Xero Shoes Amori Venture Review

Discussion in 'Gear & Footwear' started by Alejandro 10, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. Alejandro 10

    Alejandro 10
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    Barefooters
    1. Georgia

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    Note, through http://thebarefootrunners.org Xero Shoes provided a complimentary pair of the Amori Venture huarache sandals in return for the following review.

    Ours is a two graduate student household with two children under three, so we consider where every penny is spent. Therefore, when I received notification that I had won a Xero Shoes giveaway through the Barefoot Runners’ Society I was excited to have the opportunity to test out and review a sandal company whose designs intrigued me while leaving me on the edge of purchasing a pair. To be precise, while the proprietary 5.5mm FeelTrue® soling material with raised ankle holes and the toe post of the Amori Venture piqued my interest, the polyester laces, silicone tubing and heel cup left me with enough trepidation toward the product that I did not make a purchase through Xero Shoes when I last bought a pair of huaraches.

    The first time I put on the sandals I was impressed as they seemed to perfectly fit my feet, and after having gone back and forth with the company while deciding which size to order, that was what I expected. However, upon walking and running I knew I would have to adjust the laces if this huarache design was going to work for me because the heel cup did not cradle my heel. Rather, it was as if my heels were coming to rest half way up the concave portion of the heel cup, and this proved to be painful as one might imagine. That said, in my opinion the adjustment was quicker and more efficient than with other models I have used from different companies, and it proved to resolve the problem.

    To continue on the heel cup theme, I had worried it would prove to be a catch for rocks, dirt and grass, but even when using them on a dusty ranch in Honduras after the workday I found that to be an unwarranted worry. On the other hand, there was one activity I refuse to do in sandals that I realized I had unknowingly been doing for days while wearing the Amori Venture, and I think it is because of the extra structure provided by the heel cup: driving. I drive a standard transmission vehicle and therefore am using my feet consistently as I drive around town. I believe my heels were able to rock back and forth in the sandals the same way they do in my enclosed minimalist shoes rather than have the back of the sandals fold over and cause a distraction while driving. Nevertheless, once I was aware that I had been driving in the sandals I made the conscious decision to remove them upon getting into the car subsequently because I personally do not believe it prudent to drive in them.

    This brings me to the 5.5mm FeelTrue® soling material. My first impression was, 'Wow, this is much more dense than my other huaraches.' I believe that density will help with the longevity of the product while conducting the temperature of the surface one steps on while wearing the Amori Venture. My experience as been that below the 40* threshold I am comfortable wearing huaraches without socks down to 30* as long as surface I am on is dry. That did not hold up with this soling material, and I am fine with that as it is not this footwear is not intended for cold weather use. On the other hand, and this is counterintuitive, I did not notice the material feeling excessively warm while on warm surfaces, ie concrete, asphalt and metal, while in Honduras. Next, as far as soling materials without a layer of leather go, I really like the feeling of this one on my feet. Finally, I appreciate that Xero Shoes has not ventured to increase the stack height of their sandals because if I am not barefoot I want as little between the surface and my feet as possible as far as the conditions allow. The FeelTrue® soles seem to marry this ideal with the idea of 'a thin layer of protection' better than other footwear I have used. An unforeseen positive I encountered that is related to the stack height of the these sandals is how well they packed as I traveled carry-on only to Honduras last month. Were they to mold to my foot like a leather-topped huarache would they would not have packed as flat in my bag. Furthermore, they were perfect for use in the shower of the dormitory.

    In consideration of the raised ankle holes, the toe post and the silicone tubing around the Achilles I am reminded of a soccer commentator who I once heard say, “Those defenders must of had a fine game because we weren't talking about them.” In other words, my experience was that they were pragmatism at its best, and I was left with nothing constructive to say about them. In my book that is a plus for them, but I am still glad to see Xero Shoes has redesigned the Achilles part of the lacing system with the introduction of the Amori Z-trek. What can I say, I just do not care for silicone products. While the polyester laces fall here (in the realm of non-issues) too, I have to add that my wife really appreciated that I had one more reflective bit for those early and late outings.

    Best practice, according to the three farmers I traveled to Honduras with, is to put shoes that have been on a farm in a foreign country in a plastic bag placed in a dark space for 60 days to kill any blight or critters which might prove invasive and damaging to our environment. What that means is I am anxiously anticipating pulling my Amori Ventures out of the closet for a run, and I can't say that about some of my other minimalist shoes.
     
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  2. Steven Sashen

    Steven Sashen
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    1. Colorado

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    Quick note... we have a new and improved lacing system for the Venture and Cloud as well ... see www.xeroshoes.com/shop/amuri

    And, yes, by late April, when we get our shipment from the factory, we'll have a "retrofit" kit, so you can use the new lacing system on the previous products.
     
    Alejandro 10 and paulbeales like this.

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