The past few years have given us some tremendous minimal footwear, so excitement over the launch of another sandal may seem surprising. The reason for it, however, is that XeroShoes have cracked the code and managed to produce the holy grail of minimal sandals.
Featuring a 3-layer sole that caters for abrasion, flexibility, and comfort, the Umara Z-Trail has all of the important areas covered. Add to this that they're lightweight, expertly constructed, with a sensible, and very adjustable strapping system, and you have an amazing pair of sandals. Oh, and did I mention that they come with the XeroShoes 5000 miles guarantee?
"But", you might be saying, "I've already got a pair of XeroShoes, why would I need another pair?". The answer to this is simple. The Z-Trails are better. Don't get me wrong, the rest of the XeroShoes family are excellent, but they each tend to be best used in one particular area.
For example, XeroShoes' previous release was the Z-Trek. Like the Z-Trail, it's a postless sandal that is very light. It differs in that is uses a performance sole, which, although ideal for running, and walking on relatively smooth surfaces, can be uncomfortable after many miles on a rough trail.
The case is similar for the Amuri Cloud, which is XeroShoes' other 'comfy' sandal (it also uses a BareFoam layer on the footbed). It's a very comfortable sandal, but uses a rope-based, huarache tying system. Huaraches are great, and are very adjustable, but the thick straps of the Z-Trail give the wearer just that extra little bit more width to spread out any rubbing.
And of course, we could compare them to other brands, but really, nothing compares in terms of weight and flexibility. Other minimalist sandals can be great, but they tend to be much heavier and use a 10+mm sole. Really, the Z-Trails are in a class all their own.
On top of all this, the Z-Trail are a relatively inexpensive sandal, which brings me to my final point. The Z-Trail officially on sale in Australia!
We would love to hear what you think of these sandals, so please comment back if you decide to buy a pair (or tell us why you didn't buy them!).