Are barefoot sandals comfortable?

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When people see a barefoot sandal, they often wonder, “Is it comfortable?”

To answer that, let me first talk about flip-flops, because when people think about barefoot-style sandals they’re often comparing it to their experience with flip-flops, and many people don’t like flip-flops because they don’t like things that go between their toes.

Well, with a barefoot sandal like what you get with Xero Shoes, it’s a different experience because what holds it on your foot is actually the lacing that goes around your ankle.

So unlike a flip-flop where you need to jam your toes into the thong and grip with your toes, something like a huarache from Xero Shoes, you don’t have that same pressure here. We often get emails from people who say, “Oh, I don’t normally like things between my toes, but this doesn’t bother me at all.”

Now, that said, we’ve also got products that don’t have lacing that goes in between your toes, so it’s not a problem if you REALLY don’t want anything between your toes.

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The second thing about comfort is when this lacing system — which, again, is thousands of years old (there are archeological digs that are over 5000 years old with the same kind of lacing pattern) — it can feel like there’s nothing on your foot.

The most common comment we hear from people when we put a pair of Xero Shoes on them and they go for a walk is, “Wow, it feels like there’s nothing there because they’re so light and there’s so much air around your foot!”

Without the stiff thong that you’re used to from a flip-flop, and with the minimal lacing system, it really can feel like nothing. Except this is secure enough to hold on your foot whether you’re taking a walk or going for a run or just hanging out with your friends.

Also, people wonder about the comfort because the soles can be so thin. They say, “What if I step on something or in something?”

Well, you want to use your feet. You want to let the soles of your feet feel things because that’s what they’re designed to do, but you don’t want to feel worried about what you step on or step in, and we give you a number of different options.

Our 4-millimeter do-it-yourself sandal sole — our 4-millimeter Connect sole — is the closest thing to a barefoot experience that you’re going to get. It’s “just enough” protection.

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The 5.5mm sole in the Genesis and Jessie also give you great ground feedback with a layer of protection. The Cloud adds a bit of extra cushion on the forefoot.

The 6mm Contact sole in our DIY kits also add a bit more protection.

Or, you can go for the 10-millimeter sole that’s on our  Z-Trail sandal. It still gives you a great natural feel because it’s really flexible, but also gives you a level of protection that you think you only get from a sandal that’s this thick and weighs a pound.

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Our favorite thing when people put on the <a href=””>Z-Trail</a> is watching them step on some rocks… their eyes pop out of their heads because they can’t believe how comfortable it is, how they can still feel a little bit of the ground but there’s just none of that pressure point or pointy things that they’re used to from thinner sandals.