Where should you begin looking when you want a shoe that is stylish, comfortable, responsive and affordable? There are a lot of footwear choices purchasable online and also from brick and mortar stores. If you’re out to get a pair of new shoes I think you should take a look at a model from Xero shoes called the Coalton. I’ll be honest and tell you that I truly didn’t like the way they looked when I first got them from Xero. I have always preferred wearing sleek looking footwear in the Italian style. The cut of the Xero Chukkas did not appeal to me but eventually the Coalton Chukkas grew on me.
The style of the shoe is called the Chukka and they are reminiscent of the old style Chukkas worn during WW II and also popular with the Mods of England during the 1960’s. A form of these chukka boots were also known as desert boots. I am very picky when it comes to buying shoes. I like to have a sharp and professional or semi-professional appearance when I go out in something other than tactical boots. The Chukkas pair up nicely with jeans or slacks. Make your choice.
When it comes to finding functional, stylish shoes that don’t sacrifice comfort over utility the pickings are slim. I refuse to wear anything that I cannot run in, spin in, and even scuffle in if I have to. I have been known to skip the bus or taxi in cities and choose to run or jog a few city blocks instead. I don’t like to get pinned down anywhere. I have run miles in blue jeans and I want shoes that allow to me hustle any time I want to go.
Whatever the conditions are you should always look for ‘dress’ shoes with good traction ability. In fact, to do your job well, you will need a good pair of shoes with a lot more features than just traction. Look for shoes that have a low profile heel. Shoes with a thicker heel also heighten the probability of rolling your ankle when pursuing or wrestling your opponent. Responsiveness is key. Remember, low-heeled shoes are safer, more comfortable and less damaging than higher-heeled shoes. Along came the Coaltons. The shoes provide the feet that feeling of freedom and natural comfort. They are very pliable and will move as your feet move.
The shoe is an anatomically correct shoe and the last and the outsole of the Xero line of shoes reminds me of the popular Altras running shoes. An anatomically correct shoe has a shape that mirrors the shape of a foot. The toe box of the shoe lets the wearer’s toes spread and relax. I’ve written a lot about the benefits of using shoes with a non-elevated “zero-drop” heel for proper posture. The drop is the height differential between where the heel and forefoot sit. Most dress shoes have a “high” drop between 12 and 15 mm. Many running shoes have drops that are a “zero” drop (no heel), or usually between 4mm-8mm. You essentially want a shoe that mirrors the shape and therefore the responsiveness of a running shoe. The higher the drop of the shoe or the thicker the heel of the shoe will mean the shoe is not as responsive to your toe-off when moving to spring or pivot to react to an aggressor. There is good protection with the added material they use for the instep. The shoes come with an adjustable instep and heel straps that are functional. The idea is to use the strap to lock in your instep while keeping your toes free to move.
Xero created a dual-chevron tread for great grip and they are a rubber outsole instead of a leather outsole. Rubber means comfort and it lessens the chance of slipping; particularly on marble or high shine floors. Good “tactical” shoes will have a cushioned rather than hard outsole and they flex in all directions the way your foot flexes. This will give you freedom to move despite most obstacles you can come across. The thin and flexible material that Xero uses is called their 6mm FeelTrue® sole. If you want a “more barefoot” feeling you can remove the removable sockliner (insole) . Good cushioning, whether foam or rubber, ensures you can stand or move for long periods of time and reduces foot fatigue. You get traction on most surfaces.
The shoes come in two colors. It comes in black and another color they call mesquite. The leather they use is supple and fits comfortably around your feet. Be sure to go a half size up when placing your sales order. Xero offers a size guide and spec sheet that is located at the bottom of their web page on every post about their shoes. The shoes are very flexible and light-weight. A men’s size 9 weighs in at 12 ounces each. You can scramble over rubble and climb fence climbing in the Coaltons and look cool sauntering into a club or pub while wearing your favorite t-shirt, pullover and your Xeros.
The shoes have nice stitching details and the laces are supple yet strong. The shoes include a Huarache-inspired heel strap to hold your foot securely and it too gives the shoe a dressy appearance. Xero claims to have a 5000 mile warranty on the Coaltons. I’m well on my way and enjoying the ride. I can run in these anywhere and that’s a big deal for a guy who likes to be active. They are priced at $139.99. Check them out!
- Cost 4/5
- Comfort 5/5
- Durability 5/5
- Functionality 5/5
- Weight 5/5
- Overall Rating 24/25
Some helpful tips before buying your shoes:
- Have your feet measured. People’s foot size and shape can change over time. So don’t rely on the fact that you have always worn a certain size. That size likely is no longer the best fit for you.
- Most people have one foot that is larger than the other, so make sure you have BOTH feet measured. Fit your shoes to the larger foot.
- Take your time and try several shoes on, preferably at the end of the day when your feet are most flattened and swollen.
- Try on shoes with the type of sock you will wear for activity.
- Walk on a firm surface, not a carpeted one.
- Jump up and down in the shoes.
- Run down the street in the shoes.
- Sprint in the shoes.
- Sprint around corners in the shoes.
- Don’t plan on the shoes stretching over time; they should fit well when you buy them. Shoes won’t stretch like pants or shirts do overtime.
- Pivot in the shoes.
- Always stand and walk around in the shoes to see if they are comfortable, fit well, and don’t chafe or rub anywhere. Your heel should not slip or slide while walking.
I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer via Spotter Up so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.
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