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Looking for the best kids’ barefoot shoes that are as healthy and durable as they are adorable?
Whether you are looking for the best kids’ barefoot shoes for school, running, playing, rain, or snow – this is your ultimate guide. We rounded up the best barefoot shoes for kids that have been thoroughly reviewed by little ones and their parents.
p.s. you may also love our roundup of the best barefoot shoes for men and women as well!
Granted, our affinity for the best barefoot shoes on the market has long been documented. We’ve already raved about the Best Barefoot Sandals your feet will thank you for in the summer and we spent an alarming amount of time going over the benefits of barefoot shoes in our round-up of the best barefoot shoes for adults!
Nonetheless, there is one category we haven’t discussed in detail yet on the website: the best barefoot shoes for kids who love adventure and healthy, strong feet to take them wherever they need to go.
We have dug deep into this topic on our instagram page for years, and now it’s time to type up all our research and put it out into the world!
What’s the big deal about barefoot shoes for kids?
Kid’s barefoot shoes do not force your little one’s feet into a certain position. On the contrary, they hug the natural curve of the feet and allow them to move in the most natural way possible. This maximum ground feedback combined with the wide toe box design that allows the toes to splay naturally is exactly what our feeds need to grow properly. For kids, in particular, the shoes they wear will either help or hinder growth, stability, and strength.
That’s why we put together a list of the best barefoot shoes for kids for you, ahead. From Vivo barefoot’s range of active shoes to Xero shoes kids’ line that offers the ultimate sensory underfoot experience, prepare to swoon over of the slew of adorably-small barefoot options.
What should I look for in kids barefoot shoes?
Barefoot shoes for kids should be thin enough to allow them to sense the ground, yet flexible enough to help the feet’s muscles stay strong and supple. Another thing you should look for is a wide toe box to keep the toes spread out in the most natural way possible.
We also have the zero-drop – aka no heel rise – to maintain the center of gravity over the heels to master stability for a very young age. Next, the best barefoot shoes for kids should not have orthotics/foot inserts that usually offer unnatural support. Last but not least, the shoes have to be lightweight enough to keep the toes protected without compromising freedom.
Which barefoot shoe is the best for kids?
Amidst the many barefoot shoes for kids, some reign supreme due to their years of experience, quality, construction, and silhouette. Splay shoes, for example, have a foot-friendly design and naturally superior comfort. Xero shoe kids line is another great option as they give the freedom of natural, barefoot movement, plus one of 4 levels of protection. One of our personal favorites is the new Feelgrounds barefoot shoes for kids, which have a thin and flexible sole, wide toe box, zero drop, and are super lightweight.
Which kids barefoot shoe is best for everyday wear and school?
When it comes to the best everyday shoes and school shoes for kids, Splay Shoes, Belenka, Feelgrounds, Vivo barefoot kids, Xero Shoes, Zeazoo Dingo, and Bobux are all amazing options. They not only help improve the strength and flexibility of the muscles but also come in a slew of cute designs.
For school shooes in particular, these brands have the typical full black, black with white soles, and dark grey options that are needed for school uniforms. Not to worry, they come in a lot of different colors for those schools that offer more freedom of choice!
What kids barefoot shoe is the best for cold weather?
Belenka’s waterproof boots, Wildling Shoes’ wool winter boots, Vivo barefoot, and Xero shoes are the best cold-weather options for kids. They are either water-proof or water-resistant, utterly comfy and lined with premium warm materials to keep your little one’s feet warm no matter the weather conditions.
This post is about the best barefoot shoes for kids.
The Best Barefoot Shoes Kids And Parents Love in 2023
1. Splay Shoes
Splay Athletics’ range of kid’s barefoot shoes is specifically designed to last for years (which makes them ideal for reselling or donating).
They are flexible, durable, and comfortable thanks to the wide toe box and zero drop platform. To put it simply, they are perfect for your adventurous child who loves colorful barefoot school shoes that require no effort to put on and off – one-strap design, baby!
Oh, and there are more than 20 styles to choose from!
Sizes: 8 Child – 5 Youth
Material: Rubber Soles And 100% Cotton Canvas Uppers
Best For: Sneakers And Slip-Ons For Average To Wide Feet
Location/Shipping: USA, Worldwide shipping options
While Feelgrounds may be our go-to for adult barefoot sandals and Chelsea boots, we were jumping for joy when they introduced the new Feelgrounds kid’s barefoot line!
You’re not going to find a ton of options here – just one type of barefoot shoe (perfect for play and school) that comes in 6 different colors. They are super lightweight, extremely easy for kids to put them on, and they have the typical Feel Grounds wide-toe box that we are obsessed with.
