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Reviews > Footwear > Boots > Xero Shoes DayLite Hikers > Test Report by joe schaffer

Xero DayLite Hiker

Test Report by Joe Schaffer

INITIAL REPORT - October 18, 2017
FIELD REPORT - December 23, 2017
LONG TERM REPORT - February 26 2018
NAME: Joe Schaffer
EMAIL: never2muchstuff(at)yahoo(dot)com
AGE: 69
HOME:  Bay Area, California USA

     I enjoy California's central Sierras, camping every month with a goal to match my age in nights out each year. For comfort I lug tent, mattress, chair and such. Typical summer trips run 5-8 days; 40 lb (18 kg), about half food and water related; about 5 miles (8 km) per hiking day in the bright and sunny granite in and around Yosemite. I winter base camp most often at 6,000 to 7,000 ft (1,800 to 2,000 m); 2 to 3 nights; 50 lb (23 kg); a mile or so (1.6 km) on snowshoes.

beauty shot
Product: Men's DayLite Hiker

Manufacturer:  Feel The World, Inc.
        Weight: 10.2 oz (289 g) each, Men's 9
        Features: (from mfr. website)
            Wide toe box
            Zero-drop heel
            Water resistant ballistic mesh upper
            Tough Tech toe bumper
            Huarache-inspired heel strap to hold foot securely
            Adjustable instep straps
            Dual-chevron tread
            Flexible 6mm (1/4 in) FeelTrue sole
            Removable sock liner (insole)
            Vegan-friendly materials
            5,000 mi (8,000 km) sole warranty
             Mesquite, shown (rust and brown)
             Black and yellow

My Specs:  (Men's 9 1/2)
        Weight: L= 10 5/8 oz (301 g)
                     R= 10 5/8 oz (301 g)
             Length: 11 in (27.8 cm)
             Width:  4 1/8 in ( 10.3 cm)
             Max height: 5 in ( 12.8 cm)

MSRP: $87.99 US

Received: October, 2017

side shotMy Description:
   This is a lightweight, over-the-ankle walker. Laces are round, with five pair of fabric lacing loops up to the top eye, a metal loop riveted to the shoe. Two of the lacing loops connect to three support straps running from the sole, one of which at the heel connects through a "flap" in the last. The toe box has a rubber bumper (rand) in front and mesh back to the heel. The heel area/upper is nubuck.The sole feels thin, with 5 rows of red chevron traction bars inset; then 5 rows of black chevron traction bars across the forefoot; then 12 rows of red chevrons inset; and then 2 bigger black chevron traction bars in the heel. Two lateral grooves in the black part of the sole separate the black chevrons from the red; and the sole perimeter is also the same sheet of material as the rest of the black part. Perhaps the most notable aspect of construction is no heel elevation and a very thin last. The shoe comes with a thin, removable footbed which probably would be better described as a liner for the inner last. The inner shoe is well padded, especially around the ankle cuff. The sole has very little resistance to bending.

  With the fat laces and nylon loops it takes a while to get in and out of the shoes, but I've probably never put on a pair of kicks that felt more immediately comfortable. I've been wearing them around in the house and they are doing a great job of keeping my piggies warm. My immediate reaction to the "zero heel lift" is that I don't like it. This could be because I'm so used to wearing shoes with heel lift, and the attending bit of marketing material suggests that some folks may require an adjustment period. The sole feels moccasin-thin to me, with a last that is way too flexible for me to hike on anything other than a smooth surface. The last actually flexes laterally as I tighten the laces.
    The width of the shoe is great for my feet, which usually are wider than many shoes will accommodate. Motreadst often I am a 9, but the 9 1/2s fit so closely I'm certain a shorter shoe would not work.
    The shoe is very comfortable around the ankle, but I don't feel any lateral support. Somehow, though, I do feel resistance to turning an ankle. I don't know how that works, and I'm not about to test it to the limits for the sake of finding out whether I can force a sprain.
    RFG (resident fashion guru) says the shoe looks really good. She noted that (by coincidence) they match the shirt I'm wearing. I feel much better.
    The marketing fulcrum for the shoe is to have the foot as close to feeling bare as possible, and I'd say the shoe comes pretty close. Whether that is a good thing for my arthritic, creaking peds will soon be determined.

Field Conditions:
    Home/urban: Wearing total 34 1/2 hours; 16 1/2 mi (25 km), walking mostly on cement; warm, dry.

Impressions: The shoes feel terrific on the feet. My toes have plenty of room in the very generous toe box, which is also comfortably wide. The shoe feels airy and light, with pleasing cushioning up the sides. I don't like not having a heel. Part of the feeling would be that I'm simply not used to footwear without heel lift, so I'll say no more about it until the Long Term Report.
    The shoe feels as close to barefoot as one might get, and that's a problem when I step on rubble. As long as I'm on smooth, hard surface my tarsals don't ache; though I must say having a shoe with some degree of shock absorption would be preferable. Walking on gravel tortures my feet, not to mention a piece or two of rubble over a hard surface. A three mile (5 km) sidewalk hike to the post office and back leaves my feet feeling more achy and tired than in footwear with more rubble isolation and shock absorption. As a kid I remember needing a month or so to get summer feet toughened up enough to go barefoot everywhere without discomfort. At my age these shoes will not get the benefit of such persistent use to see if the feet will adjust to the minimal amount of technology between foot and ground.
    I find fully satisfactory ankle support. My feet feel well protected from stubbing toes and other types of contact with hard things around the perimeter of the sole.

Field Conditions:
    Home/urban: Wearing total 93 1/2 hours; 27 1/2 mi (44 km), house wearing; and walking mileage mostly on cement; warm, dry.

    I've worn the shoes enough hours to feel I can make a practical judgment. The shoes breathe well and my feet have no anxiety at all about being in them for as long as eight hours at a stretch. I like how light they feel. They're great for walking around the house on carpet. They're passable on concrete, though I haven't gotten used to the zero heel lift and I'd have to say I haven't yet come to like it. I did walk a bit of gravel path and turned around in rather short distance as the feet simply don't tolerate the feeling of rubble coming through the thin sole. I did have occasion to walk across lawn and nothing bothered me but the realization that where I live and play there is little opportunity to tread such a surface. They're wonderful for driving--my feet don't get caught up in the pedals or confused about which pedal they are on.

    I wouldn't expect to notice any wear and tear at this point, but feel it is worthwhile to note that the shoes have developed no sign of stress, fatigue or defect.

Summation: This shoe feels like I could take the best-fitting, most comfortable pair of shoes I have, cut off everything below the insole, and this would be it. I'm afraid that doesn't suit me for hiking, and certainly not for backpacking.

Quick shots:
    a) light
    b) airy
    c) thin sole
    d) slow lacing
Thank you Xero Shoes and for the opportunity to test this product. This concludes the test series.

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Reviews > Footwear > Boots > Xero Shoes DayLite Hikers > Test Report by joe schaffer

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