“I love these sandals!” It’s what my husband hears every time I come home from walking in my Z-Trail sandals by Xero Shoes. Why? They’re outrageously comfortable, durable, lightweight… and they’re 100% vegan.
I walk a lot. When I’m traveling, I walk as much as possible to get a feel for a place. Walking is right up with kayaking as my favorite form of exercise. The right shoes for walking have long eluded me. I’ve walked miles in my Teva sandals while traveling, and tried several brands of running shoes for fitness walking. My trusty Tevas are finally wearing out, and I don’t really like running shoes. I wore running shoes for fitness walking because I thought my knees, damaged by 10 years of martial arts, needed shoes with padding and support… but I was wrong!
When I lived in San Diego, I often walked barefoot on the beach. I love the idea of going barefoot, but the trails I walked in San Diego and the roads I now walk in Guatemala are a too rough for that. At one point I tried toe shoes, which are supposed to give a barefoot feel, but didn’t like them.
In March, Xero Shoes got a rare endorsement from Randy Cassingham in his This Is True newsletter (I’ve been a premium subscriber for many years). I saw Xero had a special introductory deal for their new Z-Trail sandals. They seemed like just the right sandal for me… and they are!
There’s a ton of information about barefoot sandals on the Xero Shoes site, so I won’t go into that. What I can say is that design of the sandals allows me to adjust my foot position and stride while walking in a way that I couldn’t with any other shoes. I’ve now walked many miles in my Z-Trails, and my knees couldn’t be happier. I no longer have to think about adjusting my foot position–it’s automatic. I can walk with no knee pain and gone are the aching knees I used to get after long walks.
It took a couple of walks to get the sandals adjusted correctly. Xero Shoes has nice videos to guide you through the process. After you get them adjusted correctly, you don’t have to keep messing with them.
The sandals made by Xero Shoes aren’t just for walking. The Z-Trail sandals are so comfortable that I wear them everywhere–and often forget that I have them on. They’re great for driving, too, as I normally drive barefoot.
I also bought a pair of their Amuri Venture sandals. They are also extremely comfortable, but don’t work as well for me on the rough roads. The Ventures have replaced my flip-flops and are my kayaking sandals.
The sandals have a 5,000 mile warranty for the soles. Since the rough roads in Guatemala have worn through the soles of several pair of running shoes, I look forward to seeing how my Z-Trails fare in the long run.
Note: I have not received compensation of any kind for this article. I’m just a happy customer who wants to share the joy.