Note: We typically order a size 31/32 for our 5-year-old twins but these ran big. Please measure your kid’s feet before ordering (we ended up needing a 30 and a 31).
Sizes: 8 Child – 6 Youth, EU 24-37
Material: Machine-washable recycled mesh material with rubber sole (child safe and non-toxic)
Best For: Sneakers And Slip-Ons For Average To Wide Feet
3. Xero Shoes
Xero’s best kids’ barefoot shoes promise to keep your little ones comfy and protected while allowing them to “Feel The World.”
The wide-toe box pairs are backed up by a 5,000-mile FeelTrue® rubber sole warranty and are recommended as the top barefoot hiking shoes for kids. Also, you can freely remove the 3mm insole for a more “barefoot feel.” Oh, and the colors are so cute!
Price: Starts At $59
Sizes: Kids 12 – Youth 4
Material: Eco-Friendly & Recycled Materials
Best For: Active Shoes For All Foot Types
4. Little Love Bugs
The best part about Little Love Bug Co. footwear is that each pair of shoes offers zero drop, wide toe boxes, and flexible soles so your little’s foot can move and grow the way nature intended; as close to barefoot as possible!
We have to say, this is the most aesthetically pleasing kids’ barefoot shoe brand we have ever seen! We asked over 50 of their customers about these shoes and they loved them!
Price: Starts At $42
Best For: Everyday Shoes For All Foot Types
Be Lenka is one of the few brands that offer kid’s barefoot shoes varying from low, mid to high top options!
Handmade in Europe with nubuck leather and a 6mm sole these shoes are designed to withstand all weather and adventure needs! They have boots, school shoes, play shoes, and more.
If you are specifically looking for winter or rain-appropriate wide-toe box shoes, BeLenka has you covered! *We are obsessed with their all-weather boots!
Price: Starts At 55 €
Sizes: 25-35 EU
Best For: Wide, High-Volume Feet
Location/Shipping: Europe, Ships Worldwide
6. Wildling Shoes
With a mission to help our little ones develop a sensory connection to nature, the award-winning brand Wildling Shoes offers amazing barefoot shoes for kids and adults.
The water-repellent pairs are crafted in Germany from sturdy recycled cotton canvas, wool lining, and super flexible hemp-flax fleece insoles.
Also, there are so many silhouettes and colorways ranging from sandals to cold-weather-approved merino wool knit high tops. Cute, premium quality, and extremely lightweight- what more can we ask from the best barefoot shoes for kids?
**We have ordered the Nebula’s from Wildling for our kids 3 times already. They are, hands down, our favorite summer and spring shoe (for adults too!)
Sizes: Toddlers 3 – 6, Kids 7 – 13, M 1 – 3.5
Material: Organic Recycled Cotton, Linen, Hemp, And Wool.
Best For: Summer And Winter Shoes For All Foot Shapes
Location/Shipping: USA & Europe Locations, Worldwide Shipping
7. Vivo Barefoot
Vivo’s kid’s barefoot shoes range includes active, everyday, school, sandals, and cute little booties.
The B-corp creates zero-drop kids’ shoes using recycled all-weather mesh textiles across their collections. The Active Sole, in particular, offers the most sensory underfoot experience thanks to its fantastic grip and durability on hard surfaces in urban environments. In other words, they are the ideal barefoot kids’ shoes for all things.
Price: Starts At $80
Sizes: USA 5-13 Kids and 1-7 Youth
Material: Natural, Recycled, and Bio-Based Materials
Best For: Average To Wide Feet, Medium Volume
8. Softstar Shoes
Fully-lined with lush sheepskin, Softstar Phoenix’s best barefoot shoes for kids are utterly cozy and oh-so-comfy!
The zero-drop VibramTM sole provides excellent traction in mild to moderate winter conditions and the roomy toebox is here to ensure healthy development.
The brand also has some amazing moccasin-style shoes with a 6mm VibramTM Pyramid sole as well as sandals all of which are handcrafted in the USA from premium, responsibly-sourced leather. The best part? You can choose the width!
Price: Starts At €120
Sizes: Youth 1-4
Material: Microfiber, Recycled Coffee Grounds
Best For: Winter Shoes And Everyday Shoes For Narrow, Regular to Wide Feet
Location/Shipping: USA, Worldwide shipping
9. Muki Shoes
Muki aims to create the best barefoot shoes for kids that feel and look as natural as possible and thus, they opt for organic and fair-trade materials as much as possible.
