I hesitated a long time before purchasing a pair of Xero Shoes’ Hana shoes. I’ve been wearing Vivobarefoot shoes for many years and have enjoyed each pair for different reasons. To give you a better idea of my barefoot history, I have been wearing Vibram 5 fingers since around 2006 including their best pair ever made but not mass produced, the kangaroo leathers with no sole. Yes, there was a time when Vibram shoes were truly minimalist…but I digress.
Now that I’ve put on a pair of Xero Shoes closed toe Hanas, my conviction and dedication to Vivo is starting to wane. I’ve been sporting my new Hanas for a little over two weeks and I can say that they are definitely my new favorite work shoe and running shoe.
Since those of us going minimalist don’t really want to wear shoes anyway, when I went shopping I decided to look for a shoe that was a slip-on. Something I could throw in the back seat of the truck and pull out quickly if I ever needed to clothe my feet. I ordered my Hanas one-half size bigger than my normal shoe so that they could slip on. I think I made the right choice as they are easy to slip onto my foot and easy to pull off. I tied them the first day I received them and haven’t had to worry about them since.
While I previously enjoyed the leather based Vivos, the canvas upper of the Hana actually has a lot more give and movement which makes it feel more “barefoot” than any Vivo I have worn. That being said, I do wish there was a way to get a thinner sole on the Hana for those of us that really dislike shoes.
I have tried running in rocks, flat dirt trails, on pavement and on asphalt and the shoes feel great. I am waiting to see how they perform in wet weather conditions, but in Arizona it could be a long wait.
If you are looking for a true minimalist daily wear shoe, I highly recommend taking a look at the Hana, the high toe box is nice combined with the wide toe box. As expected, the zero drop heel feels comfortable and the soles begin to conform to your feet within a few days.