How Do Xeros Compare to Other Barefoot and Minimalist Shoes and Sandals?

With all the minimalist and barefoot footwear, how do you decide?

In comparative reviews, Xero Shoes consistently comes out on top!

Maple Grove Barefoot Guy Awards Xero Shoes the Grovie Award for Best Huarache Sandal

A powerhouse of a sandal that has no real apparent weaknesses.

Grovie Award - Best Huarache Sandal

The Running Clinic Gives Xero Shoes the highest rating: 94/100

Running Clinic Reviews Minimalist Shoes

Barefoot Running Magazine Gives Xero Shoes the highest rating: 4.75 bare feet!

Running Barefoot Magazine Shoes Reviews

Here’s an overall comparison chart about minimalist footwear

In short, with Xero Shoes, you get the best price, the best barefoot feel, a perfect fit, the lightest shoe, the longest lasting, and the ability to express yourself with fun tying and decorative options.

27 thoughts on “How Do Xeros Compare to Other Barefoot and Minimalist Shoes and Sandals?

  1. With the 6mm Contact, you get good protection… but no sole gives you perfect protection. What happens as you spend more time being barefoot is that your reflexes improve… if you step on something that would hurt, you naturally retract.

    We have a lot of trail runners and hikers who haven’t had a problem with the surfaces they’re on.

  2. Love it, love the product. Loved you on Shark Tank. I love that you’re up till 3:00 AM responding to questions/comments. I truly hope you succeed. I’ll be looking to buy in the morning when I can think straight! 🙂 My only concern is that it will be difficult to “do it yourself” or that I may “mess up” while creating my shoe? Also, I’m not an intense runner, but I love flip flops and I think that the Vibrams wouldn’t allow for my feet to breathe (nor do I want to buy special socks). I will seriously be considering buying a pair in the morning. What would your suggestion be for a college student/administrative worker, who isn’t an intense jogger, but would like some motivation to begin?! Thank you so much and good luck on your journey!

    1. I’m not a big fan of motivation. If I need to motivate myself to do it, instead of doing it because I really like it and am compelled to do it… then the odds are I won’t do it.

      That said, we have a lot of customers who use our shoes for walking… and then think, “People RUN in these… hmm…”

      And then they take a light run and find that with decent barefoot form, running can be ENJOYABLE!

      And then you don’t need motivation 😉

      I’m a sprinter. I never ran more than 1 mile… until I went barefoot.

      I was so captivated by the sensations and the experiment of how I could move and the FREEDOM of it… than the next thing I knew, I had run 5k!

      If I had to give advice, Hayden, I’d say:

      Feel The World… and enjoy!

      (I say that a lot, actually).

      Now it’s time to get some sleep 😉

      1. As a wise person once said – and I learned too late – you don’t run to get in shape; you get in shape to run.

        Lose excess weight first, by other means.

        Gain strength and stamina first, by other means.
        Then, when you start to run, you won’t keep endlessly [re-] injuring yourself….. says the voice of experience, here.

        Motivation is much more abundant when the activity is enjoyable and you aren’t toughing through, or trying to come back from, your latest sprain, knee problem, seized calves, plantar pain, Morton’s Neuroma,….

        Anyway, I swear I’ll stop procrastinating, find a piece of paper and pen, and order up a pair of Xeros. Then I can buy a couple of kits to make my own, once I have a “professional” template to work from. At those prices, that’ll be at least one pair to wear, one pair in the laundry, another pair for the office…. hmmm…. the car…

        1. What about the pair for Holidays, 2nd Thursdays of the month, and days with the letter “y” in them? 😉

          1. I’ll just change laces for a more celebratory, holiday feel. ;->

            My first order is in your inbox.

            Now, if I just had a cottage, I could order a pair for the cottage…

          2. Oh, you soooo need a cottage! 😉

  3. I saw you on Shark Tank this morning and tried a walk today in a pair of sandals instead of sneakers/walking shoes. It was much better actually. Except for the abrasiveness of the sandal straps on my feet. So I came home and ordered a pair of 6mm and look forward to the barefoot experience next!!

  4. Hi Skogg… no you don’t need to double-up (and there isn’t a way to do that anyway). Xero Shoes don’t compress… and the basic idea about being barefoot (or close to it) is that you learn to use your LEGS as the natural springs they are … see

  5. Hi Skogg… no you don’t need to double-up (and there isn’t a way to do that anyway). Xero Shoes don’t compress… and the basic idea about being barefoot (or close to it) is that you learn to use your LEGS as the natural springs they are … see

  6. Hi Christian… we’re testing different site designs. That page exists:

  7. Hi Anthony … see

    The knot flattens out, it’s between your toes (in the gap in between them, really), covered in rubber.

    99.9% of people never feel it. And for those that do, there are other tying styles that don’t have the toe knot —

  8. Do Xeroshoes give you blisters like normal shoes?

    1. Xero Shoes can’t “give” you blisters, they just sit there 😉

      Blisters come from unnecessary friction. When you’re barefoot (or close to barefoot like you are in Xero Shoes) you tend to create less of that unneeded friction, or naturally adjust to create less of it.

