Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Xero Shoes Sensori Venture Review and Giveaway!



I just have to say, those "Sharks" on the ABC Show "Shark Tank"  totally missed the boat last Spring when they turned down a great offer from Steven and Lena of Xero Shoes.   If you missed the episode, feel free to watch it right here below... but continue reading afterwards for my review of their latest offering and a chance to win a pair for yourself!




So... the Sharks missed out on benefiting from some great new products coming out from Xero Shoes, and in particular, the Sensori Venture huarache that was just released.



Ok.. if you aren't familiar with Xero Shoes (Formerly known as Invisible Shoes), they are a great company out of Boulder CO that make some really terrific running huaraches.  The Invisible Shoes 6mm Connects were the first minimalist shoe I ever ran in...  I did a review on them after they switched names, but basically it's the same sandal and you can read the review by clicking HERE.

I am so happy to finally be able to run a review on these, as I was fortunate to run in several iterations of this sandal over the last 6+ months as part of the wear testing/usability process.  But I couldn't say anything!! AND... stay tuned for some more cool stuff from Xero Shoes.. in particular if you want to run in cold weather/snow in your huaraches.... doh!  I've said too much already... :-)

The Contacts and Connects are terrific sandals (4mm and 6mm) and I know a lot of folks that have racked up some serious mileage in them.  Speaking of which, Xero Shoes provides a 5,000 mile warranty on their proprietary soles!


Ok.. before I tell you what's new, I can let you know what hasn't changed.  As I noted, the proprietary sole material produced by Xero Shoes is the same, as well as the sizing and shape.  The tread pattern is the same as well, however the Sensori Venture comes in a 5.5mm thickness.  While I like the 4mm Contacts, a sandal that is closer to 6mm provides a better sweet spot (in my opinion) between protection and ground feel/feedback.

So what's NEW?   Check this out:



First:  No more knot to tie, melt, and worry about wearing out!  The Sensori Venture features a counter sunk rubber toe post that should last as long as the sole.  Big plus here...


Here is the other side of the toe post... comprised of a comfortable flexible rubber.


Second:  Pre-tied lacing!  While I love learning different ways to tie loose corded huaraches, I generally end up dialing in the best fit I can, and then leaving them alone. These arrived almost exactly as I needed them.. took about 30 sec of and adjustment and done!  The Sensori Venture comes pre-laced with dual-corded lacing and easy to fit adjusters on each side.  Also note the two-tone color scheme.. pretty sweet :-)


Third:  Heel cup and silicon achilles strap.   I really like the silicone strap/tube as it is really comfortable and keeps the heel strap from slipping.  The heel cup is ok...  the intent was to keep out debris etc, but I think it really just adds more to the looks.  I don't have any issues with my heel slipping out or off in any of my huaraches.  In this case, I would have preferred a similar cup or ridge on the FRONT of the sandal to assist with steep downhills....   




Finally:  I really like the design of the side supports for the lacing.  It's been moved out and up from the sole to prevent any rubbing and I imagine may extend the life of the lacing hole at these points.  

So, how do they feel?  From a running perspective, I feel that all of the positives from the original Connects carries over to the Venture.  The foot bed traction, ground feel, and flexibility is terrific.  It did take me a little bit to get used to the toe post as it rubbed a little funny at first, but after a few minor adjustments and a few more miles in them, I've gotten used to the feel.  These still run a bit heavy compared to comparable soles on my other huaraches, but its a minor trade off as I know this rubber will wear much longer, and they are not any heavier than the 6mm Connects. 


So.. how do you get your hands on some of these?  You can click on the Xero Shoes banner up at the top left of this post to check them out.  They retail for $39.99 which still places these at the lower end of the pricing range for good running huaraches.  OR...  yes, you know what's coming next.  Enter to win!  Steven was kind enough to provide a pair of Sensori Ventures to a lucky Barefoot Inclined reader.  Enter via the Rafflecopter thingy below...  and good luck!

Contest is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada. Contest will run until 10PM MST, Tuesday November 19th, 2013. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Trails!

