• barefootshoereview

Episode 61: Xero Gracie



I have been volunteering on horse ranches for over 10 years and have been struggling to find a rubber boot that I can rinse off easily that isn't heavy, bulky or just plain uncomfortable. I would always come to the ranch and reluctantly switch out of whatever barefoot shoe I was wearing and put on heavy galoshes. The Xero Gracie waterproof rain boot has just changed my ranch and rainy weather adventures completely! What a wonderful experience it is to slip your foot into the Gracie. It's so light and flexible and has plenty space for your toes to splay.

And it is so so comfortable! I almost forgot I was wearing any shoes as I did my chores around the ranch. The boot felt so organic on my foot, there was zero chaffing or break in time and had excellent tread on slippery, muddy surfaces. Best of all, after getting the boots caked in mud and dirt, I was able to hose them down and they were as good as new.


I love earthy tones and was immediately drawn to the Hunter color option. The color is as expected and the shape and aesthetics of the boot are very pleasing. The insole can be removed for a more minimalist feel and the elastic sections around the ankle allow for ease in slipping the boot on and off.




In this review I am wearing the Xero Gracie in Hunter in a women's US8 / EU 38.5.

They are also available in Black and Pink.


Click here to access the Xero US website.

Click here to access the Xero Australia website.


Disclaimer: These shoes were given to us to review, however our opinion is our own. This page uses affiliate links, and by purchasing from an affiliate link, we will receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you, and enjoy the read!





Company Overview:


Xero shoes was founded in 2009 (originally named Invisible Shoes) by husband and wife duo, Steven Sashen and Lena Phoenix. Following an injury prone reintroduction into sprinting after a 30 year break, Steven was introduced to the concept of barefoot running. The injuries eventually dissipated and Steven began producing barefoot sandals, based on huarache styled sandals, similar to those worn by the Tarahumara Indians in Mexico's Copper Canyon.


It had a brief appearance on Shark Tank in January 2012, where they turned down a $400,000 offer, and have since had a rise to prominence as one of the leading barefoot shoe companies within the industry.


Shark Tank Pitch (I am super inspired by this video, so barefoot five to this power couple)




Manufacturing and Sustainability:

  • Our minimalist designs use fewer materials than traditional shoes (especially the performance products)

  • Our simpler designs, without midsole layers, require less energy to manufacture

  • Our soles last longer — where most performance shoe companies recommend replacing their products every 3-500 miles, our soles have a 5,000 mile sole warranty.

  • Whenever possible, we use renewable materials, like hemp"

  • At this time, the only shoes not vegan-friendly are the Alston and Coalton, which are made of leather, and the Mika and Pacifica, which contain a small amount of wool.

  • We design all of our shoes here in Colorado. Xero Shoes are responsibly, ethically, and fairly manufactured in China. We visit and work with our factories multiple times per year. We also have an on-the-ground manufacturing agent who oversees the factories when we’re not there to ensure that conditions are good, workers are treated fairly, and the shoes are made in compliance with all local laws and regulations. The factories we use treat and pay their workers exceptionally well.

  • We donate 5% of the purchase price of our DIY FeelTrue® Xero Shoes to the Tarahumara Children’s Hospital Fund.




Shipping and Returns:

  • We accept products for exchange or return that are in brand new, unworn and unaltered condition within 45 days of the original order date

  • Shoes and sandals that have been worn outside do not qualify for exchange or return

  • Be sure to inspect the product before returning, and include the original packing materials.

  • Your request will be processed within 10 business days of receipt

Xero US ship domestic and internationally at a fee. Click here to view more info.



First Impressions:

  • Very lightweight

  • Super comfortable

  • Excellent tread

  • Wide toe box

  • Completely flexible

  • Beautiful color and aesthetics

  • Fully waterproof

  • Easy to slip on and off

  • Removeable insole

  • Zero break-in time




Sizing and Fit:


**I have a medium/regular volume foot and generally wear a women's US 8 or EU 39. **

I ordered the Gracie in a US 8 EU 38.5 and they fit perfectly.

If you have a higher volume foot I would recommend sizing up a half a size to be able to maximize toe splay or remove the insole.

I first tried them around the house without socks and it didn't feel like it held my foot snuggly. So I tried them with socks which is how I would wear them anyways and they fit to perfection.

The Gracie is a available in Women's sizes US 5-12 (whole)



Performance:


I am blown away by how just a boot can change my whole day's experience. It was truly a pleasure wearing the Gracie boot and especially trying them out while doing strenuous chores on the ranch. The non-slip rubber and dual-direction chevron tread allowed me to push and pull and hurl on slippery wet/muddy surfaces without losing my footing. The flexibility allowed me to maximize my natural foot movement and experience proper toe extension while pushing heavy loads without compromising on my toe splay or comfort. Best of all, after an exhausting few hours of ranch chores, I had ZERO (pun intended) blisters or chaffing and no foot pain. In my old rubbers, I would experience chaffing almost every time along with pain due to the elevated heel and narrow toe box. The zero drop and wide toe box resolved that issue. The Gracie is completely waterproof and I enjoyed splashing through puddles and mud (and maybe some horse Sh*t) without worrying about getting wet or ruining the boot. The plush polyester lining kept me warm and dry. I was able to hose down the boot afterwards and have them looking as good as new. I truly look forward to wearing them again on my next rainy/muddy adventure.



Specs:

  • Waterproof

  • Vegan friendly

  • Non-Slip sole

  • Flexible and durable FeelTrue sole.

  • Non slip rubber

  • Dual direction chevron tread

  • Plush polyester lining

  • Zero drop

  • Wide toe box

  • 14 ounces per shoe (W7)

  • Available Sizes: Women's US 5-12 (whole)



Care Instructions:


Completely waterproof and can be hosed down with water.




Future Improvements:


The only improvement I would recommend is that there be some sort of adjustable strap system inside around the heel or ankle so that people with lower volume feet will be able to have their foot attached firmly to the boot while walking.


Where and How to Wear:


The Gracie boot is at a perfect mid height which makes them an excellent option for any rainy season whether in the heat or cold. They are aesthetically pleasing and can totally be worn complimentary to any casual outfit be it jeans or a dress. In the past on wet days, I would bring an extra pair of shoes to work to switch out of my clunky rain boots, but with the Gracie boot that won't be necessary. They are comfortable and light enough to wear throughout the day and are a cute accessory to your casual outfit.






Conclusion:


I had such wonderful experience reviewing this boot and look forward to wearing it on many more occasions. Once again Xero outdid themselves and filled a much needed void in the barefoot shoe world. Having a rubber, waterproof boot that is not heavy, clunky or inflexible is a true gift to the minimalist world. The Gracie is (dare I say) the most graceful option of a waterproof rubber rain boot out there. Try it out, you won't be disappointed.