Shoe Review: XeroShoes Speed Force Minimalist Racing Shoe

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Review Summary:

All Xero Footwear is truly minimalist and the Speed Force is their lightest weight shoe, nearly as light as their Z-Trail sandals! Designed and built for racing, Speed Force is also an ideal minimalist general purpose shoe with an extra thin outsole with just enough protection and connection. Speed Force was love at first sight for me after receiving a wear tester/review pair prior to the public product launch. I literally kissed them for my video review.

Pros

  • The most comfortable ultra-lightweight minimalist shoe I’ve worn yet.
  • Crazy light with a super-sensitive 4.5MM outsole combined with an easily removable 2MM insole.
  • 5000 Mile Sole Warranty.
  • Reflective features for enhanced safety at night.Functional “huarache” style laces on the sides that connect to the heels and regular lacing system for added custom fit options.
  • Breathable, moisture-wicking, ultra-light, and stretchy upper for a super soft and flexible “sock-like” fit. The upper is just as “flexy” as the outsole.
  • Fast-drying if wet, easily removable insole speeds dry time.
  • Attractive color choices.

Cons

  • A shoelace that can not come undone would be nice.
  • The uppers are so supple and form-fitting, that I do need to untie the laces to remove them and put them back on. With other models, I can often leave them tied once and let them be for months at a time, merely slipping them off and on.
  • I prefer loose-fitting shoes. But, speed work is safer with a more snug-fitting shoe.
Specs  
Use Racing and general daily use too.
Weight 5.8 oz. per Men’s size 9 shoe.
Materials “Vegan Friendly”, made of rubber and fabric.
Water Not waterproof, but this shoe will not retain much water weight either. Dries relatively fast due to lightweight, moisture-wicking upper.
Widths available Standard Xero shoe width to fit most people’s needs.
Season All-season, the thin, breathable uppers will help keep feet reasonably cool on a hot day. But, that same feature, may not be of benefit on an extremely cold day.

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Detailed review:

(Skip to video review)

The Speed Force is one of the very best minimalist shoes on the market and one of their better selling models. We have four pairs in our house now, with my wife and two daughters using them. So light and supple that in spite of only having 4.5MM of rubber outsole, plus 2MM of the insole, I find the Speed Force to be very comfortable on hard surfaces. The upper fits snugly without squeezing the feet too much. I’d describe the feeling as “sock-like”, but with enough grip and protection to go nearly anywhere. Maybe when mine gets older, I’ll beat them up on some trail runs. For now, I like them looking shiny and new.

Form follows function, so I have no problem wearing odd-looking footwear if it’s highly functional. Speed Force gives us the best in beautiful form, plus fantastic function.

XeroShoes Speed Force rolled img
XeroShoes Speed Force

Speed Force is lean, sleek, and as sexy as a “running” shoe can be.

The furthest I’ve run in my Speed Force is 26.2 or better miles on paved blacktop bike trails. I could have gone further. The shoes felt great and my feet got a great workout! And I ran a bit faster than usual, trying to keep up with my wife!

The “extra” huarache style laces on the sides of each shoe add an ability to custom fit the heel, midfoot, and forefoot areas. And, these straps are a nod to the fact that the company was built of the most basic and primitive huarache design, centuries-old “technology”. The branding and functional aesthetic complement this product.

Running in Speed Force feels great. The lighter weight should make us run a bit faster or further, but I don’t mind if it’s more of a psychological edge. I just feel like it’s more fun to go faster with these on my feet. What we believe, we often achieve.

If I were to find a 100-mile race course that smooth enough, free of crushed gravel, roots, etcetera, I would consider going a full 100 miles in the Speed Force, even though the outsole is considerably thinner than the Z-Trail, sans socks, from Xero, which is the lightest footwear I’ve completed that distance wearing. Am I fit enough to do that? There’s only one way to find out!

Speed Force sets the standard for lightweight, function, utility, and style. You too might want to hug and kiss them.

XeroShoes Speed Force
XeroShoes Speed Force

If I were to find a 100-mile race course that smooth enough, free of crushed gravel, roots, etcetera, I would consider going a full 100 miles in the Speed Force, even though the outsole is considerably thinner than the Z-Trail, sans socks, from Xero, which is the lightest footwear I’ve completed that distance wearing. Am I fit enough to do that? There’s only one way to find out!

Speed Force sets the standard for lightweight, function, utility, and style. You too might want to hug and kiss them.

Video review - Part 1 (Follow-up)

Minimalist AVR Score: 9.7

Parameter Score Details
Wight 10 “Impossibly” lightweight.
Wide toe box 9.8 The outsole is of typical Xero width, while the upper appears more tapered than other Xero models. However, the stretchy fabric wraps nicely around the forefoot, but not too snug.
Heel to Toe drop 10 Zero drop
Stack Height 9 4.5MM outsole combined with an easily removable 2MM insole.
Sole flexibility 10 The outsole is thin enough and made from one weight of rubber, so it evenly flexes with the foot perfectly.
Foot grip 9.9 Great snug feel once laced for a custom fit.
Support 10 No feel of any support, very flexible materials
Cushion 9.7 By design, there is a very little cushion. The 2MM insole provides a bit of cushion for the skin. Yet, the Speed Force feels very nice on a hard surface. It’s a bit magical.
Flat sole 10 All Xero Footwear features no drop from heel to toe and no arch support. Perfectly flat.

Other parameters: 9.8

Parameter Score Details %
Does it do what it supposed to do? 10 Yes, and it does much more. People with no interest in racing should love the look and more importantly, the feel of Speed Force. 50%
Overall comfort in use: 9.5 Very convertible, except for the need to untie the laces to remove them. 10%
Durability and quality of materials: 9.8 So far they are holding very for more than a few miles. 20%
Surface grip: 9.8 Very good grip from a classic/proven Xero tread pattern. 10%
Temperature isolation 9.7 The thin, breathable uppers will help keep feet reasonably cool on a hot day. But, that same feature, may not be of benefit on an extremely cold day. If I were to run in super cold temps with these, I’d use the thickest socks I could get away with and slip a plastic bag over the socks before putting them on, to help keep feet warmer and dryer. 10%