Full disclosure – I don’t wear shoes very often. I do wear shoes if it’s very cold and I didn’t have warm minimalist hiking shoes. So, when I won the December 2023 giveaway contest for a pair of Xero shoes, I looked for something that would be warm but still breathable, not waterproof. The Day Hiker Fusion seemed like a good choice. Unfortunately, the weather here hasn’t been cold enough to give them a proper test. I have worn them in not so cold weather and am pleased to give my report. After I brief mixup over the holidays, Xero Shoes processed my order and promptly delivered. I got my Day Hiker Fusion and a nice email from Steven Sashen apologizing for the delay, which wasn’t much of a delay, especially considering the season. The shoes are more substantial than I expected. My wife says they look like Mickey Mouse shoes; she’s so funny. But we’re not here for style points. They look nice and they feel good. They are more bulky than what I’m used to (nothing) but that’s kinda the point of an insulated shoe. The upper has generous padding, especially around the ankle and heel. They are warm but not so warm that I can only wear them in cold weather. I’ve worn them to work and they’re quite comfortable after a full day. The sole is thin and flexible. To my foot, it’s flat and smooth, no heel drop, no arch support, very little toe spring. The outsole has some tread but I don’t feel it much on paved surfaces, not at all on natural surfaces. For having that much tread, they provide really good ground feel. At first, I was surprised by the amount of constriction across the upper arch, but a bit of fiddling with the laces solved that problem. These shoes are definitely heavier than sandals; no getting around that. But they’re for when sandals or bare feet won’t do. The only fault I’ve found is that my smallest toe doesn’t have quite enough room when I first put them on. They give a bit after walking for a few minutes. They’re wide enough for my wide feet, but could be wider. I expect them to relax as I wear them more. The Day Hiker Fusion has a higher ankle than my Altra’s or Vivobarefoots and so needs a higher sock cuff. Injinji mini-crew height works fine. I’m not a trail runner but I think these would do nicely for that purpose. In all, I’m very pleased with the Day Hiker Fusion. They will be my go-to cold-weather shoe and for any time when bare feet or sandals aren’t enough. Thank you Xero Shoes for providing these shoes and for your continuing support of the Barefoot Runners Society.