5 Best Barefoot Walking Shoes For Outdoor Lovers

Last Updated: Jul 2, 2021 @ 12:40 am

Are you looking for the best barefoot walking shoes on the market? Barefoot boots allow your feet to move naturally, and they promote good foot health. Walking barefoot has numerous benefits for your entire being. It may be something you do only when you are home, in a space you trust and know.

5 Best Barefoot Walking Shoes

IMAGE NAME AVERAGE RATING
Vivobarefoot Primus Trek Leather Walking Shoe [rating stars= "4.4"]
Vivobarefoot Tracker FG L Leather Walking Shoe [rating stars= "4.3"]
TSLA Trail Running Minimalist Barefoot Shoe [rating stars= "4.4"]
WHITIN Cross-Trainer Barefoot & Minimalist Shoe [rating stars= "4.5"]
JOOMRA Minimalist Trail Running Barefoot Shoes [rating stars= "4.5"]

Most people say if you want to know how something is meant to work, Take time to see how a baby does it. A baby has no foreign influence, neither does a baby want to impress anyone. They do what comes naturally to them. This includes walking.

New parents are always advised to allow their baby to walk barefoot. No shoes at all. Of course, as the baby grows older and begins to go out of the confines of home more often, he or she will need to wear shoes for protection. But as they learn to walk, they must know what the ground feels like and how their toes handle it. 

Now that we know the benefits of walking barefoot, it only follows that you would begin to look out for shoes that can offer you the same experience. Barefoot walking shoes are a good bet. You will find the best options on the market in this article. 

In a Hurry

You may be wondering how you could find the best shoes on the market that allow you to feel like you are walking on bare feet. Perhaps you do not have all the time, and you want to cut to the chase.

You will have to consider a couple of factors first. Consider the sole of the shoe and how much of the ground it allows you to take in. Then also look at the material it is made of.

This way, you know if it truly lives up to its barefoot name and characteristics. Ensure the shoe is lightweight and durable and that it also allows your toes to be free and simulate being in a natural position.

Our Top Pick

tracker fg

Our Top Pick

We have done our research, and our favorite pick is the Vivobarefoot Women’s Tracker FG L Leather Walking Shoe. This shoe is one hundred percent leather and is a premium winterproof shoe with thermal protection and a rubber sole. 

Our Round Up Best Barefoot Walking Shoes

Vivobarefoot Primus Trek Leather Walking Shoe

Vivobarefoot Primus Trek

We will skip the brand introduction for these titans. Let us get straight to the features. The Primus Tres is designed specifically for walking. The upper part of the shoes is made out of leather. The soles are made out of neoprene.

They are incredibly versatile shoes that can take on both the toughest walking terrain and the more casual footpaths. Whenever there is leather involved in manufacturing the upper part of a shoe, you can rest assured that they deal well with water. In this case, they are not quite waterproof. They are water-resistant. 

The shoes’ soles are Vivo’s very own Firm Ground soles designed to deliver great traction no matter where you are walking. Whether you find yourself on a footpath, a trail, or more rocky terrain, they will do the job.

For the harsher terrains, you will also derive a lot of benefits from the neoprene ankle socks. They wrap around each ankle and keep the foot in the right position the whole time. This does not restrict your feet’ movement. 

If we were to look alone, these would undoubtedly be one of the best-looking walking shoes that we have considered. The laces are also geared for the walking experience. They are mountain laces. Don’t worry; no one knows what that means without an explanation. They provide non-slip adherence. The final piece of these beauties is the removable insoles.

Pros


They are reasonably lightweight.

One of the better-looking walking shoes around.

They come with removable insoles.

They provide great traction when walking.

They are water-resistant.

The soles are puncture-resistant.

They are made out of Recycled PET.

There are 3 colors to choose from.

Cons


Come at the higher end of our pricing scale.

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Vivobarefoot Tracker FG L Leather Walking Shoe

Vivobarefoot Tracker FG

Suppose you want shoes that are somewhat high cut. Perhaps the arch support is a key feature to you. Getting these one would be a great choice. They are made by a brand that we love. From an aesthetic point of view, The Tracker FGs are sleek enough to be worn with shorts and trousers.

