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Cheap, light weight, compact shoes for your BOB

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:25 pm
by Purple_Mutant
A while back I came across a company called Xero Shoes.

https://xeroshoes.com/

They make a sandal inspired by the tire sandals worn by Tarahumara Indians in Mexico. One of the hallmarks of all of their shoes is that they have a thin sole. This makes them very compact and light weight. They would be great as backup shoes for a BOB or take them backpacking to use as camp shoes. They come in a DIY kit that only costs $20-$30 (or cheaper) and they ship worldwide.

https://xeroshoes.com/shop/product-category/diy-kits/

I have a pair and they are pretty awesome. They have a really excellent tread pattern. So you get the barefoot effect with some protection and great traction. Keep in mind that if you aren't used to walking barefoot these will take some getting used too. If you are prone to heel striking your heels might get sore until you adjust the way you walk. But once you get used to them they are pretty fantastic. Putting the sandals together isn't that hard. They have videos to show you how. The DIY kit comes in a hole punch so you can put the toe hole right where you need it. The sole can be trimmed for a perfect fit. Lacing can be a little tricky at first. But once you have them laced and with the proper tension they don't need to be laced again. You can easily slip them on and off. If the laces break you could always replace it with paracord which I am sure most of us have. If you take the inner strands out of the paracord it would save some weight as well as be easier to run through the holes. Speaking of laces they have tons of color options for the cordage. So you are sure to find something that suits you.

If you don't feel like going the DIY rout and lacing them yourself. They have other options that don't require lacing including a sport sandal. Which is basically a thin soled Teva/Chaco style sandal. But for $20 the DIY kit is hard to beat.

Here are some pics of mine on my feet.

Here you can see the basic lacing style and how it goes behind the heel so they don't slip off.

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Underside showing the awesome tread pattern. The purple blob is the knot under the toe hole. You can also see just how thin the soles are. In my case I got the 6mm soles. They also come in a 4mm sole

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I am really pleased with these sandals. Given how cheap they are I might buy another pair to stick in a BOB, Given the price of the DIY kit I think it's worth trying out. If you don't like them you are only out $20. But I would really give them a shot before you decide you don't like them. The laces might need readjusting and walking with such a thin sole takes a little getting used too.

Here is a video from the company explaining their DIY kit.


Re: Cheap, light weight, compact shoes for your BOB

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:03 pm
by teotwaki
Interesting!

Re: Cheap, light weight, compact shoes for your BOB

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:10 pm
by CG
These are my summer shoes. Haven't had anything manage to actually go through it, which is impressive when you have goat heads and mesquite thorns. Not good for walking on pavement (or really, anywhere) for long distances unless you are dang used to having no support or cushioning. They can also heat up a bit on asphalt. I've ordered the Venture (ready made, pretty basic model) twice now. If you watch for when they're clearing out inventory (ie, get on their mailing list), they have phenomenal deals sometimes. The 2 pairs I bought for this year were only about $10 each.

Re: Cheap, light weight, compact shoes for your BOB

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:00 pm
by Purple_Mutant
CG wrote:These are my summer shoes. Haven't had anything manage to actually go through it, which is impressive when you have goat heads and mesquite thorns. Not good for walking on pavement (or really, anywhere) for long distances unless you are dang used to having no support or cushioning. They can also heat up a bit on asphalt. I've ordered the Venture (ready made, pretty basic model) twice now. If you watch for when they're clearing out inventory (ie, get on their mailing list), they have phenomenal deals sometimes. The 2 pairs I bought for this year were only about $10 each.
Wow $10 is super cheap. I should get on their mailing list.

Re: Cheap, light weight, compact shoes for your BOB

Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:39 am
by roscoe
I wear a different Xero sandal (Z-trek) and do like them very much. I had to get the slightly harder sole because the Cloud let rocks poke my feet a bit too much. But I a a tenderfoot.

