Who should buy the Xero Shoes Oswego

Whether you are a die-hard fan of barefoot shoes or are only testing out what the hype is all about, the Oswego from Xero Shoes has quite a few reasons to be liked.

Firstly, the shoe lets your feet flex naturally as well as makes you feel “rooted to the ground” or “connected to earth.” The fact that it’s a vegan shoe also contributes to the experience.

Secondly, it can be used for a wide variety of physical activities. Here are some of the most common scenarios in which people have found the Oswego very useful:

  • walking / casual wear
  • shorter runs (up to 2 miles)
  • outdoor yoga and stretches
  • cycling to the office
  • gym and backyard workouts
  • light trail hopping

Xero Shoes Oswego best uses

Who should NOT buy this Xero shoe

There are a couple of characteristics that can prevent you from getting the Oswego:

  • Barefoot shoes require an adjustment period and may not work for everyone.

If you’ve had any foot issues or other conditions, do consult with your doctor before going for this shoe. Alternatively, you may want to consider a less minimalist shoe, like the Merrell Vapor Glove 5, New Balance Minimus 10 v1, or a shoe from the Nike Free series.

  • The Oswego lacks breathability for summer.

Xero Shoes with mesh uppers that are more breathable are the Prio and the HFS.

Xero Shoes Oswego pros and cons

Oswego vs. other Xero Shoes

Think of the Oswego as Speed Force but with a water-resistant knit upper. The shoes share the same ultra-flexible sole design. The Oswego is also meant for the roads and smoother terrain, unlike the TerraFlex or the Mesa Trail. These shoes have thicker, more prominent lugs for the trails.

The barefoot benefits of Xero Shoes Oswego

Hundreds of the Oswego wearers rave about the “world of difference” that the shoe has made for them. With its super-thin sole (only 4.5 mm) and mind-blowing lightness and flexibility (you can literally roll it up), the people love being able to “fully articulate” their feet.

Apart from no foot movement restriction, they also mention feeling much more balanced and grounded and feeling a difference in muscle activation and strength. An avid athlete says: “My sense of balance and coordination is improving drastically.”

Some people even claim that the shoe helped to cure their issues with knee and back pain. One of the comments says: “My feet feel the most at ease … when I'm wearing them.”

Xero Shoes Oswego benefits of barefoot

There is also a group of Oswego fans that find it weird going back to regular cushioned shoes after these, saying that it feels like “walking on high heels.”

Finally, the wearers are happy about being able to regulate the level of “bearfootedness” with the removable 3.5 mm insole. You can decide if you want that extra padding or not.

No complaints about the shoe’s fit and sizing - like a sock

You can go true to size in the Oswego without a problem. What’s more, a great number of people have described the fit as “ridiculously comfortable” as if it was “custom made for [their] feet” or like “wearing your favorite socks.”

This is attributed to the knit upper with an elastic collar that “seals the shoe to the foot” even without the need to adjust the laces. There is also no heel slipping whatsoever. The shoe is easy to put on and is just as effortless to take off.

Xero Shoes Oswego fit and sizing

The generously spacious toebox allows your toes to spread and relax in the most natural way.

In addition, the smooth finish inside lets you wear the Oswego without socks.

Not so breathable but resists water and debris

“Too warm as far as summer shoes” - that’s the general impression of most wearers. However, the lack of airiness brings about the benefit of water resistance. More than a few reviewers mentioned that the shoe doesn’t get soaked in light rain and morning dew.

The protective nature of its thick knit fabric also prevents small rocks or debris from creeping in while hiking.

Xero Shoes Oswego upper

Outsole grip and protection

There have been no reports of slipping in the Oswego when running, jumping, or shifting. Testers also find the sole to be substantial enough to cushion the feet on stony paths in the woods.

Xero Shoes Oswego grip and protection

No durability concerns

The brand claims a 5000-mile warranty with the Oswego. While very few people have commented on using the shoe for that many miles, the general sentiment about the shoe is that it’s well-built. Those who have used the shoe for several months up to a year report no serious signs of wear.

Xero Shoes Oswego durability

Facts / Specs

Terrain: Road
Weight: Men 193g
Drop: Men 0mm
Arch support: Neutral
Heel height: Men 4.5mm
Pronation: Neutral Pronation / Supination / Underpronation
Arch type: High arch

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Xero Shoes Oswego video reviews

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.