Both of us are obviously huge supporters in Xero Shoes Sandals and the entire minimalist movements, and we have been using/testing out the recently released Amuri Z-Trek Sandal for quite a few months now, so we thought it would be nice to share our thoughts in a product review.
Melissa and I have ran countless miles and tons of races in our DIY Xero Shoes and while we absolutely love them, they obviously have a few drawbacks. A couple of them being that mud decreases your traction, very technical downhill can seem a bit unstable at times, and while water crossings don’t affect your feet as much as shoed runners, pulling your foot through the water can put pressure on the toe string and cause weakening of it.
So when Steven Sashen showed us the demo model of the new Z-Trek sandal, we were stoked to try them out. We got our hands on a pair earlier this year and have put them through some good use. Lots of road and trail runnings, flat and technical terrain, muddy, rainy and even sandy environments, and we can honestly say at this point we are very impressed with how they have held up!
- Not only does this get rid of string between your toes (some people just can’t stand that), but with an extra point of connection to the sole, this boosts the stability and have massive improvements in the way you can trek through muddy terrain!
- Love to run downhill! And when I wore my DIY Xero’s it always felt like I was holding back because I didn’t want to apply too much pressure to the toe post. The Z-Treks strapping system allows you to tighten things up around the ankle so that when you’re running up and downhill, almost all of the pressure is applied there, which feels SO much more stable, and allows you to really pick up the speed on descents!
- We have a new level of confidence dragging our feet through water now in the Z-Trek sandals because of the extra stability and the straps being easier to quickly tighten. They worked so well in fact that we have started using them as our water shoes whenever we go kayaking.
Easy of Use
- The Amuri Z-Trek sandals have a single velcro strap behind the heel which makes them very easy to slip on and off. Adjusting the strapping system will take a few wears to fit them perfectly, but everything moves easily and adjustments only take a second. Short of going back to a useless flip-flop, one of the easiest sandals we’ve used.
- This is to be expected from any sandal made by Xero Shoes but the Z-Treks still allow free barefoot feeling movement in the foot, and can even roll up into the size of … this –>
Compatible with Sox
- While you can wear finger sox with any of the other Xero Shoes, the Z-Treks open up the possibility to wear any type of regular sox you own which can allow them to be used in colder climates.
More Material Contact
- With the extra stability comes extra material, and with extra material in contact with your foot, there are more areas susceptible to rubbing and blisters. All we can say with this is pay attention to where you are feeling these hot spots, first try to adjust the straps, then look into your running form to see if this might be telling you something more subtle.
Not Easy to Fix
- To be honest, we haven’t had to try fixing one of these, but this is an educated guess that the Ztrek sandals would be more difficult to fix if a point of contact were to break. Unlike in the DIY where you can just retie your laces, these would require a more mechanical fix of some sort. Again, just struggling for cons here obviously since this one has never happened to us.
Absolutely! This sport sandal is a blend of all the highlights from the rest of the Xero Shoe line of footwear. Lightweight and flexible, yet sturdy enough to go to work, and on top of it all, they are easy to adjust and fit to your feet! We probably wear our Z-Trek sandals more than anything else we own, and would highly recommend runners, walkers, kayakers, or just about anyone looking for a more natural feeling sandal to give them a try!
Who would the Z-Trek Sandals be perfect for?
- Runners and walkers (obviously!)
- Anyone who does water sports (other than swimming, I don’t know how that would go:S)
- Travellers! Not flimsy and roll up into almost nothing.
If you’ve used the new Z-Trek Sandals from Xero Shoes, we’d love to hear what you thought! Share in the comments or send us an email to share your story!
Mel and Jon
–> If you want to go minimalist but still aren’t sure about running/walking in sandals, you have to check out the new Prio Minimalist Shoes
–> And if you’re curious what other clothing and gear we use while running, read our other Gear Reviews