XERO is my hero

I’ll be upfront with you. I like minimalist shoes. I was never that girl who had to talk herself into a pair of Vibram Five Fingers, because I wasn’t worried about how weird they look. I just liked what they did for my feet, body and health. I always let my freak flag fly, especially when it comes to improving my health or singing karaoke.

But wonderful minimalist sandals aren’t always easy to find. A couple years back, Teva quit making their Zilch model, which I adored. I didn’t even wear them as much as I wanted because I knew when they wore out, I’d be in a crumpled heap on the floor. Sandal-less and bereft. So I worried and wondered and was holding out for a hero.

I never got a hero, but I did get a Xero.

(Oh, you say it “zero”, in case you were wondering.)

A little back story:
I purchased my first pair of Xeros–the ultra-minimalist-do-it-yourself huarache–because I didn’t want to spend tons of scratch and wanted to make sure that this shoe was one I’d be interested in a long term relationship with. $24 later and I had a sweet pair of 4mm-thick soles under my feet, held on by a psychedelic green shoe lace. That’s minimal, man.


The simple, super affordable Do-It-Yourself-Huaraches can be tricked out in infinite combos.

I loved those shoes–so much so that I wore through the laces two days before heading to Mexico. Fortunately for my feet, I had recently moved to the town in Colorado where Xero Shoes is headquartered. So I drove over to their offices to buy some new laces and ended up talking myself into a spiffy pair of their Amuri Z-Trek Sandals for my trip to Cancun, thinking I’d give them a whirl for a few days.


Wrong. I put them on and they didn’t leave my feet for 14 days. They. were. awesome.

I made the acquaintance of the co-owner of Xero Shoes, Steven Sashen, when I was impulse-buying my Amuris. If you ever feel glum, go hang around Steven’s office for awhile–dude’s a tight bundle of positive energy and happiness. Check out his spot-on video about barefoot runners here. So we were talking about new developments in the Xero world, and he told me about his latest trail sandal that was in development.  Three months later he gave me a pair to try.

Can I get an OMG?

Meet the Umara™ Z-Trail. 6-badass-ounces of the best sport sandal I’ve ever put on and hit the trail in.


The Umara™ Z-Trail has a cool new triple-layered sole called the FeelLight™ that’s only an amazing 10mm but has your back, dude. The layer closest to your paws–BareFoam™–has just enough squish to welcome your toes without making you feel like you’re walking on the moon. The second two layers, TrailFoam™ and FeelTrue®, smooths out the bumps and edges of the trail while providing serious ground grip and gives you unparalleled protection in a minimalist trail sandal. If you’re on the trail for hours, those sharp rocks can add up to wear you down. It’s nice to have protection at the abrasion points and still be able to feel the ground.

These are the shoes you hit the hard trails in. I have worn them on cement, gravel, rocks, dry dirt and wet mud so far (it’s supposed to snow next week, so you’ll see me prancing around like Rudolph in them sometime soon!), and they provide traction and grip, all the while fitting close to your sole like a second skin. Playing in this shoe is like finding Mr. Right. Like a hero for your feet. No, a Xero for your feet. And as an added bonus for those of you who care deeply about what a shoe looks like, the Umara™ Z-Trail will fill your needs. Muy, muy atractivo!

But wait, there’s more.

Xero Shoes is a real live shoe company owned by and staffed with some of the nicest folks you’ll meet. The owners, Steven and his wife Lena Phoenix, are wholly committed to natural movement. The company is small but progressive, and their designs evolve as nimbly as their shoes allow your feet to move. As a long time barefoot/minimalist shoe aficionado, I’m vicariously proud of what they produce and more than pleased with their caring and prompt customer service.


Steven, Amuri & Umara

The Umara™ Z-Trail are ready this March, just in time for your Spring outings. They come in Mocha/Black/Coffee, Red Pepper/Charcoal/Black, and Black/Charcoal.

Oh, and did I mention that Xeros come with a 5,000 mile warranty? Grab your pair right here!






Comments (2)

  1. Pamela Thedos says:

    I could hear your voice reading this story which made it even better!

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