The “Ultimate Sport Sandal” Indeed
I’ve been following the Xero Shoes journey and reviewing their products since they were Invisible Shoes so many years ago. I’ve always loved their approach to minimalism and found their shoes comfortable, versatile, and with an excellent feel to the ground. Although there are many “lace between the toes” huarachae-style designed sandals on the market, there are very few minimalist sandals without this ubiquitous styling and I’m always on the lookout for sandal options. The Xero Shoes Amuri Z-Trek are amazingly comfortable, so easy to get on and off, stay in place and have one of the best combinations of traction and ground feel of any shoe I’ve reviewed so far. I adore them and am grateful to have such an amazing shoe in my minimalist shoe tool box.
Price: $59.99 USD
Width: Average to Wide
Sole Thickness: 5.5 mm
Drop: 0 mm
Weight: 165 grams or 5.8 ounces
Insole: None Included
Sizing: 6–14; Full sizes only; Two widths: narrower in women’s, wider in men’s
Category: Sport/Running Sandal
Comfort & Fit
The Z-Trek sandal is amazingly comfortable! The footbed rubber has just enough texture that your foot stays very well in place on it and doesn’t slide around even with some moisture, be it sweat or lake/river water. The straps are thick with rounded edges and placed in just the right locations so my feet barely even feel them while walking or running in them.
You cannot go wrong with the fit of these shoes. Xero Shoes provides templates of all their sizes so it’s easy to find the right size, in addition to succinct written and video instructions. The shoes have an adjustable heel strap with a long length of Velcro to get just the right feel on the back of your foot. The long strap across the top of your foot attaches at three points: The first laces through the rubber of the footbed and does not slide through easily, providing a secure fit across the metatarsals. The second easily slides through a kirsite loop so the strap has some movement across the top of the foot through to the last clip on the lateral side of the foot. This is an excellent feature that keeps the strap from feeling binding across the top of the foot. The last clip is also made of kirsite (a rust-proof metal alloy) with a hook on one side and a feed-through loop on the other. The hook slides into a soft, faux-suede-like material on the outside of the foot. You can get as tight or as a loose a fit as you like with the feed-through top-half of this clip and the lace stays securely in place for multiple wears. I’ve only had to retighten that portion twice after several weeks of wear.
The heel cup is a very nice touch to these running sandals. The only time I’ve noticed it is walking uphill steep grades. It doesn’t feel like the heel cup is the only thing keeping the sandal on your foot but it does provide some security at the back of the foot that there is only so far your foot is going to move on the footbed. As mentioned earlier, the texture of the footbed is grippy itself so the foot doesn’t slide around even if wet. The heel cup does keep debris from getting under your feet at the back, however, in addition to adding some accent colour to the overall style.
One of the aspects that I love the most about these sandals is how easy they are to get on and off. There is no stretching of laces over you heel or refastening of Velcro every time you wear them. The lateral clip design is genius and has never come open while wearing the sandals after weeks of wear. And these shoes stay on! I’ve walked in a moderate river current and had no fear of them coming off or folding under at the top.
Barefoot Feel & Function
Like all Xero Shoes products, the Z-Trek’s ground feel is incredible. You can feel everything underfoot and yet sharp rock edges are not a concern because there is 5.5 mm of durable rubber between your foot and cutting edges.
Another aspect I adore of these sandals is their amazing traction. I’ve walked on slime-coated river rocks and kept my footing easily! They have sufficient grip for all smooth man-made surfaces I’ve tested on as well as wet and dry natural surfaces.
Weighing in just under 6 ounces, they are not the lightest minimalist sandals I’ve reviewed but I still consider them lightweight for minimalist shoes. They are perfectly balanced so their weight feels evenly distributed throughout, even considering the extra material in the heel cup.
The upper strapping is a round-edged nylon webbing with a strong, durable feel and just the right thickness and width for extreme comfort across the top of the foot. The faux-suede, non-stretch material on the sides of the sandal and the edges of the webbing provides a great accent of colour but also a soft feel against the skin. The metal clips are in locations that are completely unobtrusive to natural foot movement and while wearing, I’ve never felt them.
Although I have not put them in the washing-machine, I’m sure all the materials are machine-friendly but I would definitely air dry them. My sandal washing has all been done in the river close to my house and despite getting quite muddy, washed easily in the water just by walking through it.
The 5.5 mm FeelTrue® outsole is the perfect thickness for great ground feel and protection from sharp edges. The material is super flexible and easily folds flat or into a roll. There is no arch support of any kind in this sandal.
The quality of the materials and manufacturing is impeccable. The seams are all solid and lay flat with the folded-over edges on the outside of the sandal rather than against the skin. The upper materials are thick and wide, and are going to last a very long time. The Xero Shoes FeelTrue® outsole comes with a 5,000 mile warranty! I don’t know of any other warranty like that in the whole minimalist shoe market.
I love the sport sandal style of these amazing-looking sandals! Their casual, unisex styling belies their rugged capabilities and extreme versatility in function. Their colour accents in the upper materials, stitching, and the heel cup are excellent and thoughtful touches.
For warm-weather use, I’m having a hard time thinking of a use where you wouldn’t want to wear these sandals… perhaps mountain climbing (although my spouse would probably try that too). These are excellent footwear from anything to dog walks around town, running on forest trails, or wading through lakes and rivers. They are as comfortable on man-made surfaces as they are on just about anything nature can provide in its warmer weather (including slime-coated rocks—I know because I’ve tried).
For colder temperatures, you can even wear socks with these sandals (gasp!) and they don’t even have to be toe socks (although that’s what I wore to try this particular style because that’s all I have and, when the sandals arrived, I couldn’t wait to try them out and it was a bit chilly out ).
At $59.99 USD plus shipping, they are priced at the low end of minimalist shoes and the mid-range of sport sandals in general. Considering their high-quality upper materials and unheard-of 5,000 mile outsole warranty, I think this is an excellent price and great value for these sandals.
The Xero Shoes Amuri Z-Trek sandals have been a joy to discover and review. I prefer more of a function-over-fashion shoe type but these sandals have both! I love their great ground feel, secure fit, incredible ease of getting on and off, superior traction, extreme comfort, and incredible versatility in use. Their casual styling suits almost any warm-weather activity well and their rugged construction and durability means these sandals are going to last for many seasons to come. They allow the foot to function naturally while walking or running. Priced at $59.99, they are well-priced in the minimalist shoe market as well as the sport sandal market in general.
To find our more about the Xero Shoes Amuri Z-Trek sandals or to buy your very own pair, check out http://xeroshoes.com.