You can wear barefoot sandals for almost any activity from taking a walk to a hike, to hanging out on the beach, to chilling with friends, to even running an ultra marathon across Madagascar (I say that last one because we know a couple who did!).
Now, here are some tips about wearing barefoot sandals.
The basic tying method is thousands of years old — the lace comes up between your toes, just goes around your ankle in some way (there are lots of ways), and then comes back to the top of your foot and you tie it in place.
You can do this with a single lace or you can do it with multiple laces. With our sandals, we’ve developed a design with two laces that makes it really, really simple and fast to adjust the tension and get a good fit.
Here something you want to think about when finding the right fit: You want to go for snug but comfortable tension of the laces around your foot.
So you don’t want it too tight, you don’t want it too loose.
Lena, my wife and partner in Xero Shoes, likes to say there’s a sweet spot for tension, and some people find it right away and some people need to experiment a couple of times for a few days until they find that sweet spot.
But once you do, you know what it feels like and you can recreate it instantly. And in fact, the more experience you have wearing barefoot sandals, the less picky you get about the tension. The more comfortable you get using this kind of a product, the more flexibility you have.
You can wear them a little looser and it’s not a problem, a little tighter and it’s not a problem, but at first you want to make sure you’re going for something comfortable.
In a huarache-style tying, there’s a knot at the top of your foot. You can move that down, you can move it up… so you can get it closer to your ankle or closer to your toes.
We like to keep it kind of at the two-thirds spot between your toes and your ankle. When you do that, that gives you the best combination of comfort and security. If you move the knot closer to your ankle, things might feel a little more loose across your toes. If you move it closer to your toes, it might feel a little too flexible around your ankle.
As the laces come around your heel, again you want to go for snug but comfortable. You want to find the tension that holds it on comfortably but not too tight.
Now, if your Achilles doesn’t have a big divot in it, if you have sort of a flat spot from your heel into your calf, you might want to raise the laces where they move through the sandal sole by wrapping the lace around itself at the ankle hole. When you do this, you have less of an angle in the lace from your ankle to your heel, and that will work better in your case.
So that should get you started. If you have any other questions, you can find answers on our website on the tying page, and feel free to drop us an email or give us a call. We’re always happy to help.