Are you looking for a pair of top-quality minimal shoes that are ideal for CrossFit, running, or working out, but are stylish enough that you can just wear them around town when out with friends or doing errands? Yes? Thought so.
Then you’ll need to seriously consider Xero barefoot shoes. They’re kind of new to the scene, but they make some top-quality minimalist shoes that are ideal for CrossFit if you want to have lots of feel and grip on the floor.
If you’re tried something like the Inov-8 Bare, New Balance Minimus, or the Merrell Trail Glove and liked them, then you may appreciate this alternative option.
Keep on reading our buying guide, packed with information to help you decide if it’s the right option for your next WOD. Or, just head over the company’s website to find out more about them: Xero Shoes.
Xero Shoes (Prio) Barefoot Shoes Review
Let’s be real here. Minimal or barefoot shoes are certainly not for everyone. Some people hate them, while there are others who are ALL about them and swear by them for running, CrossFit workouts, and just about everything for that matter.
If you hate them, then you’re probably not going to want to try out these shoes. But, if you like them, or are just curious about what this style of shoes are like, then Xero shoes might be ones to consider.
They do have a bit more support than true barefoot shoes, and are still shaped (kind of) like normal workout or running shoes. So, they’re quite a nice transition away from regular shoes that have a ton of padding. Many people who try these ones like them so much that they plan on using them for life!
The main advantage to these minimal shoes is that they’re very light in weight. As all hikers know, an ounce on your feet is like a pound in your backpack. If you’re running, hiking or doing just about any kind of workout, then it’s certainly easier to move your feet when they don’t have a clunky shoe on them weighing you down.
Good Feel for the Ground
We have sensors on our feet that are designed to be in contact with the ground and to give feedback to the rest of our body. Our toes, when they have room to spread out in a roomy toe box can also give a ton of information to our bodies.
These shoes allow for that in a big way. You’ll probably notice a huge difference when compared to normal running shoes that have lots of padding and that confine your toes into a space that is quite small.
Combine that with the flexible soles, and your feet are able to move in a more natural way.
Wider Than Normal Running Shoes
If you have wider feet, then you may love Xero Shoes. They are wider than normal running or cross training shoes and are designed to be a bit roomier.
They might also be an option if you have some foot issues and find regular athletic shoes uncomfortable because they’re too tight. It’s certainly something to consider.
One of the things we found a nice touch about these shoes is that there’s a 2 mm removable insole. If you want a little bit of padding and space between your feet and the ground, leave it in.
However, if you want to feel likes there’s basically nothing there, then take it out and you’ll have amazing ground feel with them. Which option you decide on is really up to you! It’s mostly a matter of ground feel. Some want more, while other wants less!
When you’re just getting started with minimal shoes, you may want to stick with the insole. However, as you get used to them more, you could experiment with taking it out and seeing how it feels and how your body reacts. As with any barefoot shoes, start small at first and work your way up to longer periods of time with them.
Design of the Upper
The other reason why you might consider Xeroshoes over some of the competition is their upper. The integrated lacing system allows you to form fit these shoes to your feet. Once you lace them up, it’s like your feet are locked in their and they won’t ship around when running or doing other exercises.
Plus, they’re also easy to remove. It seems like the company has overcome the problems with the lacing that many other barefoot shoe makers have had.
Better than Other Established Minimalist Designs?
If you compare Xero running shoes to most of the other barefoot options out there, they come out on top. It’s like the company has taken all the complaints that people have had about other minimal shoes seriously and then designed the ultimate shoe based on that.
We want to love barefoot shoes and we’ve tried them all. Except that most of us just don’t find them that comfortable or solid enough on our feet for more than just walking around town in them. These prio shoes are the exception. They are grippy, solid on the lacing, and have enough protection on the outsole to use them for running, lifting or other workouts.
Overall, the Prio has been a great first effort at a running shoe for this company and we’re excited to see what other models they come out with. Their future certainly looks bright!
Keep your Feet Dry and Comfortable
Are you the type of person who always has super hot and sweaty feet on a run or during a workout? Then you’ll certainly want to consider the Prio from Xero Shoes. It has a ton of airflow and we’d be surprised if you had any blisters or hot spots, even from a long run in very hot weather.
Despite the air flow, it’s well designed and we found that little rocks and sand didn’t get inside the shoe easily. It compares to a normal pair of running shoes in this regard.
However, it’s likely not the shoe for running in when it’s raining heavily. But, we know most people keep a pair of old runners for this purpose anyway, so it’s likely not a problem!
- 5.5 mm TrueFeel rubber allows you to get feedback from the ground
- Optional 2 mm insole. Take it out if you want a more “barefoot” feel
- Around 7 ounces in weight, far lighter than some traditional cross-trainers or runners
- Secure fit with heel and instep straps
- For use with, or without socks
- 100% vegan friendly materials
- 5000 mile sole warranty
- Not waterproof but highly breathable and should dry very quickly
- 45-day return policy
- Top-notch customer service
Do they sound like the right pair of minimal shoes for your next CrossFit or gym workout? We love them here at Best CrossFit Shoes and we’re confident that you probably will as well.
Click the button below to check them and don’t forget to see if they’re eligible for free shipping:
Note about Sizing
Please note that Xero shoes run about a half size small, so order a half size up if you like a close fit, or a full size up if you prefer it to be a bit roomier. For example, if you normally wear a size 9, opt for a 9.5 or 10.
They do fit a bit wider than normal. However, if you’re a women with especially wide feet, then consider going with men’s shoes.
