5 Impressive Barefoot Running Shoes for Flat Feet

Are you looking for the best barefoot running shoes for flat feet? Some of the reasons why barefoot running has grown in popularity over the years are because walking barefoot is such a liberating feeling. Before the advent of shoes, people used to walk around barefoot.

However, as the distances traveled grew, and rough terrain continued to mar people’s feet, the need to protect them also grew. Shoes were invented to provide protection and comfort for the feet. 

They have also been known to be used as fashion statements and this is when the traditional use of the shoe took a rather unconventional and at times unhealthy turn. Some shoe manufacturers have compromised the good health of the foot for the sake of creating a fashionable and trendy shoe. There is a reason why the foot is shaped the way that it is. The feet act as sensory collection centers. 

Barefoot Running Shoes for Flat Feet

Image Name What We Like URL
Merrell Vapor Glove 3 Trail Runner Underfoot protection. Lightweight.
WHITIN Minimalist Trail Runner Wide toe box. Animal-free material.
Xero Shoes Prio Wide toe box. FeelTrue rubber sole.
New Balance WT10v1 Minimus Trail Running Shoe Great traction. Manages odor.
Vivobarefoot Primus SWIMRUN FG Specialist Firm Ground Trail Running Shoe Lightweight. Comfortable.

They are what connect you to the ground. The feet collect all the information from when you take a step, and they report back to the brain, which controls how you take your next steps.

However, if you do not allow the feet to fully grasp the ground, they could transfer false information, giving way to false reactions. You will find that you will have less stability and balance in high heels than in trainers. 

There are various types of shoes fr different purposes. Some of these purposes include existing foot conditions such as the shape of your foot which may need specialized shoes. Flat feet can cause discomfort in the wrong type of shoe.

If you intend on running, there are barefoot shoes for people with flat feet, which will make it much more enjoyable. In this article, we take a look at those special shoes that give your feet what they need.

In a Hurry

Do you need a quick guide to buying the best barefoot running shoes for flat feet? There are a couple of things you need to keep in mind. Check on the sole of the shoe and make sure that it has the characteristics of a barefoot shoe.

The sole has to be thin and flexible. The shoe also needs to be wide enough to allow your toes to move freely. This is what makes barefoot walking so great. Make sure the toe box is a wide one. It will help resemble walking barefoot as much as possible. 

Also, make sure that the shoe is not too heavy. Lightweight shoes are easier to run in. This also speaks to the type of material the shoe is made of. Make sure that they are durable as well. Running has a greater impact on soles f shoes than simple walking.

You also need to check on the amount of support that the shoes will offer you so that your feet do not roll about. Motion control is an important feature in shoes for people with flat feet.

Having flat feet means that you are more prone to injuries. As such the shoe has to be able to protect you. looking for barefoot running shoes for flat feet means that you will need to have some sort of delicate balance that you strike between the two. 

Our Top Pick

Merrell Vapor Glove 3 Trail Runner

Product Reviews of Barefoot Running Shoes for Flat Feet

Merrell Vapor Glove 3 Trail Runner 

Merrell Vapor Glove 3 Trail Runner

What makes the Merrell shoes unique is that they are so light that you feel like you are barefoot as you take a run. They lock onto your feet which gives you more comfort. You can have the shoes for more hours. You still feel like you are not wearing any shoes. However, these shoes do not come with a type of arch support. It reduces the chances of having a bottom that hurts your feet. 

What also gives you a gentle feeling is the wide toe box. It has more room for your toes which also gives you balance. The minimal padding can be an issue for some users. It connects your feet to the ground. Any move that you are going to make will not compromise your balance. They are ideal for running and lifting weights. I advise you to buy a bigger size if you intend on wearing the shoes with socks on. 

You might have some problems if you are a first-timer when you feel like you are walking directly on the ground. You will get used to the shoes in a short space of time. If you have a problem with size, you can try visiting the shop for a perfect size. The lace is stiff and thin which makes it easier to lace it on or off.


  • Underfoot protection.
  • Lightweight.
  • Wide toe box
  • Zero-drop
  • No arch support


  • The toe box has a hard rubber.


WHITIN Minimalist Trail Runner

WHITIN Minimalist Trail Runner

As much as the shoe gives you a barefoot feeling when you are wearing it, you can still add more by removing the insole. You have more contact with the surface and you feel like you are not wearing anything. The sock liner gives you comfort as you move around. Taking it out might not take away the comfort. 

The fact that the shoe does not contain animal products makes it healthy for any type of user. More comfort comes in the wide toe box that gives your feet enough room to spread and relax. The rubber sole gives your feet protection although you still have to feel the ground. You may have a problem with sizes if you have between sizes. However, you can order the next size down so that you will have a good size. 

This is a good minimalist shoe that is of great quality and durable. They are not soundproof but you will not have much sand inside the shoe. Minimum padding does not mean less comfort but it gives you a natural experience of walking barefoot with a shoe on your feet. It is easy to clean. You can still feel the arc but with less padding.


  • Wide toe box
  • Animal-free material
  • Removable insole
  • Foot protection
  • Zero drop


  • The sizing can be tricky


Xero Shoes Prio – Minimalist Barefoot Trail and Road Running Shoe

Xero Shoes Prio

What the Xero shoe tries to achieve is the natural feeling that brings you close to the surface. The flexible design the shoe gives allows you to flex, bend and move just the same way your feet do when you are walking barefoot. The V strap that locks in your feet whilst you have freedom of movement is quite adjustable. 

