Do you like to travel? Do you struggle with choosing what shoes to take? I do. I enjoy jumping on a plane with only carry-on luggage. The problem is I like to do lots of different activities when I arrive. Typically this means carting around a quiver of shoes; this no longer needs to be the case.
Xero Aqua X Sport Review
Xero sent a pair of their new Aqua X Sport for me to review, and they have hit the sweet spot. If you take the last and sole of my favorite lightweight running and hiking shoe, put an easy-draining, quick-drying mesh on top, you create magic. The Aqua X is a shoe capable of multiple functions while also being exceptionally light.
Xero Aqua X Sport
The shoe was designed for the water. This means I can use it for any form of boating and leave the sandals at home. Having the Mesa Trail’s sole means, it is also good to go for trail running and hiking. Think about it; that is one shoe doing three distinctly different jobs and all of them capably. It also packs down, taking very little space in my back. I can wear them with or without socks and choose whether to use the insole. Speaking of the insole, it too is made to drain and incorporates Xero’s honeycomb adding to the weight reduction while allowing the area under your foot to breathe.
They have a sporty aesthetic, which means they do stand out. People notice and will ask you about them. Mesa Trails are more subdued; I tell you this because the other pair of shoes I take traveling will have to cover more formal settings. Depending on what we are doing, I can wear a pair of Hannas or Alstons on the plane and pack the Aquas and rock shoes, and I am set for a lot of adventures and can still manage semi-formal settings.
What else do you need to know?
There are so many subtle touches. Reflective strips under the mesh do not stand out until a light is shone on it. How about bungee and a tightener instead of laces and bows? So efficient. An Achilles strap and kick guard made from a rubber composite add to the shoe’s look and ruggedness. Varying weave patterns in the upper fabric to jettison water and be suitably substantial in the shoe’s distinct areas. A tongue that sheds water and is situated by the bungee.
Xero Aqua X Sport
As in all Xero Shoes, there is a nice wide toe box so the forefoot can spread out. Incorporate this with a flexible sole, and the foot can engage with the surface beneath. Finally, add in zero drop from heel to toe, and the foot can interact with the ground the way it was designed to and initiate a healthy stride.
As previously stated, the sole is the same as the Mesa Trail, which is more flexible and aggressive than the Terraflex. I have used the Terraflex extensively for several years, including a three-day, 55-mile backpacking trip that incorporated three 14ers and crossed several passes in the Sawatch, CO; these soles can take you places.
Wil was born in North Wales and steeped in its rich maritime, mountain and river folklore. In response to the request to “get a real job” he became first a teacher then professor of adventure education.
He then emigrated to where the sun shines for 300 days and snowfalls for 100 (Colorado). During more than 25 years as an outdoor educator, he worked Scottish winter seasons, taught canoeing, climbing, kayaking, and skiing throughout the States, Europe, and Australia. He also regenerated the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Outdoor Education program. His biggest adventure (by far) is fatherhood. It has also been the inspiration for his website www.wherethefruitis.com.
Things he likes to do include (middle) aging gracefully, and skiing (telemark) aggressively. He is happiest outdoors with a good view, good company, good weather/snow and the residue of self-powered adventure; sweat, a manic grin, and wild eyes.
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