Xero Shoes Review – Pheonix, Aptos, Alpine

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Xero Shoes has surprised us with a line up of awesome new styles for the fall! Over the years Xero has been expanding their collection to include barefoot shoes for more occasions, so I am especially stoked to see they are releasing a women’s dress flat AND a snow boot. I am reviewing 4 styles today, but you can see the full lineup here.

Watch my unboxing and initial impressions above, and read on for more details!

If you live in the EU, click here for Xero Shoes EU

Phoenix – Ballet Flat

I have since written an in-depth review of the Phoenix in both knit and leather. Check out that Phoenix Review here!

Leather – $100

A collage of 3 photos of the Xero shoes Phoenix leather barefoot ballet flat for women. One is a full body shot of a woman in a business outfit wearing the simple flats, the other two are close up images of her feet in the flats from a front and side view.

The leather Phoenix is a smart little flat with detailing around the toe box to dress it up. It comes with a removable insole for high volume feet and is lined with leather. The shoe is structured (which makes it look classier), but the sole is stiffer than I usually prefer in a shoe.


Fit-wise, these are true to size. I got a 6.5 at the recommendation of Xero, but I am going to exchange it for the size 6. That is my normal size in flats, so it’s unsurprising that the 6.5s are a touch roomy. Widthwise, these are average: not super wide, but definitely wider than conventional brands.

Watch the video below for all the details and comparisons to other barefoot ballet flats.

The Knit Phoenix (vegan) – $70!

The knit Phoenix is 100% vegan, and made from a stretchy material. The fit is about the same as the leather version, but it’s softer and more comfortable from the start. I think these ones are my favorite, and the fact that they’re less than $75 is huge bonus!


Sizing runs true to size, so I am going to to get the 6 in these as well. Width is good for a flat, and the soft material has extra give. I would still be wary if you have extra wide feet though.


I love the angles and details that keep these from being shapeless blobs! They are really cute little flats, and I would love to see them released in a variety of colors and prints in the future.

See my comparisons and up-close shots in the video below!

Aptos – Slip-On Sneaker

Vegan – $60

The Aptos (women’s version here) hemp slip-on sneaker is really lightweight, flexible and the most affordable casual sneaker to date!! It is definitely high volume, so I had to use an insole and felt insert and they are still roomy around the ankle. I have very shallow feet, so this isn’t too uncommon for me. If you have high high volume feet the Aptos will be a good shoe for you!


I got a size 6.5, which is my typical sneaker size. Even though they are roomy I won’t size down because my foot fills up the whole toe box. So I would say these run true to size, but slightly narrow in the toe box.


I have a thing for slip-on sneakers and have tested out a few styles this year (you can see my review of the Feelgrounds Droptop here and the Be Lenka Eazy here). By way of comparison, the Xero Aptos is very cool and looks just like a regular shoe. I like the white contrast stitching and the hemp material. They are unfortunately narrower than Feelgrounds and Be Lenka and they are only just barely wide enough for me.

If you have a child or friend you’re trying to get into barefoot shoes, I think this is a great segue style! Watch the video below for more deets.

Alpine – Waterproof Snow Boot

Vegan – $150

I am really excited about this one! I have yet to try a waterproof snow boot like this, and it’s something that I really need living in a cold climate. The Alpine is definitely stiffer than any other shoes I own, but it has durable lugs and a really sturdy feeling sole. The upper is quilted, and there is a thermal (removable) insole inside.

I can’t really test the cold rating right now, but talk to me in January when its -15 Fahrenheit and I’ll tell you how my feet are doing! Overall they seem well made and I appreciate that the ankle opening can be securely closed to keep snow out. I have several other boots that get me through the winter, but none of them can really handle the snow and ice, so I am optimistic about the Alpine!


I got a 6.5 and will be sizing up to a 7 so that I can wear thicker socks (the 6.5 fits perfectly with thin socks, but I want more space for the super cold days). The toe box is spacious enough for me to be comfortable, but not a lot of extra room. I’d say they are on par with the width of Vivobarefoot boots.

Watch the vid below for more details!


All the sizing was as expected for me, so I recommend going with your normal size when ordering. They were all only just wide enough for me and my crazy toes, so be aware of that if you have extra wide feet. I will update the post with the prices and more specs as I find them out, but everything will be 20% off during the launch.