Re: Cheap, light weight, compact shoes for your BOB

Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:26 pm
by zombiepreparation
tagged

Re: Cheap, light weight, compact shoes for your BOB

Posted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:30 am
by w3rdtoyamama
Interesting. Do they come with purple nail polish? :clap:

I wear boots year round.

Re: Cheap, light weight, compact shoes for your BOB

Posted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:01 pm
by RonnyRonin
I've been wearing my Bedrock Cairn sandals a lot lately, I've been a chaco fan for a long time but they are too bulky and heavy to take anywhere unless they are your primary footwear. Having lighter backup shoes lets you take them more places, be it backcountry or carryon travel. I like the durability of simple sandals, and for bonus they save a lot of wear and tear on socks (and washing), and while I'd never have sandals in my BOB they would probably be indispensable in an INCH setup for me.

I will probably never go as light as the xeroshoes, but so far the transition from chacos to bedrocks has been all positive (except for having something between my toes, I hate that).

Re: Cheap, light weight, compact shoes for your BOB

Posted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 9:42 am
by ROCK6
Great post OP!

I have a few Xeroshoe sandals. I wear the Z-sandals the most, but for a barefoot sandal, their standard barefoot sandals are the lightest I've found. Nothing beats getting your hiking shoes/boots off after a long day and getting air to your feet but still allowing you to do plenty of camp work without risking a cut.

ROCK6

Re: Cheap, light weight, compact shoes for your BOB

Posted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 3:44 am
by Blasphemous
I have spent a lot of years in the military and I think these things would be PERFECT for members in the field. I normally pack a pair of cheap flip flops (shower shoes) for something to wear after a long road march or for when I need to get up in the middle of the night to take care of bodily functions. The last thing I want to do is to have to wear my boots any more and cheapo flip flops only last 1-2 outings before either a strap breaks or pulls through. Plus, they take up a lot of volume.

I'm going to look into getting a few pairs of these, 1 for home/BOB use and 1 to keep in my ruck. Great post!

Re: Cheap, light weight, compact shoes for your BOB

Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 11:01 am
by moab
We've had this discussion before. But what are all the alternatives? I seem to recall a few. And I'd like to buy something besides my birks. Which I live in.

Re: Cheap, light weight, compact shoes for your BOB

Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 3:56 pm
by majorhavoc
Slipping on a pair of Crocs to wear around camp after a day of backpacking is absolute heaven. And of course they weigh next to nothing.

Re: Cheap, light weight, compact shoes for your BOB

Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:40 pm
by ROCK6
moab wrote:We've had this discussion before. But what are all the alternatives? I seem to recall a few. And I'd like to buy something besides my birks. Which I live in.
Minimalist footwear still has a strong following. I'm not a full "barefoot" convert, but I run in barefoot shoes, I work (Army) in zero-drop boots, I day hike in barefoot shoes and I even my dress shoes are zero-drop shoes. Now, I've found out the hard way that barefoot shoes aren't the best option (for me) to do a multiday backpacking trip averaging 15 miles a day. I don't really get blisters, but my feet were really fatigued. I've had to since change to more support with Salomon shoes. Still, I know I could go a few days with barefoot shoes (or sandals) in an emergency.

This is the season I switch to sandals for the majority of my off-duty activities (outside to distance backpacking). I just push-mowed a few acres of grass with these types of sandals. My preference are the now discontinued Vivobarefoot Achilles sandals; they look funky, but protect my toes a little. My goal is to toughen up my feet before our upcoming hike, but I sill want something between the bottom of my feet and the ground; even if it's a thin layer of hard rubber tread.

There are also similarly designed "shoes" that are light with more protection but still fulfill the role of camp shoes; they are just a little more versatile.

ROCK6

Re: Cheap, light weight, compact shoes for your BOB

Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:22 am
by Zimmy
I have these in my car for spares.

http://www.chacos.com/US/en/customizabl ... zssu43aft3

Otherwise I'm wearing:

https://obozfootwear.com/products/mens- ... waterproof

Both seem to be holding up well with lots of miles so far.