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Trail Running Shoes • August 23, 2023

Xero Scrambler Low Review: My Hero Xero

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What You Need To Know


9.3 oz. (263 g) for a US M9,

7.4 oz. (209 g) for a US W7

Stack Height / Drop

10 mm stack (0 mm drop)

Best For

Lightweight, low-stack trail scrambles

Key Features

Welded mesh upper, Michelin FiberLite sole

On The Run
It's basically dirt-proof Plenty of room for the dawgs to splay Just don't step on sharp rocks...


JOHN: This is a journey into the minimal. My first venture into this world was the New Balance Minimus. Then I got all into Altra. A bit later, I met Vol State adventure runners Odie Hestnes and Chris Kaner doing the Bloody 11w, who put me on Teva. After this, I met a guy named Randy Kreill doing ultras rocking Xero. Randy has been with Xero since just about the beginning and gave me a lot of good advice on Xero, and I’ve since introduced the shoes into my rotation. So when given the opportunity, I was so excited to be able to review the Scrambler Low.

In the world of max cushion, Xero straight-up unapologetically does its own thing. I can honestly say there is nothing else like the Scrambler Low out there. It weighs more and is bigger than most Xeros because it’s based on the Scrambler Mid, which is a hiking boot. The fit is ridiculously comfortable — it feels like you have a lot of room, but your foot is locked in. The toe box is nice and wide for your foot to splay.

I ran a total of 36 miles in the Scrambler Low and climbed just over 8k feet in elevation. My first run was 7 miles in the rain, and the 2nd was The Jarmans Invitational Marathon, a 29-mile race with over 7k feet of elevation gain and 7k ft of descent. I thoroughly tested the Scrambler Low, and I’ve got a lot to say.

SETH: The Xero Shoes Scrambler Low. The first time I laced up a pair of Xero Shoes, I felt like I took a step down in support from Altras. When I’m wearing Altras (zero drop) I usually wear the minimal models like the Lone Peak 6 to give my feet a break from all the cushion, higher drops, and support you typically get in a lot of brands. It feels good to go primitive and feel like you’re barefoot. I’m really glad I got to try the Scrambler low out, so when I’m knocking out casual errands, I can go minimal and take a break from traditional shoes. So let’s go over what I like in a minimal shoe and what makes this a great pick for a minimal shoe.

What we like about the Xero Scrambler Low

JOHN: The grip is surprisingly good for being such a minimal shoe. I only slid one time in the Scrambler Low, and it was because it was very wet out on my first run. Even with all the wetness of this first run, I found it drained exceedingly well.

The fit of this shoe is like nothing else out there. It’s like running in a comfy sock, and I love it so much. It’s extremely lightweight, yet there’s a lot of protection for the upper part of your foot. More than you would think. More on the sole of the shoe in a bit.

Another really great feature of this shoe to note is although I had a pretty extreme amount of muck and dirt around my lower leg and sock area at the conclusion of my race, none of that mess entered my shoe. This is a huge bonus to not have to be constantly digging small rocks and debris out of my shoe, especially on a shorter race with less time to spare.

SETH: A lot of running shoe brands tend to lean narrow, but I love a minimal shoe to have a wider toe box. In the Xero Scrambler Low, I had plenty of room to splay out my toes which feels relieving after having on a narrow shoe most of the time. On top of that, the knit on top of the toes is stretchy and roomy, which adds to that sense of freedom for your toes.

The outsole of the shoe has Michelin rubber tread and lugs that don’t really stand out compared to your typical trail shoe. However, I like the feel of the lugs and added structure giving it just enough support to the base of the shoe to where it doesn’t feel too bare.

The lockdown of the shoe felt nice, the tongue is padded, and the laces are fluffy, making it pretty comfortable. I had lots of room in the toe box but was able to secure my foot nicely. It’s very accommodating, so I feel like if you have a high or low-volume foot you’ll still be able to lock it down to your liking.

Shop Xero Scrambler Low - Men Shop Xero Scrambler Low - Women

What we don’t like about the Xero Scrambler Low

JOHN: You have to be careful where you step in the Scrambler Low. As much as I’ve used Xero, sometimes I’ll still step on that jagged rock and let out a war cry on the trail. It’s going to happen with the design every once in a while. That’s really my only critique; the outsole just isn’t extremely protective, so you need to be careful.

SETH: I don’t have too many negative thoughts on this shoe. It’s made to be minimal and simple, and it surely is that. When I slip on this shoe, I do get the feeling that the shoe isn’t made of very high-quality material, so paying over $100 for a pair like this isn’t something I’d be willing to do. I do love a simple shoe, but I also think a simple shoe should be very affordable unless the materials of the shoe stand out or are impressive.

Shop Xero Scrambler Low - Men Shop Xero Scrambler Low - Women

Xero Scrambler Low Conclusion

JOHN: If you’re a minimal runner or just want to toss something else that’s different in the rotation, I truly believe that the scrambler low is a wonderful change-up. It’s so light and comfortable and has a surprising amount of foot protection, considering its minimalist design. As I mentioned, I ran a fairly aggressive mountain race in the shoe, but if the course you will be on is more technical I’d opt for something with a tougher sole and rock plate. I truly feel the Scrambler Low would be an excellent trail rotation shoe and can be used for less technical races up to 50k.

SETH: For a shoe that’s made to be minimal, I actually really enjoy it. Would I take this shoe for a long run? No. Do I wish it had more cushion and support for a long run? No, there are other shoes for that, and this one is perfect for what I’ll be using it for. This shoe I’ll use for those easy, short runs on the trail and also for those days I may be crossing creeks and streams. I’ll love this when hiking or doing all outdoor activities. If I’m doing high-intensity or long-duration activities, I’d probably want more cushion and support. I’ve enjoyed using this shoe and will continue using it.

You can pick up the Xero Scrambler Low for $149 from Xero using the buttons below.

Shop The Shoe


Shop Xero Scrambler Low Men
Shop Xero Scrambler Low Women

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photo of man in yellow shirt
John Calabrese
Habitual Ultrarunner
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An obsessed runner, John has run in most ultra races in the Mid-Atlantic area. Since he’s an ultra runner, it’s no surprise he’s also a lover of food. He’s also a dedicated father, caregiver, and veteran.

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Fav. Distance


  • 23:25:23

    100 Mile
  • 9:13:41

    50 Mile
  • 4:23:38

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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Fav. Distance

100 Miles

  • 82:22:09

    200 Mile
  • 22:58:24

    100 Mile
  • 9:06:49

    50 Mile
  • 2:59:35

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