Best Barefoot Shoes 2024: for maximum comfort and performance

Barefoot shoes come without a heel drop, so the heel of the foot is not raised or otherwise elevated.

The best Barefoot shoes keep getting better and more common. People are starting to wear barefoot shoes for CrossFit workouts, weekly runs, weightlifting, and just everyday wear. Depending on how you plan to use them, barefoot shoes can be good for a lot of different things.

If you have never worn barefoot shoes before, you should check out my guide to barefoot shoes. This guide will help you get used to barefoot shoes the right way. Some barefoot shoes are made for both peoples, but most are made for all people separately. In our study of women’s barefoot shoes, we have women test them thoroughly.

If you’re not quite ready to dive into the world of minimalist shoes, our expert team of runners has put in the miles to test the best shoes on the market in other categories. These include suggestions for the best running shoes and the best trail running shoes for people who like to run off-road. We also have a lot of hands-on experience with a wide range of running gear and can give you tips on how to get the most out of your runs. Below we have mentioned the best barefoot shoes.

Best Barefoot Shoes Comparison Table

Shoe ModelWeight (per shoe)Stack HeightSole MaterialClosure System
Vibram V-Trail 2.07.6 oz (215 g)4mmVibram RubberQuick lacing
Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V36.5 oz (184 g)3mmRubberTraditional laces
Merrell Vapor Glove 55.8 oz (164 g)0mmVibram RubberTraditional laces
Xero Shoes HFS8.4 oz (238 g)10mmFeelTrue RubberHook-and-loop strap
Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III7.4 oz (209 g)3mmRubberQuick lacing

Vibram V-Trail 2.0

Best Barefoot Shoes
SpecificationDetails
BrandVibram
ModelV-Trail 2.0
TypeBarefoot Shoe
WeightVaries (typically around 7-8 oz)
Stack Height6mm (including 2mm lugs)
OutsoleVibram Megagrip
Upper MaterialPolyester
ClosureLace-up
Toe BoxWide toe box
Recommended UseTrail running, hiking, outdoor activities

Based on the original FiveFingers platform, which helped start the barefoot running movement, the V-Trail 2.0 is a good trail runner that adds to the popularity of Vibram’s minimalist designs. This model is a great choice for trail running because it has all of the key features of an adventure race shoe.

The V-Trail 2.0 strikes a good mix between being simple and being strong. It is light, durable, and stable when moving over rough terrain. We had a great time going fast on our favorite alpine tracks, knowing that rocks and roots wouldn’t hurt our feet. The fully wrapped upper did a great job of keeping our feet dry, even when we had to cross a creek more than once.

This shoe loses some ground-feel points in exchange for comfort and trust. The stack height of the shoe is only 3.7mm, but the non-removable cushion has 2mm of EVA foam. When it came to barefoot accuracy, we mostly had trouble with how flexible the toes were. Overall, it is one of the best barefoot shoes that you can buy.

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Pros

  • Excellent grip and traction, durable construction, versatile for different terrains.

Cons

  • Minimal arch support, may take time to adjust to the toe design.

Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3

Best Barefoot Shoes
SpecificationDetails
BrandInov-8
ModelBare-XF 210 V3
TypeBarefoot Shoe
WeightApprox. 7 oz
Stack Height3mm
OutsoleSticky rubber compound
Upper MaterialSynthetic, TPU, Mesh
ClosureLace-up
Toe BoxWide toe box
Recommended UseFunctional fitness, cross-training, gym workouts

Running can definitely be hard on your shoes, but strength training can be even worse. That’s why it’s so important to work on your fitness starting with your feet. The Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3 is a trainer designed for the gym that can also be used as a running shoe once your feet are stronger. Thus, it is one of the best barefoot shoes that you can buy.

Unlike other models we tried, this one has a very padded upper that is meant to give stability and protection during even the most intense training. Even though the top of the 210 V3 is padded for extra comfort, the stack height is only 1.5mm when the insole is taken out. With the even base of the zero-drop outsole and the dual-layer mesh toe box, you get a stable, low-profile shoe that is designed to help you lift weights better.

Unlike other barefoot shoes we tried, the 210 V3 doesn’t mind adding more material to the upper to make it more comfortable and durable, even if it makes it heavier and less like a barefoot shoe. Features that make them stand out, like TPU-reinforced quarter sides and a padded tongue, make them better for the gym and are worth the weight loss.

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Pros

  • Lightweight and flexible, suitable for various activities, good stability.

Cons

  • Limited cushioning, may lack durability for intense workouts.