They are a sturdily built shoe that offers you good arch support. The upper part of the shoes is made out of leather. This makes the shoes a good match for wet conditions. The underfoot is protected by Vivobarefoot’s own firm ground soles. They are puncture-resistant. You will also love the amount of traction that you get when using them. 

There is a waterproof lining all around the inside of the shoes. On colder days, you will benefit from the thermal protection that will provide insulation. Did we mention that the insoles are removable? Vivobarefoot has a great range of insoles that you can choose a replacement or additional ones from. The shaft of each shoe measures about 6 inches. You have 3 colors to choose from.

Pros


There is sufficient space in the toe box.

The shoes are fairly waterproof.

They come with thermal insoles.

Great for hiking on all sorts of terrain.

They provide good arch support

The soles provide great traction.

Cons


Sizing can be tricky. Refer to the size guide.

They are somewhat pricey.

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TSLA Trail Running Minimalist Barefoot Shoe 

TSLA Trail Running Shoes

If a shoe can take on the trails at a pace, best to believe it will do well for a stroll. That is the mentality that encouraged us to explore TSLA. The shoes are incredibly beautifully designed. They look like Merrell shoes in some ways. Their design is a minimalist design that has very few moving parts. Each shoe is compact and seemingly sturdily built.

Let us consider some of the features that we love. This is a shoe that was specifically designed for use in cross-training. They are made to deliver that barefoot feel that you would appreciate. Your feet will derive great benefit from the stimulation that comes from making somewhat direct contact with the ground.

There is some cushioning provided to aid your comfort when walking. The soles are all of the zero-drop variants. To ensure that the shoes fit well, the upper part of the shoes is made out of dura-nylon. It is a flexible material that ensures a snug fit around your foot.

You will also be pleased to know that traction is not left to chance either. The outsoles of these shoes provide great traction and overall grip. Depending on where you are walking, you will benefit from soles are do not easily slip. 

Our favorite part of this shoe is that is the Flyknit Upper that is dirt proof. It is key to ensuring that your shoes remain breathable. It is also resistant to staining.

Pros


They are available in half sizes.

They are lightweight.

The upper and lower part are stitched then glued.

They are very durable.

Reasonably priced in comparison to some competitors

Cons


Some users consider the cushioning to be too spongey.

They do not always run true to size.

Not suitable for those with wide feet.

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WHITIN Cross-Trainer Barefoot & Minimalist Shoe

WHITIN Cross-Trainer Shoes

Whitin describes this shoe as being “anatomically shaped.” This is to say that, unlike most shoes that demand our feet to slot into their confinements. In this case, you get a shoe that allows your feet to be themselves. They do not have to be any straighter or lightly curved to the shape of the shoe.

I will be the first to admit that their look at the front is not one that tickles my fancy. Some will agree with me. The good thing is that many others will not share this point of view. Suppose you are after a shoe that delivers the performance that you want. This is a great pick. 

All of the material used on the upper part of the shoes adaptive. This is to say that it expands and contracts to meet your feet’ needs as you move. The best thing about a function-first approach to the design is that it is minimalist.

There are no proverbial “bells and whistles” to be seen. This is not to say that they are aesthetically lacking. You get a wide range of options to choose your favorite shoe from. There are various colors. 

To ensure that you maintain your natural tread pattern, the shoes are zero-drop between heel and toe. The soles are thin and flexible. If you so desire, you can also remove the insoles to enhance the barefoot feeling. You will be pleased to know that there are no animal products used to produce these shoes for the vegans among us. 

Pros


They are zero drop shoes.

The soles and upper part and adaptative.

There are 19 options to choose from.

The design is minimalist.

They are somewhat durable.

There is a good amount of toe-box room.

Very comfortable.

You simply cannot go wrong with it.

Cons


Quality control leaves a lot to be desired.

Durability could be a lot better. 

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JOOMRA Minimalist Trail Running Barefoot Shoes

JOOMRA Minimalist Trail Running Shoes

If you fancied the Whitin shoes above, you would also like these as well. In many ways, the designs are almost identical. You will also see that the features are also similar. The soles of the shoes are made out of rubber. They are designed to give you maximum traction as you walk.

This will come in handy when walking on wet surfaces. You will also find that the soles are very responsive to the terrain challenges you confront them with. To enhance this feature, Joomra also introduced circular lug patterns on the soles to ensure that you get as much grip as possible. 

