5 of the Best Minimalist Shoes for Work

Are you looking for the best minimalist shoes for work?

We all have different places of work, and these place different demands on us. This includes how our bodies handle the pressure. If you typically work long hours on your feet, you probably need a lot of pressure relief. Some occupations require you to be on your feet constantly. This can cause aches and pains in the body, including back pain, which is a real pain!

Best Minimalist Shoes for Work

Skechers for Work Rockland-Hooper [rating stars= "4.0"]
Xero Shoes Hana Casual Canvas Barefoot-Inspired Shoe [rating stars= "4.0"]
Feetmat Men's Non-Slip Mesh Sneakers [rating stars= "4.2"]
Xero Shoes Prio [rating stars= "3.9"]
Vivobarefoot Ra II [rating stars= "4.3"]

The key to a healthy life can play a brilliant balancing act. Working at a desk all day without walking around is not healthy. At the same time, standing for long periods is not healthy either. Standing for prolonged hours can lead to lower limb muscle fatigue, which can lead to chronic back pain or musculoskeletal disorders.

This is not the best thing for anyone in a profession that requires long hours of standing, like hoteliers, bank tellers, till operators, or hairdressers. The recommended number of hours to stand at a time is two hours and below. Short-term problems such as leg cramps are not uncommon if you stand for too long. 

In a Hurry

A great pair of minimalist shoes will allow your foot to move in its natural element. It needs to allow you to be as flexible as if you were walking with no shoes on. Look for a pair that is lightweight and has a low heel-to-toe drop. The closer you are to the ground, the better. We have done our research and have rounded up some of the best options on the market for you.

Our Top Pick

Our Top Pick

Our favorite pick is the work men’s Skechers’ Rockland-hooper slip-resistant slip-on shoe. They are one hundred percent leather. They have a quarter-inch heel, a rubber sole, and they have reinforced stitching, gored insets on vamp, and a memory foam insole.

Our Round Up of The Best Minimalist Shoes for Work

Skechers for Work Rockland-Hooper

The Rockland-Hopper is designed to fit seamlessly into your working environment. This is a popular pick among healthcare professionals who spend a lot of time on their feet. The upper part of the shoes is made of smooth leather. It allows you to polish it for a shiny finish. The upper part of the shoes is made of leather. This gives it a good basis to resist penetration from water.

You will find this feature handy when caught in the rain or if liquid spills on your feet. Comfort is at the core of the design. The shoes provide good padding and arch support. The collars give you the greatest benefit from having padding. They have a Gore panel at the instep to improve comfort and feel. Those that are on the go for long periods will love that it is lightweight. 

There are no laces involved in this design either. You can slip it on and off with ease. After a long day, none of us wants to spend those few minutes it can take to undo shoelaces. You will love the detail that has gone into the shoes’ stitching for the more detail-oriented among us. On the warmer days, you will love the breathability that the shoes provide. This is courtesy of the soft fabric lining that they have.

You also have the option to remove the insoles. This can be done to replace them with the ones that you prefer. That might be handy if you require extra cushioning and support that you get from another insole. The final feature that is worth a mention is the shock-absorbent midsole. It may not seem like much, but it is an essential feature for protecting your feet.


The shoes are very comfortable.

They come with removable insoles.

They are easy to remove and to put on.

They offer great slip resistance.

They are highly breathable.

Reasonably good aesthetics.


It takes some time to break in.

Durability is not consistent between shoes.


Xero Shoes Hana Casual Canvas Barefoot-Inspired Shoe

As you would find with most Xero Shoes, the Hana is a barefoot-inspired shoe. It goes without saying that they are lightweight. The shoes’ design prioritizes the needs of your feet before aesthetics or any of the other things that we love about the shoes. As a result, you get a very comfortable shoe. Ample room has been allowed for your toe box as well.

They are allowed to be just as relaxed as the rest of your foot is. As you start to move with the shoes on, you will soon realize that they are flexible. This means that your feet do not have to be confined by the shape of each shoe. They get to maintain their natural movement. The shoes are zero drop. You probably already know that zero drop shoes are great for your posture. 

The aesthetic side of things is nothing to write home about. This is not to say that they are a letdown. It is a minimalist approach to the design and all else. The lacing system is just as simple. It is a huarache sandal-inspired lacing system. You will also be pleased to know that there are no animal products used. The shoes are vegan-friendly. One of the key improvements that the brand has brought to the forefront is its improved sizing. You have two colors that you can choose from. It is either black or carob.


The shoes come with a 5000-mile sole warranty.

The shoes are very comfortable.

They are a minimalist designed shoe.

Newer versions of the shoe run true to size.

There are two colours to choose from.

They are barefoot-inspired shoes.

They are zero drop.


The sole to upper connection is not as durable.

Older versions of the shoe do not run true to size.


Feetmat Men’s Non-Slip Mesh Sneakers

Feetmat was not a brand that we were particularly familiar with before this. The design is not a novel one. We have come across several shoes from different brands that look similar to this one. The upper part of the shoes is made out of breathable mesh. The mesh allows for the free movement of air from within the shoes.

It keeps your feet cool while you go about your day. You will find that these shoes are lightweight. They provide a reasonable amount of support for your arch. If you are spending a lot of time on your feet, the shoes will go a long way. The soles are made out of rubber. They give you added traction and stop you from slipping regardless of what surface you are walking on. 

You will be cushioned from impact by the rubber soles as well. Each shoe comes with a very comfortable insole. The design of the shoes makes them very easy to put on and to remove. As with the other shoes that we have recommended, these are very flexible. Your feet are allowed to bend at will. They are soft and lightweight. There are 8 colors that you can choose yours from.


