WHICH TYPE OF BAREFOOT SHOE IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
You might have been eying up the barefoot, minimalist or “birthday” shoes being worn around you, but what’s stopping you from taking the plunge? Well, some of them are kind of weird looking, aren’t they?
Actually, now is the perfect time to look into this. The range of options is at an all-time high, and barefoot is creeping into offices, cinemas, nightclubs – they’re everywhere, and many don’t even look like barefoot shoes at all.
Barefoot designers have realized that versatility is what we need. Because once your feet fall in love with minimalist, they refuse to feel good in tight, stiff, clumpy footwear anymore.
And if you’re a woman wondering if there are any decent professional and stylish options available, you won’t be disappointed. However, there are no barefoot platforms, kitten heels or stilettos.
If only that were possible! Save those for special occasions, because the benefits of barefoot outweigh those of heels. You’ll thoroughly enjoy your beautifully strong body, enhanced balance, delightfully healthy feet and the feel of being barefoot, we’re sure!
If you work in the city and simply must look dapper at all times, there are some great shoes you might just love.
If you’re a man, there are shoes that nobody will notice are barefoot. Check out The Primal Professional’s FER Cap-Toe Oxfords or ZETONE Plain-Toe Oxfords. They’re resoleable and you can make the most of their full re-crafting service whenever you need to. They’re perfect for weddings, funerals, and the attorneys’ office.
LEMs Shoes Nine2fives are more casual, but they’re still office worthy and super comfortable, naturally. VIVOBAREFOOT Ra II Leather is also a lovely alternative to The Primal Professional’s Oxfords if you need something a little more informal. They have a nice desert boot style. VIVOBAREFOOT’s Lisbon, Bannister, and Porto Leather are certainly worth checking out too.
For women, there are more and more great options out there as the designers rack their brains with the aim of making us happy. It’s a challenge, because most of the pretty shoes we’re used to buying damage our feet. So what have they come up with?
VIVOBAREFOOT’s Jing Jing Slip-On, first of all, in 12 different colors. Black/Hyde, Midnight Blue and Bronze could all work rather nicely at the office.
VIVOBAREFOOT Women’s Nancy Shoe is perfect if you’re vegan and want to avoid leather. It’s available in lemon and taupe with faux suede and faux leather options.
Then there’s Merrell Women’s Barefoot “Life Zest Glove Flat” and the “Whirl Glove Slip-On Shoe”, which comes in 4 colors. They’re like a mix between a barefoot shoe, ballet pump and a brogue shoe. The “Mimix Haze Flat” is another similar alternative, with a more casual feel. Very modern.
If you just want something simple, the Mary Jane flat is a timeless zero drop shoe alternative. Could they work at your office environment?
There are lots of casual options for both sexes when it comes to barefoot casual wear. Women should definitely check out VIVOBAREFOOT Women’s Penny Walking Shoe, the 200039 Walking Shoe in Pink/Turquoise, their 200040 Slingback Sandal, the Grace Boot, Motus Cross Fit Shoe, vibrant blue 200035 Walking Shoe, beautiful leather Pandora Walking Shoe sandal, the Penny Canvas Vegan Flat, and Nufoot Ballet Barefoot Slippers.
If you’re a guy, watch out for the VIVOBAREFOOT Men’s WP RA II Classic Casual Oxford, the Soft Lion of Juda Casual Slip-On Shoe, the Gobi II M Classic Casual Winter Shoe, the Soft Kemba Ankle Boot, the 300022 Fashion Sneaker, Merrell Men’s Electro Barefoot Shoe in Molten Lava and the OTZ Shoes Espadrille Wax Canvas shoe.
Running and Yoga
There are two types of minimalist running shoes:
Barefoot running shoes. They all feature “zero drop” from heel to toe, and provide the bare minimum protection so you feel like you’re wearing nothing. People with heavy pronation may struggle to adjust to the lack of arch support off the bat.
Minimalist running shoes. These hydrids help runners ease into barefoot running with a heel drop of around 4-8mm (as opposed to the tradition shoe’s 10-12mm) to aid with midfoot or forefoot strike. Some offer stability posting for overpronators.
The New Balance Minimus 10v2 Trail shoes have been rated highly for traction, weight, comfort, and ground feeling by real trail runners. The Inov8 Trailroc 245 and the Merrell Trail Glove 2 were also popular with trail runners, protecting the foot and providing good traction. Check out the Vibram FiveFingers TrekSport and Nike Free 5.0 for road running. Vibram Women’s V-Run Running Shoe come in some awesome colors.
Yoga should always be done barefoot, so barefoot shoes are perfect. Dealing with slippery mats and intense sessions is so much easier when you’ve got a better grip! Check out the Freely Barefoot Water Skin Shoes Aqua Socks or just say namaste in your Vibrams.
When buying barefoot shoes, make sure they fit like a glove. You don’t want any extra space in the toe pockets or around the heel.
Minimalist shoes can be worn with or without socks, and most are machine-washable so you won’t have to worry about odor so much.
Lace systems offer better access to toe pockets and accommodate high arches.
Barefoot shoes don’t have to be weird. Try out some of the many styles, and let us know how you like them.