Xero Shoes Alpine Review – Best for Snow?

By Alin Ciocan | February 10, 2024

xero shoes alpine boot product shot on white background

The Xero Shoes Alpine is a lightweight, flexible, zero-drop winter boot designed with a minimalist feel to allow natural foot movement. While providing insulation and waterproofing for warmth and dryness, the Alpine boot’s thin sole and low profile give it a “slipper-like” comfort.

Reviewed at $159.99

Barefoot Comfort

4.5/5

PRICE / VALUE

4.5/5

Style / Design

5/5

durability

4.5/5

Last Updated on April 23, 2024

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

As an avid hiker and outdoor enthusiast, I know that footwear can make or break a winter adventure. After testing the Xero Shoes Alpine boots this season, I’m thoroughly impressed. Their combination of warmth, grippy traction, and incredibly lightweight design sets a new standard. In this review, I’ll break down why these boots have become my go-to choice for cold weather excursions. .

Overview of Xero Shoes Alpine

Design & Materials

  • Breathable quilted fabric for the upper exterior
  • Fleece lining on interior for warmth and comfort
  • Rubber sole (FeelTrue rubber) for the outsole, specified as 5.5mm thick
  • Vegan-friendly and synthetic materials used throughout
xero shoes alpine close-up photo of the inner lining and label

Key Features

  • Waterproofing: The Alpine uses waterproof woven fabric and sealing to keep feet dry in snow and slush.
  • Grip Strength: An aggressively lugged rubber outsole provides excellent traction on snow and ice without slippage.
  • Insulation: With 200g of insulation and a cozy fleece lining, the Alpine provides ample warmth in frigid conditions

Style & aesthetic

The style of these boots can be characterized by:

a pair of black xero shoes alpine in the snow
  • Sleek Design: A seamless and clean aesthetic that combines practicality with a touch of elegance.
  • Understated Sophistication: The consistent black color palette is enhanced by a subtle checkered pattern, providing a refined look.
  • Natural Feel: Engineered to mimic the sensation of walking barefoot while offering protection and support.
  • Ankle Support: The higher cut around the ankles ensures stability and comfort during movement.
  • Versatile Sole: Designed for superior traction, the soles maintain a connection with the ground, vital for the barefoot walking experience.
  • Waterproof Quality: These boots are built to withstand various elements, ensuring dryness and durability in different environments.

In essence, these boots cater to those seeking a practical, yet sensory-rich footwear experience, without compromising on style or functionality.

Pros and Cons


Pros

Lightweight and flexible with a minimalist, “barefoot” feel

Waterproof and warm, good insulation for winter/snow

Comfortable with a wide toe box and removable insole

Good traction and grip on snow and ice

Vegan friendly materials

Cons

Not as warm in very cold sub-zero temperatures when snow sticks

Sizing can run small

Although we haven’t had any issues with the Alpine, there’s mentions online of minor durability issues

At $159.99 they are fairly expensive

Comfort & Fit

I found the sizing of the Alpine boots to be accurate to size. With the laces allowing a secure fit, they adapted well to my feet. The fleece lining and toe box provide ample interior space for comfort without excess room that can lead to slippage.

The Alpines felt great for full days of winter activity. The flexibility enabled natural foot movement while the insulation kept my feet cozy. I wore them hiking snowy trails, snowshoeing, and everyday use. The ankle support and grip gave me confidence to move across varied winter terrain from icy sidewalks to deep snow.

Performance in Action

In real-world testing, the Xero Shoes Alpine boots excelled across the board, living up to their promises of waterproofing, breathability, warmth, and traction. Feet stayed dry even when stepping in puddles or wet snow. Despite the insulation, I did not have issues with sweat or overheating thanks to the fleece lining’s excellent moisture-wicking properties. Even during intense activity, my feet felt comfortable and dry.

The lugged rubber soles provided secure grip on snow and ice, with no slip incidents. The unique tread pattern, featuring deep, multi-directional lugs, offered remarkable stability on steep, icy sections of trail. I felt confident maintaining my footing in challenging winter conditions.

close up photograph of the soles of xero shoes alpine boots
The Xero Alpine boots’ tread pattern features deep, multi-directional lugs for exceptional stability and grip on icy, snowy surfaces.

In frigid temperatures down to 5°F (-15°C), the Alpine boots kept my feet warm for hours while active, without needing heavy socks. I found them sufficiently insulated with just a light to medium pair, but those who prefer a thicker sock can likely size up slightly to accommodate.

Thanks to their reliable warmth, waterproofing, and traction, the Xero Shoes Alpine boots gave me the confidence to tackle challenging winter hiking and outdoor adventures safely and comfortably. They have become my go-to choice for cold weather excursions.

Caring for Your Alpine Boots

To clean, I use a damp cloth to wipe away dirt and debris on the exterior fabric and rubber rand. Inside, I periodically air dry the fleece lining to remove any excess moisture. So far the materials have been durable with minimal signs of wear. Read our article How to Clean Xero Shoes: Step-by-Step Guide for more detailed information.

Xero Shoes provides a 5,000 mile tread warranty for defects. Their excellent customer service makes exchanges and returns easy if any issues arise with materials or construction over time. Proper care will maximize the boot’s lifespan.

Xero Shoes Alpine vs. Competitors

Compared to other winter hiking boots, the Xero Alpine stands out for its minimalist flexibility, warmth and traction at just $150. More rigid boots like Salomon Toundra Pro offer greater support but reduce ground feel. And the Alpines match snow boot brands like Sorel for insulation at a lower cost. Overall for features and performance, the Xero Alpine delivers outstanding value.