Xero Shoes is launching an updated version of their Xcursion Waterproof hiking boot! I tested out the previous version last year, so am excited to see how the new Xcursion stacks up. Read on for my review of this waterproof, zero drop hiking boot from Xero Shoes: the Xcursion.
Xero Xcursion Review
Hiking is possibly my favorite form of exercise, it’s nature and walking combined! So finding a good barefoot approved hiking boot is a big deal to me.
The updated Xcursion Hiker is a waterproof hiking boot with a zero drop (completely flat outsole) and an anatomical toe box shape. They are available in men’s and women’s in sizes US women’s 5 – men’s 15 for $140. The gender labels are IMO arbitrary, I recommend getting the men’s version if you can because they are wider.
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These boots are 100% vegan, made of mesh and polyester. The total stack height is 11cm, with lugs for traction and a removable insole. The materials are durable and good for rugged wear.
The Xero Xcursion is definitely more flexible than traditional hiking boots, they are stiffer than most other barefoot hiking boots I’ve tried. Xero shoes do break in over time and soften up, but they start out quite stiff.
Xero shoes fit medium to high volume (good for tall/full feet) and have a rounded/Mountain toe box (good for long 2nd toes). Typically, Xero Shoes fit a medium width toe box and a wide midfoot and heel (meaning they are wide throughout the shoe and don’t taper in anywhere. However, these new Xcursions run narrower than other Xero shoes I’ve tried and I had to size up for width. Check out the comparison later for more deets.
These boots run true to size for length, but are narrow in width. I normally would wear a size US women’s 7 in this type of shoe, but I sized up to a 7.5. Because of the laces the extra length is fine, but they are still too narrow for my wide toe spread.
I wore these on two wet and muddy hikes and had no issue. Then I stood in a bathtub of water for 6 minutes and still good! The tongue is gusseted up to the first speed hook, so the shoes are only waterproof up to that point. Since waterproofing tends to wear off over time, a product like Aquaseal is great to vamp up leaky boots.
Xcursion Vs Other Barefoot Hikers
Like I mentioned before, these Xcursion hiking boots are narrower than the previous version and other barefoot hiking boots. See this comparison below. The size US women’s 7.5 Xcursion is even narrower than the old Xcursion size 7!
Check out this post on barefoot hiking boots for more deets on the other options. Note that this image shows the external measurements of each boot and should not be used to determine size. I choose to use external measurements instead of insole measurements because I find it to be more consistent in showing width across brands.
These boots are hard wearing and have good traction, but unfortunately too narrow for my feet. They are a good choice if you have narrow, high volume feet. But since even narrow feet can fit into a wider hiking boot, I strongly recommend to Xero that they increase the toe box width of their shoes!
17 thoughts on “Xero Xcursion Fusion Review – A Zero Drop, Waterproof Hiking Boot”
Very good review, thanks! Important information for those of us that need a wide toe box
Yes, super helpful! Based on this review I ordered the men’s version of the DayLite Fushion, and unfortunately its STILL too narrow for my wide width foot. I ordered an 8 and wear a women’s 9.5. I could probably size up to an 8.5 and still be ok on length.
Oof, thanks for sharing your experience. Such a bummer the men’s also run narrow. Let us know if you size up and if they work!
I got the Joe Nimble’s last year. The roominess was surprising to me but it was an easy adjustment. I wonder why Xero went with a more narrow toe box.
Great question! Really hoping that customer feedback can convince them to widen it.
Great review and I absolutely agree that the latest Xcursion Fusion shoes are too narrow. The current Men’s version is noticeably narrower than my 2-year old pair of Women’s Daylite Hikers. I’ve written to Xero, and sent them pictures of the comparisons between the shoes, and they wrote back to suggest I order the Men’s(!?) How do I get them to listen to me? I hate to say that my favorite shoe company has slid down the list.
Oh boo! I’m hoping that if we keep piping up and giving our feedback they’ll take note. There are lots of other options becoming available, so they need to keep up!
I’m a rare voice that wants a narrower barefoot shoe! I’ve done a lot of barefoot walking my whole life, but I still have narrow feet, and in most barefoot shoes the laces don’t come far enough down the foot or can’t be tightened enough to keep my feet from slopping around inside the shoe. This makes my toes want to grasp, which isn’t great and can cramp them up, and if I’m walking a steep side hill most barefoot shoes feel like they’re going to slide so the sole is on top of my foot! I’m always on the lookout for the narrowest barefoot shoes available (especially in the heel), and if all companies listen to the advice to widen the shoe more, I won’t be left with any options at all! I liked this review specifically because it noted that the boots are narrower than most!!
It sounds like you also have low volume feet! These tips might be useful to you, to prevent that sloshing around:
I also recommend checking out The Barefoot Shoe Finder Quiz and/or filtering options to find narrower options. It’s true that many people are asking for wider shoes, but fortunately there are a good number of narrow options! It’s the low volume fit that I find less common, and the hacks I linked above can be pretty life changing in that regard.
