Guest - Not logged in 

Reviews > Footwear > Winter Boots > Xero Alpine Snow Boots > Test Report by Gail Staisil

Xeroshoes Alpine Snow Boot

Author on Lake SuperiorTest Series by: Gail Staisil, Marquette, Michigan

Initial Report - November 2, 2020
Field Report - February 2, 2021
Long Term Report - March 24, 2021 

Tester Information

Name: Gail Staisil
Age: 68
Gender: Female
Height: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
Weight: 160 lb (73 kg)
Location: Marquette, Michigan USA
Email: woodswoman 2001 AT yahoo DOT com

For the last few years, backpacking has become a passion. I am a four-season backpacker and an off-trail navigator. Although I do take yearly trips to the American West or Southwest, the majority of my trips are in Michigan. My pack weight varies considerably but my base weight is below 18 lb (8 kg). I am primarily a Tarptent camper who averages more than 50 nights a year backpacking in a huge variety of weather conditions including relentless rain, wet snow and sub-zero temps.

Initial Report: 

 Product Information

Feel the World, Inc
Product Alpine Snow Boot
Women's 11 US (41.5 EU)
Black (also comes in Frost/Gray)
Weight as measured by tester
15.9 oz (451 g) each boot for size 11; manufacturer's measured weight is 11.9 oz (337 g) for each boot size 7
 Cost $149.99 US
Made in China 

Initial Impressions and Product Description 
Alpine Boots
When I received the Alpine Snow Boots my first thought was that they look like winter slippers! I requested my normal size of Women's 11 (41.5 EU according to manufacturer's size chart) and the length is perfect. They do fit wide as many minimalist shoes do so I laced them up as snug as possible to give my feet more lateral support. They are zero drop which means that there is no difference between the height of the boot toe and heel area. I normally wear zero drop shoes some of the time depending on the activity and trail conditions. For example when I thru-hiked the John Muir Trail over 20 long days, minimalist zero drop shoes worked great because the trails are more graded and I could land my foot more evenly than the trails that are nearby. Here it is hit and miss, and I chose my footwear depending on the trail (many trails are very crude and rough with boulders so I don't get the lateral support I often need with wider minimalist shoes). However it is snow season and the snow will fill in all the extremely rocky terrain. 
The Alpine Snow Boot is a lightweight minimalist style. It is waterproof wLugsith a seam-sealed inner bootie. The upper features a water-resistant membrane. The boots have a removable heat reflective insole measuring 2 mm (0.08 in).

The top 2 plus inches (5 cm) of the interior of each boot has insulated polyester fleece. It is very soft and feels great on bare feet. At least that is how I am wearing them in the house! The boots are insulated with 200 gram insulation rated to -25 F (-32 C). I live in an area of the country where there is often snow six months of the year. We have already had several occurrences of snow with the latest producing over 10 in (25 cm). The winters here are long as stated and can be brutal with significant wind chills. I will pay close attention to the range of conditions the boots can perform in.

The soles of the boots are 5.5 mm (0.22 in) Feel True rubber. The "Feel True" designation reportedly allows my feet to feel the ground in a more natural way almost like barefoot. The rigid soles have a lot of lugs and the materials are 100 percent vegan friendly. Even though the soles are rigid they seem to be quite flexible! The soles have a 5,000 mi (8050 km) warranty; seems like an impossible goal :)

The exterior of the boot appears to be made of nylon with a suede-like material covering the toe area and wrapping around the sides of the boot including the heel. There is a tree-patterned webbing used across the instep, midstep and heel wrap. The former two webbing straps are connected to the laces so that when I tighten the laces, the webbing tightens or gives my foot a little more support. The top of the boot fastens with two sets of hooks as well. There is a pull tab at the top back of each boot to facilitate pulling the boot in place. They are extremely easy to get into when the boot laces are loose, but the pull tabs make it easier.

The boots feature a wide toe box. I always love that feature of minimalist footwear as I can spread my toes freely. I normally wear Injinji wool toe socks year round so it is a double positive. I will experiment with other socks for this test though too.

