We test and review fitness products based on an independent, multi-point methodology. If you use our links to purchase something, we may earn a commission. Read our disclosures.

You may be landing on this Xero HFS II review because you’re in search of a minimalist shoe designed to do it all—trail running, heavy lifting, box jumping, you name it!

The best cross-training shoes have enough cushion to support running and enough stability for heavy lifts. But what about those of you trying to make room for spreading your toes and developing awareness in your feet? 

Well, the HFS II might be your solution. It’s lightly cushioned yet still offers a highly flexible sole for ultimate ground feel, so you’ll have complete awareness of what you’re stepping on. 

For this Xero HFS II review, Erin Chancer, Garage Gym Reviews senior editor and NASM certified nutrition coach, put these zero-drop shoes to the test with both running and lifting. Erin was tasked with wearing the HFS II and rating her experience on a 1-to-5-star scale in the following categories: 

  • Purchase and delivery
  • Overall appearance
  • Construction and durability
  • Stability
  • Outsole
  • Adjustability and ergonomics 
  • Overall value 
  • Customer experience 

70 Training Shoes Tested (and Counting) 

Garage Gym Reviews is comprised of fitness industry experts ranging from Olympic-level athletes and gym owners to certified personal trainers and nutrition coaches. While our team has a range of backgrounds, we know one thing for sure: Happy, healthy feet are essential for both runners and lifters.

And we know shoes—our team of experts have tested 70 different shoes, including the best trail running shoes, barefoot running shoes, elevated lifters, and best shoes for deadlifting. Plus, we have tons of experience with top brands in the athletic minimal shoe space (like Altra, Inov-8, NOBULL, and VivoBarefoot). 

Xero HFS II

Xero Shoes HFS II

GGR Score: 4.6 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Minimalist road running shoe
  • Lightweight at 8.3 oz in mens size 9
  • Tire tread-inspired outsole the stay secure off the road
  • Thin Barefoam layer of protection added to sole
  • 0 mm heel-toe drop

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Durable tread and outsole
  • Lightweight
  • Wide toe box
  • Break in easily

Cons

  • Can heat up quickly
  • Fairly pricey

Bottom Line

The HFS II from Xero Shoes is a lightweight minimalist shoe designed for road running, although it can be taken off-road as well. These shoes have a durable rubber sole, rated for 5,000 miles, and a thin Barefoam layer added to the shoe for extra protection. If you prefer minimal shoes for barefoot running, this is a solid choice.

A Quick Look at the Xero HFS II 

You may have heard of Xero Shoes from the popular ABC television show, Shark Tank. In 2013, founders of Xero Shoes and husband and wife team, Lena Pheonix and Stephen Sashen walked away from a $400,000 offer from “shark” Kevin O’Leary. 

Sharks or no sharks, Xero shoes have since gained tons of traction and popularity. The brand that once consisted of only “FeelTrue” DIY sandal kits inspired by traditional Mexican huarache footwear has now grown into a wide selection of minimalist running shoes, racing shoes, moisture-wicking hiking boots, and a selection of casual daily-wear shoes—all of which feature zero-drop, barefoot-style flexible soles. 

RELATED: Best Walking Shoes

Xero HFS II on exercise mat

Before You Buy

  • The HFS is comes in US shoe sizes, both whole and half sizes 
  • Our tester, Erin, found the HFS fit true to size, which is consistent with the sizing recommendation on the Xero Shoes website
  • The sole may appear thick for a barefoot shoe, but it’s just an aesthetic design to make the sneaker look more like a traditional running shoe

Is the Xero HFS II Worth It?

When it comes to overall value, Erin gives the Xero HFS II a 4-out-of-5-star rating. They’re currently priced at $120 on the website, which is less than other comparable barefoot shoes on the market like VivoBarefoot, which start around $170 for the most basic training shoes (the Primus Lite III). 

Both offer highly flexible soles, more ground feel than traditional sneakers, and wide toe boxes. I like the way both shoes look, but I will say VivoBarefoot offers a more sophisticated and minimalist aesthetic. I think Xero Shoes offer a more ideal price point, especially if you’re uncertain about wearing barefoot-style shoes for distance running and strength training workouts. 