Wow, thanks so much for the response! I’m super excited to try out some of those hacks!! I have some Vivo barefoot hiking boots right now, and I dislike wearing them because they’re so wide that they rotate on my feet as I walk so my pinkie toes are squashed and my big toe his miles of space next to it. But sometimes you just need a higher boot, and they were so expensive that I hate to give up on them altogether, but I was disheartened because they’re said to be one of the narrower brands. But I’ve always had difficult feet to fit (they’re a little over 1/2 size different in length, but the shorter foot is wider and higher volume, and in sneakers and boots I seem to have narrow feet since I have to lace them so tight but in most z-strap kinds of sandals the straps are not quite long enough to fit around my feet, which I’ve never been able to understand) so I’ve come to expect poor fit in some respect no matter the shoe. Anyway, thanks so much for the help, I really appreciate all the research and comparisons you’ve done- very helpful!! 🙂
After 30 years I know my barefeet aren’t going to get any wider and most boots are way too wide for me. Combine that with long toes and low volume front with a medium arch and shoes are just hell. I have tried this on and I found the stiff heel cup/plate immediately was painful on my bony ankle/heel. I don’t know if this would soften or whether it would always cause issues. I had the same issue with the vivo tracker with not just horrible blisters but the sock went through at the back.
If you don’t need a really heavy duty boot you might want to look at Wildling Shoes. They are medium width, but really soft. They have water resistant and warm options. They don’t advertise themselves as being for hiking, but I really like my wildling booties for hiking – especially when my heels are irritated from wearing a stiffer shoe.
Thank you for your detailed comparison of the different barefoot hiking shoes. I have decided that I really like the idea of the Xcursion Fusion, but I’m concerned about the width. I have a pair of Xero Prio’s that are plenty wide since I ordered them 1/2 size too big and didn’t care to send them back for exchange. My foot is exactly 10cm at the widest. I’m wondering if I order the men’s if that will give me 10 cm. Perhaps you know? I’ve scoured the internet trying to find a measurement for the width of the men’s xcursion fusions and have come up short. I messaged them and got a reply that responses are taking up to two weeks right now, which is irritating. I don’t want to order and have to send back. I hate that. I wish they had some more detailed sizing. I really like all my SoftStar shoes, but I don’t like the look of their hiking shoes. I do appreciate Softstar’s accurate sizing information, though.
From what I’ve heard the men’s Xcursion Fusions are also narrow, but they will be wider than women’s. Whether they will be 10cm wide depends on the size you’re ordering and I have no way of knowing myself if you’d get sufficient width in the men’s version. Just don’t buy the women’s model, they’ll definitely be narrow compared to the Women’s Prios!
I just got a pair of men’s Xcursions 6 weeks ago. I wanted them as work boots that I could use for most of the year (with the addition of knee-high gaiters making them suitable for pretty much everything except really deep mud/snow), so I knew I had to be able to fit liner socks and heavy wool socks inside comfortably with plenty of room for my toes to still wiggle the way I want. I tried on a women’s 8.5 and 9 (with the liner sock/wool sock setup on my feet, since I needed to make sure they would fit with those on), but the 8.5 was too short (length) and too narrow, and the 9 was the right length but still too narrow – I could barely move my toes at all with the socks on b/c the stitching across the toes was too tight. My feet are on the wide end of wide/narrow end of extra wide, medium-high volume, plateau, wide heel, and I’m a solid W8 in the Prios and W7 in the Z-Trail; I’m not sure of my feet’s exact measurements. The REI employee who was helping me suggested trying the 7 1/2 in the men’s because it’s the same length as the W9 but wider (and I wanted brown, anyway, because I work on a ranch and the brown color helps hide the dirt/dust/mud that I had a feeling would show up too easily on the women’s colors). Ordered them later that day (they didn’t have any the right size in that store), picked them up the next day (really love REI’s ship-to-store), and the 7 1/2’s were plenty big for the wool sock combo, leaving my toes plenty of room to wiggle, but, once I had gotten used to the extra space (they’re my first pair of barefoot boots – I’ve only had Prios and Z-Trails other than that), I could also still wear just regular socks with them without them being too big; to put it in perspective, until a few days ago, I was considering returning them and getting a 7 instead (I adore REI’s return policy), that’s how much wider they are than the W9. This past Thursday was the true test – wore them for 4 1/2 hours straight in snow and slushy mud with the same wool sock setup as when I tried them on, plus toe warmers, with the original insoles still in, and my toes still had plenty of room to wiggle the entire time – I decided to keep the 7 1/2’s instead of exchanging them for a 7. I ordered a pair of M8’s (shipped to my house because they wouldn’t get to the store in time) at the same time as the 7 1/2’s because I wasn’t sure at that point whether the 7 1/2’s would be big enough (since I hadn’t been able to try them on in the store), but as soon as I tried on the 7 1/2, I knew the 8 would be way too big, and when the 8’s came and I tried them on, just for kicks, they were massive on my feet – at least half a size too big all around (both length and width), if not 3/4 – so I’m returning them (can’t measure their width because a friend is actually returning them to the store for me later this week, so she already has them).
Measuring the insole of my M 7 1/2 at its widest point, it’s pretty much exactly 3.75″/9.6cm, and the upper easily squishes out at least a good 1/2″ (1.28cm) or so (total) wider than that when I’m wearing them.
Just measured my feet, and they are exactly 8.5″ long by exactly 3.875″ wide (widest point is knuckle on big toe). Hope that helps.
So that works out to 21.6cm long and 9.84cm wide.