Topic

Xero TerraFlex Review


Forum Posting

A Membership is required to post in the forums. Login or become a member to post in the member forums!

Home Forums Campfire Editor’s Roundtable Xero TerraFlex Review

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 29 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #3530506
    Kenneth Posner
    BPL Member

    @posnerk

    Companion forum thread to: Xero TerraFlex Review

    This Xero Terraflex review features shoes that should interest both trail runners and ultralight hikers looking for a true minimalist shoe option for rugged terrain: super-flexible sole, zero drop, some cushioning, and very good traction.

    #3530535
    Dan Durston
    BPL Member

    @dandydan

    Locale: Canadian Rockies

    Looks promising. Thanks. I’ve been missing the old Inov-8 TrailRoc 235s.

    #3530537
    Ken Thompson
    BPL Member

    @here

    Locale: Right there

    Xero, if you’re reading, how about size 15s and up? And not run small.

    #3530731
    Michael Schlesselmann
    BPL Member

    @mschless

    Locale: Southern Los Padres National Forest

    I really liked the look of these when they cam out. I was letting my Merrel Trail Gloves wear out before I pulled the trigger on these but after a review on the durability after only 250 miles that I saw on Reddit a couple weeks ago, I’m tentative to commit.

    Not my review, but I saw this over on the r/ultralight subreddit a couple weeks ago. Just a data point in terms of durability:

    Xero TerraFlex 250 Mile Review

    He has a 100 mile review as well on his channel. From Reddit, he said

     

    #3530902
    Geoff Caplan
    BPL Member

    @geoffcaplan

    Locale: Lake District, Cumbria

    Michael – thanks for the heads up on the durability review. I was hoping that the TerraFlex was a candidate for a thru-hiking shoe, but the review is very disappointing. Hopefully they will solve the durability issues in future iterations.

    Can anyone recommend an alternative?

    For longer and rougher walks I don’t see the Minimus or Trail Glove as serious options – vulnerable uppers and short-lived soles, in my experience. And pretty hopeless on steep grass and mud.

    The midsole on the Lone Peak is far too high for me – I’d only use it as a last resort.

    And Innov-8 have exited the minimalist market.

    So I’ve mainly been using Vivos, despite their weaknesses. But many reviewers are saying that the new Primus Trail SG has finally solved the issues and is a well-rounded shoe. The lower price of the TerraFlex is a false economy if they only last 200-300 miles – I’ve always got more than that from the Vivos.

    So I guess I’ll be trying the Vivos. But I’d be very grateful for any alternatives, particularly looking beyond the usual suspects.

    #3530906
    Paul S.
    BPL Member

    @pschontz

    Locale: PNW

    @geoffcaplan Have you looked at the Altra King MT?  They have less cushion and more aggressive tread than the Lone Peaks, but not as minimal as the Trail Glove.

    #3530915
    Michael Gillenwater
    BPL Member

    @mwgillenwater

    Locale: Seattle area

    Agree. VBF Primus SG probably bet bet for truly minimalist shoe. I’ve been curious about the King MT, but the still have a lot of cushion/stack height.

    #3530940
    Geoff Caplan
    BPL Member

    @geoffcaplan

    Locale: Lake District, Cumbria

    Not sure the King MT would be viable for thru-hiking. In addition to the offputting 2cm stack height, the lugs are so aggressive that road walking might be rather unpleasant. Looks more like a specialised fell running shoe to me, but I’m open to correction. Also, is it just me, or is that design egregiously ugly?

    Another option (at least for Europeans) would be the new Joe Nimble Trail:

    https://www.baer-shoes.com/nimbletoes-trail-1739

    Has anyone tried them?

    When you get over the sticker shock they may make sense. Just chatted with their UK sales rep, who turned out to be Lee Saxby’s wife. For anyone who doesn’t know, Lee is a highly reputed expert on natural running and walking mechanics. It seems that he was actively involved in the design of the shoe, and is very bullish about its benefits for long-distance runs and walks. They justify the cost by saying that they use a more ergonomic last that adds to production costs, and that it’s built using traditional cobblering, so it’s sewn rather than bonded and welded. This means that they can offer a free repair service, while the Vivo shoes aren’t repairable.  It also seems to have a good rand – which in my experience makes a big difference to life expectancy. So it may be that added longevity will counterbalance the eye-watering price. But as there are no long-term reviews this would be a bit of a gamble.

