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The Xero Prio was one of our favorite products from 2017 with one major downside- it was no good for running on singletrack. We weren’t the only ones who thought that either. Following the many reviews that drew similar conclusions, Xero got busy working on a trail running version of the Prio. The result is the Terraflex, a shoe promising to bring what we loved about the Prio in a more trail capable package.
Xero wanted our opinion on the Terraflex and sent us a pair for review. After about 40 miles of trail testing in Park City, Utah, our thoughts are below. Please note that this review was not a paid-for review.
The biggest and most obvious change to the Terraflex is the addition of substantial tread to the outsole. This tread acts as a buffer between sharp and pointy edges any runner will eventually encounter on a trail. The extremely sensitive and uncomfortable trail feedback in the Prio is addressed head on with the Terraflex. Yes, you’ll still occasionally get a particularly gnarly rock that will make you wish for a bit more cushioning. But the addition of ample tread gives the grip and buffering needed to make the Terraflex a viable choice for use on singletrack.
The upper has been reworked for more durability, including a heavy duty toe bumper at the front. The laces have also been updated and don’t require double knotting to stay in place!
Same Minimalist Feel As The Prio
This one is important. Despite the added rubber on the bottom and a more durable upper, the Terraflex still feels like the Prio. Low to the ground, ample room for toes to splay and low-resistance flexibility are just some of the Prio traits the Terraflex retains.
Running in the Terraflex demands heightened concentration on stride form and foot placement. If a runner can do both of these, the Terraflex rewards you with a trail running experience that no other shoe can deliver. The low height of the shoe combined with the new rubber tread result in a downright staggering amount of grip. The Terraflex does not budge on any trail condition at any speed. In fact, tight hairpin turns are where the shoe really comes alive, allowing a runner to push their limits around a corner with more speed than thought possible. It’s somewhat frightening but intensely rewarding and a completely new twist on what trail running can feel like.
$99 on Xero’s website. This very reasonable price also includes the company’s 5000 mile warranty on the outsole (yes, you read that right- 5000 miles).
The Terraflex demonstrates what happens when a company listens to customer feedback and actually does stuff with it. The gripes that we have about the Prio on trail are directly addressed in the Terraflex. And the results speak volumes to what kind of trail shoes the company can make. In my mind, the Terraflex is Xero’s first real entry into the “big boy” world of footwear. A shoe that should be taken seriously by not only mainstream competitors in the minimalist space (I’m talking to you Merrell Trail Glove), but trail runners who actively run minimalist or have been tempted by its benefits.