15 Best Barefoot Shoes For All Your Healthy Footed Adventures!

Konstantina Antoniadou

April 13, 2022

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Updated September 2022

Looking for the best barefoot shoes for running, hiking, or simple day to day needs? We made a list of the best barefoot shoes for women and men alike! We were shocked to find so many options for barefoot sneakers, barefoot ballet sandals, barefoot boots, and so much more.

Also, don’t forget to check out the 13 Best Barefoot Sandals Your Feet Will Love in 2022.

This post is about the best barefoot shoes on the market

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2022 is the year of innovation and luckily for us, our favorite barefoot shoe brands are here to give a utilitarian spin to our modern flats, sneakers, mules, and sandals. 

Granted, when you think of the best barefoot shoes, chic slip-ons aren’t the first barefoot footwear that comes to mind. However, the city-approved options rival the best affordable barefoot running shoe collections in terms of variety, price, and style.

Our selection includes tried and true heroes like the beloved Vibram Five Fingers footwear, some noteworthy all-occasions-appropriate, custom-size barefoot shoes as well as work-approved loafers for all your future office wear ensembles. Spoiler alert: they will perfectly match the best sustainable socks from our previous article!

Take a look at the best barefoot shoes for everyday use below.

Why are barefoot shoes so important?

There are so many benefits to barefoot shoes – one of the biggest being that the barefoot shoes are made to fit your feet (and not the other way around). Traditional shoes are much too narrow for our feet and cause out toes to squish together – instead of spreading apart for balance. 

The most prominent issue with traditional shoes vs barefoot shoes is the poor fit and heel elevation. While the extra cushioning can seem very comfy at first, in the long run, it prevents your feet from functioning normally. In reality, whether you walk or run, landing on the heel of your shoes can cause up to three times more force than landing on the forefoot – which is common in barefoot walking or running!

Are barefoot shoes good for flat feet?

Many studies suggest that what matters the most is the arch strength and not the height. If you have flat but strong feet, you are less likely to experience pain while walking or running.  The University of Delaware and Harvard Medical School mentioned that barefoot activities can make arches stronger and higher. Additionally, Corban University proved that barefoot running reduces pronation which is something common amongst people with flat feet.

Are barefoot shoes good for knees?

Chances are that you’ve already heard plenty of rumors surrounding barefoot shoes. Most importantly, they are great for your keens. While barefoot footwear comes with many benefits, helping with knee pain is one of the most important ones.  According to a study on the effectiveness of a long-term use of a minimalist footwear , wearing the best barefoot shoes for everyday use causes a reduction in knee adduction while also reducing pain. On top of that, elderly patients noted that walking barefoot or wearing barefoot shoes reduces both hip and knee joint loads.

This post is about the best barefoot shoes for healthy feet!

Best Barefoot Shoes For Running, Hiking & Everyday Wear

If you want to opt for the best barefoot shoes to wear on-repeat, Wildling Shoes is the sartorial answer you seek. The award-winning brand has made it its mission to downscale its emission sources while promoting a natural walking experience for everyone. Their extensive line of barefoot running shoes is crafted from sturdy microfiber to allow infinite freedom of movement. As for the integrated heel-loop, it helps reduce the number of seems on each pair. Danielle, the founder and CEO of SKL, wears her wildlings daily!

Price: $89+

Ethics: Eco-friendly & recycled material, handmade in Europe, German founders award, Fair labor

Location: Germany and Now The USA, worldwide shipping

Size Range: Infants, children, and adults to size 48

Shop Wildling US Here

 

Shop Wildling EU Here

When it comes to the best barefoot shoes women and men absolutely adore, Groundies is on top of the game. Their innovative TrueSense® technology makes their barefoot running shoes ultra-comfy and abrasion-resistant – not to mention extremely stylish. Every pair is ethically made in Europe with high-quality and robust vegan upper materials. On top of that, the brand is also Climate-neutral.

Price: $90+

Ethics: Climate-Neutral, Sustainable & Vegan Materials, Supports “Plant-For-The-Planet”

Location/Shipping: Sold from Germany, worldwide shipping available 

Size Range: 36-43

Shop Groundies Here

Xero Shoes’ best barefoot shoes for everyday use keep you comfy and protected while allowing you to “Feel The World.” Each pair comes with a surprising 5,000-mile sole warranty that will help you test the “XERO-drop” design with the non-elevated heel as well as the FeelTrue® rubber sole in every terrain. You can opt for a slew of different colors or DIY your own best barefoot shoe!