Another distinctive feature of these shoes is the removable insoles. They allow you the option to make use of different types of soles. You may even choose to introduce ones that you have always been using. Perhaps you could go seasonal and use thermal insoles when it is cold.

Having that option is incredible. The ones that come in the shoes are there to provide support for your arches. They reduce the amount of pressure on the balls of your feet. You have a total of 16 designs and colors to choose from.

Pros


There is ample room in the toe box.

They generally run true to size.

They can be worn with or without shoes.

The insoles are removable.

They provide arch support.

There are various options to choose from.

The price point is perfect.

Cons


Durability is not the strongest characteristic.

Not ideal for running.

CHECK REVIEWS AND PRICE

Buyer’s Guide

The toes, the foot, and the rest of the muscles in the foot react in a certain way when they come in contact with the ground. Your baby’s feet muscles must learn the right thing the first time around.  As kids step on the ground, it gives them feedback, which improves their proprioception, raising awareness of their bodies in space.

As the child begins to wear shoes more often, their feet muscles tend to forget how to balance and provide the natural stability for the body they are meant to. They begin to “sleep” and lose the natural movement. 

Walking barefoot has immense benefits. It returns us to our roots. Shoe manufacturers have made billions, convincing the world of the latest cushioning technology. But not all marketing campaigns are the best for you.

Sometimes it helps to revert to what nature intended. Barefoot walking gives you better control of your foot position when you hit the ground. It improves your balance and body awareness which can help ease the pain. 

Walking barefoot can give you better foot mechanics, which can, in turn, lead to better hips, knees, and core mechanics. You will also get an appropriate range of motion in your foot and ankle joints. It also adds adequate strength and stability to your muscles and ligaments.

The other great thing about walking barefoot is that you get great relief from improperly fitting shoes. It also supports the development of stronger leg muscles which support the lower back.

Are barefoot shoes good for walking?

Barefoot shoes provide you with the benefits of walking barefoot but with the protection of a shoe. They help you get the best of both worlds.

Does walking barefoot improve balance?

Your foot is naturally designed to maintain your foot’s balance. However, as we accustom our feet to wearing shoes, they tend to lose some of their natural ability. This also includes the ability to give you stability when you stand. Barefoot shoes will return this ability to the wearer to a certain degree. 

Does walking barefoot make your feet bigger?

Walking barefoot does not make your feet bigger. It simply allows your feet to be in their natural state. You need to make sure that you are taking the necessary precautions. For example, our feet were not made for walking on hard concrete surfaces, which is why shoes are an important part of our wardrobe in a world surrounded by concrete jungles

Can walking barefoot damage your feet?

Walking barefoot is pretty safe when you are around your house. However, when you step outside, you realize that there is so much you will need to protect your feet from—dangerous elements.

But it is quite an oxymoron really because when you get accustomed to wearing shoes, your muscles weaken and need to readjust to being the stabilizers of your foot, each time you are barefoot. At the same time, you increase the risk of injury when you weaken your foot muscles.

The surface you walk on can be dangerous and damage your feet. In as much as walking barefoot has amazing benefits, it is also pretty risky to the feet. You will find that they get injured easier when you do not have shoes or sufficient padding.

You also put your feet at risk of harmful bacteria when you walk barefoot. If you have diabetes, you will need to take special care. Peripheral neuropathy can cause you to injure yourself underneath your feet and not realize it.

Does going barefoot cause bunions?

People who have bunions have the first metatarsal bone gradually moving sideways towards the other foot. As a result, the front of the foot becomes wider, and the joint at the base of the big toe bulges out. The big toe leans in towards the other toes.

The joints will normally hurt when you wear too-tight shoes, even though tight shoes are not the main cause. Bunions are not caused by going barefoot. However, they are common in people who have a flat foot or a splayfoot. They occur in people who have weak connective tissue, a short Achilles tendon, or joint disease.

Conclusion

Walking barefoot has great benefits. But just like with anything, you will need to do it in moderation and with care. Too much of anything is no good. Make sure to take the necessary precautions and strike a balance. Many may argue that people long ago used to walk around barefoot.

The counter-argument to this is that the world has changed drastically, and so has the level of risk in walking barefoot. This is where ingenious inventions like the barefoot walking shoe come into play. Consider the options, weigh the odds and make a wise choice. 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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