Jeff
http://barefootinclined.com
barefootinclined@gmail.com


22 comments:

Anonymous said...

These look awesome! I'd love to win some but they're going on my holiday wish list just in case.

Lisa said...

I'm not sure if I would get used to the between the toes part, but they look comfortable. These look so easy to wear!

Matt Gawlowski said...

I bought some of these already, and find them to be a really nice step up from the original Xeros. Feels more solid, more refined, more comfortable overall.

Dylan Graves said...

I've never been able to decide whether I would rather have a pair of XeroShoes or a pair of Luna Mono sandals. Figured I probably couldn't go wrong either way. This review makes it seem like this new iteration sound great! Makes my decision even harder! Unless I win a pair, of course :)

patrick voo said...

i've never tried huaraches, but think that it would be quite cool to strengthen my feet in them!

Kyle said...

Would be interesting to try these.

Cecil Vermule said...

It would be pretty cool to try these. I love my Bedrock Sandals. I get made fun of for wearing them, but when those that do get injuries from their shoes and have really sweaty feet and such I tell them they should have sandals like me.

Stan (9run.ca) said...

awesome review Jeff. I just went on my first run with these this morning and while it'll take some getting used to in terms of fit as well as the soreness I felt on the webbing between big and second toe, they felt great. They certainly help in keeping a consistent foot strike.

I agree with your observation on the heel cup. I didn't find it very useful at all but I do love how it makes the sandals look so much cooler.

Jeff Gallup said...

Thanks Stan. And yes, running in huaraches always requires a little conditioning between your toes. Whether its a strap, cord, or in this case a rubber post, you have to start of short and work up a bit. I've neglected doing that a few times and blistered.. but once that is better conditioned, they are a blast to run in. The Xero's in particular give me feed back because if my form is bad, I get a nasty slapping sound :-)

ikkinlala said...

I'd want to win these because I've never tried huaraches and it would be great to have something to cover my feet in the city.

Juliet said...

I love my Connects, but I'd love the heel cup and the slip-on capability.

David Boyd said...

I love my invisible shoes. I've had maybe three or so pairs over the years. The Sensori sandal looks sick.

Mahdi Martin said...

I'd love to have these because they look super comfy for cleaning houses in. They would also go well with my toe socks.

Trent Milam said...

I would love these because my regular xero shoes keep wearing through cords

Katie Hughes said...

I have two pairs of the 4mm connects and I LOVE them!! I wear them everywhere! I would love to try the Sensori Ventures!

Yvonne Johnson said...

Love Xero Shoes! Second choice to barefoot!

Bryan Kochis said...

Come on .. big money! No whammies!

adam swanson said...

Someone's response when I shared, "I feel like I could make these" my reply, "feel free! http://xeroshoes.com/shop/diy-kits/diy-vibram/ " lol

Oboovie said...

Thanks for sharing this blog.I like this blog very much. really such an nice and decent information shared here with
awesome stuff.Dr Martens Oboovie provides Dr Martens original collection of shoes, sandals and boots. Dr Martens Vintage, Dr Martens floral, Merrell shoes, Dr Martens Triumph 1914 and lot more in stock. Buy your style of shoes at a very convenient price.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, for me these have not been what they are meant to be. Within 2 - 3 weeks of wearing these, only at work, inside, and less then 40 hours per week, 2 have broken at the toe stem. That virtually renders them useless unless I want to do the original tying method which I will now have to consider. I don't think I wear them any different then any other person and I have to say that I will NEVER wear them outside or to run in. They will not hold up to that as they are currently designed.

Oliver Ha said...

I'm with anonymous. Mine broke within three days of use. Very unfortunate as I was coming to really enjoy them

Jeff Gallup said...

sorry to hear that, and I missed the other comment as well. I would recommend contacting Xero Shoes directly about the issue. They have always been extremely focused on customer satisfaction, and I am sure that they can make it right for you both. Call them at 1-800-499-8880 Toll Free or email support@xeroshoes.com