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Xero Shoes Terraflex Review

March 17, 2021
Bill Kimball

how does xero shoes terraflex do on rocks

I have worn their Z-Trail sandal, Z-Trek sandal, the Hana, and now the TerraFlex. As mentioned before, be smart with your transition to minimalist shoes and take your time. I use these shoes for everyday wear, trail running, hiking, and backpacking.

They do offer half sizes all the way up to size 12, but like most other companies, after that only offer whole sizes. I normally wear wide shoes but the Xero Shoes are designed to offer plenty of toe wiggle room. My toes have just enough room but probably not as much as a more normal width foot would. The shoe is designed to allow for plenty of toe movement yet at the same time utilizing the reflective heel and instep straps to help lock in those areas of the foot. It is also a pretty flexible shoe which allows the foot to move freely and mold to any terrain encountered.

Review Of The Daylite Hiker By Xero Shoes

We started with a 6 mile gradual descent to our campsite by the river in the valley. I was pleasantly surprised that the soles offered significantly more cushioning against sharp stuff on the trail than the Z-Trails sandals. So, I felt the difference in my calves early on the descent. And with their warranty, you’ll likely have these shoes for a long time. An aggressive tread and grippy outsole give this shoe what it needs to take on the woods, fields and trails. Like the Prio, the Terraflec has a FeelTrue® rubber sole.

  • Now able to put that experience into words Chris G is our resident camping, backpacking, and hammock specialist.
  • The wide toe box gives your fore foot a natural freedom of movement and flexibility.
  • Upon completion of the Test Series the writer is permitted to keep the product.
  • I still feel like I heel strike while hiking in the shoes, but I am conscious of this and trying to work on changing my gait to more of a forefoot strike.
  • We had a few water crossings and I chose to leave the TerraFlex shoes on instead of switching to crocs or going barefoot, as some in the group chose to do.
  • You can add thicker socks, if needed, during the colder weather.

However, if you are an experienced minimalist style runner/hiker/backpacker and have strong feet you will enjoy this shoe. Those seeking an entry minimal style backpacking shoe would enjoy offerings from Altra and Inov-8 instead. I was honestly considering the TerraFlex as my thru-hiking shoe for my 2019 Appalachian Trail attempt, but after my last backpacking trip in North Georgia that idea quickly vanished.

What Are Minimalist Shoes?

Receive new Members-only content, gain access to 2,000+ articles in the archives, and become a part of the most passionate community of backpacking experts in the world. Oh, and its not actually clear what is the difference between the Trail and non trail models.

I plan to use the TerraFlex hiking, trail running, and for daily wear. Most of my use will take place in the Southern United States. I plan on testing their durability both of the upper and the sole. They have a 5000 mile guarantee on the sole, and I don’t envision putting that many miles on them, but will get enough to get a feel for the durability of the sole.

Since my Field Report the weather turned hot and somewhat dryer but it has still been a wetter than normal summer. As a result my hiking was limited to early morning or late afternoon exercise hikes with the exception of one overnighter on September 1, 2018. This would be the hike to The Walls of Jericho in northeastern Alabama. On this trip the high was around 85 F and it was very humid.

There are many factors, specifically long term durability and quality issues, that take time, miles, and patience in order to review. But for the most part, I can tell if I’m going to like a shoe within the first half mile of a run. The idea of running in sandals fascinates me, even though I’m still not entirely convinced I won’t break my toe while doing so. Therefore, a more traditional “shoe”, like the new Xero TerraFlex is more up my alley, and I was MORE than happy to review a pair. I did not have the same complete lack of traction while running and hiking in mud. I think I will stick to using them on soft trails that are mostly dry. My final complaint is with the traction of the shoes on wet rock or roots.

The Barefoam and sole dampened the sharpness of trail debris but did not hide it. Overall they were great and any downsides can be placed on the trail itself. At the end of the first day, the soles of my feet were in agony but they had just hiked 17 miles on tarmac and my wife’s feet were just as sore in here well padded boots. A little calf soreness the next day which went away after the first mile or so and the shoes felt great on every terrain except tarmac, which wasn’t a major issue again until the last day.

I would occasionally feel a small rock or root in the trail but most of the time they went unnoticed. They really do flex in relation to the shape of the terrain, allowing my feet to hug the ground as I walked over uneven surfaces. This was especially noticeable on the hard rocky creek bed, whether I was in or out of the water.


When running in a minimal shoe for the first time, please take care to build up your distance and leg strength gradually. Running will feel different to what you may be used to and I wouldn’t want you to get injured before you ever got the chance to adjust properly to this new way of running. Having support, whether it be in the arch, heel or ankle means that you’re not working those muscles as you should be. Continued running with support will weaken these areas and you’ll never fix the root of any foot or leg injuries you may be getting. It’s very rare that you can have a breathable material that’s also waterproof, the science just doesn’t work. A waterproof shoe can be great if you’re running in cold and wet conditions but the protection will come with some drawbacks in other scenarios.

