To coincide with their launch next week, Steven Sashen kindly sent me a pair of Xero Shoes' new Z-Trek sandals for me to review. It was love at first sight when I opened the package last week, and I could tell straight away that I was going to like them, as there is no strap to go between my toes - which I have never got along with on any make of sandal! The straps are wide and soft. The front strap fits snugly across your foot just behind the toes. Where the front strap connects to the sides of the sole, the sole curves upwards slightly and 'hugs' the front of your foot. Note - some people with wide feet might find this a little too narrow, especially when running (see below.) The front strap is adjusted by sliding the strap through the hole in the sole. I found that this needs to be done without your foot in the sandal, as the small piece of rubber that holds the strap looks quite vunerable, and I was very nervous about pulling the strap through with my feet in place. Once you have the front strap set correctly, it is very quick and easy to slide your foot into the sandal, adjust the buckle across the front of your foot and then fasten the Velcro straps around your heel. My first outing in these was our routine Saturday afternoon shopping expedition to the local supermarket. I found them extremely comfortable to walk in and drive in. The fit was perfect for my feet. (The front of the sole can be trimmed if it is too long - but I think it could spoil the smartness of the sandals if you did.) We did a lot of walking around town after the supermarket. I didn't have to make any adjustments to the straps all day and I am happy to say that these sandals stay where you put them! (That's a first for me with sandals, as I normally find them slipping all over the place.) I didn't feel underdressed or out-of-place anywhere wearing these sandals, including the restaurant that we had dinner in that evening. Yesterday, I took the sandals on my regular Saturday morning 5K run around our local bird reserve at Newport Wetlands. The paths there are mostly grit, with some stretches of muddy woodland track, and rough hardcore. On the first section of smooth path, I found the sandals to be quite 'slappy' on the ground. Not as bad as I have encountered with other makes, but still enough to be annoying. After a while of trying to change my form to avoid this, I decided that the straps should maybe be tighter. After taking them off to adjust the front strap (see above) and tightening up the front buckle and rear Velcro much more tighter, the 'slappiness' was a lot better. Not silent, like in bare feet obviously, but entirely tolerable. (I suppose I should note here that this may be just bad form on my part, and I did note that with the straps much tighter, there was a good 1/2" to 3/4" (12mm to 15mm) of spare sole projecting beyond my toes!) With tighter straps and in silent running mode, I found the sandals very light and pleasant to run in, with very little slippage on the muddy sections. I did feel the occasional suction as the mud gripped the sole, as you often get with sandals, but nothing to be concerned about, and I was able to run at a nice jaunty speed. At the end of the run my legs felt great. (I often get aching calves when I run in some sandals.) I am sorry to have to say however, that my feet didn't feel quite so good. I had hot spots on both of my heels and a blister on my second toe on my right foot. I always seem to get blisters on my toes when I run in sandals (and when I run in bare feet on long runs - over 10K.) I think I must have a habit of subconciously gripping the sole of sandals to stop them slipping (or the ground in bare feet when my legs are tired.) So, I have to say ... unfortunately ... the Z-Treks will not be my go-to shoes for running. BUT ... BUT ... after I got home, and put them in the wash along with my sports kit, I am VERY happy to say that they came up a treat and look like brand new again, so these super-cool looking sandals WILL definitely be my go-to shoes for ANYWHERE and EVERYWHERE when I am not running, including the office - when the weather has warmed up a bit! I love them Steven! Thank you. These sandals are perfect for displaying my tattoo, and I will be wearing them EVERYWHERE that bare feet are not acceptable or possible. For more information on the product launch next week, please visit: http://www.xeroshoes.com/go/BarefootRunnersSoc/a8dd0b34 Paul .