Xero Shoes Amuri Cloud First Look Review
Xero Shoes continues to innovate on the class huaraches design with the release this week of their new "Amuri Cloud" barefoot sandals. What is this "Cloud" that I speak of? It's a design feature of the Amuri Xero Shoes that reduces weight and improves the "ride" of the shoes via some well-placed EVA that is embedded into the sole. Take heed! Until March 30, 2014, the Amuri Cloud will be on sale for 20% off—$39.99 vs. $49.99—available over at XeroShoes.com!
But if you'd like to see more of this "Cloud," after the jump I've got a few first look thoughts and photos! Read on!
Note: What you might recall as the Xero Shoes Sensori Venture is now becoming the "Amuri Venture" (I did an in-depth preview/explanation of how the Sensori-now-Amuri design differs from the classic Xero Shoes huarache here that might be worth spinning through if you have a minute!).
Xero Shoes Amuri Cloud First Look
Let me cut to the chase, my initial reaction to the Amuri Cloud is that it is a fairly sizable improvement over the Venture. Mind that the difference between the Cloud and the Venture is that the Cloud has carved a 3mm deep chunk out of the Amuri rubber outsole forward of the ankle-bone (technical term) and replaced that with 3mm of EVA foam. Clear as mud? Allow me to paint a picture:
Above you can see the Xero Shoes Amuri Cloud vs. the Xero Shoes Amuri (Sensori) Venture. Everything "grey" is 3mm of foam that is inlaid into the 6mm Amuri rubber outsole. So where there is grey in the sole, the total thickness is 6mm but 3mm is super-compressable EVA. Where it's black, it's 6mm of rubber. Got it?
Amuri Cloud Function!
The Amuri Cloud Xeroes are super flexible—especially where the Cloud has the EVA foam. This is because whereas the rubber has more rigidity due to it's density, the foam is airy and light. In fact, the Cloud is noticeably lighter than the Venture. More to the point, if you grab the Cloud at the front of the sandal, it practically collapses on itself (see this photo). Or as you can see above, the soles of the Cloud flex readily with the flexing of your foot.
Meanwhile, reducing the thickness of the rubber sole by 50% dramatically improves the barefoot feel—yes, that's even despite the addition of "cloud-like" EVA foam. This is due to something I've observed over the years which is simple as this: foam isn't always bad. EVA sometimes gets a bad rap in the "barefoot" shoe world because it's associated with overly cushioned shoes. Things aren't so simple (they never are!) and some of the more barefoot shoes I own have foam in them.
What's going on here? Well, in short, foam compresses and is lightweight. This means that if you step on a sharp pointy thing in a straight-foam soled shoe, where the point of the object is, the foam gets compressed and your foot feels it in a fairly, er, pointed way. Comparatively, were you to replace the same thickness of foam with a dense rubber, the rubber would act more like a wood board, smoothing out the point as it disperses the point laterally across the rubber.
At least, that's how I think of what I experience when I compare the two. As for the Amuri Cloud, this seems quality seems to be in play and it's quite nice!
I have to say that the "pillow-top" on the Cloud really takes some edge off the Amuri, making for an overall more enjoyable experience. Your feet nicely sink into the sandals just enough to make the huaraches feel more connected to your feet. That's a big plus.
What's particularly cool about the Amuri Cloud is that when you've been wearing them around and take them off, you can see your footprint in the foam as it adjusts back to it's unloaded state.
It's only a first look!
I've been lucky enough to have a pair of the Amuri Cloud's for the past 2-3 weeks. I've been unlucky enough to have weather that's been keeping me out of sandals. Today, for example, started out in the 20s! So much for Hotlanta, right? Could someone let the weather know it's almost April?
Having said that, my limited experiences to date with the Amuri Cloud have been very positive. They seem great for casual wear or running around the yard chasing errant 4-year-old-kicked soccer balls down hills. Again, the EVA addition is a major design plus that I am incredibly enthusiastic about. It makes a major difference in the feel of these sandals.
The hardest part about the Amuri design is, despite the tensioners, it's still sorta tricky getting the fit just right. That said, once it's sized right to your foot, it stays "right" and works really well—it's easy to slip on or off. I'm looking forward to more wear-time in these in the coming months!
If you're after huaraches, give the Amuri Cloud a look!
First off, if you're looking to pick up a pair of huaraches sandals that are "high-tech," Xero Shoes are worth your attention: for the price and the quality, they're a great choice. Setting aside Xero Shoes' Amuri offerings, their standard huaraches continue to be the best bang for the buck. And if you like what the Amuri offers as far as a new huaraches design, one that is the dual-laced, rear-tensioned, heel-cupped design, and toe-posted, I'd recommend the Amuri Cloud. To me, it's worth the additional cost to get the EVA foam as it'll make for a more enjoyable "barefoot sandal" experience.
Plus they're on sale for the next few days, so that's another win.
If you just don't care of the EVA or love you some camo-rubber soles (confession: blue camo KSO FiveFingers were my all-time favorite colorway!), you can save a few shekels and go with the Venture (which just launched with a classic camo outsole as well as a blue ocean camo outsole).
Anyone else pick up the Cloud? What do you think? Let's hear it! And if you want to see more photos, scroll on!
Photo gallery and Video—Xero Shoes Amuri Cloud
Here Steven Sashen shows off the new camo Amuri Venture (Formerly known as the Sensori Venture previewed/reviewed here) and the new Amuri Cloud (photo'ed above!):