This is a common theme amongst all Xero shoes and a key aspect for minimal running. Our feet don’t have an elevated heel, so why would shoes, that should only act as an extension to our feet include a heel like this? Once again it’s a cure, in this case, to try and soften the pain caused by running with a heel strike. Something that many runners suffer from, due to running in shoes with elevated heels.

I did a short walk in them and I like how they felt. I can definitely feel everything that is under my feet – rocks, grass, sticks, all of it.

how does xero shoes terraflex do on rocks

My trails are pretty rocky so I like the extra protection for sharp rocks you sometimes feel through the shoe. One of my biggest complaints about Xero shoes is the sizing seems to vary so much from one style of shoe to the next. The website provides sizing charts and tips and you should pay close attention to this information. Most of their shoes run small and the TerraFlex is no exception.

If you are in the market for a good pair of minimalist trail shoes, take a look at these TerraFlex by XERO Shoes. They are a great pair of trail shoes that will hopefully work for you as well as they do for me. I have been wearing XERO Shoes footwear for over 7 years now. I have come to appreciate the company just as much as I do their shoes. With each new product launch, XERO Shoes seems to eagerly address the needs and requests from their customers. So when I heard about their latest shoe model being introduced, I was intrigued… To say the very least.

When she isn’t rock climbing, running, foraging or frolicking outside in some way, she can be found practicing yoga, playing music and creating culinary andherbal concoctions. These would not be my first pick for highly technical or off-trail adventure running, as these endeavors may require more all-around support. Do not expect tons of ankle or arch support with this shoe.

These sturdy little shoes have lasted 500 miles , and I expect to get at least 200 more out of them before complete failure. I long for the day I can get 1000 miles out of a lightweight, minimalist shoe. But the Mesa Trail is getting close to that milestone. Of course, minimalist shoes aren’t everyone’s cup of tea – and that’s okay. There’s no need to rehash the minimalist vs. maximalist debate here. But suffice it to say that if you are already a fan of low-drop, wide foot-box shoes with minimal features , the Mesa Trail is worth a hard look. I pushed the comfort capabilities of these shoes with some 20+ mile days under a 40 lb load.

The last couple of trips were downright hot and muggy. My first 2 overnight hikes were 4 miles total each. The remnants of Hurricane Alberto were moving through north Alabama and I waited for a break in the storms to head out. I hiked about a mile (1.6 km) before stopping to set up camp.

For example, it can be a bit fiddly tweaking the tightness at each hoop because you can’t just pull the laces from the top, as they don’t slip through the hoops very well. It’s a small thing I know but something I picked up on.

For example, if you’re running in a waterproof shoe in hot weather conditions then your feet will struggle to breathe and will most likely overheat and swell as a result. This guy also backed up Lee Saxby’s endorsement of the rather odd looking Flexitec footbed. The price is pretty steep, but I’ve had a chat with a user who says they offer exceptional fit and are built like a Land Rover Defender, so should last significantly longer than the alternatives. They have an excellent rand, which is the real weak-spot of many lightweight trail shoes. And their traditional construction means that they can be repaired and even re-soled, in contrast to the throwaway construction of glued and welded shoes. So I’ve mainly been using Vivos, despite their weaknesses.

I have now been on a few trail runs with the Xero Terraflex and am ready to share my thoughts with you in this review. In terms of durability, the uppers look fairly durable, so the main area of concern is whether the uppers will still attached the lowers.

So after finding out about minimalist footwear, I was really keen to try some. I’m not a running buff, but love to hike and do dabble in some trail runs. So, I was excited to come across Xero Shoes, who alongside its running shoe , offers the Terraflex. I was told it’s ideal for running, trails and hiking and offers more grip than the Prio. The brand also offers a specific casual hiking boot called the DayLite Hiker for those just into walking. But I opted for the Terraflex and excitedly waited for its arrival. While it’s based in the US, the company ships globally and its range includes both minimalist trail running and hiking shoes as well as sports sandals.

how does xero shoes terraflex do on rocks

But I finished the hike optimistic that these lightweight trail shoes might actually replace my trail runners for even longer trips. I would love to get these shoes out on a longer excursion, like a 12 day Philmont trek. We finished this short trip with a much steeper uphill climb out of the valley. The climb was a starkly different test of the TerraFlex shoes, as grip was at a premium. The XeroShoes did well on the hike out of the valley, only slipping a bit on the steepest and most thoroughly leaf covered section of the trail.

I achieved the rest of my miles while trail running. On these runs, I often carried 10 lb of water and food. The tread on the sole of the Xero TerraFlex is not wildly aggressive. That said, it is certainly enough to handle all that we have here in Coastal South Carolina .