I have a question. What footwear do you buy if you like minimalist shoes and you live somewhere where it snows frequently?
Xero Xcursion Fusion Boot – Nice Looking Boot
Until recently, I have been using a Xero Xcursion. It is a great boot. Like all Xero footwear, it has a wide toe box for my feet to spread out, a zero drop from heel to toe, which sets me up for good posture and engages my whole foot in walking. Add a very flexible sole, so my foot can move as intended, and I acquire information from the ground on which I am walking. Throw in the fact that it is waterproof, comes far enough up my ankle to keep my foot dry and supported, and we have a winner.
The real reason I wanted these boots was to have something to change into at the TrailHead when finishing up skiing. After the incarceration of ski boots, a wide toe box and flexible soul are a treat. Staying warm while standing in snow chatting with friends is wonderful. Driving home in a boot that thinks its a flip-flop is bliss-tastic.
A few weeks ago, Xero sent me a pair of the new Xcursion Fusion boots to review. While built on the same last as the original, several key differences change how the boots behave and for what you may choose to use them.
Xero Xcursion Fusion Boot – Real Off Road Cruiser
Firstly, the sole is a little thicker; this reduces the flexibility a tad; however, it also provides more protection and feels more rugged. I will report back on this, having used them for a while. The lugs’ pattern at the toe and heel are changed, and the rubber now covers the front of the toe box and comes up higher on the instep. This alone sets the boot up to take more abuse. It feels that it has graduated from being urban footwear and can now take on the rough, wilderness terrain I often find myself in. I am most looking forward to trying this boot for spring/summer mountain ascents, where I know I will find snow and may even pack crampons. A lot of the skiing we do during that time of year requires us to carry skis and ski boots up a mountain and then put our footwear in our backpacks on the way down. Finding the balance between something light, which packs small and is easy to carry yet also provides adequate protection and comfort, has been tricky. The new Xcursions appear to find that sweet spot.
Xero Xcursion Fusion Boot – Mountain Ready
What else do I like? The fabric, which was changed, not only looks nicer; mine are a sleek black; it also exudes a sense of being both warmer and more waterproof. I do not know why this is the case, yet I feel more confident wearing them in harsher climates. Maybe it is due to the bike commutes I have done on bitter days and still retained warm feet. Perhaps it is the snowy walks where my toes have come home dry and refused to look like desiccated Mediterranean fruits. Either way, these boots instill a level of faith I would not expect from something so light.
Shoveling snow the other day was a revelation. Firstly, I stayed on my feet even though the thin veneer of ice had other plans for me. Secondly, the lugs gripped sufficiently well that I could maintain traction and push against the shovel. Then having driven to work I wore them all day, partially because they look so good, yet mainly because they are so comfortable.
Xero Xcursion Fusion Boot – Mountain Ready
In summary, if you are looking for a lightweight, minimalist hiking boot, the Xero Xcursion Fusions are worth checking out.
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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