Great for:

  • Wide feet
  • Squats and deadlifts 
  • Trails or off-road running

Not recommended for:

  • Folks needing a heel raise for squats
  • People who prefer midsole cushioning
  • Anyone with plantar fasciitis

RELATED: Best Walking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis  

Xero HFS II Specs

Price$119.99
Weight6.7 oz (Women’s size 7); 8.3 oz (Men’s size 9)
Heel-to-toe drop0 mm 
Size rangeUS sizes: Women’s 5-12; Men’s 6.5-15
Men’s colorwaysAsphalt/Alloy, Black/Asphalt, Blue Aster
Women’s colorwaysAsphalt/Alloy, Black/Frost Gray, Reflecting Pond 
UpperWide toe box; lightweight, breathable mesh upper
OutsoleLow-profile lugs inspired from tire treads
Midsole Thin layer of “BareFoam”
Extra featuresRemovable insole 
Warranty 5,000 mile sole warranty 

Wearing the Xero HFS II 

GGR expert product tester, senior editor, and certified nutrition coach Erin Chancer was pleasantly surprised by the Xero HFS II shoes. Her go-to walking and running shoe before testing the HFS II was the Reebok ZigWild Trail 6, which features a memory foam midsole and a 4 millimeter heel-to-toe-drop. But when it comes to training indoors, Erin admits, “I prefer to train barefoot and my husband is always getting on my case about proper support, so the HFS works well for that.”

Xero HFS vs Reebok Zigwild

Needless to say, the HFS II lent a different experience for Erin’s feet, namely the zero-drop heel. But because she was used to training barefoot indoors, she wasn’t surprised by the way they performed. “The HFS II’s are easy to wear with little-to-no break-in period required,” she notes. 

“I wore them for outdoor jogging, lifting, indoor cycling, and general walking,” Erin adds, saying. “They’re a comfortable and lightweight barefoot road running shoe with a wide toe box and minimal outsole. They’re not my normal style of gym shoes at all, but I really like the fit and will continue to use them.”

RELATED: Cycling vs Running

Xero HFS II Aesthetics 

Our product testers know the look of barefoot-style shoes are different. The footwear industry is filled with tapered toe boxes and lifted heels. However, not all barefoot shoes look as alien as the Vibram Fivefingers (you know, the ones that look like gloves for your feet). 

Thankfully, brands like Xero Shoes offer barefoot-style footwear with simple, straightforward designs that don’t make you feel like you’re taking a huge departure from modern footwear.

Erin Chancer, GGR senior editor and product tester gives the HFS II a 4.5-out-of-5-star rating for overall appearance. Of the three colorways to choose from, Erin ordered the Asphalt/Alloy option which features a purplish-gray gradient. 

The color combination just so happens to fit Erin’s style, too. “I really liked the appearance and they fit seamlessly into my gym and everyday wardrobe,” she says. 

Durability and Construction

As for the overall construction and durability of the Xero HFS II, Erin gives these shoes a 4-out-of-5-star rating. The HFS proves to be “Super lightweight and flexible,” which is appropriate for everyday wear and exercise. “I wore them all day for various activities, including jogging, lifting, and running errands,” Erin notes. It’s also worth noting that all Xero Shoes are backed by a 5,000-mile warranty. The brand guarantees the sole will not break down, even with years of wear. 

The one thing Erin calls out is that even though the HFS II features breathable mesh on the upper part of the shoe, they make her feet a bit warmer than she prefers. “But that wasn’t a deal-breaker for me,” she adds. 

Xero HFS II running outdoors

The outsole of the HFS II earns a 4-out-of-5-star rating. Erin appreciates that the thin outsole is “Pretty sturdy for how minimal (and flexible) the shoes are.”

“I compared the HFS II to another pair of my Reebok ZigWild running shoes, which have a massive outsole with tons of cushioning and bounce. In a lot of ways, the barefoot-style HFS is more comfortable,” says Erin. 

RELATED: Best Running Leggings

Ergonomics and Comfort 

Erin was impressed by the lack of break-in time for the HFS shoes. She also adds that she didn’t have to mess too much with the laces or the removable insole to get the perfect fit. “I just put them on and go,” says Erin. 

“I wore them with socks (which is optional) and did not have any chafing or blisters,” she says. 

Erin gives the HFS II a 4.5-out-of-5-star rating for adjustability and ergonomics. She docks a half point because her feet warm up in these. “The one thing I will note is that my feet get hot pretty quickly just standing around which I find slightly uncomfortable.”

Xero HFS II running outdoors back of shoe

The HFS II also offers stability, even with a minimal outsole and low profile. The outsole features a low-profile lug which was inspired by tire treads for trail running. The HFS II earns a 4.5-out-of-5-star rating in the stability category. 

