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  1. #1

    Default Xero Shoes Z Trail

    Putting this here, rather than in a thread about camp shoes.

    FYI:
    Xero Shoes Umata Z-Trail size 10
    My feet are 9.5EEE:
    20190529_031255.jpg

    317g/11.18oz for the pair:
    20190529_032720.jpg
    Half an ounce more than what I've been using, but will make a much better camp shoe. Either is a luxury item, but a little girl could haul my current pack weights, so whatever.


    First impressions:
    Comfortable with or without socks, and pack flat. I can see why some reviewers complained about them being a bit cumbersome to adjust, but it's pretty simple. Set it and forget it for me, since my use won't be as demanding as someone using them for running.


    Bit cheesy for a $80 sandal, though. They're what I wanted in terms of features, and I like them, but also think they're overpriced, even at the $66 I paid with a discount from REI.
    Made in China. Stitching and details are acceptable, but mediocre. There are some small inconsistencies where the molded rubber layers are joined, little spots of whatever adhesive was used to bond them showing in a few places, things like that. Nothing that should affect them in practical use, just nitpicky stuff I'd prefer not to see with that price tag.
    Only "real" dislike/concern is the strap going through flexible rubber that's an extension of the sole material and doesn't have clean edges.
    20190529_032520.jpg
    They do have a 6 month manufacturer guarantee in addition to a 5000 mile wear warranty.

  2. #2
    Registered User
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    06-19-2013
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    Harrisburg PA
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    58
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    Default

    I have a pair that I use for camp shoes, as well as for the showers and locker room at the gym. I like that they pack flat, and don't have a thong between my toes...I hate having something between my toes. I think Xero does offer a similar sandal with a between-toe strap. I agree, a bit overpriced tho.

  3. #3

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    About 6 weeks ago, I had to do a shallow river crossing in AL's Sipsey Wilderness. Though temps were in the 30s, the trails there are much gentler than my usual haunts on the Cumberland Plateau, so I took the opportunity to leave the sandals on, and try actually hiking in them.

    Always wondered what hiking in 0 drop footwear was like, and got in about 3 miles total with them. I've also always wondered how people hike in shorts in cool weather, so left my pants legs rolled up.
    Was laughing about there being ice around some of the waterfalls, and on the root next to me when I sat down to don the sandals, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I'd expected once I got out of the water.

    20210113_180844.jpg

    The Z Trails had good grip on rock and downed trees. The zero drop/barefoot fit felt really good to me, and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed hiking in them. Now I'd like to try some lower, or 0, drop shoes.


  4. #4

    Default

    I just came back from doing some hiking in Utah, plus a dash up to Fruita, CO to see the Rattlesnake Arches. My toes were not happy after a few days of doing lots of off camber hiking and steep descents in Canyonlands. Less than halfway into the quickie overnighter in CO, I had to cut open, and take a chunk off, the end of a pinky toe. Along with the one on my other foot, it had previously developed a blister, and they'd both been drained and taped after having a ridge of callous cut off(Canyonlands and my "normal" hiking callouses did not get along very well, apparently).
    After a quick jaunt into Arches at sunset, then some short dayhikes while checking out Canyonlands' Island in the Sky district for the first time, that toe was just done.
    I wasn't though, as I had a day left before flying home, and wanted to use that day go back to Capitol Reef NP.
    A 2 mile roundtrip hike proved to be torture, and I decided to try the Z Trails on a second hike that totaled ~9 miles.
    Nothing. No pain in my toe, no discomfort at all in my feet. From the sandals, anyway. Turns out lightweight merino socks won't protect you from a cactus spine(who knew?!?).
    My lower legs felt like they were pumped full of blood for a little while, but that went away after less than an hour. I've read, in practically every barefoot shoe/sandal review, that you need to work your way into hiking with that kind of footwear, but didn't have any other issues with it.
    I've actually hated wearing regular shoes in the 3 days since, and was out shopping for 0 drop, minimal ones, yesterday.
    Unfortunately, there's not much(zero!) selection nearby.
    Xero is low on stock right now, but I'm going to order their Terraflex shoes when they get them back in, and may go ahead and order the Prio for the gym, as I'm about to start working out again.
    VideoCapture_20210310-112134.jpg

