5 Best Minimalist Walking Shoes

Last Updated: Jul 2, 2021 @ 12:32 am

Are you looking for the best minimalist shoes for walking? 

Here’s the thing, people today do not walk nearly as much as we should. There are so many great benefits from walking that we miss out on, yet it is one of the few things in life free. Walking can help you lose weight, reduce the risk of disease and take in the scenery whilst you are at it. 

5 Best Minimalist Walking Shoes

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When you walk, you get to burn calories which will help you maintain or lose weight. This will, of course, depend on your walking speed, the distance covered by the terrain, and your weight. You can also strengthen your heart by walking at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. You will find that you can reduce your risk of coronary heart disease.

Walking can also help lower blood sugar. If you would like to see results faster, try working walking after meals as a daily routine. If you have joint pain from time to time or it is chronic, you will find that walking helps ease it. It may seem like the last thing you want to do, but walking lubricates and strengthens the muscles the support the joints. 

In a Hurry

Are you in a hurry and do not have the time to go through the different minimalist shoes on the market made for walking? You may want to sift through, but it can be a difficult task when you do not know what to look for.

Look for comfortable shoes; this way, you do not have to cut your walk short because of aching feet. Look for shoes that have a minimal drop. The lower the drop, the closer to the ground you will be, which is the whole point of going the minimalist route. We have done the homework and found the best picks on the market.

Our Top Pick

Our Top Pick

Our favorite, however, is the Vibram Five Fingers Men’s CVT-Hemp Minimalist Casual Walking Shoe. It has a Vibram sole, a hemp/poly blend that combines sustainable fiber with durability, as well as a casual slip-on upper. The great thing about this shoe is that it is machine washable.

Best Minimalist Walking Shoes

Vivobarefoot Gobi II Leather Walking Shoe

The Gobi II is sold as an everyday shoe. It is a minimalist desert boot that delivers both style and performance. As you know, we absolutely Vivobarefoot shoes. This is one of our absolute favorite ones. The simplicity of the design is what we love the most. The upper part of the shoes is made out of naturally scarred leather that comes from free-roaming cattle.

As you are on the go and want minimalist shoes, you will also be thrilled to know that they are extremely lightweight. Pair that with the barefooted nature of them, and you will find yourself forgetting that you have shoes on at times. 

The ethos of Vivobarefoot is to allow your feet the freedom to move as they were naturally intended to. That is what you will find in these as well. The soles are just as flexible as the upper part of the shoes. Everything about it is kept as thin as possible while remaining as functional as possible.

The upper part of the shoes is naturally scarred, which adds to the product’s longevity. Underneath the soles of the shoes is a great grip. While remaining thin, they ensure that you still get the barefoot sensation under your feet when walking. The soles offer good protection.

Pros


There are three designs that you can choose from.

They come with thermal insoles.

We absolutely love the brand.

Overall build quality is great.

They fit very well.

They are very comfortable.

Cons


There are some quality control issues.

The laces could be much better.

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Vibram Five Fingers CVT-Hemp Minimalist Casual Walking Shoe 

Do we need to remind you not to judge a book by its cover? Or, in this case, a shoe by initial impression. We are all accustomed to seeing shoes look a certain way. Anything that deviates from that is met with a subconscious resistance.

I want to challenge you to make an effort to consider these shoes with an open mind. Now that we have gotten that conversation out of the way. Let us consider some of the features of the Vibram Five Fingers. 

The upper part of the shoes is made of hemp and polyester. This is a combination that delivers a fiber that is both sustainable and durable. Not only do you get a great product, but it does not come at the cost of the environment. The design of the upper is such that the shoes are easy to slip into and remove. 

To ensure that the shoes are more durable than previous versions, Vibram has used user feedback. With this, they have decided to add stretch points to key locations. These are those locations that are generally put under the most pressure. By adding a stretch point there, there is enhanced elasticity in that region.

This means that the shoes are less likely to tear in that area. The soles are made of Vibram rubber. They are famous for giving great traction. You will find that the shoes are incredibly lightweight. So much such that you may find yourself forgetting that you have them on in some instances. Did we mention that you can use your washing machine to clean these up? Yeah, you can.

Pros


There are two colours to choose from.

The shoes are lightweight.

They have stretch points.

They are incredibly comfortable.

They are designed to last.

The soles provide great protection.

Cons


They tend to get smelly after a while (close to a year)

The design is certainly not for the masses.

They take ages to dry when washed.

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Xero Shoes Z-Trek Minimalist Barefoot-Inspired Sport Sandal

Perhaps you would rather have sandals? You know, as Jesus did? Well, maybe religion is not the motivating factor for you. You want to provide your feet with as much freedom as you possibly can. These are a good pick. As the title eludes, they are bare-foot-inspired sandals.

You get more padding under your foot than you would get from barefoot shoes. They make a good shoe to transition with if you are looking to start wearing barefoot shoes. They are lightweight and very comfortable. The soles are made of rubber. You will be protected from sharp objects as you stroll. The soles are 5.5mm thick which is just sufficient, without going into excess.

They are zero drop sandals. Your forefoot and hindfoot move at the same level of elevation. This is a great feature when looking to improve or maintain good posture. You will not have to worry about lack of traction either. The soles have you covered for that as well. 

Perhaps our favorite thing about these sandals is how easy they are to take with you. They do not occupy much space. You can slot them into a travel bag or roll them up for packing. The straps are so secure that you can use these shoes for running and other similar activities. You can rest easy. They have Xero’s stamp of approval in the form of the 5000-mile warranty.

