Xero Shoes Prio Review: Where Price Meets Quality

By Alin Ciocan | July 2, 2023

xero shoes prio barefoot shoe white

Reviewed at $89.99, better value than most barefoot shoes

Barefoot Comfort




Style / Design




Last Updated on April 23, 2024

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So, you’re on the hunt for the perfect pair of barefoot shoes, and the Xero Shoes Prio has caught your eye. You’re intrigued, but you want to be sure it’s the right choice before you hit that “buy” button.

We get it – buying shoes online can feel like a gamble.

That’s why we’ve put together this in-depth review. We’ll cut through the hype and give you the lowdown on the Xero Shoes Prio, from its comfort and fit to its performance and value. By the end, you’ll have all the info you need to decide if these are the shoes you’ve been searching for. Let’s dive in!

Pros and Cons


Affordable price point ($89.99) compared to other minimalist/barefoot shoes

Durable – still holding up after over a year of frequent use

Flexible sole provides good ground feel and barefoot experience

Good for a range of activities like running, hiking, gym, everyday use – very versatile

Lightweight and comfortable, very nice feel on the foot


Not ideal for cold weather

Some of the colorways are odd

Not suitable for all terrains

FIXED!!! The Prio used to run small, people had to order a half or full size up but it has now been updated

Fit and Comfort

Xero Shoes Prio from the front

The Xero Shoes Prio is designed to provide a comfortable fit for those with regular to narrow feet.

Unlike traditional shoes, the Prio offers a wider fit without being as wide as other barefoot shoes on the market. It features a thick ankle cushion that enhances comfort but may trap heat in hotter climates.

The sandal-inspired lacing system allows for a secure lockdown and perfect heel lock. In terms of sizing, the shoe runs true to size and offers plenty of depth in the toe box, allowing ample room for your toes to move freely.

Feel and Performance

xero shoes prio sole

One of the standout features of the Xero Shoes Prio is its raw feedback, delivering the true barefoot experience that avid barefoot runners crave.

The thin 5.5mm outsole, made from proprietary FeelTrue rubber, provides excellent ground feel while still offering enough thickness for durability.

The shoe’s flexibility allows for a comfortable running experience, effectively activating both the support of your arch and the rebound of your toes.

Additionally, the Prio’s lockdown is reliable enough to handle trails or gym workouts.


Xero Shoes stands by the durability of their products with a 5000-mile sole guarantee, assuring customers of the longevity of their shoes.

The Prio strikes a balance between having a thick enough sole to ensure durability and preserving the barefoot feel that users seek.

xero shoes prio sho has an old school look

Although the upper may have an old-school look with its chunky material and stitch, this design choice is likely a true testament to its tried-and-tested durability.

In summary, the Xero Shoes Prio scores very well when it comes to durability, especially relative to its low price point. Both the sole and upper seem built to last for hundreds of miles, and that has been true in my experience backing up Xero’s 5000 mile warranty. This makes the Prio a cost-effective option if longevity is a key priority.

Xero Shoes Prio Gait Analysis

Key Takeaway

The Prio lets your feet work more naturally when you walk or run. Its shape is curved to fit the form of your foot, not just a flat surface under it. And the sole bends easily, not stiff like most shoes. This helps your feet and legs strengthen their muscles by using them fully. You also feel the ground better, which improves balance. But you have to break them in slowly if you’re used to really supportive shoes. Wear them just a bit at first while your body gets used to the natural motion. Ease into Prios gradually so your feet stay healthy. Over time, they can help you walk and run better, with less strain or injury. By keeping it simple and letting your feet do their job, these shoes get back to basics for natural movement.

The Xero Shoes Prio allows your feet to settle into their natural position, resulting in a fun and springy gait.

With its completely flat heel-to-toe profile and zero-toe spring, this shoe is one of the few that truly promotes a natural foot position.

Its upward flexibility right at the ball of the foot enhances the overall gait experience, ensuring a fluid and comfortable stride.

Style and Aesthetics

While functionality is key, aesthetics also play a role in choosing the right shoe.

The Xero Shoes Prio falls into the category of an athletic-looking sneaker, making it suitable for various casual settings. Some designs can even be worn in more casual office settings.

Xero Shoes Prio Black vs white models
The two most popular colors

It features contrasting colors and notable heel and midfoot straps that cater to a more sporty appearance, seamlessly blending in with mainstream athletic sneakers.

User Reviews – What Do People Who Bought the Prios Think?

I’ve carefully analyzed the reviews for the Xero Prio shoes that other people in the barefoot community had. Here are the key points to consider before purchasing according to the community:


  1. Most reviewers find the shoes extremely comfortable right out of the box, with a roomy toe box that allows the toes to spread naturally. Many mention relief from foot pain and improved balance.
  2. The zero-drop sole and minimalist design help strengthen the feet and improve posture. Several reviewers noted their feet felt stronger after wearing the shoes for a while.
  3. The shoes are versatile and can be used for various activities like running, walking, working out, and casual wear. They perform well in the gym, especially for weightlifting.
  4. Build quality is generally reported as very good, with many reviewers impressed by the durability. Xero offers a 5,000 mile sole warranty.
  5. Xero’s customer service is highly praised for being responsive and honoring their warranty when defects occur.


  1. A small percentage of reviewers found the sizing to be off, with the shoes fitting smaller than expected. Trying them on first or checking the sizing chart carefully is recommended.
  2. A few people didn’t find the minimalist sole and zero-drop design comfortable, especially those with existing foot issues like plantar fasciitis. Transition slowly if you’re new to minimalist shoes.
  3. Some reviewers felt the toe box could be even wider, so if you have especially wide feet, you may want to consider other options.
  4. A handful of reviewers experienced durability issues, with the soles wearing out faster than expected or the uppers separating from the soles.
  5. The shoes have a distinctive look that not everyone finds stylish. Color options are also somewhat limited.

