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Best Xero Shoes: A Complete Xero Shoes Review

Best Xero Shoes

Started in 2009 by husband and wife team Steven Sashen and Lena Phoenix, Xero Shoes was an answer to Steven’s constant running injuries. Originally called Invisible Shoes, it started with homemade huarache running sandals. Xero Shoes is the most consistent minimalist shoe brand and now makes 50+ styles of shoes, boots, and sandals. With such a big portfolio of options, we wanted to create our own list of Best Xero Shoes.

But before we get to the list, let’s talk about what Xero Shoes is aiming to accomplish and how Xero Shoes may help you.

Xero Shoes’ mission is to let your feet do what they do naturally while letting you enter places that require shoes and protecting the bottoms of your feet from rocks and other obstacles in our largely paved world. Xero Shoes can be used for running, walking, hiking or just everyday life. Low to the ground, flexible shoes like Xero will build up foot muscles and improve foot strength thus making the base of all athletic movements stronger. 

Xero calls it natural movement but you’ve likely heard it called minimalist or barefoot. Whatever you call it, the idea is getting your feet more connected to the ground. Think of Xero Shoes as a tool to improve foot health and find your most natural movement patterns.

One note of caution. After you buy your first pair of Xero Shoes, integrate them into your shoe rotation slowly. Light walking, very short runs (really short…like 30 seconds to a minute), or wearing them for a small part of a gym session are all great ways to start. Your feet will need time to adapt. 

As your foot muscles build and your gait adapts, you’ll be able to wear the shoes for longer. Eventually you’ll be wearing Xero Shoes all day, for an entire workout, or a difficult trail run. Once you get there, your foot health should be on a whole new level.

Updated: 06.18.2024

Xero Shoes – Top Tier

Best Xero Shoes: Nexus Knit

Xero Nexus Knit

The Xero Nexus Knit is our favorite Xero shoe mainly because of how comfortable it is. If you’re going to start going down the minimalist footwear road, the Nexus Knit is a great first step. The outsole is protective and grippy but the upper is where the magic happens. The knit molds to your foot, assisted by generous achilles pillows. It’s a very comfortable sock-like fit that works just as well casually as it does in the gym.

Fit: True to Size, Drop: 0mm, Price: $110

Buy Men's Nexus Knit Shop Women's Nexus Knit

Best Xero Shoes: Scrambler Low

Xero Scrambler Low

The Xero Scrambler Low is Xero’s best trail shoe. The outsole is grippy Michelin rubber with nice sized lugs. The outsole extends up slightly on the lateral and medial sides to create sidewalls that help keep the foot secure on the footbed. The lacing system also allows great lockdown through the two anchor points that extend all the way below the foot. It’s a well thought out hiking or trail running shoe and even looks good enough for daily wear.

Fit: True to Size, Drop: 0mm, Price: $150

Buy Men's Scrambler Low Shop Women's Scrambler Low

Best Xero Shoes: Forza Trainer

Xero Forza Trainer

The Xero Forza Trainer is not only one of the best Xero shoes, but one of the best weightlifting shoes on the market. Since it’s Xero, there’s not much cushion, but the stability is elite with sidewalls at the heel, TPU wings at the lateral and medial arch, and a lockdown strap. Also, the outsole stickily grips the gym floor. You can trust the Forza Trainer won’t move anywhere you don’t want it to while you’re trying to PR an olympic style lift or hefting tons of weight via squats or deadlifts. If you want a zero drop gym shoe for lifting heavy, you won’t find anything better.

Fit: True to Size, Drop: 0mm, Price: $130

Buy Men's Forza Trainer Buy Women's Forza Trainer

Best Xero Shoes: 360

Xero 360

The Xero 360 has proven itself sufficient after months of on and off again testing. For players that have the discipline to not jump at any point in a pickleball game or match (something I recommend avoiding if you strive to play at higher levels), the 360 works very well as a court shoe. The overall flexibility of the shoe is nearly perfect for pickleball and it provides natural stability, a necessity I feel is often overlooked in many pickleball shoes.

There’s a physical adjustment period so ramp up slowly. But once you’re used to the 360, giving it more time on court results in feeling better overall. The Xero 360 has earned our trust for a ground bound style of pickleball play.

Fit: True to size, Drop: 0mm, Price: $100

Buy Men's 360 Buy Women's 360
Best Xero Shoes: Dillon

Xero Dillon

The Xero Dillon is Xero’s best casual shoe. Even Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler rocks them on occasion. The Dillon has a classic look and a minimalist feel but also includes some cushion so it’s great for starting the minimalist transition. The knit upper is breathable and molds to your foot just like the Nexus Knit. That the Dillon looks great casually while helping strengthen your feet in between your training sessions means the $100 price point is a good value.

Fit: True to size, Drop: 0mm, Price: $100

Buy Men's Dillon Buy Women's Dillon

Xero Shoes – Second Tier

Best Xero Shoes: HFS II


The Xero HFS II isn’t one of our favorite Xero shoes but it’s reliable and durable. It is one of Xero’s best sellers so it has a lot of fans. The HFS II features a bit more cushion than you normally get with Xero and a well-built durable outsole. The competitive price doesn’t hurt either.

Fit: True to size, Drop: 0mm, Price $120

Buy Men's HFS II Buy Women's HFS II

Best Xero Shoes: Zelen

Xero Zelen

The Xero Zelen is a lightweight running shoe with a car tire inspired outsole. Could the Zelen be even lighter without some of the overlays? Yes. It’d also look better. But even as it exists now the Zelen is a good fitting shoe. Though the lack of a cushion means it’s not the best place to start if you want a minimalist runner. Start with the Scrambler Low or HFS II and then transition to the Zelen when your legs are ready.

Fit: True to size, Drop: 0mm, Price: $130

Buy Men's Zelen Buy Women's Zelen

Upcoming Xero Basketball Shoe

Best Xero Shoes: Xero Basketball Shoe

Xero Basketball Shoe

The Xero basketball shoe was recently worn by Denver Nugget Justin Holiday in the NBA playoffs and will be available in the near future. We were able to try an early prototype. It was reactive and surprisingly fun. It also included cushion and elite stability. Playing in high performance zero drop minimal footwear will soon be a possibility…a type of shoe you’ll find curiously absent from our current basketball shoe reviews.

The button below will send you to Xero’s site where you can sign up to get notified as more information becomes available. We’re also planning to post a full review as soon as the shoe is available.

Fit: TBD, Drop: 0mm, Price: TBD

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Xero Shoes to Avoid

No current models are on the avoid list.

Best Xero Shoes Now on Sale

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Thinking of a shoe we should add to the best Xero shoes list? Comment below or message us on Instagram.

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