Another Xero Shoes Umara Z-Trail Sport Sandal Review

Discussion in 'Gear & Footwear' started by Warren Dickey, Jun 1, 2016.

  1. Warren Dickey

    Warren Dickey Chapter Presidents
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    This is my experience with the sandals. Below is a link if you want to see pictures and read stats.
    http://xeroshoes.com/shop/ready-to-wear-barefoot-sandals/ztrail-men/

    The runs I did with this sandal prior to composing the review were:
    3 mile training runs on the street x 4
    5 mile training runs on trail x 3
    10 mile trail race

    The Review:
    Initial Fit:
    A wide range of adjustment makes them very comfortable. The sole is pretty stiff which reduces ground feel but makes perfect sense since the sandal is intended to be a minimalist trail shoe. I'm used to wearing Luna sandals for the past six years with a single strap that comes up from between my toes so having the strap across all five of my toes gave me concern about whether the strap would rub across one or all of my toes. Due to a high level of adjustability this never happened. Bottom Line: I was a little worried about fit and the strap rubbing on my toes but the sandal is highly adjustable so you can make it fit the way you want.

    Daily Wear:
    The comfort for daily wear is good. The raised back of heel was very noticeable and mildly annoying at first. I didn't understand the point of this raised piece until I did some trail runs. Again, the ground feel isn't what I'm used to day-to-day but considering it's a trail sandal the amount of ground feel you do get is pretty good. The shoe is still very flexible despite the protection you get. Because I'm so used to putting on a huarache-style sandal it took me several days to get used to putting on a sandal with more strapping to it. I found that once I got the rest of the sandal dialed in all I needed to do was loosen up the heel, slide my foot in and tighten the heel back up. Bottom Line: I'm happy to wear this sandal for day to day use but I'm so used to my huarache-style sandals I'll probably stick with those most of the time.

    As a trail shoe:
    Once I had the chance to hit some trails with this sandal my biggest concern was whether or not the toe strap would rub my toes. Initially the strap was pretty tight on the top of my toes but after some messing around with it I was able to loosen the strap enough to avoid chafing but still keep it tight enough on the rest of my foot to make it very secure. The raised piece on the heel came in handy in making sure the sandal was secure for whatever terrain I might encounter. I used the sandal over varied terrain. Soft sand, pine trails, shell-covered roadways, roads littered with limestone rocks as well as fairly steep hills and paved road. I found the sandal to be very secure and comfortable no matter which terrain I ran on. Bottom Line: This sandal operates REALLY WELL as a trail sandal. I enjoy running in it and will definitely do more trail running and trail races in this shoe.

    The tread:
    The tread works really well and definitely grabs the ground. I can't say what the durability will be but I would imagine if the shoe was used primarily as a trail runner it would definitely last the 5,000 miles Xero shoes advertises. Not sure how it would fare with miles of pavement running. The only downside with the tread is it hangs onto dirt almost too well. The trail runs I did with it put a lot of dirt on the bottom that was hard to beat off the shoe before I put the sandals in my car. After the first run I ended up bringing a plastic bag with me in the car so i could put the sandals in the bag and clean them with water when I got home.

    Final assessment:
    These sandals definitely have a place in your tool kit. I won these in a contest on the BRS site but having run in them quite a bit now I can honestly say I WOULD spend the money on them as they are definitely a good alternative to Luna trail sandals, especially if you are one of the folks that don't like the lace coming up through your toes.
     
    #1 Warren Dickey, Jun 1, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016
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  2. OneBiteAtATime

    OneBiteAtATime Moderator
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    Thanks. This helps!
     
  3. Warren Dickey

    Warren Dickey Chapter Presidents
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    My pleasure. I really like them but they won't replace my Lunas.
     

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