Overall, the vast majority of reviewers are very satisfied with their Xero Prios, finding them comfortable, beneficial for foot health, and suitable for a variety of activities. However, individual foot shape and preferences vary, so keep the potential cons in mind. If possible, trying them on in person may be helpful for ensuring a good fit.

Final Thoughts: Is the Xero Shoes Prio the Perfect Fit for Your Feet?

The Xero Shoes Prio is a minimalist footwear champion, designed for those who crave a natural foot movement experience without compromising on protection and durability.

This versatile shoe is a jack-of-all-trades, suitable for a variety of activities from running and trail exploration to gym workouts and casual wear.

If you’re an athlete or lifter looking to transition into minimalist footwear, or someone who prioritizes natural foot movement and ground feel, the Prio could be your perfect match. It’s also an excellent choice for those seeking a comfortable, functional shoe for everyday use that offers durability and protection.

xero shoes pairs on shelf

The Prio is really worth it for $89.99. And if there’s a discount? Even better! You’ll want to make room for a few of these in your collection.


However, the Xero Shoes Prio might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

If you’re someone who values aesthetics over functionality, or if you require extra support or stability, these shoes might not meet your needs.

If you are after something that looks less “sporty” and more casual, we recommend the Glenn or the Hana instead.

The minimalist design also requires an adjustment period, so they might not be suitable if you’re not open to a new footwear experience. In a nutshell, the Prio by Xero Shoes is a fantastic option for those ready to embrace the minimalist footwear lifestyle.

But if you’re not quite there yet, or if you have specific footwear needs, it might be worth exploring other options.

Remember, the best shoe is the one that fits not just your foot, but also your lifestyle and needs.

Please note: This article may contain affiliate links. By clicking through these links, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Q: What are the features of the Xero Shoes Prio?

A: The Xero Shoes Prio is a minimalist shoe with a huarache-inspired reflective heel and instep straps that hold the foot securely in place. It has a wide toe box for natural foot movement and comfort.

Q: What is the size range available?

A: The Xero Shoes Prio is available in both men’s and women’s sizes. It comes in a range of sizes to fit different foot sizes.

Q: Is the Xero Shoes Prio good for road running?

A: Yes, the Xero Shoes Prio is designed for road running. Its lightweight and flexible design allows for a natural and comfortable running experience.

Q: Can I use the Xero Shoes Prio for trail running?

A: While the Xero Shoes Prio is primarily designed for road running, it can also be used for light trail running. However, for more challenging trail running, we recommend using another pair of shoes specifically designed for that purpose.

Q: Are they suitable for hitting the gym?

A: Yes, the Xero Shoes Prio is a versatile shoe that can be used for various activities, including gym workouts. Its lightweight and flexible design makes it suitable for a wide range of exercises.

Q: What is the warranty on the Xero Shoes Prio?

A: The Xero Shoes Prio comes with a warranty that covers manufacturing defects. Please refer to the product documentation for more details.

Q: Are the Xero Shoes Prio comfortable for everyday wear?

A: Yes, the Xero Shoes Prio is designed to be super comfortable, making it suitable for everyday wear. Its wide toe box and flexible sole provide a natural and unrestricted feel.

Q: Can I wear socks with them?

A: While the Xero Shoes Prio can be worn with socks, it is specifically designed to be worn barefoot for a more minimalist experience. The insole is also removable for those who prefer a closer to the ground feel.

Q: Are the Xero Shoes Prio suitable for toeing a slackline?

A: Yes, the Xero Shoes Prio is a popular choice among slackliners due to its combination of freedom and protection. Its lightweight and flexible design allows for better balance and control when toeing a slackline.

Q: Can I use them as a huarache sandal replacement?

A: While the Xero Shoes Prio is huarache-inspired, it is not a replacement for traditional huarache sandals. However, if you are looking for a minimalist shoe with similar features and feel, the Xero Shoes Prio would be a good option.

Q: How durable are they?

The Xero Shoes Prio are designed with durability in mind. They feature a huarache sandal-inspired reflective heel and instep straps that hold your foot securely in place. The shoe’s mesh material is also durable and allows for air to circulate, keeping your feet dry and comfortable.

Q: How does the Xero Shoes Prio perform on different terrains?

While the Xero Shoes Prio is primarily designed for road running, it can also handle light trail running. The shoe’s sole provides extra traction that can handle pavement, gravel, and even some technical terrains. However, for more challenging trail running, a more specialized shoe might be necessary.

Q: How does the Xero Shoes Prio fit for people with wide feet?

The Xero Shoes Prio is known for its wide toe box, which allows for natural foot movement and comfort. This makes it a great shoe for people with wide feet. The adjustable heel and instep straps also help to hold the foot in place, providing a secure and comfortable fit.

Q: How does the Xero Shoes Prio handle moisture and wet conditions?

The Xero Shoes Prio is designed with a breathable mesh material that allows for air circulation, helping to keep your feet dry. However, they are not waterproof shoes. If they do get wet, it’s recommended to let them air dry.

Q: How does they compare to traditional running shoes?

The Xero Shoes Prio is a minimalist shoe, which means it’s designed to provide a barefoot-like experience. It’s lightweight and flexible, allowing for natural foot movement. This is in contrast to traditional running shoes, which often have more cushioning and structure. Some people find that minimalist shoes like the Xero Shoes Prio can help improve foot strength and running form, but they may take some getting used to if you’re transitioning from traditional running shoes.