Xero Z-Trail Hiking Sandals Review

Xero Z-Trail Hiking Sandals Review - triptothewild.com
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Quick Overview






  • Robust and grippy soles
  • Very lightweight
  • Easy to store
  • Great ‘ground feel’
  • Can be folded


  • Low toe strap
  • Can be tricky to take off and put on
  • Pricey

The Xero Z-Trail hiking sandal is great for those who love to go hiking or exploring in nature but don’t really enjoy wearing a pair of chunky, often uncomfortable, hiking boots. Sandals will always be more breathable than boots, which is important when you’re doing any strenuous outdoor activity, since your feet are bound to get sweaty.

We’re going to take a look at the Xero Z-Trails in detail and how they perform outdoors. Hopefully, we will help you determine whether or not they’re worth purchasing. Read on for more.

Xero Z-Trail Hiking Sandals

The Z-Trail by Xero is a hiking sandal that is designed to be much lighter than most other sport and hiking sandals out there, while still providing all the comfort and protection you could ask for. There are many advantages to wearing hiking sandals as opposed to boots, with the most obvious being that your feet can breathe more.

Hiking is tough, and it’s usually quite sweaty, so having the breathability of a hiking sandal is a huge bonus. The Z-Trail is essentially a padded sole with some straps that go over the feet to secure the sandal to your foot.

They aren’t just made for hiking, though. Xero Shoes markets them as being perfect for running, water activities, simply walking, and even yoga classes.

Who are These Sandals for?

If you’re a lover of the outdoors, then the chances are high that you’ll appreciate these sandals. They’re especially useful, as we’ve mentioned before, for people who don’t feel comfortable when wearing hiking boots but who still want adequate protection for their feet when they’re outdoors.

The Z-Trail sandals come with an incredibly comfortable, tubular webbing that has no hard edges, so your feet will remain comfortable for as long as you have them on. The Z-pattern is adjustable so that you can get just the right tension over your foot, across it, and behind your heels.

They’re also great for folks who don’t mind getting their feet wet. If you enjoy hiking near - or even through - creeks, rivers, and ponds, then you’ll find that the Z-Trail sandals work perfectly, since they drain and dry quickly. And they are easy to clean

If you’re on a budget, then you may want to consider some alternatives (which we will discuss a bit later). The Z-Trails are not the cheapest pair of hiking sandals out there, but the cost is well worth it.

Don’t like fussing with laces or velcro straps? No problem. All the lacing is already done for you, so all you need to do is slip your foot in, make any adjustments to ensure that your feet are secured, and get going.

What’s Included?

Other than the sandals themselves, there are no extras that come with the Z-Trails when you order them.

Overview of Features

There’s a lot to like about these shoes, and Xero spared no expense when designing and developing them. They are contoured quite elegantly so that your feet are adequately surrounded, but they are not supported unnecessarily.

While having a non-elevated sole on a sandal can be quite beneficial in terms of comfort, some people find that they rely on the extra support to remain stable during their hikes. There is no sole elevation on the Z-Trails, so if that’s something that you can’t live without, then these probably aren’t the shoes for you.

All of the nylon hardware found on these shoes is rust-proof, so you can walk through water with confidence. The footbed also dries rather quickly, so you won’t have to worry about walking around with wet feet for very long.

The FeelLite outsole is 10mm thick, which is more than enough to protect your feet from tricky surfaces and terrains, while still being thin enough to provide a great ‘ground feel’. With that being said, you’ll still want to be careful when traversing over rocks, cliffs, or other sharp terrains, as the outsole might not be thick enough to protect you from sharp objects.

The Z-Trails are one of the lightest hiking sandals ever created, with a Men’s size 9 weighing in at a measly 5.4 ounces each. This is great for storing them in a backpack or similar bag, since they are also flexible enough to be rolled up and packed away, saving even more space.

How to Wear Xero Z-Trail Hiking Sandals

There’s no special methodology for wearing the Xero Z-Trail sandals. Just slip them on and get hiking. Or running. Or walking. It’s really that simple!


Of course, the Xero Z-Trail sandals won’t be for everyone. There are one or two alternatives that are quite similar to these shoes, but with some key differences.

If you feel that the Z-Trails are too expensive, then you could consider purchasing the Columbia Men’s Santiam 2 sandals. They are quite a bit less expensive while still offering similar foot support, thanks to their robust straps and thick footbed.

If you’re looking for something just as lightweight as the Z-Trails, while providing a little extra support to the bottoms of your feet, then you might like the Teva Men’s M Hurricanes. They have a slightly elevated heel, and they are slightly less expensive, as well.

Additionally, they are available in more colors. Teva is one of the most iconic brands out there, so you can be confident that their shoes offer high quality.

Final Verdict

As you can see, there’s quite a lot to like about these hiking sandals. They’re light, comfortable, and easy to store. They are very comfortable during hikes and are also great for any aquatic adventures you might go on. Their only real drawback is how flimsy they can feel. After all, they’re less than 6 ounces.

They’re also quite pricey, so hikers on a budget might have to look elsewhere. We hope that this review has been useful in helping you make an informed decision.

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