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Road Running Shoes • September 12, 2023

Xero HFS 2 Review: Walk, Don’t Run

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What You Need To Know


8.3 oz (235 g) for a US M9,

6.7 oz (189 g) for a US W7

Stack Height / Drop

5 mm midsole (0 mm drop)

Best For

Casual wear and gym workouts

Key Features

BareFoam insole layer, Highly Flexible Sole, lightweight upper

On The Run
Comfortable upper Unique barefoot experience DON'T STEP ON ROCKS


Introduction to the Xero HFS 2

SETH: Everyone, meet the Xero HFS 2. I’ll admit, I love testing shoes that are completely different compared to other brands — maybe even shoes that aren’t all that attractive. Honestly, I just want to see if they suck or if there’s actually something to the unique design.

Anyway, Xero’s HFS 2 is super minimal, with pretty much no cushion or support, so let’s see how the miles roll along.

What we like about the Xero HFS 2

SETH: I really enjoy wearing The Xero HFS 2 since it’s very minimal, with pretty much zero cushioning. As I mentioned in the Xero Scrambler Low review, it’s relieving to be almost barefoot and to take a break from all of the cushion and support of most running shoe brands today. When you put this shoe on after wearing an Asics Gel Nimbus 25, you might think you don’t have feet anymore. It’s very low to the ground, so you’ll feel stable while doing any lateral or quick movement, and if you’re running, you’ll feel the impact of every step.

Shop Xero HFS 2 - Men Shop Xero HFS 2 - Women

Xero’s upper is constructed of mesh and feels quite roomy and stretchy. Splaying your toes out feels really nice, especially if you’ve been wearing narrow shoes. The lockdown of the shoe felt good, too, but since I have a narrow heel I had to use the runner’s loop to make sure it wasn’t slipping or rubbing. Other than that, the HFS 2 felt secure, even with the extra toe space. My favorite times to wear this shoe are when going to the gym, picking up sports with friends, and just walking. Running is a different story…

What we don’t like about the Xero HFS 2

SETH: I took these shoes out for a five-mile run on the pavement, and it’s not something I’d be interested in doing again. Each step felt like all of the force was going straight into my knees and hips, so I was forced to jog at an 11-minute pace to make it through. I went off the sidewalk into the grass, and that felt much better, but whatever you do, please don’t step on any rocks. I did, and it felt like my foot got stabbed. Unless I’m running on sand or soft dirt, these would be one of the last shoes I’d choose to run in.

Shop Xero HFS 2 - Men Shop Xero HFS 2 - Women

Xero HFS 2 Conclusion

SETH: This shoe is about as plain and simple as it comes. If you plan on running on the pavement, I wouldn’t recommend the HFS 2. I think for unnatural surfaces such as asphalt and concrete, you need some natural cushioning to balance it out, or else your knees might pay the price.

If this were the only shoe in the world, I’d still use it, though. If you’re someone who likes to walk, hit the gym, do yoga, and would like a shoe that’s minimal and stable, I do think you will enjoy the Xero HFS 2. I really love wearing it, just not for running.

You can pick up the Xero HFS 2 for $120 directly from Xero using the buttons below.

Shop The Shoe


Shop Xero HFS 2 Men
Shop Xero HFS 2 Women

Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. Nate says:

    Wow sorry to say but your legs are so weak, I’m running 120 – 160 miles a week in my HFS and also Vapour Glove 4s plus 20 miles a week barefoot all on roads with a 2 hour long run and 2 speed workouts.

    Zero pain, just dead legs sometimes because of the heavy training load.

    Wearing cushioned shoes really does make your feet and legs weak!

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Seth Epley
Texas Trail Reviewer
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Seth Epley is an ultramarathoner and avid outdoorsman. After graduating high school, Seth struggled with drinking and was ultimately unhappy with the way he was living. Running became a remedy, and 3 years later he ran his first 200-mile race and has maintained a 100% sober lifestyle. In addition to running, he enjoys archery, videography, photography, and all things outdoors.

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