Hoss Handmade Oxfords

Hoss Handmade Black Oxfords

I first heard about Hoss Oxfords through the Minimalist Shoe FB group. Hoss Handmade is a small, transparent business that makes all their shoes by hand in the USA, using responsibly sourced materials. I reached out to Matt Hoss on Instagram (They have some gorgeous photos of their oxfords on Insta!) as a potential customer and he was very responsive, answering my questions and giving me advice.

Currently, his oxfords have an insole in them that needs to be removed in order to be zero drop, but he is working on developing a more minimalist friendly shoe as we speak (yay!). Without the insoles these oxfords are flexible and the toe box is nice and roomy. I replaced mine with a Vivobarefoot pair I already had, but you could use these from NorthSole, Sheepskin insoles like these, or felt ones like these.

All his oxfords are made with suede and are unlined, so suede is what is touching your feet, making them breathable and easily conformable to your foot. I really prefer to have natural materials touching me, it just feels so much better, even when I’m wearing socks, so I appeciate that Hoss did not line these. Because mine are black I haven’t been worried about stains, but you’ll need to protect the leather if you want it to last a long time. I use this spray, but next time plan on using a more natural option like this one.

There is a size chart on each product page that lists the exact length of each size’s insole, so getting the right size is easy peasy. My feet are 23.2 cm long, and I decided to go for the 24 cm long shoe (size 7).

This size is nice and roomy for me, but still secure on my foot. I maybe could have sized down and then worn them in, but they would have been quite snug starting out.

The sole, while flexible, does not allow for much ground feel currently.
A deep toe box allows for more toe movement. Many barefoot brands have shallow toe boxes that press over my toes, so this is a nice feature of Hoss Handmade.
Roomy toe box
My oxford lineup! Hoss on the left, Zuzii in the middle and right (See my Zuzii review here!)
A comparison between Hoss (Sz 7, left) and Zuzii (Sz 6, right).

I wear these like a fashion sneaker. Think Keds. They could be dressed up, like a traditional oxford as well. Switching out the laces for black ones makes them look fancier, or you can have fun by using colored laces!

Price wise, these are quite affordable compared to other minimalist options out there, plus shipping is free for all US orders. Note that they do not accept returns and that exchanges are made on a case by case basis, so be sure and do your research beforehand.

Buying barefoot shoes is not easy, and it helps so much to buy from a company with good customer service and a transparent process. I am excited to see what Hoss Handmade has in store for us in 2019!

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Close up view of two the toe boxes different gaucho ninja barefoot handmade boots to show the difference between the bespoke and standard sizes

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Comments

4 thoughts on “Hoss Handmade Oxfords”

  1. Kris Alex Thomas

    How wide are the toe box in your opinion compared to Xero shoes for example? The soles are not flexible at all?

    1. They’ve released an updated version that is more barefoot friendly and a lot more flexible. The toe box seems comparable to Xero shoes, but I’ve mostly only worn sandals from Xero.

  2. I’m curious about your experiences removing the insole. I bought the 9 wide and it is a little snug. It came with a removable green insole and a ~6mm foam insole that seems to be very well attached. I’m not big on socks, just in general, but I can tell that I need a felt insole or we’re going to get some smells.

    I should probably reach out to Höss, but I’m curious about whether your insoles just pulled out or you had to do more to loosen them.

    1. The new oxfords have different insoles, but I have tried those ones too. In those, the green insole is the only one I removed, I kept the other one in. You could maybe replace that 6mm insole with a thinner one, like the 3mm from NorthSole?

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