Are Xero Shoes Vegan?
| |

Are Xero Shoes Vegan? A Complete Guide to Xero Shoes and Veganism

Last Updated on August 26, 2023

BareTread is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.

With the rising popularity of veganism and plant-based lifestyles, more and more people are looking for ethical and sustainable footwear options.

Xero Shoes have become a go-to brand for many vegans and vegetarians due to their minimalist, barefoot-style shoes that are free from animal products.

But are Xero Shoes actually vegan?

xero shoes models at their headquarters

What materials are they made from and why do they appeal to the vegan community? This article will provide a complete overview of Xero Shoes‘ vegan credentials and their benefits for vegan customers.

An Introduction to Xero Shoes

Xero Shoes are a small footwear company based in Boulder, Colorado that specialize in lightweight, flexible and barefoot-feel shoes.

Founded in 2009 by avid barefoot runner Steven Sashen, Xero Shoes aim to allow feet to move and flex naturally while providing protection on outdoor terrain.

Their simple, low-profile shoe designs are inspired by Japanese flip-flops, huaraches and tabi boots.

Xero Shoes Speed Force Rolled

The ultra-thin and bendable Feeltrue rubber soles allow full toe splay and freedom of motion while still giving grip and puncture resistance.

Unlike conventional shoes, Xero Shoes do not have elevated heels or toe springs, allowing feet to be level with the ground.

The wide toe boxes give plenty of room for natural toe spread, while the thin soles and minimalist uppers facilitate full foot flexion and strength.

This gives wearers excellent proprioception and posture benefits associated with true barefoot walking and running.

Are Xero Shoes Vegan?

The simple answer is yes – mostly. Most current Xero Shoes styles and materials are 100% animal-free and vegan. The company states:

“Xero Shoes is about promoting the benefits (and comfort and FUN) of natural movement, first and foremost. Whenever we can, though, we make vegan-friendly products. Sometimes we aren’t able to due to the materials needed to construct a shoe that meets the requirements of jobs that require, say, a leather shoe.

This commitment to veganism stems from founder Steven Sashen’s own vegan ethics. Sashen ensured from the outset that all Xero Shoes products would be animal-cruelty free.

What Materials Are Xero Shoes Made From?

Xero Shoes use a range of innovative, high-tech materials to create durable and performance vegan footwear.

Here are some of the key compounds:

  • FeelTrue Rubber Soles – Xero Shoes’ signature minimalist soles are made of feeltrue rubber. This is a custom formulated, high-performance vegan rubber made without natural rubber latex. Feeltrue rubber offers grip, protection and flexibility to allow natural foot motion.
  • Hemp, Cotton & Canvas – Organic hemp and cotton canvas are used for breathable, comfort vegan uppers. Hemp is a highly sustainable material that doesn’t require pesticides or much water to grow.
  • Vegan Leathers – Many styles utilize animal-friendly microfiber leather and PU leatherette for smooth, flexible and waterproof uppers. These cruelty-free leathers have a quality look and feel without using animal skins.
  • Recycled Plastics – Materials like recycled PET mesh and algae foam minimize waste by utilizing recycled and renewable resources.
  • Plant Rubbers – Some products are constructed with natural latex harvested sustainably from the Brazilian rubber tree. This flexible sap allows vulcanization without chemicals.

There are several key reasons why Xero Shoes have gained a loyal following in the vegan community:

  • Ethical Materials – Vegans love that Xero Shoes are 100% animal-free in all parts and materials of the vast majority of their models. Customers can wear them guilt-free.
  • Sustainability – The use of hemp, recycled plastics and sustainably harvested rubbers means lower environmental impact. Xero Shoes are as eco-friendly as they are vegan.
  • Barefoot Comfort – The barefoot design allows toes to spread and feet to move naturally compared to restrictive conventional shoes. This delivers all-day comfort.
  • Foot Health – Many vegans are drawn to the foot-strengthening benefits of minimalist barefoot shoes. Xero Shoes help improve posture and foot muscle activation.
  • Casual Styles – Xero Shoes come in casual, everyday styles from sandals to slip-ons to sneakers that fit a vegan lifestyle.
  • Active Performance – Serious vegan athletes love using Xero Shoes for running, hiking, cross-training and water sports thanks to their grip, protection and flexibility.
  • Affordability – Price-conscious vegans appreciate that Xero Shoes offer high quality and versatile performance at just a fraction of the cost of big athletic brands.

