The Best types of Barefoot Shoes for Walking or Running
Are you tired of feeling the strain of your heavy, bulky running shoes? If so, you might want to consider purchasing a pair of barefoot shoes to wear while exercising or jogging. While they may feel odd at first, barefoot shoes offer several benefits that traditional sneakers don’t, including improved balance and mobility and reduced injuries associated with overuse or straining your joints. To help you find the right type of barefoot shoe, we’ve put together this guide on the different types of barefoot shoes available today and the factors you should take into consideration when making your purchase decision.
Xero Shoes Z-Trail
Choosing the best type of barefoot shoes to wear is not as easy as it seems. Xero Shoes Z-Trail are the perfect fit if you enjoy living a healthy and happy lifestyle that incorporates outdoor running and walking. They come in two colors: Denim and Light Grey, so you can be sure they will match any outfit. In terms of design, these sandals offer a breathable footbed made with organic cotton (grown without pesticides). They also offer a sustainable organic coconut outsole that is built to grip – perfect for all sorts of weather conditions!
Best for Budding Runners
Merrell Vapor Glove 5
Ranging from $100-$130, Merrell Vapor Glove 5 is one of the pricier pairs on this list. But in return, you get a really high-quality pair that you can keep running in comfortably. They’re durable and have the ability to become more water resistant as they are worn down. They also have quality material that dries quickly to prevent bacteria growth between uses (though an issue many athletes still face). Plus, with their breathable mesh tongue, they won’t suffocate your feet like some other shoe might – and every runner knows how important that is!
Best for Sandal Beginners
Luna Sandals Mono Winged
Known as the best shoe to buy if you are just starting out with going barefoot, Luna Sandals offers several options and styles. These shoes have a footbed that supports the natural curvature of your feet and have very little sole underneath them. While they do provide some minimal protection from sticks and rocks on the ground, their flexibility makes them comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Like most barefoot shoes, these come in either half sizes (35-41) or full sizes (35-42). If you want to maintain some warmth during winter, you can also purchase a pair of protective socks to wear over them.
The Freet Tanga is a barefoot running shoe with a soft rubber sole that offers protection while still giving your feet the natural feeling they need to stay healthy. Your first reaction when you see the thin, lightweight Tanga may be one of skepticism— after all, it doesn’t even look like a real shoe. It may seem too thin and too pliable to provide adequate support for any running distance, but take my word for it when I say this shoe does exactly what it needs to do. When you put on the Tanga, its flexible construction feels instantly comfortable and secure with none of the heaviness and stiffness in regular running shoes.
Best for Road Running
Xero Shoes HFS
Xero Shoes HFS – has a to-die-for insole made from organic cotton and an incredibly natural-feeling footbed. It’s the most comfortable thing I’ve ever run in, and the thick, durable outsole is perfect for runners who want more protection. I’ve been running in these shoes for a few months now and I’m impressed with their durability as well as how they look better as they get beat up.
If you want an even thinner barefoot shoe, it’s hard to beat Xero Shoes’ HFS. These shoes come in three different widths, so finding a pair that fits well is easy. They’re also very light and are a bit cheaper than Vibram FiveFingers—but at a cost: Since they’re thinner, they don’t protect your feet as much from rough surfaces like cobblestones and trails. That said, these are great if you mostly run on roads and need something super-light. It also comes with reflective laces, which I love. Yes, I’m just that cool! What makes Xero especially unique is that each pair is crafted by hand in Colorado!
Best for Toe Freedom
Vibram FiveFingers Classic
If you’re looking for a barefoot running shoe, there are a few brands that are great and provide the perfect balance between protection and grip. Vibram FiveFingers Classic is one such brand, where your toes feel like they’re never even in shoes! If you’re more into walking around the city or just feeling the ground beneath your feet, then Vibra’s Traverse City Sandal is a perfect choice. It offers a snug fit but provides ample stability and cushioning on any terrain.
Best for Around Town
Built for casual day-to-day wear, Vivobarefoot Addis is comfortable and fashionable with a variety of color and style options. The feel on the ground is light and cushioned thanks to the flexible outsole and natural rubber pods. This makes them perfect for going around the town or taking a stroll through the park. For runners, this shoe doesn’t provide much support – but they’re perfect to round out your arsenal while you build up your mileage on more supportive shoes like the Vivobarefoot Sprints.
Best for Minimalists
Xero Shoes Genesis
If you’re looking for a barefoot shoe that’s more minimalist and doesn’t have a lot of padding in the sole, but still offers protection to your feet, then Xero Shoes Genesis may be what you’re looking for. They are made from hemp and organic cotton instead of petroleum-based synthetics and they offer a flexible design that takes on the contours of your foot, which is key in barefoot shoes. Another perk? There are tons of styles available to suit everyone’s taste and budget.
Best Barefoot Water Shoes
Xero Shoes Aqua Cloud
Whether you are looking for the best water shoes to swim in or want to find the best barefoot shoes to run in, Xero Shoes Aqua Cloud is your answer. These shoes will offer superior protection and traction with a tight-fitting style that won’t ride up on your heel.
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