Crafted ethically in Portugal, each pair features either a double velcro or adjustable elastic laces so that kids can put their affordable barefoot shoes on with no hassle. On top of that, the brand offers an array of ah-mazing, unisex colors to choose from.
Material: Cotton, Hemp, Cork Leather, Real Leather
Best For: Casual Shoes For Extra Wide, High Volume Feet
Location/Shipping: Portugal, Worldwide shipping
Bisgaard kid’s barefoot shoes are handmade in Portugal with comfort and sustainability in mind. Each pair is shaped after the foot and they have plenty of room for the toes to strethch! They are also equipped with adjustable Velcro straps to provide a natural fit through the day.
The highlight of the collection is definitely their winter barefoot shoes for kids that come with 100% lambskin lining, which is temperature-regulating and utterly soft, as well as a protective rubber toe cap. Plus, if you are looking for barefoot school shoes, you might want to have a look at the “freddy” collection.
Price: Starts At €64,95
Material: Leather, Recycled Rubber Soles
Best For: Average To Wide Feet
Location/Shipping: Denmark, only ships to the EU
Freet’s “Junion” collection, one of the best barefoot shoe brands for kids, is breathable, water resistant, durable, quick-drying, and very easy to maintain.
They are packed with removable 2.5mm flexible insoles for shock absorption, a zero drop, and a fully flexible multi-grip outsole with excellent grip and wear on pavements and hard trail surfaces.
Currently, there are 3 designs available but “Tanga” is definitely the highlight- it features a single-piece upper made from recycled coffee grounds fly knit material and it’s ideal for sports and leisure.
Price: Starts At $65.00
Material: Microfiber, Recycled Coffee Grounds
Best For: All-Year-Round Athletic Shoes For Average To Wide Feet
Location/Shipping: UK, Worldwide shipping
Zuna aims to help children spread out their toes without forgoing fun and style. The brand’s best barefoot shoes for kids come in a slew of colorful silhouettes that follow the natural foot shape!
Every zero-drop pair is equipped with a 5mm Kuma Precision™ Sole which is slip-resistant, lightweight, and surprisingly flexible. On top of that, these barefoot toddler shoes for healthy walking, playing, and running are vegan.
Sizes: Kids 12-Youth 4
Best For: All-Year-Round Classic Shoes For All Foot Types
Bobux’s podiatrist-approved barefoot shoes for kids are designed to help children’s feet develop and strengthen naturally.
Each category has dozens of different options of highly flexible performance shoes with an ultra-lightweight durable soles. To make the entire process a lot easier, they’ve added a single hook-and-loop strap that keeps them secure no matter the activity.
Price: Starts At €85
Sizes: newborn to 7-8 years
Material: Merino/Nylon Knit And Leather
Best For: Winter And Summer Barefoot Shoes For All Foot Types
14. Zeazoo Kids
Many parents agree that Zeazoo’s best barefoot toddler shoes are “ possibly the softest, lightest, most comfortable barefoot shoe they’ve ever tried.”
The brand’s classic, winter boot is handmade from sheepskin to give a cozy option for colder weather. On top of that, it features a 6 mm lightweight, flexible Vibram® Superflex rubber sole with a good grip and shock-absorbent.
However, there are plenty more options including school shoes and warm-weather-ready sandals free from formaldehyde and other nasties.
Price: Starts At €83
Best For: Winter Barefoot Shoes For All Foot Types
Location/Shipping: Bulgaria, Worldwide shipping
Tikki Nido’s shoes and sandals are adorned with adorable flowers, unicorns, and cute animal appliques!
Also, each pair is equipped with a 2 mm natural rubber sole (+0.8 mm textile insoles) for ultimate flexibility. The wide toe box design offers plenty of room for the toes to move naturally. More importantly, the brand’s best barefoot shoes for kids are made from a stiff material that doesn’t mold to the feet.
Price: Starts At €65.00
Material: Rubber Outer Sole, Chrome free leather, wool
Best For: Average To Wide Feet
Location/Shipping: Romania, Worldwide Shipping
This post was all about the best barefoot shoes for kids.
From affordable barefoot shoes lined with lush sheepskin to the best barefoot shoes for kids who love adventure, our list has something special for everyone. Remember, kid’s barefoot shoes are not only comfy but also extremely beneficial for your children’s health and natural development.
If you liked this post, you’ll definitely want to check out these other posts from SKL:
- 5 Best Organic Kids Underwear Brands for Sensitive Skin
- 21 Best Organic Kids Clothing Brands to Keep Toddlers & Kids Safe
- 11 Best Sustainable Kids Rain Gear For Safe & Non Toxic Puddle Jumping
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