Shoe Review: Xero Xcursions
Like everyone else, my life has been seriously interrupted by COVID. But maybe unlike everyone else, the result is that I’m homeless and don’t know where I’ll be living this winter.
When the pandemic hit, we were in Mexico and planning to spend the next couple of years travelling slowly towards the tip of South America.
We decided to fly back to Canada to shelter with my mother in Alberta and to wait to see what would happen. It gave me the chance to spend more time with my mom, shelter in safety, and explore the beautiful mountains of Western Canada.
We knew when we flew back that we’d want to do as much hiking and backpacking as possible so we brought all our gear home.
But I quickly realized that my hiking sandals might be great for Mexico but they really don’t work for the Rockies. 300 metres into our very first hike we hit a snow patch almost a metre deep and had to turn around. On a rainy hike my feet got cold and stayed cold – I was only grateful it wasn’t a backpacking trip! And then we started scrambling on scree slopes covered in loose, slippery rocks. I love my hiking sandals but they weren’t cut out for this type of hiking.
So when Xero Shoes contacted me to ask if I’d like to try a pair of their shoes, I jumped at the chance and asked for a pair of their Xero Xcursion hiking boots.
Since then, I spent August testing them by hiking and backpacking in the Rockies, the Purcells and the Bugaboos, in Jasper, Banff, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks. Including a bunch of backpacking trips carrying a 37lb backpack on 12-20k plus days with lots of vertical and loose scree! Here’s my review – and some of my favourite exercises to make hiking feel better and be safer!
Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I recommended.
So the short review is: I LOVE THESE BOOTS! It was a game changer for me to get to enjoy a day hiking in the rain and finish up with perfectly dry feet. I refuse to wear traditional clunky hiking boots that are so terrible for our feet (if you’re new to learning about minimal footwear, check out this blog post for some info). These boots are super light, super comfortable and made me feel super charged on all the crazy mountain terrain.
Here are a few notes to keep in mind before I share my full review (and my 3 fave exercises for before, during and after a hike).
These boots fit a bit small. I’m normally a 7.5 and I took an 8 in these. I might even go up a bit more for days when I want to wear my heaviest wool hiking socks. I took out the insole which definitely helps.
The toe box is a bit narrower than I would like – they work great for my feet but not if I want to add my CorrectToes, which I do. If you have wide feet and/or want to add CorrectToes, consider sizing up a bit or choosing a men’s style. Unless you’re a man, of course.
The soles are on the stiffer side and for me that’s a huge bonus. My feet are tricky and big days on intense textures with a heavy pack can hurt me. So the stiffness felt protective. And to be clear, there’s still waaaaaay more groundfeel and flexibility than in a ‘normal’ hiking boot.
Overall, I think these would be best for anyone who’s used to ‘normal’ hiking boots and wants to transition to more minimal shoes, or for anyone who’s made the transition and who wants to increase their hiking distances and loads. If you’re already fully adapted to minimal and big hikes, you might prefer something that’s got a more flexible sole.
Alright: without further ado, here’s my review – and some sweet exercises to remember for your next hike!
Wanna try ‘em out?
I love Xero Shoes as a company. They walk their talk and have done so much to promote the awesomeness of minimal shoes! And I love my Xero Xcursions too. I love them so much, in fact, that I decided to represent Xero as an affiliate (the first time I’ve ever done this!). If you’re looking for some great minimal hiking boots – or any other great minimal shoes for that matter – you can check out Xero Shoes right here.
I’m so happy I got these boots! I’ll always love hiking in sandals but these are perfect for me to round out my hiking shoe ‘wardrobe’. They mean I can really enjoy big days and unpredictable Alpine weather without worrying about cold toes.
We’re still trying to figure out our next steps – our hiking trip in August made us realize that it’s time to make some decisions.
Right now, we’re hoping to fly to Mexico to get the truck as soon as we launch my new foot course, Build Better Feet. Then we’ll sneak in a few months surfing over the winter, before we head to Canada in the spring to make a new home and end our travels for the time being. It’s sad to say goodbye to our travelling dreams – but exciting to think of all the amazing hiking and exploring that lies in store for us! Stay tuned for where our adventures go next!
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Petra is a movement educator and personal trainer with a passion for helping people find greater ease, joy and health in their bodies. She believes that better movement can help every body – and she’s always happy to chat about it. When she’s not teaching, you’ll probably find her hanging out on a set of monkey bars.