Additionally, Erin assumed with a wide toe box, her narrow feet would swim around in the HFS. However, the shoes formed to her feet and didn’t slide around at all, offering a stable base for jumping, running, and lifting. 

RELATED: Box Jump Workouts

Xero 360 vs Forza Trainer vs HFS II

Xero Shoes Forza Trainer

Xero Shoes Forza Trainer

GGR Score: 4.3 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Barefoot, minimalist shoe with focus on staying connected to feet
  • Midfoot strap that wraps around heel for extra security
  • Durable rubber outsole
  • Molded sidewall for more lateral stability
  • Moisture-wicking upper
  • Optional 2 mm insert for additional cushion
  • Zero heel-toe drop

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Heel strap keeps foot secure
  • Supportive for cross-training
  • Molded sidewall
  • Flat sole ideal for deadlifting
  • 2-year warranty
  • Wide toe box

Cons

  • Won’t appeal to those used to lifting with a raised heel
  • Thin shoe laces
  • Short velcro strap

Bottom Line

The Xero Shoes Forza Trainers are a unique barefoot shoe that emphasizes staying connected with the foot. With a midfoot strap that also tightens the heel, you’ll stay very connected through dynamic movements as well as heavy lifting. These bootie-style shoes are minimal, providing limited support and a zero heel-toe drop.

The expert product testers at Garage Gym Reviews have now tested and reviewed three different Xero Shoes. The Xero 360 Shoes was the original shoe we tested, which is ideal for HIIT, jumping, running, and lifting. It offers huarache-inspired tension straps under the mesh upper inside of the toe box. These are the heaviest pair of three we’ve reviewed. 

The Xero Shoes Forza Trainer can be worn for pretty much any sport or activity but is designed with lifting and strength training in mind. It offers an instep strap to provide a more locked-to-the-ground feel than other Xero Shoes—which makes it ideal for producing force through your feet. The Forza is lighter than the 360 shoes but heavier than the HFS II. 

The HFS II offers the best outsole for trail and road running. They are also the lightest of the three which is ideal for runners. Of the three options below, the HFS II is the most suitable for runners. It can be used as a cross-trainer but the low-profile lugs are not necessary for the indoors.  

HFS IIForza Trainer360 
Price$119.99$129.99$119.99
Weight6.7 oz (Women’s 7);
8.3 oz (Men’s 9)
7.4 oz (Women’s 7);
8.7 oz (Men’s 9) 
8 oz (Women’s 7);
9 oz (Men’s 9)
Heel-to-toe drop0 mm 0 mm0 mm
Size rangeWomen’s 5-12; Men’s 6.5-15Women’s 5-12; Men’s 6.5-15Women’s 5-12; Men’s 6.5-15
UpperBreathable meshMoisture-wicking mesh Breathable mesh
OutsoleTire tread lugsFlexible rubber outsole Flexible rubber outsole
Extra featuresRemovable insole and “BareFoam” midsoleHeel-and-instep “lockdown” strap and molded sidewallHuarache-inspired tension straps under the mesh upper

Customer Experience 

For overall customer experience, Xero Shoes earns a 4-out-of-5-star rating. The website lists a phone number, business hours, and a store locator. There is an icon that appears like it will be a live chat function, but it’s actually just a shortcut to FAQs, warranty policy, and shoe finder quizzes. 

As for the warranty and return policy, Erin rates the brand policies a 4 out of 5 stars. The warranty policy covers a 5,000-mile sole warranty and a 2-year manufacturer defect warranty. 

Xero HFS II in box

According to the Xero Shoes website, if you wear down your sole to less than 1-millimeter thick at the ball or heel of the foot (not the edge), the brand will replace them with the same product or similar if it’s been discontinued.

If this happens, you’ll need to contact the company with proof of purchase (like a receipt or email confirmation) to get a return authorization number so you can send your worn-out pair back to headquarters. 

Additionally, the brand guarantees against manufacturer defects for 24 months from the date of purchase and offers a 45-day return policy for unworn shoes.

Ordering the Xero HFS II 

The ordering process for Xero Shoes is quick and easy. Expert product tester Erin Chancer reports having no issues. Once her order was placed, they arrived at her doorstep in less than one week from the purchase date. She rates her ordering and delivery a 5-out-of-5-star experience. 

At checkout, you’ll have the option to enter your credit card information, use PayPal, or make payments with Klarna. If you choose Klarna, you’ll have the ability to make four interest-free payments. The first installment is charged when your order is confirmed by Xero Shoes and the next three payments are automatically made every two weeks after your initial payment. 