Merrell Vapor Glove 5

Best Barefoot Shoes
SpecificationDetails
BrandMerrell
ModelVapor Glove 5
TypeBarefoot Shoe
WeightApprox. 6 oz
Stack Height0mm (zero-drop)
OutsoleVibram TC5+ rubber
Upper MaterialMesh, TPU
ClosureLace-up
Toe BoxWide toe box
Recommended UseRunning, walking, casual wear

The Merrell Vapor Glove 5 continues to help define the barefoot category in terms of style and ease. This shoe is the best deal out of all the ones we tried. It has the most natural feel without sacrificing any of its style. In fact, the new version builds on what worked well in the past. The outsole of this low-rise shoe has been totally redesigned so that it fits the shoe’s even shape better.

It still has a super-thin 6.5mm stack height, which keeps your feet right on the ground. The revised upper has a stretch collar that makes the shoe fit, feel, and move better. With a weight of just under 12 ounces per pair, the Vapor Glove lives up to its name: it’s a nearly-there shoe that looks like a sock and only tries to show off how good your own feet are.

Some people with higher arches may find that the new stretch collar is a bit tight, but many fans of the line say that the new top style is one of the best yet. We tend to agree with the second one, since the new design gives a tight, stable fit without limiting movement. Still, it is one of the best barefoot shoes that you can buy.

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Pros

  • Comfortable and breathable, secure fit, suitable for everyday use.

Cons

  • Thin sole may not provide enough protection on rough surfaces

Xero Shoes HFS

Best Barefoot Shoes
SpecificationDetails
BrandXero Shoes
ModelHFS
TypeBarefoot Shoe
WeightApprox. 7.5 oz
Stack Height11mm (including 3mm sole and 8mm foam)
OutsoleXero FeelTrue rubber
Upper MaterialMesh, TPU, Vegan-friendly options
ClosureLace-up
Toe BoxWide toe box
Recommended UseRunning, walking, cross-training

The Xero HFS is a reliable barefoot trainer that can be used on roads, paths, and in the gym. Its goal is to bring out the best in your feet. The best thing about this minimalist shoe is that it is made to be very flexible. This means that it can easily move with your feet and give you an experience that the company calls “barefoot plus.”

The soft, proprietary rubber in these thin, 5.5mm shoes lets your toes bend and grip naturally, and a roomy mesh forefoot lets them spread out and move around for better support. All of this will probably appeal to barefoot purists, but the HFS also comes with a 3mm high-density EVA pad to help those who are just starting to wear minimalist shoes get used to it.

Even though this barefoot trainer is perfect in every way, it is one of the heavier shoes we tried, coming in at about 15 ounces per pair. Even though it’s heavier than the other shoes we have, this is still a lot lighter than many other trainers on the market. Overall, it is one of the best barefoot shoes that you can buy.

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Pros

  • Wide toe box, adjustable fit, lightweight and flexible.

Cons

  • May require a break-in period, may not be suitable for high-impact activities.

Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III

Best Barefoot Shoes
SpecificationDetails
BrandVivobarefoot
ModelPrimus Lite III
Shoe TypeBarefoot Shoes
WeightApprox. 6.6 ounces (Size 9)
Sole Material3mm rubber outsole
Upper MaterialBreathable recycled PET mesh and recycled PET webbing
Closure TypeLace-up
Stack Height3mm
Vegan-FriendlyYes
Heel-to-Toe DropZero-drop

My second choice for the best barefoot shoe for pulling is the Tolos Archetype 1.0. Since both the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III and the Tolos Archetype 1.0 are good lifting shoes, I switch between them often.

The Tolos Archetype 1.0 is a good shoe for lifting because it has a low profile, an athletic fit, and it moves well. The Archetype of 1.0 works well for big deadlifts and squats on rubber gym floors and wooden platforms.

I also like how well the Tolos Archetype 1.0 moves during exercises like lunges and active foot movements where the toes and midfoot bend a lot. Also, these get more comfortable as you wear them. Currently, it is one of the best barefoot shoes that you can buy.

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Pros

  • Minimalist design, excellent ground feel, suitable for both casual wear and running.

Cons

  • Limited arch support, may not be suitable for those with wide feet.

FAQs

What are barefoot shoes?

Barefoot shoes, also called minimalist shoes, are shoes that are made to feel like walking or running without shoes. They have a thin bottom and not much cushioning, so walking in them feels more natural and sensory.

What are the benefits of wearing barefoot shoes?

Wearing barefoot shoes can make your feet stronger and more flexible, give you better balance and proprioception, improve your natural gait and stance, and give you more information from the ground. Some people also find that barefoot shoes help with foot pain and make their feet healthier generally.

Are barefoot shoes suitable for everyone?

Some people may not be able to wear barefoot shoes, especially if they have foot problems or accidents. Before switching to barefoot shoes, it’s always a good idea to talk to a doctor or specialist, especially if you already have problems with your feet.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staffhttps://www.bollyinside.com
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!

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