Xero Prio

Today we are taking a looking at the company Xero Shoes. Specifically Xero Prio barefoot shoes. I have had these Prio’s for almost 6 months and have put them through the paces.  I have been on a quest to find the best barefoot shoes to go hiking in. It has been difficult to find a dedicated barefoot hiking shoe. The barefoot boots I have tried are a bit too confining around the ankle, and I prefer the movement I get with a shoe as I hike.

How it looks

The Prio comes in men’s and women’s, two colors for each. The men’s come in black and blue as well as yellow and black while the women’s Prios are Yellow, turquoise, and black while the other pair is purple and black. With that out of the way, my personal opinion is that these Xero shoes look great! I am not a fan of the color yellow so I opted for the blue Prio shoes. The colors go well together and really look good. My son, however, still thinks I should have gone with the yellow Xero Prios.

Specs

This is straight from the Xero website.

  • Natural FIT — A wide toe box lets your toes spread and relax. Plus the “XERO-drop” sole (non-elevated heel and low-to-the-ground) allows for proper posture, balance, and agility
  • Natural MOTION — The Prio is flexible enough to let your feet bend, move, and flex the way, well, that feet are supposed to. Plus, they’re so lightweight, you’ll barely know you have them on. A men’s 9 is only 7.6 ounces each
  • Natural FEEL — The Prio uses the same 5.5mm FeelTrue® rubber from our Z-Trek sandal, so you get great protection while still getting the ground feedback that your feet like. With an optional 2mm insole, the Prio lets you Feel The World®
  • Vegan-friendly materials — No animal products in the Prio
  • Huarache-inspired design — The heel strap is not only eye-catching but functional
  • Adjustable instep strap — The “inverted V” straps aren’t sewn down, so you can use them to lock in your instep while keeping your toes free to move
  • Reflective straps — That middle section of the heel and instep straps are highly reflective for evenings and night
  • Optional 2mm insole — If you need a bit of extra protection, toss in the optional 2mm insole
  • Barefoot friendly — Wear the Prio with or without socks
  • 5,000-mile sole warranty — like ALL our FeelTre® soles, the Prio’s has our 5,000-mile sole warranty

I personally took out the 2mm insole because I enjoy the more barefoot feel and I absolutely love the room in the toe box of this shoe. I haven’t put 5000 miles on the sole yet, but after 6 months of running and hiking all over the great state of North Carolina and the Smokey Mountains, I am up to about 900 miles and they are still holding up great!

Unboxing

I usually have unboxing pictures but this time my son and I were heading to a hike and we picked these up at the post office on the way. I slapped them on and went on a hike almost immediately.

First impression

I had been looking for minimalist shoes that I could hike in for a while. I have tried others such as Lems primal 2 and Lems boulder boots as well. These Prio’s caught my attention at first because they have a 5000-mile Sole guarantee on these shoes. My criteria for a barefoot hiking shoe was that it had to have the wide toe box, not inhibit ankle dexterity, look good, zero drop heel to toe, and have a thin sole for ground feel. This met those demands. That is unprecedented in the shoe business. I haven’t had to try it yet but I am at 900 miles on these shoes and they are holding up great. Aside from the great guarantee, the shoe looked beautiful coming out of the box. Crisp colors, no loose stitching or scuffs on the shoes.

After getting the shoes on in a hurry to knock out a quick hike before the rain came, we set off on the trail. The shoe, right out of the box, was pretty comfortable. There was no real stiffness to the Xero’s and the shoe was quite flexible. I was able to jump from rock to rock with no real slipping and run over a pretty technical portion of the trail and still have great ground feel.

The first Hike

On this quick first hike, I put the shoes on a little bit of a test. This particular hike allowed me to run a trail, climb trees, jump from rock outcropping to rock outcropping, and scale the face of a rock quarry all before it rained. I loved the way the Xero Prio’s handled the trail run. The shoes are light and allow for toe splay as well as great ground feel. They have great traction that allowed me to jump from outcropping to outcropping with minimal slipping on the jump or sliding on the landing. They did great when I scaled the quarry face, although my wife was none too happy that I let my son do it with me. I was actually pretty thankful for the grip on these shoes as it allowed me to get a nice stick to the rock in certain areas were my Lems had failed before. This allowed me to finally get me and my son to the top of the quarry face.

Overall, the first hike was a success.

Barefoot Shoes for Work

I had no intention of wearing the Xero Prio’s to work, however, the scrubs I wear to the hospital I work at matches perfectly and these quickly became my go-to shoe. This provided me a nice benefit. I had been

The prize at the top of the hike

having sore feet since I had started spending 14 hours on my feet on a concrete floor. After I switched to the Prio’s, my feet became less sore and in about 2 weeks, it had resolved. I am not ready to say it was just the shoes but between the shoes, I had worn for work, which were cushiony shoes for male nurses, and the Xero Prio the Prio’s seemed to be the better choice.

