Best Barefoot Running Shoes – Experience the freedom of natural movement with the best barefoot shoes for any occasion, from mountain hikes to Saturday nights. There’s a lot of confusion about what ‘barefoot shoes’ means. Contrary to one common misconception, they’re not just shoes you wear without socks.
No, barefoot shoes are more like minimalist versions of conventional shoes. They still have a sole, side and upper materials, and use various fastening methods, but they’re much thinner and lighter.
So why should you use them? Barefoot shoes are designed to promote freedom of movement while also strengthening your feet, which grow weak over time due to the excessive cushioning and cramped toe boxes found in most normal shoes. Humans didn’t always wear shoes – for most of evolutionary history we’ve gone barefoot.
If you’re reading this article, the chances are you’re already interested in barefoot shoes and are wondering which ones to buy. Below, you’ll find a guide that explains the benefits and potential pitfalls of barefoot shoes, and after that, you’ll find our pick of the best models you can buy right now.
Best Barefoot Running Shoes – Vibram FiveFingers KSO EVO
The Vibram FiveFingers KSO EVO offers a combination of impressive ground feel and protection. It gives runners an enhanced running experience with impressive grip and flexibility. This minimalist running shoe is best for off-trail running and daily training.
Best Barefoot Running Shoes – Vibram FiveFingers KMD EVO
Those who are new to barefoot running may benefit from starting with the KMD EVO because it was found to have more cushioning compared to other Vibram FiveFingers shoes. Users who had foot or leg discomfort claimed that it helped alleviate these concerns. However, some purist barefoot trainers did not like the cushioning platform and bulky façade of the footwear. Other complaints included the narrow fit and some durability issues. Still, the trainer gained favorable reviews because of the comfortable and breathable materials used in it.
Best Barefoot Running Shoes – Vibram Furoshiki
The Vibram Furoshiki was highly praised for the comfort it brought to users. They raved about its unique construction as it delivered the barefoot-like walking experience they were hoping for. On the downside, the shoe failed to accommodate people with wider feet and lacked breathability in warm conditions. But for the most part, the Furoshiki’s versatility, portability, and unique design made it a minimalist shoe of choice for a significant number of customers.
Best Barefoot Running Shoes – Merrell Trail Glove 4
Many claimed that the Merrell Trail Glove 4 is one of the most appealing shoes that a runner could ever have. A lot of testers admired the flexibility, slip resistance, construction and durability of the shoe. Trail Runners recommended the Merrell Trail Glove 4 because of its appealing and stylish look. They also commented that the shoe performed fairly well on short and long trail running sessions, with minimal pain at the start of wearing the shoe.
Best Barefoot Running Shoes – Vibram FiveFingers V-Run
The Vibram FiveFingers V-Run provides a combination of support, durability and better ground contact. Several users admired the shoe’s performance on the road, and despite being slightly expensive, a lot still recommend the shoe. The V-Run is equipped with the necessary technologies to surely perform well even on extremely low temperatures.
Best Barefoot Running Shoes – Vibram FiveFingers V-Aqua
Purchasers of the Vibram FiveFingers V-Aqua were generally ecstatic about its performance during outdoor activities, especially when it involved getting in and out of the water. It was deemed comfortable for everyday wear too. However, those not accustomed to wearing Vibrams obtained the wrong size and were unsatisfied with their purchase. Other minor issues included the quality of the material and construction, and that sand could get easily trapped inside. But overall, the FiveFingers V-Aqua came highly recommended for most types of indoor and outdoor activities.
Best Barefoot Running Shoes – Vibram FiveFingers V-Alpha
Overall, the Vibram FiveFingers V-Alpha was deemed a comfortable and decent minimalist shoe. It had all the right characteristics to provide the wearers with a barefoot-like experience. On the other hand, not everyone appreciated the shoe’s design and color options. But if natural foot strength and performance are what you are looking for, then the V-Alpha is a good option to help you with that.
Best Barefoot Running Shoes – Vibram FiveFingers V-Trail
The V-Trail is a minimalist off-road shoe that is suitable for runners and racers who are relatively experienced in barefoot running. It is designed to handle rough trails, including slush and muck that is usually brought about by winter conditions. The structure of this shoe is made to withstand tough use by adventurous wearers.
Best Barefoot Running Shoes – Vibram FiveFingers V-Train
The Vibram FiveFingers V-Train was generally well-received because of its style, fit and support. It was deemed very comfortable and felt light on the foot when used for extended periods. On the downside, it took some time to get used to the shoe, and its unique shape made it difficult for users to find the right size and fit. In the end, it delighted many barefoot training enthusiasts with its sturdy outsole and how it eased discomfort in the lower extremities.
Best Barefoot Running Shoes – Vibram FiveFingers Trek Ascent
Vibram took a gamble by discontinuing their hugely popular Treksport and welcomed the FiveFingers Trek Ascent. Based on the feedbacks, generally, most runners were even more impressed by the new model because of its comfortable, versatile, and barefoot ride with just enough cushioning and protection for long distance runs. The shoe is designed for summer days as it is breathable and the traction is insane. It is easily one of the most sought-after shoes in Vibram’s list of toe shoes.