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Xero Shoes Prio Neo Review | Best Xero Model for Working Out?

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I’ve been a fan of the Xero Shoes Prio barefoot shoe line for years and the Prio was actually one of the first barefoot shoes I ever wore. I was drawn to it for its versatility and beginner-friendly price point.

The Xero Shoes Prio Neo is an iteration of the tried and true classic Prio model. This model features a few key upgrades to its construction that give it a nice edge for working out and casual wear.

I primarily like to train and lift in my Xero Shoes Prio, and that’s exactly how I have been using and reviewing the Xero Shoes Prio Neo. For example, I like to lift, do HIIT, tackle sprints, and walk in my Prio Neos.

As a long-time fan of the Xero Shoes Prio, I was excited to put the Prio Neo to the test and compare their differences. If there’s one thing I wish would change on the Prio it’s the upper and Prio Neo has this change.

Report Card: Get the Quick Facts

Xero Shoes Prio Neo

Xero Shoes Prio Neo Quick Facts
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 0mm
  • Stack Height: ~7mm
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size/Wide Feet Go Up .5 Size
  • Width: Medium/Slightly Wide

Pros

  1. The Xero Shoes Prio Neo is a good beginner-friendly barefoot shoe with a fair price point and a good range of versatility.
  2. This model’s upper construction breathes well and the toe box overlay helps prolong this shoe’s durability when training and doing toe-dragging exercises.
  3. For working out, the Prio Neo is a good well-rounded barefoot shoe and it performs well for lifting, cross-training, and even short runs.

Cons

  1. This shoe’s toe box and midfoot may not be the widest for those that have notably wide and flat feet that constantly struggle to find shoes with a lot of widths.
  2. The huarache design element gives this shoe a slightly dated look which takes away from their ability to be dressed up.
  3. For strength sports like powerlifting, you may want to find a shoe that’s a little more specific and optimized regarding outsole tread for lifting.

Who Should Buy the Xero Shoes Prio Neo?

Throughout my wear testing and working out in the Xero Shoes Prio Neo, I’ve found a few contexts where I think these shoes make a lot of sense.

1. You Want a Barefoot Shoe for Everything

The first context where the Prio Neo makes sense is for the person who wants a barefoot shoe for a little bit of everything. This shoe is designed to have an “athleisure” range to its functionality.

For daily wear, I found the Prio Neo to be pretty comfortable and I like that its upper breathes well. I regularly wear these casually without socks because of their comfort and how they hug the foot.

Must Read: 9 Best Barefoot Shoes | My Top Picks for Lifting, Walking, and More

Xero Shoes Prio Neo for Working Out

In the context of training, this shoe performs well in the gym for lifting and cross-training. The FeelTrue sole articulates well and the outsole has adequate tread and grip for training on different surfaces.

I also like that this shoe has a “sportier” upper construction compared to the original Prio. The synthetic toe box overlay and reworked mesh upper all contribute to making this shoe a better model for the gym.

2. You’re Brand New to Barefoot Shoes

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the original Prio for its versatility and beginner-friendly nature, but it’s not the most aesthetic barefoot shoe on the market. The Prio Neo has a much better look to it comparatively speaking.

If you’re new to barefoot shoes, then I see the Prio Neo as a really solid entry-level barefoot shoe. This model has relatively no-frills, has a good level of durability, and features a removable insole for a little cushion variance.

Xero Shoes Prio Neo for Beginners

Plus, as mentioned above, this shoe can kind of do everything so it’s a good model for beginners to start dipping their toes into walking, working out, and wearing barefoot shoes more regularly at high volumes.

3. You Want a Barefoot Shoe for a Fair Price

One of the things that I enjoy with the original Xero Shoes Prio is its budget-friendly price point of $89.99 USD. The Xero Shoes Prio Neo has received a slight price increase and costs $99.99 USD.

While this isn’t as cheap as something like a WHITIN Barefoot Shoe on Amazon it still gives the Prio Neo a more budget-friendly price compared to shoes from Vivobarefoot. Granted, you get what you pay for with the WHITIN shoes.

Xero Shoes Prio Neo Vs Prio

To add to this, if you’re considering Vivobarefoot and want a barefoot shoe for everything then you can expect to pay around $150 USD for something like the Primus Lite III.

I see the Xero Shoes Prio Neo as a good product for $100 USD or less that delivers a more premium feel and construction. I think this shoe delivers a strong performance for its price and it’s a good investment in most cases.

Quick Take: If you’re already a fan of the Xero Shoes Prio and you’re debating the Prio Neo, then I think you’ll be safe pulling the trigger on these. The Xero Shoes Prio Neo looks better and has a better upper construction for working out.

Who Shouldn’t Buy the Xero Shoes Prio Neo?