Price: $89-$119.99

Ethics: Eco-Friendly & Recycled Materials, 5,000-Mile Sole Warranty

Location/Shipping: Sold from the US, worldwide shipping available

Size Range: 5-12

Shop Xero Shoes Here

You’ve probably never worn more comfortable barefoot running shoes than Joe Nimble’s. They have partnered with Soles by Michelin to create durable, traction soles while also carrying the first-ever barefoot shoes that were designed with “the biomechanical principles of functional movement.” Toe Freedom provides increased stability, and control that won’t force you to forgo style for functionality.

Price: $179-$239

Ethics: Handmade In Europe, Innovative Technology

Location/Shipping: Germany, ships worldwide

Size Range: 6-10

Shop Joe Nimble Here

Feel Grounds’ collection of the best barefoot shoes for women who equally adore comfort and style runs the gamut from sandals, to sneakers, and boots, to slip ons. Rest assured that each zero-drop pair is made from Recycled PET and recyclable TPE with your comfort in mind. Vegan, flexible, breathable, eco-friendly, and able to match every aesthetic; what more can you ask for?

Price: $89+

Ethics: Eco-Friendly, Recycled & Vegan Materials, European Bsci Factory, Fair Labor

Location/Shipping: Sold from the US

Size Range:  5-15

Shop Feel Grounds Here

Be Lenka’s virtual shelves are chock full of stylish barefoot footwear that mimics the look of regular wear-me-everywhere sneakers, ballet flats, and boots, to slip ons. The brand uses durable premium quality leather and an ultra-flexible sole to keep us comfy during our outings with a zero-drop sole and a wide toe box design.

Price: $139+

Ethics: Made In Europe, Fair Labor

Location/Shipping: Sold from Europe, worldwide shipping available

Size Range: children to adults 36-43

Shop Be Lenka Here

Merrel is known for blessing fitness enthusiasts with fantastic zero-drop barefoot shoes with minimal padding. The brand uses solution-dyed yarns, which significantly reduced the need for water and energy without compromising on quality. As for the materials, the collections are crafted from recycled mesh upper, 100% recycled laces, Vibram® EcoStep, and BLOOM® performance midsoles. Plus, the color options are many!

Price: $110+

Ethics: Sustainable & Recycled Materials, Rethread Recycle, Energy-Conscious Manufacturing

Location/Shipping: old from the US

Size Range: 5-11

Shop Merrel Here

If you are looking for the best barefoot shoes for women, Ahinsa’s line should be on your radar. In fact, a Research from Masaryk University verified the brand’s claim as being one of the best barefoot footwear companies in the world! Each pair is handmade in the Czech Republic and Croatia from nubuck (which looks like suede but it’s actually 100% vegan). Plus, some other options are hemp and linen.

Price: €129

Ethics: Natural, Vegan, & Recycled Materials, Responsible Manufacturing, Made In Europe, Fair Labor

Location/Shipping:  Sold from Europe, worldwide shipping available

Size Range: 36-45

Shop Ahinsa Here

Vivo Barefoot is known as one of the best barefoot shoes modern women and men swear by. The collection covers all our vestiary needs from casual shoes to hiking and running-appropriate sneakers that are extremely durable and made to last. Additionally, the B Corp puts much emphasis on monitoring their entire supply chain while using recycled all-weather mesh textile across their collections. 

Price: $99+

Ethics: Sustainable & Recycled Materials, Fair Labor, B-Certified Corporation, Livebarefoot Fund

Location/Shipping: Sold from the US, worldwide shipping available 

Size Range: 35-43

Shop Vivo Here

The goal behind Mukishoes was to create barefoot shoes for men, women and children using exclusively natural and non-toxic materials. The team cares about a fair production process with the minimum possible impact on the environment and on human lives.

Mukishoes is based out of Portugal and are made of the highest quality, sustainable materials!