These shoes are extremely lightweight.

They are highly breathable.

They provide a lot of traction and grip.

They are easy to put on and to remove.

You have lovely colours to choose from.

The shoes are very comfortable.

They are reasonably priced.


Not as durable as they ought to be.

Some defective pairs have been reported.

The sizing can be off at times.


Xero Shoes Prio

Our final pick is also from Xero. Xero Shoes Prio is a lightweight pair of shoes that are suitable for working environments. They provide you with reasonable versatility as to what you can wear them with. The first thing that you may notice are the mesh patches that make up most of the upper part of the shoes. These patches are surrounded by leather. There is a lot of stitching that goes into joining the two materials together. This is always a great indicator of durability. 

The look of the shoes is somewhat athletic. They have the elasticity to help with the foot movement. Your feet are supported and allowed to move. The shoes are flexible enough to allow your feet the freedom of movement that we would all appreciate during a long day of work.

The design is from a foot-first approach that this brand takes in many cases. It places a priority on comfort rather than aesthetics. They are zero drop shoes that improve and maintain your posture. The soles of the shoes provide great traction. They are barefoot inspired.


The shoes are very comfortable.

They usually run true to size.

They are zero drop shoes.

They are barefoot inspired.

They have somewhat wide toe boxes.


Durability could be much better.

In some cases, they run small.


Vivobarefoot Ra II

If you want a lightweight shoe that is also waterproof, this is the one for you. The Ra II is made out of wild hide leather. The design is such that they are versatile shoes that can be used both in the workplace and for casual dressing. The soles and the upper part of the shoes are very flexible.

This is a shoe that allows your foot the freedom of movement that is unheard of by other brands. They are not only flexible but also breathable. If you like barefoot shoes, you are onto a winner. You will feel every single bit of movement as you go on your run. Although thin, you will find that the sole provides ample protection for your underfoot.

The insoles that come in these shoes are cork ones. They add to the protection that the soles provide. You can remove and replace the insoles as well. Vivobarefoot provides various insoles that you can choose from if these do not do it for you. You will already know that this is one of our favorite brands. That is for good reasons. If you have not tried them already, I will encourage you to give them a shot.


They are lightweight.

Both soles and upper are flexible.

They are barefoot shoes.

They come with a protective insole.

The design provides the versatility of use.

They are very comfortable.


The insoles can be slippery.

The soles can get worn quickly if used on tarred roads.


Buyer’s Guide

There are several factors to consider when thinking of buying your next pair of minimalist shoes. If it is your first pair, then you need to think of these even more carefully. Factors such as whether or not the shoes allow your feet to fall to the ground as naturally as when they are not in shoes.

Make sure you transition carefully from your traditional shoes to minimalist shoes. It will give your feet the right amount of time to adjust and strengthen the muscles in them. Take your time in choosing the shoe.

One of the great ways to counter aches and pains caused by prolonged standing in the workplace is to have the right footwear. Common misconception says that aches in the feet can be fixed with more cushioning. But this is not always the case.

Sometimes, our feet need to go back to basics and be as close to the natural elements as possible. Minimalist shoes give you the protection of a shoe with the least amount of interference with the foot’s natural movement, thanks to its high flexibility, low heel-to-toe drop, weight and stack height, and the absence of motion control and stability devices.

  1. Are you looking for the best minimalist shoes to wear to work?
  2. Perhaps you stand for long hours and you now need to counter the back and foot aches that now seem to be a common thing for you
  3. Or maybe you would like to gift a friend who spends the day at work on their feet, and you want to know which shoes will help ease the pain?

There are different ways to get rid of aches and pains in the feet due to long-standing hours at work. However, would it not be great to have a remedy that is already part of your daily routine? Instead of looking for ways to stop your work, you can look for ways to make you lighter on your feet, literally. Minimalist shoes will do this for you.

Why get minimalist shoes?

They give the feet the maximum amount of freedom to move and give you the same feeling as when you walk barefoot, which can be pretty great for your feet. They have amazing flexibility that closely mimics what your foot does. These shoes are necessary for reducing the initial amount of joint impact by letting your feet have a more natural motion.

Strengthening your feet muscles is a great perk you get with minimalist shoes. This can help with flat feet. 

When you tend to spend a lot of time on your feet, minimalist shoes will help you feel less pain than traditional shoes.

Heel to toe drop

If you are trying to fix your arches, you are also trying to get shoes with a lower drop. The higher the heel-to-toe drop, the more elevated your foot will be. It would almost be like constantly standing on your tiptoes, which can shorten the calf muscles—the opposite of what you want to achieve. Most shoes have a drop of 10 to 12 mm, whilst minimalist shoes can go as low as zero, which means they are totally flat.

How do I know I have a great minimalist shoe?

A good minimalist shoe is extremely lightweight. The sole at the center of the heel should be quite low. Also, look out for motion control and stability. Minimalist shoes differ. The less technology used in the shoe, the higher its minimalist rating. This is the type of shoe you want to go for.

Traction provided. 

Depending on the type of work you do, you may need to take special consideration of the amount of traction the shoes provide.


Check to see what material the shoes are made of. It will help you know just how durable they are and how breathable they are as well.

Final Thoughts

The best minimalist shoes on the market will allow you to be as close to the ground as possible. They will give you the feeling of walking on the ground, which can be immensely beneficial for various foot ailments. Take your time in choosing the pair that will make a world of difference for your day-to-day life.

If you are a first-time buyer, then remember that you will need to give yourself some time to adjust. Allow your feet to breathe and get the most out of them without debilitating pain that can stall everything for you. We hope our top picks help you choose the best options on the market to suit your needs. 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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