Then company does offer free size exchanges on US orders.
Xero Minimalist Shoe Pros
- Lightweight and probably the lightest shoe you’ll ever wear!
- Super comfortable for most people
- Nice ground feel and contact
- If you’re looking for a zero drop shoe for whatever reason, this makes a nice option
- Decent level of heel support and stability
- Super grippy outsole but some reports of slipping while running on wet surfaces
- Great customer service
- Roomy toe box makes them ideal for weightlifters
- They’re vegan for those who prefer shoes not made with leather
- Contains a removable insole for those that like a bit more padding in their shoes
- Reflective straps makes them ideal for running at night
- Great airflow
Xero Barefoot Shoes Cons
- Minimal shoes are not for everyone
- Some issues with durability according to the reviews on Amazon (we’ve personally had no problems)
- They run a little bit small, so order a half size or size up if in doubt about sizing
- Little bit clunky looking in terms of design
Xero Shoes Prio Review
Check out this short video for information, as well as pros and cons about the Xero Prio:
Xero Shoes Reviews Online
“The sole is simple, but durable and they also have a nice warranty on it as well. The general design is nice and although the shoe is kind of roomy, my feet feel pretty secure in them. I use them for quick jogs, at the gym, and when doing errands or playing sports with the kids. I’d definitely buy another pair!”
“Very well made and also quite comfortable. They’re roomier and wider than other barefoot style shoes. Please note: they really do run quite small so pay attention to that fact when you’re ordering them. I made that mistake and had to do an exchange (free in the US).”
“Impressed and unlike most other minimal shoes I’ve tried, these ones don’t have any big issues as far as I can see. I like the little bit of padding, which means that you can use them on just about any surface, including on the trail or at the gym. The way they’re designed with the zero drop means they’re just easier on the body.”
Are these Barefoot Shoes Ideal for CrossFit?
If you take a look around your box during your next WOD, you’ll probably notice that there is a ton of variation for what people have on their feet. You can see everything from barefoot shoes like these ones to weightlifting shoes.
Of course, most people stick with something in the middle: crosstrainers, or specialized CrossFit shoes like the Nike Metcon 4 or Reebok Nano 8. That’s because in a single workout you may lift weight, climb ropes, do box jumps and wall handstands, and sprints. You need a versatile shoe that can rise to the challenge.
What about Xero shoes for CrossFit? If you prefer a minimal shoe for this kind of workout, then you’ll probably like this one. The zero heel to toe drop and grippy sole makes them ideal for lifting, while the little bit of padding means that they’re good enough for sprints and jumps.
Just about the only issue we have with very minimal shoes for this kind of workout is the lack of lateral support for dynamic movements. If it’s not a big deal to you, then it could certainly work well.
Xero Shoes: The Ultimate Choice for a CrossFit Wod?
Do you want to know whether or not Xero Shoes Prio is the best choice for CrossFit? Check out this video below to find out all the details you need to know.
Of course, there are a ton of other great options for those looking for CrossFit shoes besides these prio shoes. Perhaps you’re looking for a more traditional cross-trainer? Or a study lifting shoe? We have them all!
Here are some more of our top picks for CrossFit shoes:
What Can I Use Xero Shoes For?
Basically, you can use these shoes for just about anything. In the product description, the company mentions that you can use these workout shoes for the following:
- Road running
- Light trail running
- Working out
When You’re on Your Feet All Day
We’d all that they’re also perfect for those long days when you’ll be walking around doing things. For example, if you want a stylish pair of shoes that are comfortable to wear to a concert or festival where you’ll be on your feet all day. Or, if you can wear athletic shoes to work, these also might be an option for you.
Although they don’t have a ton of padding on them like traditional athletic shoes, they are very comfortable and we found that our feet weren’t as fatigued and sore in them as compared to normal shoes, even after a long day.
Many people who lift weights prefer a zero drop shoe. This is because it can provide a more stable platform when doing deadlifts or squats.
Although Xero shoes don’t provide a ton of support, some people actually don’t want that in a lifting shoe. If this is the case for you, consider trying these ones out.
You’ll be able to spread your toes wide, get a good grip on the floor, and bend deeply into your squats.
The Takeaway on Xero Minimal Shoes
If you’re looking for a pair of barefoot shoes for running, CrossFit, or anything active, then Xero shoes should be at the top of your list. In terms of design and quality, they are among the best that we’ve seen.
However, barefoot shoes are certainly not for everyone. Some people require or prefer more padding and support during their workouts, so please keep this in mind before purchasing them.
If you’re just getting started with minimal shoes, these ones may be a nice pick or you. They do have a little bit of padding (leave the insole in), and are shaped and feel kind of like regular training shoes.
However, as with any minimal shoes, start small and don’t run for hours in them the first time using them! We recommend wearing them around the house at first, then for short runs or workouts. When you get used to after after 3-4 weeks, begin using them like a normal pair of athletic shoes.
Where Can I Get Them?
If you want to learn more about them, then head on over to the company website. Click the button below to see the full range of size, color and style options for Xero shoes:
Does the Company Sell Other Minimal Shoe Products?
The company does indeed sell other products. You can find a range of sandals, casual shoes and hikers. Here are some of our top picks.
Women’s Xero Shoes:
Men’s Xero Shoes:
Have your Say about Xero CrossFit Shoes
What are your thoughts about this Xero Minimalist Shoes review? A winner, or do you prefer more traditional workout shoes? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you
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I am proud to be a Xero Shoes affiliate and may receive compensation for referring the Xero Shoes brand.
Last update on 2022-05-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API