Have you heard the news? Xero Shoes has created a new minimalist sandal that truly breaks from their signature huarache innovations and goes toe-to-toe against the uber-popular strappy sandals you likely used to wear (Chacos, Tevas, etc.). It’s called the Amuri Z-Trek. You can see it above. Xero has just announced the sandal publicly and it’s in full-blown blown pre-launch mode, meaning that it’s not yet for sale but Xero Shoes is running a big giveaway that will lead up to the official launch of the Z-Trek! Here’s a quick photo-tour of the sandals: And since sandals really derive their personality from feet, here they are on mine: I’ve not had the pleasure of enjoying the Z-Treks much due to some recent terrible weather in Atlanta, but I can share a few things right off the bat. The Z-Trek features the 5.5mm sole that you might be familiar with if you’ve had the Xero Venture. The two are highly similar in the sole. So if you’re wondering what the ground feel is like, well, wonder no further. For those who haven’t dabbled with Xeros, the ground feel is excellent due to the density and minimal thickness of the rubber. They are also super flexible. Here’s a photo of some sole flex: The sole is also pretty grippy due to the chevron tread. I’m on the fence overall with the rear heel-“cup” of the Xero sole as I’m not sure I really need it and it adds some weight to the soles, but in the case of the Z-Trek, I don’t much notice it and it does “seat” my heel better than if it was not there. One of the things many minimalist enthusiasts have wanted are sandals that are like Chacos or Tevas but don’t have the heft or the bulk. A few options have cropped up over the past few years — like the (discontinued, I believe) Teva Zilch. Also, Unshoes has a few options. Xero’s Z-Trek makes a great option in this camp. The strap design of the Z-Trek makes a “Z” on your left foot whereby it’s anchored at the big toe, crosses over the foot and switches back over your instep. It then anchors again and cross back over to complete the “Z” via a clasp that is (blessedly) incredibly easy to tighten and loosen. The beauty of this design is that once you lock in the top of the “Z,” the bottom of the Z is super easy to adjust, meaning you can make it as tight or as loose as you want and back and forth. In this case, an animated GIF is worth a thousand words: The rear strap of the Z-Trek is a “set it and forget it” Velcro. It’s a little beefier than I’d like given how minimalist the front straps of the Z-Trek are, but it works well. As for sizing, I’m really a 10.5 normally but I find that the 10 fits me just about right. Anyway, this isn’t a review, but a teaser on the Z-Trek. I hope to get some more time in them in the coming weeks and months! For now, I’ll wrap with a video from Steven Sashen on the Xero Z-Trek. He tells you just about everything you want to know about the Z-Trek and in particular about how to participate in the giveaway contest. Interested? Do you think this is sandal you’ve been waiting for? Go to Xero and take a chance at winning their contest!