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Xero Shoes Z-Trek

rated 4 of 5 stars
photo: Xero Shoes Z-Trek sport sandal

A very lightweight camp shoe, with no frills.


  • Very lightweight
  • Packable
  • Good fit
  • Decent traction


  • No support
  • Sizing on the website is very odd



For several years, I've used a pair of old Teva sandals as camp shoes for backpacking trips. They're relatively comfortable, not too heavy, and seem nearly indestructible. But I am always looking to lighten my pack weight, and these caught my eye.

Xero is a newish company specializing in "barefoot" style running sandals. The soles are thin, and designed to feel everything underfoot, while still maintaining some protection against sharp things.

The good:

  • They are quite light, at 16 oz for the pair (half the weight of my Tevas, size 14)
  • They pack up quite easily. I fit the pair of them in a smallish stuff sack for easy packing.
  • The fit is great, despite their odd sizing system (see below). The strap system is very similar to what one finds on Teva, Chaco, and similar footwear, and fit can be dialed in with the velcro strap around the heel.
  • Traction is reasonable, if not spectacular. 

The not-so-good:

  • The "barefoot" feel is not for everyone. The footbed has virtually no support (which I think is the manufacturer's point), and you can feel everything underfoot.
  • The sizing on their website is odd. You have to print their template for your estimated size, and figure it out from there. Even though I am a solid size 14, I had to order their size 12 to fit me. I don't know why they just don't standardize them and skip the whole complicated system. I didn't really buy their reasoning behind their fit scheme.

When I first got them, I wore them around the house for a while. On smooth floors and surfaces, they feel great. On my first couple of trips with them, I figured out that (depending on one's sensitivity) you have to be really careful where you step in them. You can really feel every pinecone and rock underfoot. 

I took these on three different backpack trips this summer, in Lassen, Yosemite, and Rainier, so had quite a bit of time to spend in them. They were a fine camp shoe... for lounging around camp, and moving around they were great. Again, one can feel everything that is underneath them, so I advise watching where you walk. I did find that my flat arches got a little sore after several hours in them, especially if I was walking around in them a lot. 

All in all, I will use them for future trips, in light of their weight and packability. But there are times I will wish I had more support. If you like the "barefoot" feel, then I think you'll love these sandals!



Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $59.99

Super lightweight. Great camp shoe!


  • Very light
  • Durable


  • Adjustment to no footbed support

When I started looking for a good camp shoe, I took under consideration many of the shoes mentioned in the hiking blogs. I've owned Crocs (and knock-offs) before, but they wore out quickly. I have worn sport sandals through the summers for several years and enjoy the comfort, but seems like I'm buying a new pair every year, too!

But the search is complete and Xero Z-trek sandals are the winner!


From a hiking stand point, for trail shoes, they are very light (9 oz.). I clipped them to my pack (see picture) with a lightweight carabiner and was good to go. At the end of the hiking day it was nice to take off wet shoes and socks and to put these sandals on and let my feet breath.

From a durability standpoint, they have a 5000 mile warranty! I'm looking forward to putting some miles/years in with these sandals. The sole has a chevron design and I've not had any issues slipping. The "fit" adjustments are Velcro and easy to set or change.

This is a true minimalist shoe and (for me) takes some getting used to. You will feel whatever you step on, there is no arch support, but after a very short time of wearing them, I was completely comfortable and they are ow my "go-to" summer time shoe!

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $59

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Price Historic Range: $34.19-$59.99
Reviewers Paid: $59.00-$59.99
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