For the most part, the Xero Shoes Prio Neo has performed exceptionally well. However, there are a couple of contexts where I think this shoe will fall short.

1. You Have Exceptionally Wide Feet

Compared to other barefoot shoes, Xero Shoes can be a little hit or miss regarding their width. The Prio Neo has a similar width to the Prio, HFS, and 360 which are all shoes that typically work well for narrow to slightly wider feet.

If you’re someone who’s tried Xero Shoes before and found them to run a little snug in the toe box, then you’ll want to steer clear of the Prio Neo because its fit is similar to other Xero Shoes training models.

Xero Shoes Prio Neo for Wide Feet

I personally like their width because I’m not swimming in them but it’s always a point I like to call out because foot widths can vary greatly and for my super wide feet friends these shoes may be a miss for you.

2. You Want a Barefoot Shoe With a Heavy Daily Wear Bias

I’ve gone back and forth on this context for quite some time, but I still think the Prio Neo can be a miss for certain aesthetic tastes. For example, this shoe works great casually, however, it’s not necessarily a barefoot shoe I would dress up.

If I’m going out to dinner in jeans and want to dress up a little more than my normal activewear, then I’d rather opt for something like the Tolos Archetype 1.0 over the Xero Shoes Prio Neo.

Xero Shoes Prio Neo Vs Prio Upper

Granted, beauty is in the eye of the beholder so this knock may not be applicable for everyone. I do appreciate the improvement in the Prio Neo’s appearance, yet it’s still not the most aesthetic barefoot shoe on the market due to its huarache design.

Performance Assessment

To assess and break down the performance of the Xero Shoes Prio Neo I used these shoes in a variety of contexts. I tested these shoes for lifting, versatile training, and daily wear.

Testing the Xero Shoes Prio Neo for Lifting

When it comes to lifting, the Xero Shoes Prio Neo performed really well in the gym. These shoes are what I would call super consistent regarding their ability to support different lifting settings.

Testing the Xero Shoes Prio Neo for Weight Training

For deadlifts and Romanian deadlifts, I really enjoyed the minimal stack height in these shoes and I like that I can take the insole out to get even closer to the ground to get more ground feel and feedback.

In the context of leg days, I enjoy how well the FeelTrue sole articulates with the Prio Neo. If I’m lunging and split squatting these shoes move well with my feet and I think you’ll likely the flexibility that you get from this model.

Testing the Xero Shoes Prio Neo for Working Out

Another perk of this model for lifting is that its tread should suffice for most lifting contexts. It grips well enough on rubber gym floors, machines, and wooden platforms to give them a wide range of use cases.

Their tread for squats and deadlifts won’t be as specific and grippy as something like an AVANCUS Apex Power, but for general lifting, the Prio Neo should work well for most lifters.

Testing the Xero Shoes Prio Neo for Versatile Training

For versatile training including things like HIIT and cross-training, the Xero Shoes Prio Neo should do a good job for most training contexts. I like the directional arrow tread and how it’s grippy enough for multi-directional work and plyometrics.

Testing the Xero Shoes Prio Neo for Cross Training

I also like that Xero Shoes added the synthetic overlay over the toe box in this model as it’s helped prolong this shoe’s durability for toe-dragging exercises like burpees and for sessions where I’m performing prone-to-get-up sprints.

For folks that like to blend activities like jumping and HIIT with their lifting, the Xero Shoes Prio Neo should do a good job for your needs. The flexibility of this model and its breathability are all nice contributors to these training sessions.

Testing the Xero Shoes Prio Neo for Versatile Training

My only gripe about this shoe for versatile training is that if you have wide feet you may feel cramped in this model’s toe box when doing lateral work, so I’d suggest keeping that in mind before investing in these if you have notably wide feet, as mentioned above.

Testing the Xero Shoes Prio Neo for Daily Wear

For daily wear, I’ve enjoyed the Xero Shoes Prio Neo and their performance. I find them to be pretty comfortable for all-day wear and I like that this shoe’s insole adds a little cushion if choose to keep it in.

I also like how well the mesh upper breathes especially in warmer climates. I’ve been rocking these shoes regularly without socks on 75-90 degrees Fahrenheit days and they’ve done a good job at not stinking and breathing.

Testing the Xero Shoes Prio Neo for HIIT

Another perk of the Prio Neo is that they look better than the original Prio, in my opinion. While I still don’t think they’re the best-looking barefoot shoe on the market, they can work a lot more casually if you go for the white or black colorway.

In the context of running, I did not test this shoe to a large extent. I’m in a training block where I’m accumulating a lot of mileage and I try not to rotate shoes as often when in phases like this. In my opinion, they’ll work for causal running and should be similar to the Prio and HFS.