The boots are touted to be snowshoe compatible. I do have a few winter camping trips planned so I hope to test them out on day snowshoe treks before I wear them on longer treks pulling a sled full of supplies. One of the trips will be to a backcountry yurt. I also anticipate wearing them before and after cross country skiing which I do almost daily. As a trial run, I took a quick walk around my neighborhood which hooks up to a large trail system. The road and then the trails were slippery with new snow. I walked carefully as I normally do, but didn't have any problem with traction or comfort.

Care instructions seem easy enough. Hand wash with mild soap and air dry (No washer or dryer should be used).


Top of Page 

Field Report:
February 2, 2021

USA Locations and Conditions


During the field test period the Xero Shoes were worn during three trips for a total of 10 days. They were also worn almost daily for other activities such as snowshoeing, hiking and casual wear (to and from the ski trail plus errands). All trips were in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, USA. Elevation ranged from above 600 ft (180 m) to almost 2000 ft (610 m). 

Location of Trip #1: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Length of Trip: 2 days, 1 night (November 5-6)
Distance: 7 mi / 11 km backpacking
Conditions: Unseasonably warm, cloudy 
Precipitation: None 
Temperature Range: 61 F / 38 F (16 C / 3 C)

Location of Trip #2: Hiawatha National Forest
Length of Trip: 5 days, 4 nights (December 30-January 3)
Activity (snowshoeing and skiing) 
Distance: Unknown but at least 10 mi / 16 km
Sky and Air Conditions: Light snow, mostly cloudy
Precipitation: Snow
Temperature Range: 29 F / 4 F (-2 C / -16 C)
With traction device
Location of Trip #3 Keweenaw Peninsula
Length of Trip: 3 days, 2 nights (January 31-February 2)
Activity: Cross Country Ski and State Park Cabin trip
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy and sun
Precipitation: Light dusting of snow 
Temperature Range: 30 F / 23 F (-1 C / -5 C)

Trip Talk

I have worn the Xero Alpine Boots for the last three months. I must admit that when I first received the Xero Boots I was skeptical if they would be anything but casual shoes or slippers. I wondered if I would be able to snowshoe in them or put ice cleats on them. This has been an unusual winter here. Although I have cross country skied 44 times so far, there is little snow base. Perhaps 10-12 inches (25-30 cm).

I did get to wear my snowshoes on a few occasions however. Surprising to me was that the Xero Boots were not hampered by the binding pressing on them and that my feet were super comfortable. I was able to pull my sled full of supplies. Even though the boots are very flexible, my feet felt like they had enough support too.

There have been several episodes of extremely icy conditions here that required wearing Kahtoola MicroSpikes. The latter has stayed on each boot but the top of the harness does tend to drift to the lateral side a bit (as shown in photo) as the boots are quite flexible and not rigid enough to hold them in place. It may have something to do with the shape of the toebox too. 

I find that I have to completely loosen the laces as well as use the heel pull every time I put the boots on. I think it is because the boots are very flexible so I can't just slip my foot in without using the heel pull. Since my car is the dressing room these days with many trailhead lodges closed, it can be frustrating to not just slip in and out of them easily. That is not a negative, just the circumstances this year.

So far the Xero Alpine Boots have kept my feet warm and dry. I almost always wear very thin wool socks. This winter has had milder temps than norm but many mornings are single digit. The grip has been adequate for walking short distances on ice and snow. If I wear them for a longer hike I normally put on the MicroSpikes to add additional traction.

I will continue to wear the Zeros over the long term period for similar activities as it will still be winter here.

Top of Page

Long Term Report:
March 24, 2021

USA Locations and Conditions

 The Northern LIghts along Lake Superior

During the long term test period the Xero Alpine Boots were worn during five trips for a total of 19 additional days. They were also worn almost daily for other activities such as snowshoeing, hiking and casual wear (to and from the ski trail plus errands). All trips were in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, USA. Elevation ranged from above 600 ft (180 m) to almost 2000 ft (610 m). 