      Check out my blister story at

  9. Thanks for getting back to me so soon. Great story and thanks for the advice. Can’t weight to practice my running.

  10. Hi, I’m not sure if this is the proper place to ask this question but it’s the first place I landed with a forum for questions since I saw the page that initiated mine. So…I noticed that you have an “older” style that has a Vibram sole. I must have purchased mine when that was what they were all made of because I think that’s what mine are. Anyway the description has a place that says click here for comparison (or something to that effect) but there was nothing live to click. So I am wondering where I can find a comparison or clear info about the difference between your original sole (Vibram) and the newer one you sell as your mainstay now. Also when and why did you change from being Invisible Shoe to Xero Shoes? Just curious, it confused me…thought I was getting an email offer from a competitor at first!

    1. Good a place as any to ask, Gwyn 😉

      First check out for a description of the difference between the Vibram and our FeelTrue® soles. I’ll go update that (non) link asap!

      Regarding our name… well as people started decorating their shoes — with fun tying styles and beads and charms — they were becoming less “invisible.” And when people heard about “Invisible Shoes” and then saw them, they often said, “But I can see them!”

      So, put that together with that “Xero” is just way cool, we made the change 😉

      1. HI Steven,

        I had the same problem as Gwyn. Under the original kit buying option it says the the FeelTrue soles are better than the vibram cherry and here is a link to why. But the link goes to a blog entry that’s unrelated. The link you gave above explains why the FeelTrue sole are so wonderful, but still doesn’t explain the difference between them and the vibram sole. I’m left wondering what the Vibram soles are lacking. I have wide feet and I’m worried that the FeelTrue may be cut too narrow. However because you seem to recommended it so highly I decided to go with the feeltrue sole. It would have been an easier decision, though, if it was clear what the differences were. Also I didn’t find anything on the site addressing the width of feet, do people with wide feet have problems with the precut soles?

        I heard about your shoes on Shark Tank (I was yelling at the tv!), I was very interested but as I live in Chicago I had to wait for the summer. I’m planning on travelling for 9 months and I think these will be my main shoe. I have a pair of vibrams (my first barefoot shoe) but their constrictive enough that I’ll choose a flipflop instead most of the time (I’m not a runner). I can’t wait for my zero shoes to arrive. I’m looking forward to getting closer to the ground and feeling free.

        Thanks for making a product that embraces the natural strength of the body!

        1. I’ll rework that page… suffice it to say:

          a) Less than 1/1000 people need to get a larger size in the FeelTrue to handle the width of their feet. I don’t think we’ve ever had a woman with feet wide enough to require that. Feel free, though, to measure your foot width and length and contact us to make sure you get the correct size.

          b) The differences are simple: Feel True last longer, are contoured to fit better, come in multiple colors, come in 2 thickness options, have pre-punched and reinforced ankle holes, and have greater traction. As I say on that other page, the FeelTrue soles are the only outsole designed specifically to be barefoot-inspired sandals.

          Hope that helps.

  11. I ordered a first pair last summer, then in the fall got a second one. I love them! I recently tried on the vapor glove (Merrell), after rave reviews online, but it does not even compare to the Xero! Completely different feel… as in the end… it’s nothing but a great minimalist SHOE. The Xero is exceptional at giving a barefoot experience and it truly does not feel like I am wearing shoes at all. Thank-you!!

  12. Hi Steve, I run around 40-60 miles a week. My shoes always have mid-foot support in them because of my weak joints and I often get shin splints. I’m just worried that I would develop a lot of problems, especially as a young athlete. So would these shoes give me the support I need?

    1. Being barefoot lets you become your own support by strengthening your feet/ankles/legs. And being barefoot puts LESS strain on your joints — see

  13. I currently run in Vibram SeeYa LS size 41. I’m interested in trying your Xeroshoes. I’m not sure which sole I should get. would the 4mm be a similar feel to what I’m currently running in? or would the 6mm be a better match? I like the feel of my current shoes, but I would like a different pair for longer runs. As my feet swell they aren’t as comfortable in the toes. What would you recommend?

    1. I’m not sure how our Contact and Connect compare to the SeeYa in terms of ground-feel, though I haven’t heard anyone report that some other product matches the 4mm Connect when it comes to being “as close to barefoot as possible.”

      So, if you want that almost-barefoot feeling, I’d get the Connect. For a bit more protection (trails, etc.), you might like the 6mm Contact better.

  14. I already own Altra, Lems, FiveFingers. Nothing tells me that these Xero shoes aren’t cheap, cheesy and just trying to ride a trend. Convince me.

    1. Well, Xero Shoes are less expensive than all the brands you mentioned, and they have an unmatched 5,000 mile sole warranty. I’d recommend reading the reviews for the products that interest you and hear what others have experienced.

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