Xero Shoes Prio Neo Sizing and Fit

For the Xero Shoes Prio Neo, I think most should be safe going true to size in this model. The length runs fairly true and they have a slightly wider width to their toe box and midfoot.

On Xero Shoes’ site, they recommend going true to size in this model, too. That said, I typically fit in size 10 shoes well and have a slightly wider foot, but I’ve noticed that this shoe can feel a little snug when wearing thicker socks.

Testing the Xero Shoes Prio Neo Sizing and Fit

With this model, I’ll typically wear thinner no-show socks or go sockless for this reason. For notably wide feet, you may want to size up a half-size. You also might want to size up a half-size if you constantly feel like you’re hitting the end of toe boxes.

If you currently wear shoes like the Xero Shoes 360, HFS, Forza Trainer, and original Prio, then I’d play it safe and opt for the same size in this model as the shoes you currently own.

  • Xero Shoes Prio Neo Sizing Thoughts: True to size for most.

Xero Shoes Prio Neo Sizing and Fit Assessment

If you have additional sizing and fit questions about the Xero Shoe Prio Neo, drop a comment below and I can help you out accordingly.

Price Breakdown

For the Xero Shoes Prio Neo, you can expect to pay around $99.99 USD. This price point is $10 USD higher than the original Xero Shoes Prio model.

I think the price is pretty spot on for what this shoe offers regarding its materials, durability, and performance across different verticals. Plus, if you’re going to spend $90 USD already on the Prio, then I’d just level up and get the Prio Neo.

Xero Shoes Prio Neo Construction Overview

This shoe’s price is lower than your standard Vivobarefoot shoes which is great and it’s similar to the Tolos Archetype 1.0 which is awesome since both of those models have strong performances.

I think if you’re on the fence about one of the shoes from Xero Shoes, then you should feel pretty confident investing in this shoe because it’s one of the strongest models at the moment from them [Xero Shoes], in my opinion.

Xero Shoes Prio Neo

$99.99

Xero Shoes Prio Neo Barefoot Shoes Product Shot
4.7
Stability
4.7
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.8
Quality
4.7

Best For

  • Casual Wear and Walking
  • Cross-Training
  • Recreational Lifting
  • Short Runs
  • Barefoot Shoe Beginners

Falls Short

  • Exceptionally Wide Feet

Construction Details

There are a lot of similarities between this shoe’s construction and the original Prio. Below are the construction details to note about the Prio Neo that can influence this shoe’s performance and durability.

Xero Shoes Prio Neo Outsole Construction Overview

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 0mm
  • Stack Height: ~5.5mm
  • Weight: 9.5 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Mesh Upper Construction
  • Synthetic Toe Box Overlay
  • Arrow Tread Pattern
  • Full Rubber Outsole
  • Huarache-Inspired Design
  • FeelTrue Sole
  • 5 Core Eyelets

If you have additional questions or want more clarity on the Prio Neo’s construction, drop a comment down below.

Xero Shoes Prio Neo Review

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q:
Do the Xero Shoes Prio Neo fit true to size?

A:
The Xero Shoes Prio Neo should run true to size for most individuals. If you have wide feet, then you may want to size up a half-size in this shoe.

Q:
Are the Xero Shoes Prio Neo good for working out?

A:
The Xero Shoes Prio Neo do a great job in the gym for lifting, cross-training, and HIIT. This model is a good best-of-all-worlds barefoot shoe in the gym.

Q:
Are the Xero Shoes Prio Neo good for wide feet?

A:
For wider feet, the Xero Shoes Prio Neo should work, however, if you typically find Xero Shoes to fit too snuggly or have exceptionally wide feet then you may want to pass on these.

Takeaway Thoughts

Overall, I’ve been very happy with my Xero Shoes Prio Neo and they’re definitely making their way into my barefoot shoe rotation. This model has a nice level of range to it and looks better than the Prio.

I think if you’re new to barefoot shoes or want a model that can do it all for a pretty fair price, then the Xero Shoes Prio Neo will be a good fit for your needs.

If you have additional questions about the Xero Shoes Prio Neo, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly or @that_fit_friend).

Jake Boly, CSCS, MS Sports Science

Jake Boly, CSCS, MS Sports Science

Jake Boly is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of That Fit Friend. He's often regarded to as a go-to resource in various performance shoe communities. He’s been formally reviewing shoes and training gear for over 7 years and has hand-tested over 400 pairs of shoes. Jake is known on the internet and YouTube for blending his review process with his educational, strength sports, and personal training background.

Jake has a Masters in Sports Science, a Bachelors in Exercise Science, a CSCS, and he's been personal training for over 10 years helping hundreds of clients get stronger, lose weight, and accomplish their goals. He uses his exercise science brain and personal training background to make curated and thoughtful review content on the fitness gear he's testing.

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