Location of Trip #4: Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park
Length of Trip: 4 days, 3 nights (February 7-10)
Distance: 6 mi (pulling sled with gear), uncounted miles backcountry skiing and trail skiing
Conditions: Frigid weather including blizzards, dangerous wind chills
Precipitation: Snow
Temperature Range: 8 F/ -35 F ( -13 C/ -37 C)

Location of Trip #5: Hiawatha National Forest
Length of Trip: 4 days, 3 nights (February 15-18)
Activity: Pull sled into rustic cabin plus 2-3 hrs of skiing daily 
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy and sunny, windy
Precipitation: Light snow
Temperature Range: 20 F/ -8 F (-7 C/ -22 C) 

Location of Trip #6: Hiawatha National Forest
Length of Trip: 3 days, 2 nights (March 2-4)
Activity (snowshoeing and skiing) 
Distance: Unknown but at least 10 mi /16 km
Sky and Air Conditions: Sunny and clouds
Precipitation: Trace of snow
Temperature Range: 37 F/ 10 F (3 C/ -12 C) 

Location of Trip #7 Keweenaw Peninsula
Length of Trip: 4 days, 3 nights (March 9-12)
Activity: Cross country ski (2.5-3 hrs daily) and rustic cabin trip
Sky and Air Conditions: Wild (high winds, temps all over the place, rain)
Precipitation: At least an inch (2.54 cm) of rain, snow flurries, northern lights/aurora one nightIcy walk at Harlow
Temperature Range: 54 F/ 26 F (12 C/ -3 C)
Location of Trip #8 Keweenaw Peninsula
Length of Trip: 4 days, 3 nights (March 17-20)
Activity: Cross country ski (distance unknown but about 2.5-3 hrs daily) and rustic cabin trip
Sky and Air Conditions: Clouds and sun and amazing northern lights/aurora two nights 
Precipitation: Trace of snow a few times 
Temperature Range: 41 F/ 26 F (5 C/ -3 C)  

  Trip Talk
Arriving at yurt  
The Xero Alpine Boots have continued to shine. My first trip during the long term period was a super frigid one with temps down to -35 F/-37 C. Luckily I stayed in a yurt located about 3 mi (5 km) from trailhead so had some protection from the elements once inside. That said the yurt never got above freezing on all the interior except for the space around the small wood stove (if lucky could get up to around 50 F/10 C for a short time). A few feet (1 m) away and it was much colder. I was worried my feet wouldn't stay warm but I paired the Xeros with possum socks and it was a great combination.

Often when I wear the boots inside, I don't lace them tightly so that I can remove them easily. This was not to be the case inside the yurt as the cold airspace infiltrated the boots from the top and I had to keep them laced up for them to work properly. I did wear them outside for quick trips to the outhouse but not for activities outside during the super frigid conditions. 

All of my remaining trips were to rustic cabins. The first two required pulling my gear on a sled. The last two were located a shorter distance to my vehicle so I was able to posthole through mushy snow/or navigate ice to get to them. Anyway the boots were worn for all trips including pulling my sled. I combined them with MicroSpikes for the first two cabin trips as the trails were icy and compacted. I did get to wear them with snowshoes for some day outings from the cabin in very hilly terrain.

I have also worn them for day treks on icy compacted trails to ice caves and semi-frozen waterfalls on day outings.
Overall I have really found the boots to be comfortable and supportive enough for the activities I did. I have been more than surprised about this! I still do not like getting them on and off especially in the middle of the night for trips to the outhouse(s). The boots remain in great shape. They have only seen winter weather of snow and ice so they are still clean in appearance. Even the mushy snow was clean on the one outing. 



  • Lightweight
  • Flexible
  • Good grip
  • Comfortable


A little effort to get on and off

Tester Remarks 

 Thanks to Feel the World, Inc and for this opportunity to test the Alpine Snow Boots. This concludes the test series.

Top of Page

Read more reviews of Xero Shoes gear
Read more gear reviews by Gail Staisil

Reviews > Footwear > Winter Boots > Xero Alpine Snow Boots > Test Report by Gail Staisil

Product tested and reviewed in each Formal Test Report has been provided free of charge by the manufacturer to Upon completion of the Test Series the writer is permitted to keep the product. Owner Reviews are based on product owned by the reviewer personally unless otherwise noted.

All material on this site is the exclusive property of
BackpackGearTest software copyright David Anderson