XERO Shoes Scrambler Low Review – Is Michelin Any Good?

By Alin Ciocan | April 26, 2024

Xero Shoes Scrambler low black shale

The XERO Shoes Scrambler Low is a barefoot shoe that excels on trails and in everyday life. With its flexible sole, comfortable fit, and durable construction, the Scrambler Low allows for natural movement and ground feel while providing ample protection thanks to the Michelin Fiberlite. It’s a versatile choice for those seeking a minimalist shoe that doesn’t compromise on performance or comfort.

$149.99 at the time of review

Barefoot Comfort

4.5/5

PRICE / VALUE

4/5

Style / Design

4.5/5

durability

4.5/5

Last Updated on April 27, 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 a long time barefoot shoe enthusiast and professional reviewer, I’m always on the lookout for minimalist footwear that delivers on comfort, performance, and durability. After putting the XERO Shoes Scrambler Low through its paces, I can confidently say it ticks all the right boxes.

xero Shoes scrambler low out of the box
Xero Shoes partners with Michelin to bring a new barefoot experience

Fit & Comfort

One of the standout features of the Scrambler Low is its incredibly comfortable fit. XERO Shoes has nailed the shape, providing ample room in the toe box for natural toe splay, while still maintaining a secure fit through the midfoot and heel. Many wearers find the shoes extremely comfortable right out of the box, with little to no break-in period required. The lightweight, breathable upper molds to your foot like a second skin, making it easy to forget you’re even wearing shoes. It’s worth noting that while the toe box accommodates most foot shapes, some people in the barefoot community with especially wide feet found it a bit lacking in space.

Ground Feel & Protection

As with all XERO Shoes models, the Scrambler Low excels in providing an exceptional barefoot experience. The 5.5mm Michelin Fiberlite rubber sole offers an ideal balance of ground feedback, flexibility, and protection. You feel connected and in tune with the terrain beneath your feet, while still having a layer of defense against rocks and debris on the trail. Trail runners and hikers in particular appreciate how the sole safeguards the foot from rocky, rooted terrain while still allowing a good degree of ground feel. The sole is so flexible that you can easily roll it up into a ball, making this a great packable option for travel or minimalist adventures.

Pros and Cons


Pros

Comfortable fit with ample room in the toe box for natural toe splay and secure fit through the midfoot and heel. Many find them comfortable right out of the box with minimal break-in required.

Impressive traction and grip from the Michelin tire-inspired sole on a variety of surfaces, including wet, muddy, and slippery terrain. Provides surefooted confidence on the trail.

Sole offers good protection against rocks and roots while still allowing decent ground feel, striking a nice balance for trail running and hiking.

Lightweight, breathable, and flexible design makes it versatile for a wide range of activities including running, hiking, gym workouts, casual wear and travel. Transitions well from trails to everyday life.

Durable construction, with the soles and upper showing little wear after extensive use on rugged terrain.

Cons

The toe box may not provide enough space for full toe splay for those with especially wide feet, so it may not work for all foot shapes.

Sizing can be inconsistent with other Xero Shoes models, which can make ordering the right size tricky. Sizing up may be necessary for some.

The sole, while very flexible, may feel a bit stiffer and thicker than expected for a minimalist shoe, slightly compromising ground feel compared to some other barefoot-style options.

The rugged, trail-oriented design may be overkill for those primarily using them for road running, walking or casual use.

Like most minimalist shoes, they provide less cushioning, arch support and impact protection than traditional running shoes, so they may not be the best choice for those needing more support or transitioning from conventional shoes.

Traction & Durability

Don’t let the minimalist design fool you – the Scrambler Low is built to tackle a variety of surfaces and conditions.

Developed in collaboration with Michelin, the tire tread-inspired sole provides reliable traction and grip on a range of terrain. Customers report surefooted confidence on wet, muddy, and slippery trails and rocks. I’ve personally put these shoes through the wringer on trails, roads, and everything in between, and the soles show barely any wear. The upper has also proven to be surprisingly durable and abrasion-resistant.

A small issue with the Scrambler Low

One thing Xero is known for is their incredible soles that come with a 5000 miles guarantee. I feel like they got that part down so many wonder why mess with it?

Some people in the barefoot community have pointed out that the Michelin sole, although durable, isn’t as durable as the normal Xero Shoes soles and the traction isn’t on par with it either.

Scrambler low sole
Michelin sole wears down faster than usual for some

However, in my experience the shoe holds up well but I would keep that in mind, your experience might vary.

Versatility & Style

What I love about the Scrambler Low is how seamlessly it transitions from the trails to everyday life. I can use this shoe for everything from hiking to running to gym workouts to casual wear, speaking to its impressive versatility.

The lightweight, breathable design makes it a favorite for outdoor activities in warm weather. It also looks right at home paired with casual outfits, thanks to the sleek, low-profile design and attractive colorways.

One thing to keep in mind is that some customers found sizing inconsistent with other Xero shoes models, so consider sizing up if you’re between sizes.

xero shoes scrambler low black model

The Black version is a great model for work, especially if you work somewhere like a restaurant. Not only it’s all black and inconspicuous but you can take advantage of the comfort the Scrambler Low provides

Scrambler Low BLACK model is a great work shoe
Scrambler Low Black – good work shoe

The Verdict

If you’re in the market for a true barefoot-style shoe that doesn’t sacrifice comfort, performance, or style, the XERO Shoes Scrambler Low is a top contender. It delivers the signature XERO Shoes ground feel and flexibility, while providing a durable, versatile option for a wide range of activities. Trail runners and hikers in particular will appreciate the Michelin outsole that offers traction and protection without compromising ground feel. The Scrambler Low has earned a permanent place in my rotation, and I highly recommend giving it a try if you’re looking to embrace the benefits of minimalist footwear.