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17 Best Barefoot Hiking Shoes — Everything for Homo Sapiens to Thrive

Those interested in hassle-free decisions have come to the right blogging space. No more sweet little lies in commercials — zero drop hiking boots truly work as advertised. In this guide, we will share our thoughts and experiences on what good and stylish natural footwear for hiking is. Let’s bet you will see promising results almost instantly!

Are Barefoot Hiking Boots Advantageous?

Let’s take things seriously. Although we see great results after switching from traditional to minimalist footwear, the scientific approach might be more convincing than our individual experiences:

  • According to Scientific Reports, wearing natural shoes can present mind-blowing results in the long run — an average increase in foot strength by over 55%. A six-month period with normal daily activities in mind is enough to test this variable in practice. In our opinion, the reason behind this phenomenon lies in how effectively this type of shoe raises a person’s body balance, posture, and freedom of movement.
  • PubMed Central (PMC) showcases the reliability of research and observations in tests and retests and proves the positive impact of minimalist footwear on running performance, kinematics, and kinetics.

The additional cushioning, arch support, and other stabilizing elements that are typical for contemporary running and hiking shoes have a minimal impact on injury risks and may worsen a person’s foot function. Barefoot hiking boots, in turn, provide the necessary flexibility and help people quickly adapt to ever-changing grounds, sands, and other surfaces they feel during hiking journeys.

Think about the way you walk — rear foot striking with an impact on the heels is the most typical variant. When zero drop hiking boots come to the playground, the scenario shifts to landing positions with a better distribution of pressure between the middle and front part of the foot. Reflecting on the experiences of our team members, It is clear how barefoot models absorb the shock from the surface and lessen the strain on the heels.

The advantage of Barefoot Shoes over regular shoes
The advantage of Barefoot Shoes over regular shoes

Let’s define more reasons to prefer barefoot hiking shoes to traditional solutions:

  • Reduced risk of injuries — say “no” to hot spots, blisters, and other health-related problems caused by the wrong pair of traditional footwear.
  • Environmentally friendly — of course, numerous brands produce vegan and sustainable products for hiking. With this statement though, we would like to highlight how crucial footwear’s impact on the surroundings is. Compared to the old days in classic hiking boots of heavyweight constructions and with high volumes, in-house hiking enthusiasts confirmed less trail erosion while wearing minimalist alternatives.
  • Weather-adaptable — in nature, several yuck-like scenarios are possible, especially if you have a pair of shoes that can absorb water easily. Not only does your skin get overhydrated and smell, but it also harms the thermoregulation processes of your body. On the other hand, barefoot hiking shoes are lightweight and made of breathable materials, which helps them dry faster and more efficiently.

Strengthen Your Feet in the Best Barefoot Hiking Shoes

One thing is for sure — there is a perfect pair of zero drop hiking boots that will satisfy your demands to the fullest. We’ve had hands-on experience with the majority of the brands listed in this rating of exclusive and lightweight minimalist shoes for men and women.

Before we get started, it is crucial to determine your actual needs in the market:

  • Consider must-have features of the target pair of barefoot hiking shoes. Take into account your future traveling route and what areas you will navigate through. We recommend paying attention to highly breathable solutions for territories like the West Coast Trail in Canada. Thin-soled will also be sufficient.
  • If you are a fan of landscapes like the Narrows Canyon in the USA, waterproof barefoot designs will be game-changing.

Once your preparations are over, don’t hesitate to reap the benefits of barefoot hiking boots. Here are some reputable brands with high-end manufacturing approaches to take into consideration. Please note that they are described in a non-hierarchical manner. Onwards!

Barefoot Hiking Shoes

1. Baer Shoes

Bär Barefoot Shoes

Pros:

  • Regular catalog updates and new design releases
  • 100% toe-freedom
  • Zero-drop comfort
  • High-quality and sustainable materials
  • Lucrative vouchers for referral program members

Cons:

  • The ratio of models available for men and women isn’t equal

Despite how heavy some of the models from Bär Shoes look, our team has learned that their appearances are deceptive. Instead, it is as simple as ABC to get addicted to the feeling of comfort and freedom they offer. For genuine barefoot experiences, be sure to exclude transition models with medium volumes — seek zero-drop designs on the site.