So whats the Bad

Without fail, there is always a negative to anything. With these shoes, at least for me, it was one thing. The traction and grip are great when things are dry outside. However, when things get a bit damp, scrambling or climbing rocks become a bit more difficult. The shoe is not nearly as grippy in wet conditions. Now, this isn’t a fault of just this shoe, it is of almost every shoe I have worn but it is still a negative.

If them not having grip when it is wet outside is bad then the good thing about them when they are wet is that they hardly weigh a thing. I found this out the hard and pretty scary way. There is a pool near where I live and as I was walking over to find my son who was with his friends I saw a boy who looked to be 3 or 4 near the deep end. He jumped from the side of the pool to get on an inflatable toy and missed. He didn’t come back up and nobody seemed to notice so I jumped in fully clothed, shoes and all, swam to him and pulled him up. The boy ended up being fine. The Xero’s were light enough to not weigh me down but substantial enough to provide me with propulsion as I tried to swim. After getting out of the water, I wore them home because even though they were wet, they were still lightweight.

Overview

I gave a quick overview of my first hike with these but wanted to let you know as well, I have hiked in the Smokey Mountains, Hanging Rock, Raven Rock, Craggy point, Carolina beach state park, and many other places with these shoes and they are great. They got dirty, muddy, and almost caught on fire but they have proven themselves as my go-to shoe. They even wash easily if you need to wash them.

Conclusion

Are these the best barefoot shoes ? Well, I don’t think I can answer that honestly since I haven’t tried them all but Xero Prio’s are at the top of my list.

 

Blue shoes are my Xero Prio, Black ones are my Lems primal 2

Whether you are looking for minimalist shoes for men or women, barefoot hiking shoes, or barefoot gym or work shoes. Consider the Xero Prio. They look great, give you great ground feel, they are comfortable, and they really allow your feet to move the way they were intended. They are Zero rise shoes, meaning no rise in height from heel to toe. I have abused these shoes and they still look great and function perfectly. What more can you really ask for

 

Family and Community as a bulwark for liberty

The family and community, if preserved,  can be the bulwark we need to defend liberty. The think local, act local mantra can be especially helpful. These two units can certainly be used against the constant assaults on the liberties of the individual but the competing allegiances that each individual has. These include the church, clubs, extended family, counties, and states.

Society, with the degradation of the family unit as the basis or better said, building block of society, has withered and allowed the sense of community to die. Gone is the sense of being neighborly or thinking locally and acting locally to effect change in your “world”. This has been erased and on those ruins built the idea of thinking nationally and acting nationally and the “State” as the driving force of change.

Creating Change!

Change should be local in nature. Starting, first, with the individual and then through the family and then the community. This action, on a local level, is where you will see immediate change. This is how you can begin to change your world and where you can create the most change in your own life and the lives of those around you. Rather than focusing on the national scale, you should focus what is right in your backyard. Creating change within your family culture is the first place to begin and this can be done by making small changes that can lead to big results. Try creating family traditions on a weekly or monthly level and then on to a seasonal as well as a yearly level. What these should be is dependent on the family and what your interests are.

You can also institute a daily goal. In our family it is to do one good deed a day. This is shared at bedtime and we discuss lessons learned and what can be done in the future. This seems to snowball into multiple good deeds done during the day rather than just one! The kids enjoy it and us as parents like it because we see our children doing good for others. You have to be the change you want to see in the world.

Can these small changes really work?

The question of ” can these small changes really do anything?” comes up often. Well, can it? Yes! Simply initiating change with you first as well as within the family can bring changes that you are not able to see. This can affect change in those around you, including your neighbors, extended family, friends and more. Have you ever had your day radically changed by a simple act of kindness or a mean act? These can change your day or even your week. By having a family culture of doing good, you can change the world around you. Being the example can lead others to do the same and it begins to change others.

How does this relate to liberty, Shawn?

How does this relate to liberty? Good question. This is the building block of thinking locally and acting locally. You are not going to be able to change things for the better, in your own backyard, if you have a bunch of angry family, friends, and neighbors. Doing good deeds, and making it a part of your family culture, can help make it a community culture. This builds up moral capital that you can expend towards creating more liberty. Also, this type or culture breeds a bulwark. This can help the community tackle its own problems without the force of government and on the backs of volunteers who are interested in creating the change they want to see. This is easier done in smaller communities first but can be extended to larger locales. Bring about a family culture of doing good and valuing liberty and be a beacon to the community at large. Focusing on the family and community takes the priority out of the national arena and puts it back into the community arena where individuals can work towards tackling the problems with innovative and differing solutions. We know there is no one size fits all solution so let each family, community, or state work on those problems instead of looking towards Washington D.C. to fix everything.

 

What type of family culture are you trying to create? Let us know in the comments below!