Xero Genesis Sandals – Versatile and Simple

Andrew Piotrowski

As I mature, I find myself always looking for ways to gain an edge when training for and participating in the sports I love. Building Strength, avoiding injury, lighter, faster, simpler are all things I continue to seek out.

Like many other runners, I have found the need to add barefoot running into the mix to help with this. I found myself getting a little too comfortable with my plush trainers and I had a few foot/ankle injuries pop up due to weakening arches and calves.

This led me to purchase the Xero Genesis to start working in some barefoot workouts. I have run over 100 miles on them and I am so happy that I added these in. 

Xero Genesis Sandals
Xero Genesis Sandals

Key Features:

Simplicity: There is not much to these! They have a small string that is used to secure them to your foot, a very thin sole, and a small Achilles area pad for comfort. That’s it!

Weight: A men’s size 9 comes in at only 4.6oz!

Grip: Despite the weight and thin sole they actually have a nice grip pattern on the bottom. I often use these as water shoes for launching my SUP on an algae-covered boat ramp and have had no issues with traction

Easily Adjustable: The small knot and two side adjusters make initial fitting and any on-the-fly adjustments super easy.

What I love: Versatility! These sandals are the perfect companion for a host of different activities:

  • Road Running: These are the perfect shoes to start working in barefoot runs on the road or soft trails. I don’t love them for rocky or rugged trails as the sole is very thin.
  • SUP:  I love them for this. I am often launching from old docks or concrete ramps and the Genesis are perfect for protecting my feet and adding traction. I also often paddle with them on as you can barely tell they are there! One complaint I have about standard water shoes is that the adding padding makes my ankle sore and throws off my paddle stance. The Genesis eliminates this issue. Bonus – they dry super-fast.
  • General walking: It gets hot here in MD and I love wearing these for walking the dog or even when I am doing light work in the garden. They keep things cool and comfortable.
  • Camp shoe for backpacking: Based on weight, comfort, and packability these are perfect for a camp shoe for warm-weather backpacking. They also serve as a great backup shoe if your main hikers fail on the trail.


Andrew Piotrowski

Andrew is a trail runner, climber, paddler, snowboarder, marketer, and most importantly a dog dad. Andrew grew up in suburban Philadelphia and now lives on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Andrew Piotrowski
Andrew Piotrowski

While he lives pretty far from the mountains, he puts a heavy focus on preparing for them and inspiring others to do the same. He first fell in love with the mountains on family trips to the White Mountains and the Adirondacks. He spent the majority of his early life competitively running and leisurely paddling, however after college he began focusing on learning to climb, snowboard, and backpack.

Andrew Piotrowski
Andrew Piotrowski backpacking

Over the past ten years since then, he has been fortunate enough to gain some amazing experiences exploring North America. Some of the most memorable thus far are alpine climbing in the Sierra, trail running in Alberta, learning to splitboard in NH, countless days hiking in the Catskills, or a plethora of mellow days paddling the Chesapeake Bay with friends.

Andrew Piotrowski
Andrew Piotrowski on MT Whitney

When he can’t be in the mountains Andrew is often running or hiking with his favorite training partners, his two rescue dogs Calvin and Enzo. Andrew is also a self-proclaimed gear junkie and confessed that his gear loft is the most organized place in his home.

Blog: Flatcityclimbing.com

Instagram: pack_mule_piotrowski

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