Barefoot Shoes for Kids: Our 5 Ultimate Favourites

Are you looking for the best barefoot shoes for kids? Do you remember the first pair of shoes you wore as a child? You probably don’t because they resembled walking barefoot so much you didn’t realize you were in shoes.

That and the fact that you were probably a little too young to remember. Either way, your feet will remember what you put them through and what they were subjected to. Our feet are the body’s foundation, and keeping them healthy and happy can mean keeping your entire body healthy and happy. 

As children begin to walk, they do so barefoot, and medical professionals will tell you that this is best. This is because healthy feet have everything that we need to walk and understand the ground beneath us so that our bodies can react accordingly. The feet collect the necessary sensory information and send that up to the brain.  Now your brain can tell your foot to tread lightly or step a little to the left and avoid injury.

barefoot shoes for kids

Photo Name What We like
Fulham Kids The ground sole has a lug to enhance extra traction Waterproof hence ideal for both wet and dry season Repurpose plastic that enhances durability
gobi eco Gobi Eco Kids Has a multi-terrain rubber sole Repurposing plastic increases durability Removal thermal insole offers four-season protection
xero prio kids Prio Running and Fitness Shoe Have a wide toe box to enable toes spread and relax Highly flexible to enable the feet to bend, flex and move Tend to be lightweight for easy wearing
Ababa Leather Kids The sticky rubber rocker offers excellent grip The materials are of high-quality Have excellent design and durable
Primus Junior Mesh Made from animal-free material Repurpose plastic help improve durability The tough rubber sole offers excellent traction

Children’s first shoes are designed to resemble walking barefoot as much as possible so that their feet do not get a culture shock from walking around free to being constricted in synthetic shoe materials. The best shoes for your child to start in and stay comfortable in and develop properly are barefoot shoes.

These shoes give your child’s feet the chance to develop and be the foundation that your child needs. They will allow the child’s feet all of this, without compromising protection or comfort. We take a look at the best shoes on the market today for your child, that are barefoot in design.

In a Hurry

Are you in a hurry and need a quick guide to buying the best barefoot shoes for kids? There are a couple of factors you will need to consider. Firstly, think about the age of the child and the activities your child will be engaging in. Are they the child’s first shoes or the shoes meant for a sporting activity? 

Make sure you get the right size and fit. Shoes that are too big can create a friction point which will cause bruises. You need to ensure that the shoes allow your child’s toes to splay enough and the foot to be as natural as it was meant to be. Also, think about what the shoes are made of.

Some materials are more rigid than others and this can make for an uncomfortable shoe for the child. Children can be pretty rough on their shoes and most of the things they use or wear. Make sure that the shoes you get are durable and can withstand what your child will put them through.

Our Top Pick

We have done our homework and found our favorite pick to be the Prio Running and Fitness Shoe. This shoe is durable and versatile. They have more grip and ergonomic fit. The shape was especially changed for a better fit. This shoe also offers just the right feedback, and it is unisex too. They have a wide toe box that lets your child’s toes spread and relax. The non-elevated heel and low-to-the-ground sole allow for proper posture, balance, and agility.

Shortlist and Reviews for Barefoot Shoes for Kids

Fulham Kids

Vivo barefoot is a shoe manufacturing company that has been in the industry for many decades and it has the reputation of constructing quality kids’ shoes like Fulham kids.

Fulham kids’ shoes are classic Chelsea boots that are meant for adventure seekers and this is something common among children.

It is the ultimate barefoot puddle-proof shoes that give children opportunities in their daily adventure without hurting their feet.

The most wonderful thing about the shoes is that they are made from high-quality wild hide leather and this enhances long-lasting experience without draining your bank account.

Besides that, the PU leather makes the shoes to be quite durable and it can serve your kid for a couple of years.

Another interesting feature is that they come in different colors and sizes which give parents to pick the ones that match the children’s fashion design.

The barefoot shoes get lots of praise from many parenting forums and Facebook groups due to their waterproof nature.

The leather treatment makes the barefoot shoes to drip off the water in case kids find themselves in wet areas.


  • The ground sole has a lug to enhance extra traction
  • Waterproof hence ideal for both wet and dry season
  • Repurpose plastic that enhances durability
  • Excellent thermal insole insulation
  • Has recycled fleece lining for comfort


  • Relatively expensive
  • Has low-quality material like plastic


Gobi Eco Kids

Gobi eco kid

Gobi Eco kids are another product of Vivobarefoot. Their classic desert boot inspires the minimalist design.

The most interesting thing with the barefoot shoe is that it helps the growing feet of the kid to explore more every day. It is the reason behind their popularity in the market.

Besides that, the shoes tend to be lightweight and flexible. This allows the kid to adventure without feeling tired due to the weight of the shoes.

That’s not all. These shoes are quite smart making them quite suitable for outdoor activities and traveling companion.

Also, the rubber sole is quite tough and has excellent traction which tends to minimize chances of sliding whether on hard or soft terrain.

Another amazing feature is the presence of RPET metallic synthetic which helps to foster the durability of the shoe. The kid can use them for a couple of years since they experience minimal wear and tear.

It has a recycled fleece lining which helps to create comfort and reduce the chance of blister formation after wearing for a long period.

Lastly, the insole is removal and offer thermal insulation for all the four seasons. This implies that there is no sweat accumulation around the toe box area.


  • Has a multi-terrain rubber sole
  • Repurposing plastic increases durability
  • Removal thermal insole offers four-season protection 
  • The fleece lining offers excellent comfort


  • Quite expensive to acquire
  • Limited to one color


Prio Running and Fitness Shoe

These barefoot shoes are excellent to enable the feet of the kids to grow, develop and function naturally.

