Doesn’t that string between your toes hurt?
Not at all.
When you first start wearing your huaraches, you’ll notice it somewhat. After all, it is a thing. But very quickly the sensation fades into the background.
Also, you can change the tightness by the way you lace your sandal. If you loosen the heel, your foot moves further back and takes some pressure off the string. Or, obviously, you can loosen that “foot string”, or change the placement of it by tightening/loosening the loop that goes around it.
Plus, there are ways of tying Xero Shoes huaraches that don’t have a string going between your toes.
Finding the perfect way to tie huaraches is a personal thing, there’s no “one best way.” You’ll find the one that works for you with a couple of tries.
Can you feel that knot at the bottom?
Wait, let me back up… Not all tying styles have a knot at the bottom of the shoe.
But for the ones that do, you shouldn’t feel it.
- The knot is in between your toes.
- It’s not very thick.
- The sole material bends around it some.
- The knot flattens out as you wear your huaraches.
If you want, you can melt the knot with our laces into a tiny “bead.”
Why don’t you use leather or hemp laces?
You can use almost anything for lacing huaraches.
In my testing, though, I found some issues with hemp and leather that I didn’t like:
- Both leather and hemp tended to stretch, especially when moist
- Both leather and hemp tighten and stiffen when they dry
- Both leather and hemp wear out faster than our polyester laces
- Leather is much more expensive
- Most leather laces are rectangular, and the edges can dig into your skin
- Leather, isn’t vegan (for those who care about that)
- Leather and hemp don’t give you as many fun color choices
The 100% polyester cord we use is strong, light, and doesn’t stretch or tighten, especially when wet.
Also, I prefer the “slip-on” method of tying which works best with a round lace, rather than a flat one (like leather).
Needless to say, you can replace the lace we send you with whatever you like.