    20210314_095122.jpg

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by OwenM View Post
    I just came back from doing some hiking in Utah, plus a dash up to Fruita, CO to see the Rattlesnake Arches. My toes were not happy after a few days of doing lots of off camber hiking and steep descents in Canyonlands. Less than halfway into the quickie overnighter in CO, I had to cut open, and take a chunk off, the end of a pinky toe. Along with the one on my other foot, it had previously developed a blister, and they'd both been drained and taped after having a ridge of callous cut off(Canyonlands and my "normal" hiking callouses did not get along very well, apparently).
    After a quick jaunt into Arches at sunset, then some short dayhikes while checking out Canyonlands' Island in the Sky district for the first time, that toe was just done.
    I wasn't though, as I had a day left before flying home, and wanted to use that day go back to Capitol Reef NP.
    A 2 mile roundtrip hike proved to be torture, and I decided to try the Z Trails on a second hike that totaled ~9 miles.
    Nothing. No pain in my toe, no discomfort at all in my feet. From the sandals, anyway. Turns out lightweight merino socks won't protect you from a cactus spine(who knew?!?).
    My lower legs felt like they were pumped full of blood for a little while, but that went away after less than an hour. I've read, in practically every barefoot shoe/sandal review, that you need to work your way into hiking with that kind of footwear, but didn't have any other issues with it.
    I've actually hated wearing regular shoes in the 3 days since, and was out shopping for 0 drop, minimal ones, yesterday.
    Unfortunately, there's not much(zero!) selection nearby.
    Xero is low on stock right now, but I'm going to order their Terraflex shoes when they get them back in, and may go ahead and order the Prio for the gym, as I'm about to start working out again.
    VideoCapture_20210310-112134.jpg

    20210314_095122.jpg
    Going from the footwear to zero drop does take time to adjust. I remember when I first went to wearing VFF I could literally feel my calves "stretching" after being in them for a few hours. But this is a more natural foot posture. Modern footwear is actually very harmful biomechanically.

    Try the New Balance Minimus (trail runner) for a zero drop every day shoe. That's what I wear on and off trail.
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  6. #6

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    Forgot this, but the Z Trail is now the Z Trail EV, though some sizes of the original are still available on clearance.
    The tread has been updated to a more aggressive pattern, which is a plus, IMO, at least for hiking in them.
    20210318_234932.png

  7. #7

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    Recently used the Z Trails for a water crossing, followed by a few hundred yards of hiking to a waterfall, then back through the water crossing.
    Aside from a little casual wear, use as camp shoes, and individual water crossings, they now have maybe 12.5 miles of actual hiking on them.
    The Xero Shoes warranty page is right that you're not likely to ever need the 5000 mile guarantee against wearing through the soles, as they'll probably have fallen apart a hundred times over before seeing that much mileage
    20210416_131641.jpg

    20210416_131703.jpg
    This is not the end of the world, and some Shoe Goo will probably fix these toe sections better than new. Again, not what I want to see at this price point, though.

    In addition to some more supportive 0 drop shoes with greater stack height for the very rocky terrain I typically hike, I now have 2 pairs of Xero shoes: the Prio(for the gym) and Terraflex(mostly casual wear, may do some tame hikes).
    Their quality is also suspect, but they do share one redeeming quality with the sandals. They really are the most comfortable shoes I've ever put my feet into.
    I may have some misgivings about the quality for the price, but my feet couldn't be happier with the arrangement.

  8. #8

    Default

    My Shoe Goo fix from back when I last posted worked well, though there's some separation along the edges again.
    Just got back from another Utah trip Wednesday, this one to the High Uintas Wilderness. More footwear issues put me back in the sandals again, this time for over 32 miles, total, maybe ~35.
    Lots of offtrail hiking, traversing and descending scree fields, wading up drainages, crossing marshy meadows, stuff like that. They were great.
    Ended the trip with a separate overnighter where I used a pair of the Xero Prios that were in my luggage, and much preferred them to both my hiking shoes and the sandals(stability, toe protection, feet don't get filthy, etc). Guess I'm a "barefoot" hiker, now, as that seems to be the only thing my feet can tolerate any more.
    Having given them little thought in the meantime, and not having time to explore other brands or options before leaving on another trip Tuesday, a pair of Xero's Mesa Trails are arriving Monday. Guess I'll see how they hold up to some offtrail routes in the Rockies...

    Anyway, I'm past complaining about the Z Trails' price at this point, and am just happy to have had them along.






    Same for the Prios.


  9. #9

    Default

    I wear the Xero shoes Terra Flex. I absolutely love them for hiking. Way-back-when, I used to dance as a serious hobby (classical ballet), so I was used to being barefoot in my free time. Fast-forward to now: teleworking through the Covid pandemic, I was barefoot at home all the time. Now I just can't wear "real" shoes anymore. Last winter, the only time I wore hiking boots on the trail was when it was icy / wet / freezing weather. I have the Prio for regular stuff like errands.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by One Half View Post
    Going from the footwear to zero drop does take time to adjust. I remember when I first went to wearing VFF I could literally feel my calves "stretching" after being in them for a few hours. But this is a more natural foot posture. Modern footwear is actually very harmful biomechanically.

    Try the New Balance Minimus (trail runner) for a zero drop every day shoe. That's what I wear on and off trail.
    I now wear a Xero shoe every day. Either my Ztrail sandals or my mesa trail shoes. LOVE THEM both.
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by One Half View Post
    I now wear a Xero shoe every day. Either my Ztrail sandals or my mesa trail shoes. LOVE THEM both.
    Nice! I agree; love them!

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