Price: $75+

Ethics: local, family owned businesses,  made in Portugal under fair-trade conditions

Location: Portugal, ships worldwide

Size: 36-48

Shop Mukishoes Here

Barefoot functional zero drop footwear is one of the best barefoot brands on the market – for good reason. Their iconic and super popular barefoot shoes are designed with minimal restrictions, so you can move the way nature intended with strength and confidence in every step.

These shoes are built to last – period. Bearfoot shoes work with your feet, instead of against them, to bring out your performance potential in any environment (highlight on gym performance!). 

Price: $89+

Ethics: American materials manufactured in Mexico, Genuine Suede Cow Leather

Location: USA

Size: 3 – 16

Shop Bearfoot Shoes Here

Freet makes two types of minimalist barefoot shoes: 4+1 ‘split-toe’ and 5in1 ‘toes together’.

Their 4+1 split toe shoes have a separate pocket for the big toe which gives a little more ‘glove-like’ feel, whilst the 5in1 shoes have all toes together, like traditional shoes.

Freet is dedicated to fair trade business ethics and highest material standards. All shoes are designed in the UK and work very closely with their Chinese manufacturing partner of over 10 years. 

Price: $95+

Ethics: Fair working conditions, Charities:Sea Shepherd, Woodland Trust, CLAN Cancer Support and Salvation Army charities, as well as Shoe Aid, which provides footwear to those without and educates to help reduce landfill.

Location: Czech Republic, EU shipping

Size: 30-49

Shop Freet Barefoot Shoes Here

Stylish best barefoot shoes that can replace our trusted sneakers? Yes, please. Drifter Leather’s collection of modern, all-occasions-appropriate barefoot footwear feature Vibram soles, suede leather, and an ultra-comfy Zero drop design. The best part? That’s not a one-size-fits-all situation, the brand can craft your new shoes based on your custom measurements! On top of that, you can choose your favorite colors as well!

Price: Various

Ethics: Handmade In Greece, Custom Sizing, Made To Order

Location/Shipping: Sold from Greece

Size Range: Custom

Shop Drifter Leather Here

Lems’ extensive barefoot shoe line mirrors the foot’s natural shape to increase strength, prevent injuries, and offer the perfect balance. If you are looking for affordable barefoot running shoes in dozens of different styles, this 100% vegan collection with mostly recycled materials is for you. The trail traction outsole, wide toe box, and zero-drop make all the difference!

Price: $130

Ethics: Vegan &Mostly Recycled Materials, Soles4souls Program

Location/Shipping: Sold from the US, worldwide shipping available

Size Range:  5-15

Shop Lems Here

Sole Runner has all your barefoot footwear needs covered! From work-appropriate loafers to casual sandals and boots and even running barefoot shoes, the options are endless. Some styles are made from water-resistant, fine leather while others feature quick-drying canvas. To top it all off, the brand designs these super-stylish shoes based on the latest orthopedic findings.

Price: 75€-160€

Ethics: Made In Germany, Backed By Orthopedic Research, Fair Labor

Location/Shipping: Sold from Germany, worldwide shipping available

Size Range: 36-48

Shop Sole Runner Here

This post was all about the best barefoot shoes

No matter if you are a fitness lover on a quest to find the best barefoot running shoes, or simply looking for a comfortable way to keep your feet happy and healthy by adding a pair of the best barefoot shoes to your daily ensembles, the list above will definitely help you find the best barefoot shoes for everyday use just for you.

If you liked this post, you’ll definitely want to check out these other posts from SKL:

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  1. Susanne says:

    I adore and wear barefoot shoes myself, but see a few caveats. You really need to find the ones that fit. Wildling does not fit wide feet (mine are >10 cm), for example, but my little one loves them. Vivos, I need to chose men’s shoes, but those fit great. Some are true to the size, others I need 43 instead of 41.

    • Thank you for this addition! For the wildlings (it’s all we wear aside from one pair of Vivos), I found them too wide for my feet and was so happy they had a narrower option for some of the shoes (like the Tanukis). Your feet must be GORGEOUSLY wide! Goodness – a blessing! The kids love their wildlings too and have some stunning wide feet – I’m curious if they will fit in them as they grow or if they will be too narrow like for you! I’ll shoot wildlings an email about this. For the vivo – I know many love them but they never quite fit perfect for me. My husband adores them!

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