Xero HFS II shoe box

Customer Reviews

Customer reviews are overall positive. However, there are some reviews sprinkled in that note the HFS II fits differently than the original HFS shoe, saying they are not wide enough.

On both Amazon and the Xero Shoes website, the average rating is 4.4 and 4.7, respectively for the women’s HFS II. 

Final Verdict of Our Xero HFS II Review

Barefoot-style shoes may not be for everyone, but if you’re curious about the Xero HFS II Shoes are an ideal place to start. Unlike the original huarache-inspired Xero Shoes, the HFS II offers everything a cross-trainer shoe has without tons of foam cushioning or a high heel drop. 

Other things to consider before you click add to cart on these zero-drop shoes: 

  • The price point is less than other minimalist sneakers like VivoBarefoot
  • Xero offers a 5,000 mile sole warranty 
  • Xero Shoes are foot-shaped and offer a roomy toe box
  • Wide range of sizes offer for both men and women—in whole and half sizes 

Xero HFS II Rating

Xero HFS II

Will these barefoot-style running shoes make your feet happy? Find out in our Xero HFS II review.

Product Brand: Xero Shoes

Product Currency: $

Product Price: 119.99

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
4.3
Purchasing and Delivery – 5
Appearance – 4.5
Construction and Durability – 4
Stability – 4.5
Outsole – 4
Adjustability and ergonomics – 4.5
Customer Reviews – 4.6
Value – 4
Return and exchange policy – 4
Customer service – 4
Check Price

Xero HFS II: FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about the Xero HFS II shoes:

Are Xero HFS true to size?

GGR product tester and senior editor, Erin Chancer found the Xero HSF II Shoes fit true to size. The Xero Shoes website also suggests ordering in your normal shoe size. 

Can you run a marathon in Xero Shoes?

While you can run in Xero Shoes (and even the Xero huarache-style sandals) you’ll likely need to practice with short distances to get accustomed to the fit. Most running shoes have tons of cushioning and a lifted heel. Xero shoes features a zero-drop design and a very minimal cushioning underfoot. 

What is the stack height of HFS II?

The Xero Shoe website does not specify the stack height of the HFS. However, the product description does note that the sole looks thick, but it’s just an illusion to make it look more similar to a traditional running shoe. 

Do Xero Shoes fit wide feet?

Xero Shoes do not offer specific “wide” sizes but each Xero shoe is designed to be foot-shaped with a wide toe box and ample room through the forefoot (ideal for wide feet or folks with bunions). The midfoot will likely fit like a traditional sneaker for a snug fit. 

Further reading

Naked Whey Protein Review (2024): Free From Soy, Gluten, and Food Additives Cover Image
Naked Whey Protein Review (2024): Free From Soy, Gluten, and Food Additives

You may be landing on this Xero HFS II review because you’re in search of a minimalist shoe designed to do it all—trail running, heavy lifting, box jumping, you name it!The best cross-training shoes have enough cushion to support running and enough stability for heavy lifts. But what about those of you trying to make room for spreading your toes and developing awareness in your feet? Well, the HFS II might be your solution.  » Read more about: Xero HFS II Review (2024): Your New Favorite Shoes For Cross-Training  » Read more

Reebok Lifter PR 3 Review (2024): Budget-Friendly and Not Just for Lifting Cover Image
Reebok Lifter PR 3 Review (2024): Budget-Friendly and Not Just for Lifting

Weightlifting shoes can be pricey, but how does this budget shoe compare? Learn more in this Reebok Lifter PR 3 review. Read more

The 11 Best Landmine Exercises to Add to Your Routine Cover Image
The 11 Best Landmine Exercises to Add to Your Routine

You may know one or two landmine exercises, but did you know you can work your full body with it? Here are our 11 best landmine exercises for you to try. Read more

How to Use a Massage Gun (and How NOT To) Cover Image
How to Use a Massage Gun (and How NOT To)

You may be landing on this Xero HFS II review because you’re in search of a minimalist shoe designed to do it all—trail running, heavy lifting, box jumping, you name it!The best cross-training shoes have enough cushion to support running and enough stability for heavy lifts. But what about those of you trying to make room for spreading your toes and developing awareness in your feet? Well, the HFS II might be your solution.  » Read more about: Xero HFS II Review (2024): Your New Favorite Shoes For Cross-Training  » Read more