"Out of the box" review
Ipari Hana by Xero Shoes
The price of the Ipari Hana is only $83.19 including tax (£67.53), excluding postage which, for the UK, is approximately £11.21. I personally think that is very reasonable for a versatile casual/work shoe. I intend to do a more comprehensive “not-so-minimal” review, which I am sure will confirm my initial findings.
Over the years I have tested many minimal casual/works shoes and to be honest, I find that the comfort element somehow ends up compromising the style of the shoe. However, the Ipari Hana is very well designed, whilst simultaneously providing a comfortable fit and solid build quality. As Xero Shoes state: “Put it together and you get a well-crafted, elegant casual shoe that’s perfect for your next adventure”.
Steven, I really like the Ipari Hana very much! One suggestion: I’m aware that you favour vegan friendly materials, but is there the possibility of a leather version, or another material for the city types who are required to be just that bit smarter? Something wipe-clean would be a real bonus, especially for my sister-in-law who is a nurse and struggles to find suitable and comfortable work shoes.
30th November 2016
Xero Shoes have finally, after many years of pestering from their fans, developed an enclosed shoe for work and more casual day-to-day activities. Xero Shoes are marketing the Ipari Hana (“Hana” means “craft” in Hawaiian) as: “first and foremost, a casual shoe” based on their 5.5mm “high-performance FeelTrue® sandal base” and an optional 2mm insole, that Xero Shoes believe can “handle much more”.
Although the team at Xero Shoes don’t recommend using the Ipari Hana as a running shoe, it definitely does seem to have adventure shoe-type qualities; you get the feeling that at one moment you might be chilling in your local coffee shop and the next, you’re executing handstands in the rolling hills!
I find the styling of the Ipari Hana quite subtle. The upper is made of canvas, while the 5.5mm FeelTrue® rubber sole is from their Z-Trek sandal. At the rear, the strap is adapted from that of the Z-Trek and allows the wearer to alter the dimensions of the heel/instep very well.
The Ipari Hana is available in 3 colour combinations; black/rust, brown/black and sand/chocolate. I prefer the black upper with the rust straps but all three combinations look good. The Ipari Hana is technically for men but if you are not, as my partner (Anna Toombs) says, a “girly-girl”, these colour combos should appeal to you too.
The Ipari Hana works well with jeans and casual clothes, but I think it might be pushing it to wear them with a city suit.
After giving my foot length (28.8cm) to Andrew at Xero Shoes, he kindly dispatched a UK size 12 for me to test. I must admit I was concerned if they would fit me but Andrew assured me they would be “a more comfortable fit” than my usual size 11. He was spot on! I generally feel uncomfortable wearing shoes of any kind, but these Ipari Hanas feel like they were made-to-measure especially for me.
There is plenty of room in the toe box and there’s been no ‘wearing in’ time – they were extremely comfortable from the off. The little amount of adjustment available is ample to achieve the appropriate fit/width.
Overall, the build quality is very good. The fabrics have a quality feel and are well stitched together so should last a considerable amount of time.
For their application I find them both lightweight and flexible with a size 9 weighing in at only 8 ounces each, yet looking as though they are able to take a bit of a beating.
My only concern with the materials relates to our good old British weather, where rain makes a frequent appearance. The Xero Shoes literature states that the fabric “will absorb any water it encounters” so it will be interesting to see how the Ipari Hana endures our British weather patterns.
My first impressions are very good indeed. Not all of the sandal designs from Xero Shoes have suited me, but in this instance I feel that they have built an excellent product. I find that in most casual situations they fair very well and in the few weeks that I have tested them I would say they have become a valid part of my wardrobe.