The most wonderful thing is the toe box area of the shoes that enable the toes to spread, bend, flex and move easily.

These shoes are regarded as the best-selling since it has everything that many children love. It also allows them to explore the world by the feel of their barefoot.

Another interesting thing is the presence of big lugs on the FeelTrue® soles that offer excellent traction and better grip.

Besides that, the Ergonomic fit tends to perfectly match the shape of the kid’s feet without causing any discomfort.

But that’s not all. The sole is thin out to increase flexibility which allows the kid to ground feel and protection.

One thing that draws the attention is that these shoes are unisex hence there is no need to get worried about the gender.

These barefoot shoes come in different sizes and this can perfectly meet the desired size for your child. They have an adjustable strap to help lock the feet perfectly.


  • Have a wide toe box to enable toes spread and relax
  • Highly flexible to enable the feet to bend, flex and move
  • Tend to be lightweight for easy wearing
  • Thin outsole to create barefoot feel 


  • Not waterproof
  • The cost might be too high


Ababa Leather Kids

Ababa is a shoe made by the Vivobaefoot, dedicated to offering high-quality shoes for kids and adults. The kid’s Ababa shoe helps the children experience a barefoot feel while hitting the road.

These shoes are made from Ethiopian wild hide which is of premium quality. The give the shoe long-lasting wearing experience.

Besides that, the shoes are handmade and the wild hide tanned naturally to make them eco-friendly.

The sole is quite flexible and soft leather giving the kids the freedom to roam without experiencing any sign of discomfort.

Another interesting feature on the outsole is the presence of sticky rubber rocker which offers excellent grip and traction.

Also, the sticky rubber rocker makes the shoes excellent for all weather. The kid can walk uphill and downhill without sliding.

The ethical production of the material and construction of the shoes in Africa make them be worldwide accepted since they meet all the guidelines.

The design and construction style is quite adorable hence quite ideal to be used as casual shoes that have barefoot feel.


  • The sticky rubber rocker offers excellent grip
  • The materials are of high-quality
  • Have excellent design and durable


  • Result in the extinction of some animals
  • Relatively costly for some people 


Primus Junior Mesh

These are excellent barefoot shoes that free young feet to enjoy their outdoor adventure either by walking, running or climbing.

The most spectacular thing about barefoot shoes is the lightweight nature. The feature gives growing and developing feet the freedom to move freely.

Besides that, the shoes are tough and flexible. The toughness help to withstand the terrain nature and flexibility to conform to the shape of the feet.

Also, the tough rubber sole has some patterns which improve the grip and offer greater traction. These make them suitable for hard and soft terrain.

The recycled RPET mesh and synthetic upper surface help to facilitate breathability especially during hot weather. This prevents sweat formation in the toe box.

The barefoot shoe is also fitted with a recycled RPET textile lining to create some comfort inside the shoe. This helps prevents the occurrence of friction that can cause blister formation.


  • Made from animal-free material
  • Repurpose plastic help improve durability
  • The tough rubber sole offers excellent traction
  • Has a wide toe box area
  • Come in different colors and sizes


  • Limited to kids with wide feet
  • Not suitable for the wet season due to mesh upper surface
  • Tend to be relatively costly


Buyer’s Guide

Is Barefoot best for toddlers?

As your child is learning to walk, their feet need to receive sensory information from their feet touching the ground. When they wear shoes, they are protected from whatever may be on the ground and from the weather elements.

However, when toddlers are learning to walk, they need to be barefoot or at least in a pair of shoes that resemble walking with no shoes on. Toddlers need to feel what they touch with their feet as much as possible. This helps their feet develop muscle strength. Only after they have gained confidence and know-how to walk on their own can you put a toddler in regular shoes with hard soles. 

Are flip flops bad for toddlers?

Flip flops are cute; however, they do not offer your child the support they need. It is tempting to have your little one in flip-flops, especially in the hotter months of the year or at the poolside. However, they can be a hazard as the child may trip and topple over in flip-flops. It is best to get sandals that will offer the same summer feel but also offer stability.

They need to strap on securely so that they don’t come loose. Well-fitting supportive shoes are imperative to the development of your child’s feet. Avoid flip-flops, except perhaps for a few occasions and not for long. Your child will end up curling their toes in an attempt to get a better grip on the ground. This may even discourage the child from learning new walking skills or developing and new tricks. 

Do toddlers need arch support?

The reason most of us need arch support is to deal with flat feet or with collapsed arches. Most babies may look like they have flat feet, but it is important to realize that most babies have seemingly flat feet. The operative word here is seeming.

This is perfectly normal for most children younger than sixteen months. Please don’t rush to fix it with shoes with arch support. However, if, after this and after an official diagnosis, your child needs arch support, you can get this as insoles to add or remove to the child’s regular shoes. 

Should you buy toddler shoes bigger?

With the price of the best shoes for children these days, you may be tempted to buy shoes that are a bit bigger for your toddler. Please don’t do it! It would be best if you made sure that the shoes fit the child properly. Ill-fitting shoes can cause the child to trip and fall, and they can also create friction with the child’s foot. 

How do I know my toddler’s shoe size?

Get your child properly fitted at a store, or you can download a shoe sizing chart. Make sure your child is in a pair of shoes that fit.


Your child’s feet are super sensitive, and they are still developing. You want to do right by your baby and make sure they get the best they can. Help their feet reach their fullest potential by getting your child in the right shoes. We hope the shoe reviews we have taken you through help you find the best barefoot shoes for your child. 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.
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