by Xero Shoes
I can’t believe I took so long to order the Genesis sandal/huarache from Xero Shoes. It is the perfect sport sandal/huarache for running, hiking and especially walking. I’ve been a fan of most Xero Shoes products, and was there when they first came out: their original huaraches sandal, now called the Feeltrue Sandal, and still for sale on their website, is the best sole of all the huaraches. I’ve compared them before, but for example, the soles for Luna Sandals, even the thinnest, the Leadville, are twice as thick as Xeros, but softer, and therefore they somehow hurt my heels to walk around town in them. Hiking and running are ok, especially if really rocky or gravelly.
The Xero huarache, or the Feeltrue, sole on the other hand, is thinner, but made of tougher rubber, so your feet are closer to the ground, and even feel the ‘bumps’ more (which is what you want!), but just as flexible and light.
My only negative about the Feeltrue was/is the lace that comes with it: a simple nylon shoe lace, which actually doesn’t work well with the traditional huarache wrap, though Xeros came up with a different wrap, in which the laces ‘double-up’ in back and around the ankle. That works fine. The problem is that the shoe lace doesn’t last very long, and it will inevitably break at the thong section between the toes, and since it’s nylon, will fray (in the middle of a run or hike) and feeding it back through the toe hole is almost impossible without a lighter to melt the frayed ends together.
This is breaking off at the toe hole is true of any huarache with the thong through the toes design, which is why I like/d the traditional leather lace from Luna: it’s tough and strong, and if it breaks, very easy to feed through and tie off and get moving again.
I had tried the Luna Sandal ‘sport lace’ with their Leadvilles, and like it: slips on well, looks sporty, and still stays snug to your feet. But again, I can not walk around in them, especially on pavement, without my heels hurting. This doesn’t affect everybody, but does affect some folks, from what I’ve heard.
So, again, I don’t know why I ignored the Genesis so long, since it’s all about the Xeros Shoes ‘sport lace.’ I guess I liked modifying my Feeltrue sandals: using leather boot laces, which are narrow enough to fit in the Sole holes, and going with the traditional wrap, and look. though those leather laces tend to break off fast. An easy fix, but the laces wear down fast, and it becomes harder and harder to find leather boot laces, for some reason.
When buying a pair of Xero Shoes recently (look for that review!) I finally decided to try a pair of Genesis sandals. The ‘sport lace’ system is different from Luna’s: each section of the lace is made of soft doubled tube-like material. Not a shoe lace: thicker and rounder. It also has two places to adjust the tightness, which rest on each side of the ankle but do not get in the way or rub or anything. Very easy to work and adjust. Just felt so good and comfortable from the first try.
I’ve now been hiking and running in them, in dry sandy and rocky terrain. Mud and water doesn’t work well with most huaraches anyways, but these I think will be ok, better than the Feeltrue, because the sport lace is more snug. (For super muddy or wet terrain, I’d recommend the old VFFs!)
The only thing to worry about, and I hope not for a couple years, is when the thong section between the toes will break, as they must inevitably do. The sport lace at least has enough material that I think one could rig it up to feed it through the hole and get back home, which I could not do with Lunas, when it happened. I only say this about breakage because there is one Xero Shoes product that I didn’t like—the Z-Trail, which had some plastic clips at the ankle straps, on both pairs of sandals, break within days of each other on a hike in Grand Gulch (see link to review below).
By the way, I know there are still people who think they don’t like the thong between the toes, on any sandal. I used to be like that, but finally tried it, years ago, when trying huaraches. And, you get used to it so quickly. But the Z-Trail was the first of several models of sandal Xero now has, which don’t have a thong, but instead a strap over all the toes, like their new Z-Trek and Naboso (neither of which I have tried). I strongly urge readers to consider saving money and just getting the Genesis. $20 cheaper than the Z-Trek, and $50 cheaper than the Naboso (!). They have thicker and stiffer soles anyways.
I also, again, highly recommend the Genesis over any other basic huarache or sport sandal: you don’t want thicker soles, and you don’t need fancier straps, and you don’t need to spend more money. And the Genesis looks fairly sporty, if I say so myself.
Order Xero Shoes and sandals here: https://xeroshoes.com/
Link to my review of the Z-Trail here.
Link to my previous comparison between Xeros and Lunas here.
Link to my review of the Xero Prio running shoe here.
Link to my re-review of Xero huaraches (the Feeltrues) here.