Xero Shoes Amuri z-treck Pre-review

Discussion in 'Product Reviews' started by Jose Capilla, Jan 23, 2018.

  1. Jose Capilla

    Jose Capilla
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    I am lucky because I won a few weeks ago a brand new pair of Xero Shoes Amuri z-treck sandals thanks to the Barefoot Running Society December 2017 Xero Shoes december 2017 give-away. This was just before X-mas and I received the sandals at home a day before my birthday. Isn’t it cool ? :)

    I am now 60 and have been running during the last two years with minimalist shoes. I started with Vibram Five Fingers, used some zero drop minimalist shoes, and I am now using only Huarache sandals and run sometimes barefoot. I have been using Luna Mono, Pies Sucios Terra , a DIY 6mm Vibram Dunas thin sole Huarache and lately Xero Shoes Amuri Cloud Huarache. I liked a lot my Amuri Cloud (ran with them a cumulated 288km in a couple of months) because they helped me to get rid of the last piece of cushioning I had with the thick soles of my previous Huaraches. During some runs, I was switching back and forth from Huarache shod to barefoot (for barefoot training) and noticed that the thin soles (around 10mm thick) had cushioning that was producing some instability of the foot when landing and the muscles of my feet had to work hard to compensate this instability. I noticed this instability when switching from Huaraches to barefoot, especially at the end of a run when the legs and feet get a little bit tired. I was getting metatarsal and toes joint pain when running with think sole huaraches, this pain was not very important, just annoying, and going away when running barefoot or using extra-thin soles (e.g. VFF KSO EVO or DIY 6mm Vibram Dunas soles). This is the reason why I bought a pair of Amuri Cloud huaraches sandals which have an extra-thin sole (3mm foam+ 3mm rubber). Unfortunetely I had to customize my Amuri Cloud Huaraches because I was getting pain between the first and second toe even if Xero Shoes have recently changed the « toe post » by a « toe loop » and because the lacing around the heel was falling down during my runs. To fix the between the toes pain, I added some turns of soft fabric around the toe post and sew it so it does not un-roll and also added some additional lacing to avoid the laces around the heel to slip down. With these two changes, I came out with which was to me a perfect Huarache running sandal. Perfect as long as the gravel or stones are not too big or too sharp, but as I mainly run on asfalt, this is not a problem I face very often. For more rugged terrain, I think that the Amury Venture (6mm thick rubber sol) should be better, with of course less feeling of the ground and proprioception but with more protection against sharp/big gravel or stones or any other sharp stuff.

    This being said, let’s talk about the Amuri z-treck sandals.

    Their thin rubber sole (6mm rubber sole) is thicker than these of the Amuri Cloud (3mm foam+3mm rubber) and definitely fixes the problem of sharp/ big size gravel or rocks. The Xero Shoes sole is amazing, it has lots of grip, is flexible, your feet don’t get a slippery surface on the top of the huarache sole when it is raining (did my first run under heavy rain) or when running inside water puddles. The Z lacing system fixes the Amuri Cloud lacing problem I faced and I felt incredibly well the first time I put the z-treck on my feet. The wide bands of the lacing system are very soft to the skin, the scrath on the back of the heel works wonderfully for adjusting the lacing on the heel, but adjusting the tightness of the band over the toes is not very easy, so I just adjusted the fitting using the scratch. I did not found the lateral pieces of rubber sole (the ones where the lacing goes through) are annoying for the feet, and the heel cup at the back was OK for me (some persons cut it off to reduce wheight). I first started using the z-treck sandals at home (without socks) am found then amazingly comfortable. I have to mention that the length fit was perfect thanks to the web site recommendations and to my huarache experience. You must not have too much extra length or width, otherwise I think the experience will not be that good. The toes post or rubbing/pain/discomfort between the first and second toe goes away of course at the expense of «more covered » feet feeling which you can get used to after some time of wearing them I guess.

    My first outing with the z-treck was on my flat 10k loop I use to run 4 times a week, almost each week of the year. The first day of testing outdors was an extremely rainy and cold day. Everything was perfect, the grip, the stability on the feet, feet not sliding on the sole when running inside puddles of water, I was just feeling less air refreshing the base of my toes because of the lacing band across the toes. I was even able to sustain a running speed higher than my higher speed on this loop, just because I wanted to finish sooner and that the design of the sandals was OK to run fast. I was not enjoying the rain on my face and on my glasses and wanted to get back home rapidly. At this high speed (high for me ;) ) the z-treck were performing perfectly, nothing to say…..unless what seemed to bee a small rubbing on the top of my right big toe, and a couple of kilometers later on top of my left big toe. But as I was running on the cool water puddles, enjoying the moment like a kid, this rubbing feeling was getting away, and then getting back … and away until I deciced to stop running under the rain and check how my feet look because rubbing feeling had increased up to pain. I did not liked what I saw which was the top of the big toe skin like paper sanded inside a redish rectangle of 3 mm width / 1cm length :( .

    I had not brought with me any backup huarache, because I was too much confident given the fantastic feeling I had wearing them at home. I did have previously many problems rubbing my upper feet skin or between the toes skin with some huarache lacing but that extremely good feeling, together with the fact that these sandals were different from a running Huaraches made myself not think about the risks. So excess of confidence, heavy rain, brand new sandal and too tight lacing leaded to rubbed (sand papered) big toes. I tried to come back home barefoot but I was not experienced enough running barefoot under the rain and I gived-up prefering to insert the top branch of the Z lacing between the big toe and the second toe to avoid the lace continuing to rub the top of my toes. This solution was kind of strange because I had the first part of the Z lacing under my big toe but was not hurting when running slowly. Anyway, this allowed me to go back home safely and not degrading the situation. I got this problem tuesday and writing this review on sunday and the top of the toes have not healed yet but they are in good shape and I was able to run two more times using the Amuri- Cloud sandals. Hope to get rid totally of this toe problem and hopefully write a second review after running a few hundreds of kilometers with my wonderfull Amuri z-treck. For your information, I am now able to wear them at home barefoot, after, of course having un-tightened the top lace and walking slowly and with care. This is more a story telling than a standard review, but I wanted first to tell you the story to avoid people having the same problem.

    This was not a sandals problem it was a user problem ;)

    By the way, Happy New Year 2018 to all the BRS members.

    Edit/Update(Feb 11th 2018)
    After the healing of my feet (the abrasion caused by the front strap) and with correct front webbing tightening I was able to run a semi-marathon distance without any abrasion of the feet.
    The feeling is very close to barefoot running and this sandal is definitely one of the best if not the best of any barefoot shoes I have previously run with.
    One last things I have to mention, is that the abrasion has come back again today, certainly due to the fact that it was raining during my run and wet feet plus web webbing triggered the feet abrasion process. I was feeling a little bit of discomfort at the beginning of my run and did not paid attention because I thought the tightening of the front strap was OK. So it seems that the wet skin and webbing caused the abrasion of the feet.
    Definitely an excellent running sandal, but care (socks,cream...) has to be taken in wet conditions.

    José Capilla
     
    #1 Jose Capilla, Jan 23, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
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  2. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ
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    Thank you for your review José. Happy New Year to you too!
     
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