    Maybe worth mentioning in passing that Lee has come to the conclusion that long distance ventures require a bit more padding and protection – otherwise you run too high a risk of strain injury. And no-one is a greater advocate of minimal footwear than Lee. Nothing as extreme as the Lone Peak, but a happy medium.

    Joe Nimble sell an innovative footbed for rocky terrain. It looked over the top to me, but apparently Lee likes it a lot and uses it personally. I’ve only heard good things about his knowledge, so I’m going to give them a try. I’d hate to be knocked off the trail with bruised soles, and walking for hours on jagged rocks in minimal shoes does begin to take it toll…

    The Joe Nimble Trail has a 3mm removable footbed, so there is plenty of room to swap the rockplate in and out as required.

    I’m tempted to experiment – but it sure is an intimidating price-point…

     

    #3531035
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    long distance ventures require a bit more padding and protection
    Really?
    We do 2 and 3 month long walking trips in the mountains in stock joggers, and have no problems.
    It may depend on how long (years) you have been walking – how ‘tough’ your feet are.

    Cheers

    #3531072
    Geoff Caplan
    BPL Member

    @geoffcaplan

    Locale: Lake District, Cumbria

    Hi Roger

    I was talking about more padding relative to a hard-core minimal shoe like the Vivo Trail shoe, which has a thin sole and no mid-sole. I’ve done long alpine walks in this kind of minimal footwear, and my feet got a bit bruised. Not enough to spoil the trip, but enough to convince me that I need to be more pragmatic and compromise a bit.

    Stock joggers would have considerably more padding than the solutions that Lee is recommending.

    As I said, he’s recommending a half-way house between a fully minimal shoe and a standard trail shoe. With the present market, the best way to achieve this is probably to add protective inserts to an existing minimal shoe.

    Obviously, this is for people who are fully transitioned. He’s addressing “barefoot” enthusiasts like himself, and suggesting that they shouldn’t be too gung-ho on longer projects.

    #3531077
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    Hi Geoff

    You make a very good point there. Yes, I was talking about ‘standard’ joggers rather than something utterly minimalist.

    The Australian Dunlop Volleys could be put in the minimalist category. They have fantastic grip in a wet canyon, and you can feel everything under them. We have tried them on a long trip, and they were ‘not optimal’.

    I stand corrected.

    Cheers

    #3531567
    Gunnar H
    BPL Member

    @qy

    Geoff,

    Is Merrell All Out Blaze Aero Sport an alternative? That is the best alternative I have found so far for Scandinavia I have found after giving up on poor durability of innov-8 and others. They may be well suited for England as well. After all,we normally have the same weather as you, just 2 days later. (It is a water sports shoe.)
    </span>

    Zero drop, good grip in most conditions, more protection, dries reasonably fast and, importantly, the mesh upper is reinforced for durabilty. The durabilaity seems ok or even good so far without testing it fully. Much better than the Innov-8´s I have experience from.

    They are however still not ideal, the sole is a bit to stiff and rigid compared to what I really want. They could maybe be lighter.

    #3531575
    Geoff Caplan
    BPL Member

    @geoffcaplan

    Locale: Lake District, Cumbria

    Gunnar

    Thanks for the suggestion. Attracted by the low cost and the 5mm lugs on a Vibram sole. And the weight doesn’t look too bad for a durable shoe – I guess that feather-light and durable is an unattainable ideal, with current materials at least.

    But put off by the fact that it seems to offer “arch support”. In my experience, this is never positioned where my arch actually is. I’ve never understood why people feel that a healthy foot needs arch support. Still, I may give them a try.

    #3531628
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    Arch support can be utterly painful. It bruises the muscles under the foot.

    Cheers

    #3531634
    Gunnar H
    BPL Member

    @qy

    Forgot to mention the arch support. I don´t like it either, though in this case it seems to work OK for me.

    #3531658
    Geoff Caplan
    BPL Member

    @geoffcaplan

    Locale: Lake District, Cumbria

    I think I’m going to end up trying the Joe Nimble Trail shoe.

    https://uk.joe-nimble.com/collections/mens/products/nimbletoes-trail-m-black-yellow

    The price is pretty steep, but I’ve had a chat with a user who says they offer exceptional fit and are built like a Land Rover Defender, so should last significantly longer than the alternatives. They have an excellent rand, which is the real weak-spot of many lightweight trail shoes. And their traditional construction means that they can be repaired and even re-soled, in contrast to the throwaway construction of glued and welded shoes.