The strap is made up of reflective lace that makes you visible especially in low light conditions. The shoe is made up of animal-free materials. This makes it healthy for users who have certain allergies to animals. The rubber sole is 5.5mm thick which is the average thickness that keeps you comfortable and closer to the surface. You have access to the ground as you feel the different terrains. 

The sole gives you maximum protection to the foot, and the insole gives you another 2mm of comfort. The wide toe box allows your feet to move freely. The material that covers the toe box is also comfortable. The Xero drop sole prevents any possible measures of having fractures or any strains. You have your balance and stability since there is zero elevation on the heel. You have the freedom to maintain your posture in any terrain.


  • Wide toe box.
  • FeelTrue rubber sole.
  • Flexible.
  • Natural fit.
  • Adjustable strap.


  • Simple design.


New Balance WT10v1 Minimus Trail Running Shoe 

New Balance WT10v1

When it comes to the New Balance shoe, the shoe gently fits the feet than the other way round. This is why chances are very slim that you will feel any pain. What may be a challenge is the size but once you get the right size, you have a comfortable shoe. The sizing tends to run small. 

They are flexible enough not to strain your feet. However, this is not the same story when it comes to the heel. Wearing socks is a matter of preference. Some users feel more comfortable with the socks on. The laces are very long which gives you enough freedom to have any style on the knots. However, you might have to take more time loosening the laces. Sliding them inside the holes takes time as well. 

The toe curve has an odd shape that can be a bit uncomfortable to your toes. Chances are very high that the shape of the toe box will affect users with large feet. The Vibram Foot Technology that comes with the shoe gives a great grip to the shoe that makes it easy and smooth on any terrain. Even on slippery surfaces, you maintain great balance. However, it tends to lose it on rocky surfaces. It is not well-rugged for sharp and big rocks.


  • Great traction
  • Manages odor
  • Flexible
  • Durable
  • Comfortable


  • The heel could be more comfortable.


Vivobarefoot Primus SWIMRUN FG Specialist Firm Ground Trail Running Shoe 

Vivobarefoot Primus

The Vivobarefoit shoe has lugs that create great traction off-road. You will not feel the bumps and shock that come with rocky areas. The low-profile lugs complement the weight that comes with the shoes. The shoe is lightweight. They are great in both dry and wet areas. The removable sores come with extra comfort. 

The fact that it can be removable gives you the freedom to have more contact with the ground. The shoe becomes easy to clean. The fitness is so great that you will not strain your feet. However, there is no great cushioning on the heel and that might strain your heel. A blister tap might help you. 

There is a problem when it comes to sizing. During winter, they are great with wool socks. The shoe makes sure that there is less dirt on top of the feet. It is made in such a way that it minimizes the capacity of water that it can hold on a rainy day. What makes this possible is the fact that the mesh is made up of recycled plastic bottles that have a quick-draining method. This is why it has maintained dryness even if it gets wet. 


  • Lightweight.
  • Comfortable.
  • Durable.
  • Quick-draining mesh.
  • Low-profile lugs.


  • Sizing can be tricky.


Buyer’s Guide

What type of shoes should people with flat feet wear? 

People with flat feet can tend to be prone to injuries and hence they need shoes that offer stability. Make sure that the shoes have adequate arch support. Shoes that do not have arch support are not good for flat feet. Your arch needs to be lifted to a regular position. 

People with flat feet tend to bend the ankles inward and this can stress the knees and feet. Arches help people keep a good landing on the ground. 

When you do not have arches, it means that they need to be supplemented. Stability is an important feature in running shoes for a person with flat feet.

If you find yourself turning your ankles inward more than normal, then you may need to get shoes that have motion control features. These re details you can usually find out by reading the label and also asking the shop assistant. 

How can I make my regular shoes more suitable for flat feet?

If you are just finding out that the right shoes can make your feet happier, then you m8ght be looking for a way to modify your current shoes. You can use shoe insoles which you can simply slip into the shoe. Insoles can give your arches the height that you need to give you the right amount of stability.

Are flat feet permanent? 

It depends on the age of the person in question. Babies are born with flat feet. Give them time and the feet muscles will form into their eventual shape and this includes the forming of arches.

However, if the arches still have not formed by a certain age, then chances are high that they will not. Adults that have flat feet will probably have them for the rest of their lives. This is why it helps to know how to buy shoes to help protect your feet against injuries.


When you go shopping for shoes, it is important to know why you are looking for them. The purpose will guide you to the right shoe aisle. Where you will be using the shoes and who will be wearing them is also a big determining factor.

Barefoot running is surely a growing trend. Just because you have flat feet, doesn’t mean that you need to leave your feet exposed to injury.

The shoes we have reviewed help you get the support you need when running and also still feel like you are running barefoot. There is so much that a good shoe can offer you and help improve your performance.

We hope that of the shoes we have reviewed, you find your perfect fit. Keeping your feet happy means that you can run longer distances.  Happy shopping!

Hi there. This is Clare. Dave and I manage this site. We are outdoor enthusiasts. Most of the content is about products that we love using or have researched.
Latest posts by Dave & Clare Thompson (see all)


We’d love to keep you updated with our latest news and offers 😎

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Leave a Comment