Pros


The sandals are very comfortable.

They are zero drop shoes.

They come with a 5000-mile warranty cover.

They provide good traction.

They are lightweight.

They are easy to pack away for travel.

Can be used for running as well.

Cons


The metal loops are not as strong as they should be.

Sizing can be very difficult to get right.

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Skechers Equalizer Double Play Slip-On Loafer 

Maybe you would prefer to go with a more recognizable brand? Not that any of the others are inferior. We all know how popular Skechers are among those on their feet for long portions of their day.

That is always a great indicator of a good walking shoe. The Equalizer Double Play is easy to put on and to remove. The upper part of the shoes is made of knit mesh. This means that there is a freeflow of air. The shoes are highly breathable. 

The soles are made of synthetic material. It has a rubbery feel to it. Any concerns of a lack of traction are immediately alleviated when you try the shoes on. They hold well on both wet and dry ground.

The soles are somewhat flexible. They allow your feet the freedom to maintain their natural shape as you walk. There is some cushioning provided through the memory foam insoles. 

Pros


The shoes come with memory foam insoles.

They are lightweight.

They are very comfortable.

They are breathable.

The soles provide good traction.

There are 4 colours to choose from.

Cons


They do not provide much arch support.

They do not always run true to size.

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Saucony Originals Bullet Sneaker 

Not many people will appreciate what having a story behind a brand means. Fortunately, we do. Once you know the story of the Saucony, the design makes perfect sense. This is a shoe that was designed to be used for running. Well, not exactly.

The more accurate statement would be that this is a running shoe turning into a regular shoe. Believe it or not, until 1985, you would have only been able to find the Bullet with spikes underneath it. If that does not give away a running shoe, nothing will. 

The beautiful thing about the transition from running shoes to what we have today that running shoes are inherently minimalist. These are based on the idea that the less that a runner has to carry, the faster they will run.

One concern that would then arise would be how much protection the shoes would provide you now that you are using them daily. You will be pleased to know that part of the transition from running shoes took care of this aspect. Let us look at the features.

This shoes’ upper is made entirely of nylon. The sole is a rubber one. You will get the sort of traction that is associated with running. For additional comfort, there is a removable insole in each shoe.

This allows you the option of using your favorite insoles in this shoe as well. The finish of the shoe is a suede one. They are evidently aesthetically pleasing. There are various color combinations to choose from.

Pros


A truly minimalist shoe in every sense.

It is lightweight

Offers amazing traction.

There are 9 colour combinations to choose from.

The finish is beautiful.

Provides versatility of use.

They are reasonably priced.

Available in half sizes.

Cons


Sizing can be tricky to get right.

Does not provide a lot of arch support.

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Buyer’s Guide for the Best Minimalist Walking Shoes

Walking can help you boost your immune function. So that means that you can lower the risk of flu and colds. This is research-proven. Your energy levels will also be boosted when you go for walks.

And the great thing about it is that it is all-natural. Your mood gets to improve too. This is because walking helps reduce negative energy such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and social withdrawal. 

Walking is not only great for your mental health or extending your life, but it also gets your body in great shape. So if you are looking for an easy and free way to get toned legs, walk! And last but definitely not least, walking helps to clear your head. Your creative juices begin to flow. 

This may not be the first time you have heard of how great walking is for you all around. But have you ever stopped to think just how much goes into the shoes you wear as you walk? The benefits of walking may be overshadowed by painful feet if you are in the wrong shoes. 

The natural way of walking is without shoes. It is how we were born, but as we grow, we begin to wear shoes, which can alter the natural way of doing things. 

The foot is designed to grasp the ground in a certain way and give the body a certain amount of stability and balance. This is thanks to the numerous nerves that are in the foot. The mechanics of the foot that come naturally are weakened as we were designed to provide extra support and balance.

This is where minimalist shoes come in handy. They allow you to feel the ground as much as if you were walking barefoot, but with the cushioning that will help protect your feet from the hard ground. 

  1. Are you looking for a good pair of minimalist shoes for walking?
  2. Do you need to replace your current pair?
  3. Are you looking to give someone a gift to make their walks better?

There are tons of walking shoes out on the market, and it is important to know which ones are for you.

How comfortable are they?

Walking may not be the number one thing to do on your list, especially in this day and age where people are ferried everywhere. Few people choose to walk, regardless of the immense benefits of this exercise. Now that you have decided to take the first step, you need to make sure that it is in the right shoes.

Choose a pair that is comfortable and that suits you. Minimalist shoes may take some getting used to, but they have to cushion that is meant to make it all worthwhile. Just make sure that it works for you. 

Do they protect your feet?

You will be super close to the ground, so you will need to make sure that your toes and feet are protected. This will come done to the material the shoe is made of. You will need to find out what the shoe is made of. It will help you make a more informed decision.

How pricey do they get?

Most minimalist shoes are pretty affordable, which knocks out any excuses you may have not to choose them. Look for a pair that is within your range. This way, you do not cut off your nose to spite your face.

Can I get minimalist shoes that look good?

Several designs on the market do not look too great. Yes, they are functional, but you may prefer to cover your feet in sackcloth instead when you think about what they look like.

The good news is that it is possible to find a pair that looks good and offers you the same great benefits. If looks matter to you, make sure that you look for the air that tickles your fancy. It is out there. Just look for it.

Conclusion

Minimalist shoes are designed to help you reap the benefits of walking barefoot, and yet with the right amount of protection. Find the shoes that will give you the best of both worlds. We certainly hope that our top picks will help you make your pick. 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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