Uber-Ultra Minimal to the Max

Min-to-Max-600x600

Okay, it doesn’t get more minimal than this (hence the name).

Arguably, this is even more minimalist than the Ultra-Minimalist Hitch since there’s no knot.

Our first customer service manager, Bill Babcock, came up with this idea, and he uses it for running 100+ miles/week.

To make this style, you’ll need 2 “Crow Beads” (available at any craft store:

Silver Plated Brass Crow Bead

First, a few tying tips and notes:


Tying the Lace knot:

This is the knot we most commonly use, especially with our 100% polyester laces.


The “Lace Bead”:

This is the smallest “knot” you can make for your Xero Shoes.


Tying a Figure-8 knot:

If you have our original laces with the nylon core, you’ll want to use this knot.


Lacing tips:


The basic running sandal tying pattern


Uber-Ultra Minimal to the Max Style

Step-by-Step instructions coming soon!

8 thoughts on “Uber-Ultra Minimal to the Max

  1. How do you get the toe strap to point straight back towards your shin? My slants heavy and points to the outside ankle, which is painful on my 2nd toe

    1. The angle is determined by 2 things: the length of the lace between the toe hole and the outside ankle hole, and the length of the lace from the inside ankle hole to the bead.

      So, to shift it from being “heavily slanted”… you’ll do some combo of loosening the “toe strap” and shortening the inside ankle strap.

      In fact, in the video, you’ll see me shift the angle of the lace by tightening the inside ankle strap before I trim it.

  2. Thanks for this cool tip. It looks like your new lacing material is more versatile and easy to work than the polypro.

    Still playing with lace tensions In the original tying style, the knot slides up and down the “toe” portion of the lace and can really change the dynamics of the “shoe”. This looks a bit more stable. Thanks again for the tip.

    1. Hi Mike… FWIW, if you’re using the double half hitch (like in the Xero Basic tying style), and pull the knot tightly, it shouldn’t slide, especially after a day or two of wearing it. Mine feels locked in place. And if you take the “extra” lace at the end of the process and make one more half-hitch around one of the “ankle” straps, that will further lock the knot in place.

      Do with that what you will 😉

  3. I love the clean simple look of no knot! And I bet I would love how it feels, too, with no bulky knot rubbing my foot.

    The disadvantage is there’s no extra couple of inches of lace to create a new knot under the toe when an old knot wears off, which inevitably occurs miles from a trailhead.

    1. a) You could always modify this and use the *concept* (replace a knot with a bead) and keep some extra lace at the end.

      b) If you’re breaking laces (which shouldn’t happen… for example, Bill Babcock — our customer service manager and ultra runner — and I have put tens of thousands of miles on our Xeros and have never broken a lace)… rub a bit of Shoe Goo on the knot and the first 1/2″ of lace to add some strength to it.

  4. Does the bead ever cause discomfort? I like the look but have very narrow feet (AAA) and concerned that tight laces may cause the bead to dig in. Thanks.

    1. The lacing is no more tight than for any other style. Nobody I know has ever commented on even feeling the bead (the fact that it’s round helps).

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