It looks like any regular trail-running shoes. And you can use it like any pair, conquering off-road trails whether you’re running or hiking. The Xero Terraflex, however, brings one added advantage: the darn thing can pack into a compact bundle that makes it easy to square away in a backpack or suitcase.
That’s right, it’s a fully-functional trail-running footwear that’s designed to pack into a tight space, allowing you to conveniently bring an extra pair of shoes for the backcountry during trips. Whether you want to pack light while bringing extra footwear along or just want a backup pair in case you decide to go on a hike, these packable runners make for a more suitable candidate than a bulky pair of standard footwear.
The Xero Terraflex is based on the outfit’s similarly packable Prio running shoe, albeit in a design that’s meant to deliver better performance in the trail. That means, you’ll get stronger grip, better traction, and just a little bit more protection for your feet, so you can run with less worries, no matter what conditions turn up on the off-road. Of course, it retains much of the minimalism of its predecessor, which allows it to roll up into a similarly tight bundle, all while weighing just 9.6 ounces.
Built with a breathable mesh upper, the shoes are designed to move, bend, and flex with your feet, all while allowing your feet to cool off to minimize sweating. That upper is fused to a lugged sole to ensure it delivers the necessary grip, with 3mm of embedded foam inside the sole providing added protection and just a smidgen of comfort. It has a fit that the outfit describes as “natural” – that is, wide on the toe box (so your toes can spread and relax), flat on the heel, and low to the ground, which they believe will allow for the optimum posture, balance, and agility.
The Xero Terraflex sports a heel strap that borrows its origins from Mexican huarache sandals, which you can use to hold your heel and ankle in place during runs and hikes. To use, simply pull the straps through the ankle holes in the sole, then lock them in place along with the laces. Doing so will provide better security for your instep, which should free up your toes and forefoot for better function through any activity. Do note, these shoes are not waterproof, so if you’re running in inclement weather, you might want to consider wearing something else. On a positive note, the mesh upper should help it dry quickly whenever it gets wet, although you’ll likely have a hard time using this in rainy weather.
Features include a removable 2mm insole (you can remove it if you prefer the barefoot running feel), a soft inner lining that allows you to wear it without socks comfortably, and reflective straps to keep you easily visible when running at night. It comes with a sole warranty of 5,000 miles.