2. Koel Shoes

Koel Barefoot Shoes

Pros:

  • Eye-catching designs for boys and girls
  • Designed with genuine care for kids’ outdoor adventures
  • Newsletter discounts with premium-class offers

Cons:

  • Expensive price tags for barefoot hiking boots
  • Some models are not available

Inspire your kids to walk freely with the barefoot hiking shoes from Koel Shoes. It is an eco-friendly and natural solution for parents who take care of their children’s feet — no risk of toe deformation and other issues caused by too narrow and small footwear. The advertised minimalist products show off the best manufacturing practices — water-resistant, durable, and breathable solutions at your disposal.


3. Ballop Shoes

Ballop Barefoot Shoes

Pros:

  • Perfect as-skin fit
  • Multipurpose footwear for any age
  • Lightweight designs
  • Customizable layouts

Cons:

  • Few truly zero-drop models

This store’s catalog will work for people with medium-wide feet. Although there are no extra wide toe box designs, other performance parameters are well-tuned and polished. For light trail trails, we suggest its water sports collection of minimalist footwear.


4. Earth Runners

Earth Barefoot Runners

Pros:

  • Vegan-friendly designs
  • US-manufactured
  • Trail running sandals
  • Free ergonomic and secure laces
  • Complimentary shopping experiences — hiking apparel and accessories

Cons:

  • Expensive yet durable options

Don’t be surprised to see natural sandals here — they can work perfectly for hiking in dry and hot regions. It is clear that conquering rocky mountains in such footwear isn’t a good idea, but sandy beaches and nearby routes are where barefoot hiking shoes from Earth Runners will shine. With hundreds of reviews per model, it is simple to look for a needle in a haystack and find it. 


5. Happy Little Soles

Happy Little Soles Shoes

Pros:

  • Loyalty points for a more successful investment
  • Secure payments available
  • Thousands of positive reviews from customers

Cons:

  • Free returns for UK orders only and under certain conditions

Its collection includes barefoot models for any age, but we can’t help but admire the variety and quality of natural shoes for children. On the Happy Little Soles website, the selection of footwear for dynamic growth and safe daily activities is second to none. It is great how the catalog offers snow, waterproof, walking, and vegan boots at a nice cost.


6. Whitin Shoes

Whitin Barefoot Shoes

Pros:

  • Machine-wash-friendly products
  • Non-slip experiences thanks to high-quality outer materials (like rubber)
  • Impressive ground feedback thanks to thin soles

Cons:

  • It is crucial to be attentive to its size charts — there were adjustments made not so long ago

This Amazon’s brand is a bestseller at affordable prices. You can get a top-notch pair of shoes for trail running and hiking at less than fifty dollars. The color palette is incredibly eye-catching and doesn’t stick to neutral and universal tones only. Our team loves how customized the company’s designs are — army green and camo green options are wonderful samples of minimalist footwear with wide toe boxes.


7. Be Lenka Shoes

Be Lenka Barefoot Shoes

Pros:

  • A huge variety of men’s and women’s boots, suitable for hiking
  • Regular discounts for popular and new positions on the website
  • High water and wear resistance
  • Vegan options are available too

Cons:

  • Few sizes of the target model might be currently available in stock

Although we couldn’t test every model listed at the Be Lenka store, our hands-on experience with designs from the York, Ranger, and Blizzard collections has been spectacular. For people interested in light and demanding walks in the forest and nature, heading out in such a pair of shoes will be a wise move. Despite being hiking solutions, numerous products feel like breathable slippers thanks to their super lightweightness.


8. Coozit Shoes

Coozit Barefoot Shoes

Pros:

  • Water-resistant perfection
  • Top-notch designs for all-day confidence
  • Regular sales
  • Free e-book for people wondering how to improve their health with barefoot shoes

Cons:

  • No dress shoes and boots

These minimalist work boots blew our minds when we discovered their special feature — they are capable of withstanding glass, rocks, and other hazards without difficulty. Since such walking obstacles aren’t typical for classic working environments, Coozit’s models will stand out even more.