I have watched a few of their launches from a far, and I would recommend ordering during the launch since they don’t usually go back on sale except to clearance out remaining stock. Xero has free exchanges, but you pay your own return shipping. Overall, I am pleased! The knit Phoenix and the Alpine boot are my top picks!

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14 thoughts on “Xero Shoes Review – Pheonix, Aptos, Alpine”

  1. I’m surprised the width is comparable to vivo. From the pictures the forefoot and toe box look more narrow than even some of the Xero shoes. Vivo is now narrower than it used to be unfortunately as well. I held off on buying some feelmax boots to see how this boot stacks up.

    Also, does the fur go all the way in the shoe? And if not how does it feel? Do you think any insulation will be from socks? Xero dose not list Any gram amount for insulation. I’m thinking it’s more like a water resistant membrane soft shell. Any thoughts on insulation? Lastly, how do the lugs feel walking? Would it be doable as a everyday boot or mostly hiking? That’s something vivo does well they have the soft ground sole and the hard ground.


    1. Hi! In the videos you can see the interior of the shoe (furry lining is just in the top) and my thoughts on the lugs. I think I would only use these for playing in the snow and hiking, not every day. It’s not heavy, but stiffer and thicker than I prefer for everyday walking.

        1. Hi! The Alpine has a higher volume toe box than most other boots I’ve tried (Vivobarefoot, Be Lenka), so I would say yes. I have a lot of space above my toes in them. They do close really tight, so I am still able to get them secure around my ankle without any sloshing around. I think they are suitable for a variety of foot volumes and shapes (my feet are low volume, thin ankles).

  2. Hello. Thank you for this information. It helped with my order.
    I ordered the Alpine and the Phoenix Knit in the 6.5, and while I could have taken the Phoenix Knit in a 6, I like the extra toe room (I have wide feet). I wish I had ordered the Aptos as well; sometimes I am too lazy to lace up shoes.

  3. Hello! Just feedback for others if it helps…just received the Aptos. My feet are wide enough that I need the men’s version and I order up a full size larger (8.5) to get more width. When doing this is I need to wear an insert to keep shoes from flopping off my feet. The Aptos though, was huge, so am going to return and try the next size down. Anya, which brands have the widest toe box? Thanks! ?

  4. I’m a EU 37 and the size 6.5 Aptos is a hair short on me. I still kept them and usually do not notice this in regular street wear. My bare feet sweat a little in the Aptos, for me it’s more comfortable with thin socks. I also bought the Alpine during the launch, but I haven’t worn that yet. It seems very warm, so I kept the size 6.5. I would wear regular wool socks with them, for example ski socks. On a separate review, it sounds like you liked the ballerina style too. I am considering getting those too, especially if I can find them on sale. Thank you.

    1. Thanks for sharing your feedback! Yes, I exchanged the ballet flats to a size 6 and I love the knit. I haven’t worn the leather ones much, I find the knit to be a lot more comfortable. They are so cute too.

  5. Anya, do you think you could wear crampon like grips with these (not the crazy spike ones for climbing, just the basic $5 ones)? Or use snowshoes with these? I live in the deep woods of Maine and need these in the winter while walking the dog or else I’ll probably break something! πŸ˜‰ However, my tried and true bean boots I’ve been wearing for 30 years, 6 months a year, are just KILLING me after I spend all summer in Xero’s. I almost switched when these came out but I was worried about these two issues. Thank you so much for all your hard work on zero drop shoes, I know it’s a ton of research.

    1. Hi there! TBH I’ve never used crampons or snowshoes, but if they work on your other boots I don’t see why these would be any different. Xero had some crampon like things in their store for a short while that you could use on them.

  6. Jill Hammersley

    Hi Anya,

    Your website is very helpful! I am struggling with sizing on the Xero website. They don’t have any helpful sizing charts for the Phoenix or Aptos. Can you give any guidance on this?

    Keep up the good work!

    1. Well, I got a 6.5 in the Aptos and ended up in a 6 in the Phoenix. I reviewed the Phoenix in more detail recently and interviewed several other owners to hear how sizing was for them. If you haven’t read that yet, I would check that out!

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Picture of Hi. I'm Anya.

Hi. I'm Anya.

I first discovered barefoot shoes after a long history of foot issues. By changing my footwear and strengthening my body I was able to completely transform my life. Anya’s Reviews is my way of sharing with the world that healthy feet are happy feet!

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