Xero Shoes Vegan Shoe Lineup

Inside A Xero shoes shop
Inside a Xero Shoes Showroom 2023

Xero Shoes offer an extensive range of vegan-friendly styles suitable for all-day wear, fitness, hiking, water activities and casual looks. Here is a overview of some of their most popular animal-free shoes:

  • Prio – The Prio is Xero Shoes’ best-selling men’s and women’s sneaker, available in various colors. It’s designed for athletic activities and all-day wear with a stylish, retro runners look. The Prio features a wide toe box, recycled PET mesh upper and 5,000 mile sole warranty.
  • DIY Sandal – These totally customizable vegan sandals can be adjusted to fit your foot precisely. The kit includes Vibram or feeltrue rubber soles, nylon straps and hardware. Choose different colors and lace patterns.
  • Genesis – A minimalist sandal secured with a single elasticated instep strap. The Genesis provides total freedom of motion and their cool, huarache-style look works for hiking, water and casual wear.
  • Z-Trail – Built for rugged hiking and trail running. A grippy Vibram or feeltrue sole provides traction on dirt and rocks, while the upper combines recycled PET mesh with durable vegan leather panels for protection and breathability.
  • Mesa – A versatile lace-up trail shoe ready for travels near and far. It combines performance, comfort and a stylish canvas lace-up silhouette. The Mesa is available for men and women.
  • Alpine – Designed for cold weather use, the Alpine insulates your feet with 4mm of cushioning feeltrue rubber and faux shearling lining. A rugged outsole provides winter traction.

Vegan-Friendly Xero Shoe Features

In addition to their animal-free materials, Xero Shoes have several signature design features that make them ideal for vegan and barefoot enthusiasts:

  • Wide Toe Box – All Xero Shoes utilize foot-shaped lasts with extra roomy toe boxes over 10mm wider than normal to allow natural toe splay.
  • Thin Flexible Soles – Just 4-6mm thick feeltrue rubber soles bend and flex with the foot for full articulation and proprioceptive feedback.
  • Low-Profile Design – With flat, zero-drop soles, Xero Shoes keep feet close to the ground for stability and proper posture.
  • Adjustable Fit – Strapped sandal styles and bungee lace closures allow quick adjustment for the perfect vegan-friendly fit.
  • Machine Washable – Xero Shoes’ organic hemp and cotton uppers are machine washable, although we recommend this instead for easy cleaning between wears.
  • High Traction – Durable rubber lug outsoles grip terrain for hiking, trail running and water use – all in vegan-friendly materials.

Xero Shoes Are Truly Animal-Friendly

For ethical vegans and vegetarians seeking stylish, versatile and high-performing footwear, it’s great to know the vast majority of Xero Shoes are 100% animal-free.

From their materials to their barefoot-inspired designs, Xero Shoes deliver on both comfort and conscience. Vegan customers can feel good knowing they are helping end animal cruelty with every step.

So if you want to experience the benefits of natural barefoot movement in shoes free from any animal products, Xero Shoes are a top choice.

They allow vegans to follow an ethical lifestyle from head to toe!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Xero Shoes’ shipping policy?

Xero Shoes offers free shipping on all U.S. orders over $50. They also provide international shipping to over 50 countries worldwide.

What socks should I wear with Xero Shoes?

We recommend wearing a thin, minimalist pair of socks with Xero Shoes to reduce friction while still allowing the toes to splay naturally. Their shoes are designed to be worn with or without socks.

Can I exchange Xero Shoes if the size is wrong?

Yes, Xero Shoes accepts returns and exchanges within 30 days of purchase if the size is not right. Contact their customer service team to arrange an exchange or refund.

Why do people love Xero Shoes so much?

Fans love the extra wide toe box, flexibility, comfort and ethical vegan materials. Xero Shoes allow feet to move and function naturally.

How wide are Xero Shoes compared to “normal” shoes?

Xero Shoes have an extra wide toe box, over 10mm wider than a standard “D” width shoe, to allow toe spread and splay.

Should I let my toes spread in Xero Shoes?

Absolutely! Xero Shoes are intentionally designed with extra room in the toe box so your toes can splay out naturally for stability and foot health.

Are Xero Shoes low to the ground?

Yes, with sole thicknesses of just 4-6mm, Xero Shoes keep your feet close to the bare ground for proprioception and proper posture.

Do you make vegan slippers?

Yes! Xero Shoes offers several warm slipper styles for men and women, including the faux shearling-lined Acadia Sheep Boots.

Can Xero Shoes strengthen feet?

Yes, their minimalist design combined with toe splay allow feet to build strength and intrinsic musculature just like walking barefoot.

Where can I find coupon codes for Xero Shoes?

Xero do not use coupons. We wrote an article detailing what to do instead.

Similar Posts