Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Xeroshoes TerraFlex Review!

Xeroshoes TerraFlex
Wow!  So, if you've been following from way back, you'll know that my very first minimalist runners were the Contacts from Invisible Shoes (now Xeroshoes) almost 7 years ago!

I've watched Steven and Lena take this company such a long way since that time, and I just love to see what they come up with.  So what's new?  How about a trail running shoe?

Xeroshoes Ipari Prio and TerraFlex

I was really excited to get the opportunity to give these a try and tell you all about them.  A little more than a year ago, Xeroshoes introduced their very first shoe with the casual Ipari Hana, followed shortly after with the Prio pictured above.  The Prio is a great running shoe, but was a little too minimal for trail running, and didn't provide enough traction in my opinion.  Obviously Steven and the gang at Xeroshoes can read my mind, and got to work on a trail version in the TerraFlex.  As you can see above, the TerraFlex is patterned after the Prio, and is styled similarly, but with some great modifications.

Mr. Chips approved tread pattern

Most of the differences lie in the sole.  The TerraFlex still uses the proprietary Feel True sole (with a 5,000 mile warranty), but adds some beefy 4mm chevron treads for traction, as well as 3mm of Bare Foam embedded in the sole for a little more cushion.  Topped with a 2mm insole, the TerraFlex provides close to 11mm (not including lugs) of flexible protection from the trail.

Still super flexible!
And as you can see, the TerraFlex is amazingly flexible, just as we would expect from Xeroshoes. Also the upper is a bit more durable than on the Prio, but remains breathable, and somewhat water resistant.  At least during my runs in the snow, and a quick splash through a creek, I didn't notice any moisture inside.   Also, the toe has been reinforced with a Tough Tek toe bumper.

So where did I put these to the test?  Everywhere! After my first snow run, I took the TerraFlexes out to the Manitou Incline/Barr Trail as well, and they performed very well.  I did run into some packed snow/ice in a few shady spots.. not enough to have brought traction devices, and the TerraFlexes gripped well, and I never felt concerned coming down Barr Trail with any kind of traction issues.  The lugged sole is terrific, and the extra stack height allowed running on more rugged terrain without issue.

Manitou Incline

But protection aside, the TerraFlex still provides great ground feel and feedback, so don't worry that they've moved too far away from the minimalist feel... you still need to watch your step and tread lightly!

My size 11.5's come in just over 10 oz, but they feel much lighter than that, so the weight is distributed well.  I went up a 1/2 size over the Prio's, and glad I did... the difference was only slight, but it gave me a little more space in front of my toes that I like, and also allows for a heavier weight trail sock.

Xeroshoes TerraFlex

Ok... if you know me, you know my favorite trail running shoe hands down is Carson Footwear.  So.. have they been replaced?  No... at this point you couldn't get me out of my Carson's.. especially for ultra distance trail runs... BUT...  I can see the TerraFlex going into my toolbox as a back up to change things up and to keep things changing for my training runs.  I do see this shoe becoming the goto shoe for many folks as we all strive to find the "one" for each of us.  So if you are looking for a fantastic minimalist trail shoe to try, you don't want to miss these.

The TerraFlex will be available for sale starting next week, and will be on sale through 2/26, so click HERE  to get more info, and better yet, enter to win one of the first pairs!  After that, the TerraFlex will retail for $99.99, or just $10 more than the Ipari Prio...   great price for a great trail shoe.

As always, if you have any questions, comments, awesome puns, let me know! Leave a comment her or message me on the Barefoot Inclined Facebook page!

Happy trails!