    This guy also backed up Lee Saxby’s endorsement of the rather odd looking Flexitec footbed. He says it works very well, so you can have a true minimal shoe most of the time, and swap in the Flexitec when you need protection from rock without losing the benefits of low stack height and natural foot mechanics.

    https://uk.joe-nimble.com/collections/accessories/products/flexitec-footbed

    Double the price of the Xero, but if the Xero is going to fall to bits after 200 miles the Joe Nimble should work out cheaper in the long run.

    #3531687
    James Marco
    BPL Member

    @jamesdmarco

    Locale: Finger Lakes

    I have been using Merrell Bare Access Flex for the past 6mos. They work really well for what little jogging I do anymore, around a mile per day…a far cry from the 7-10 mi I used to do before back surgery. They are not too heavy and can handle a few screws in the winter so I don’t go slipping on all the ice. Zero drop, sticky rubber, but not real durable uppers. They perform well and are slightly stuffer than my previous Merrell water shoes I used for that (went through a few pair over 5 years.) The price is OK, and they do have some non-intrusive arch support, but only about a 2-3mm lug. They don’t work well in mud but leaves/rocks/rock face doesn’t bother them. Very comfortable with a wide toebox though they run a bit small. So, order a half size larger. I think they weigh around 7oz/shoe. For 90/pr the price was right, too.

    #3531752
    Michael Gillenwater
    BPL Member

    @mwgillenwater

    Locale: Seattle area

    Geoff, please post some feedback on what you think of the Nimble shoes once you get them.

    #3532628
    Geoff Caplan
    BPL Member

    @geoffcaplan

    Locale: Lake District, Cumbria

    Michael – will do. It will be interesting to see how they work out, as there is pretty much nothing online about them. I guess the price puts people off.

    By the way, just noticed that they’ve opened a US site. They’re not offering the trail shoe right now, but it’s new so I imagine they’ll be stocking it at some point.

    https://us.joe-nimble.com

    #3532635
    Michael Gillenwater
    BPL Member

    @mwgillenwater

    Locale: Seattle area

    I emailed the Joe Nimble USA storefront and asked about the Trail model availability through it.  They said simple we don’t offer it.  And nothing about when they might or offering to special order.

    #3532636
    Michael Gillenwater
    BPL Member

    @mwgillenwater

    Locale: Seattle area

    Oh, and its not actually clear what is the difference between the Trail and non trail models.  The descriptions on the UK and USA websites is insufficient to tell.

    #3532651
    Geoff Caplan
    BPL Member

    @geoffcaplan

    Locale: Lake District, Cumbria

    Yes – their online marketing is woeful. They are basically a bricks-and-mortar chain in Germany and don’t seem to understand the web very well. Add on the pricing and the cringe-worthy names and you can see why they are obscure.

    They give a better description of the Trail shoe on their international site:

    https://int.joe-nimble.com/nimbletoes-trail-1739

    Mind you, very few shoe companies give you the info you really need. Look at this example from New Balance:

    https://goo.gl/ZuintP

     

    #3532842
    Dan Durston
    BPL Member

    @dandydan

    Locale: Canadian Rockies

    I picked up a pair of the TerraFlex. The sizing doesn’t seem small at all. I waver between 9.5 – 10, so I bought 10’s and they are quite generous. Almost too big but probably fine. They are also quite wide – not just the toe box but the whole way. I think of myself as having wide fit, and these feel a bit wide on me the whole way.

    In terms of durability, the uppers look fairly durable, so the main area of concern is whether the uppers will still attached the lowers. I’d really like to find a pair of light shoes that is well put together.

    #3532899
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    terraventure shoe review coming. very solid shoe. fwiiw.

    cheers
    roger

    #3539033
    Tim N
    BPL Member

    @density

    Ho Geoff,

    New here, sorry if I’ve missed many earlier reviews of the Vivos.  What are your specific complaints on the vivos?

    I’ve been wearing the Primus FG for several hundred miles.  I bought the FG because I didn’t want the lugs to rip off like I know can happen with the SG.  My chief complaint on the Vivos is the hard sole compound, which is extremely slippery on wet rock or wood.  If the Xero Shoes are any better on slippery stuff, I will be happy (unless they fall apart).  But the 5k promise makes me worry that they will be just as slippery?

     

     

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 29 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Forum Posting

A Membership is required to post in the forums. Login or become a member to post in the member forums!

Loading...