Are Xero Prio Good For Running?

The Xero Prio by XeroShoes is strongly recommended for running because they’re a great choice for fast or slow running and high or low mileage runs (5km to ultra-marathons) on hard surfaces and on dusty or hard-packed semi to very technical trails in wet and dry conditions!

Are Xero Prio Good For Running?

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The Prio is also a terrific choice for trails with steep climbs and descents and running/walking up and down steep streets.

The shoes also provides moderate traction on heavy snow-packed grounds. But the fun doesn’t end there! The Prio is also fitting for barbell lifting and overall heavy lifting, calisthenics, stair climbing, basketball and cross-fit.

Are Xero Prio Good For Running?
One of the most impressive assets of the Prio is they’re a magic combination of lasting durability and barefoot-feel, making the shoe a strong high mileage option for range of surfaces while keeping your natural forefoot running stride, preventing your muscles and tendons from high stress.

The Prio is the first performance shoe from XeroShoes that is built on the same thin, flexible, zero-drop platform as the Hana and Lena –which are for everyday casual use– but the Prio, being an athletic-specific shoe, is slightly wider overall, offering a new degree of openness for the foot, especially the toes to expand and flex more fully at each step. This is very important because it not only corrects foot deformities, it also gives you a built-in level of impact protection on the foot by allowing impact to spread over a larger surface area over the foot, thereby preventing impact from spreading out onto the leg.

When compared to other barefoot running shoes, The Xero Prio is more roomy than most Merrell minimalist shoes and provides similar ground-feedback as most Vibram FiveFingers. Additionally, the Prio is more flexible, especially at the heel, and more durable than the Lems Primal 2.


The Xero Prios soft-shell upper is made of 100% vegan-friendly, high-quality, lightweight mesh and bio-friendly polymers that delivers a soft, comfortable, irritation-free wrap to the foot, especially when worn without socks.

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Are Xero Prio Good For Running?

You’ll also appreciate that the Prio’s upper employs the huarache-inspired lacing system, which means the laces not only have a functional role in improving the overall feel and fit of the shoe without any pressure points, the lacing arrangement, which includes adjustable straps along the sidewalls, are intended to engage the toes by creating more space in the front of the shoe for more toe spreading, flexion, bending and relaxing!

Despite being super light and airy, the upper has truck-like durability without adding weight to the shoe or compromising flexibility, which enables the shoe to seamlessly adapt to precise foot movements and your foot shape.

Are Xero Prio Good For Running?
The Prio’s upper also features a toe cap to protect against rocks and roots, making it more than capable of handling gnarly trails.

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The side-straps also gives the overall structure of the upper more strength and creates an excellent seal with an extra hold around the ankle and heel, while keeping the foot centered in the shoe from foot strike to toe-off.

Last but not least, those very same straps are reflective, so you can be better seen when the sun goes down!

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The Xero Prio sits on a 5-mm thin sole that is so durable its backed by XeroShoes signature 5,000 mile warranty. Even better, despite the next-level durability, the sole is thin enough to supply the ground-feedback critical to stimulating the reflexive and neuromuscular controls that directly engage optimal forefoot running form.

We are also quickly learning that sensory feedback at the feet is one of the only ways to increase the muscle activation needed for optimal foot strength! The Prio will definitely exceed your expectation on just that as well!

Are Xero Prio Good For Running?

Despite its thinness and softness, the Prios sole receives high-marks for providing just enough protection from gravel and rocks, giving a smooth-sensation of the underfoot on a range of hard, technical surfaces.


Xero Prio Barefoot Running Shoes Review

The sole also features a chevron-patterned tread that provides excellent traction when running fast or slow, up and down hills in dry and wet conditions.  

More important, the Prio’s sole is zero dropped, which means its completely flat; toe-box and heel are level, which also gives you a more similar barefoot sensory experience by getting your feet closer to the ground for the benefit of better balance and forefoot strike precision.

Also, if you desire a little more underfoot softness on harsher grounds, the Xero Prio comes with an optional 2-mm insole that provides additional protection from sharp stones, acorns and roots while still putting little between you and the ground.

All in all, the XeroShoes Prio is everything that you’d expect as a minimalist running shoe in that its zero drop, compatible with a wide foot shape while being amped up with more tread without compromising your feel of the ground. Likewise, the materials and structural arrangement of the Prio is very dynamic, which allows the shoe to be incredibly versatile.

Another selling point of the Prio is the price! At $89, the Prio is definitely the price point for runners on a budget, and you can get your paws on a pair here!

If you’ve enjoyed this review, you’ll love my reviews on other minimalist shoes here as well as my YouTube channel here, where I talk at length about the health and performance benefits of not only minimalist running, but barefoot running!

If you’d like, you can support Run Forefoot and help keep it going by making a donation in any amount of your choosing:

Or, you can also support Run Forefoot by shopping at the following top minimalist shoes brands, and be sure to bookmark the links:

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Bretta Riches

"I believe the forefoot strike is the engine of endurance running..."

BSc Neurobiology; MSc Biomechanics candidate, ultra minimalist runner & founder of RunForefoot. I was a heel striker, always injured. I was inspired by the great Tirunesh Dibaba to try forefoot running. Now, I'm injury free. This is why I launched Run Forefoot, to advocate the health & performance benefits of forefoot running and to raise awareness on the dangers of heel striking, because the world needs to know.
Bretta Riches

P.S. Don't forget to check out the Run Forefoot Facebook Page, it's a terrific place to ask questions about forefoot running, barefoot running and injury. I'm always happy to help!