9. Barefoot Inc.

Barefoot Inc Shoes

Pros:

  • An amazing assortment of hiking footwear for ladies and gentleman
  • Auxiliary accessories for trips at a nice cost
  • A variety of secure payment options

Cons:

  • Its assortment relies on the production capacity of original manufacturers

Although this store isn’t an original manufacturer of the products, it offers a unique selection of barefoot hiking shoes in one place. It is a convenient solution for those who appreciate prompt yet well-thought-out decisions. The catalog includes models that will work for low trail, mono trips in desert canyons, and travels in water-enriched environments. One of the most eye-catching barefoot designs is the Vibram V-Trek for women — toe-sock-like layouts with natural convenience.


10. Varuste.net

Varuste Barefoot Shoes

Pros:

  • All-in-one efficiency
  • Zero drop barefoot work shoes
  • Affordable prices

Cons:

  • No dress shoes in the catalog

If you wonder how to check the assortment of top-notch manufacturers in the market, the Varuste.net store is the answer. With thousands of exclusive models for working, walking, hiking, and relaxing, it is a not-to-miss shopping station for successful and cost-efficient purchases.

Barefoot Hiking Boots


11. Lems Boots

Lems Barefoot Boots

Pros:

  • Fast shipping and secure packaging
  • Free returns for US orders
  • Detailed and in-depth descriptions per model on the site
  • Great care and maintenance tips for the brand’s products

Cons:

  • The variety of sizes is impressive, but the most popular options are commonly out of stock

We love the lasting quality of Lems Shoes — they will survive complex hiking routes for several seasons in a row. Their soles aren’t the thinnest variants available in the market, but this footwear still offers a roomy toe box and zero drop confidence. At the end of the day, their products are ideal for people seeking a smooth transition from traditional to barefoot comfort.


12. Groundies Boots

Groundies Barefoot Boots

Pros:

  • Stylish designs for any demanding taste
  • Effective maintenance and storage recommendations from the brand
  • Vegan shoes for male and female fashionistas

Cons:

  • This footwear’s fit isn’t true to the size — the brand itself suggests buying a size up

If you wonder what designs will work for trail running and hiking at the same time, look no further — its All Terrain High designs are worth it. Our team loves these zero drop hiking boots for their durability, multi-terrain soles, and quick-dry outers.


13. Freet Boots

Freet Barefoot Boots

Pros:

  • Perfect to keep your feet warm and healthy
  • Excellent water resistance
  • Snug and durable lining

Cons:

  • Few models sufficient for hiking
  • No extra wide-toe box designs

If you are searching for all-year and winter footwear, the Freet collection comes in handy. Exploring muddy and hard-to-pass-through terrains won’t kill your shoes from the store. A special sole design offers an exclusive barefoot experience. In addition, the use of sustainable and eco-friendly materials elevates them over cheaper alternatives in the market.


14. Softstar Boots

Softstar Barefoot Boots

Pros:

  • Next-gen materials that result in stain, slash, water, and abrasion-resistant minimalist footwear for hiking
  • US production
  • Handmade goodies that align with international quality and barefoot standards

Cons:

  • The limited assortment of hiking boots

One of the features that distinguish Softstar Shoes from others is puncture resistance. No matter what regions you come across during your hiking journeys, the qualities of SuperFabric will protect your feet in minimalist footwear. They are easy to clean, breathable, and quick to dry. What else do you need for a hassle-free and comfortable hiking experience? We tested the presented traits in practice and are confident in how accurate the description on the platform is.


15. Proalp Boots

Proalp Barefoot Boots

Pros:

  • A nice palette of sizes for male and female hiking enthusiasts
  • Multifunctional mountaineering boots

Cons:

  • Proalp footwear archives might be confusing for current purchases

Another non-classic barefoot solution on the list is what we call a great transitioning move. It provides medium support for your feet yet guarantees freedom of movement and comfort. High- and low-ankle designs come in numerous tones and will work for casual walking as well.


16. Vivobarefoot Boots

Vivobarefoot Barefoot Boots

Pros:

  • A beneficial referral program
  • Great and secure ground feedback from shoes for kids, women, and men
  • Multifunctional footwear, efficient for hiking, strength training, and fitness at the same time

Cons:

  • The price range is above average

After testing the longevity and efficiency of Vivobarefoot tracker forest shoes in practice, we understand why it is the number one choice for so many hiking enthusiasts. The Ultra III designs are marvelous for individuals interested in extremely breathable footwear — great for hot areas with high and low humidity, indeed.


17. Xero Shoes Boots

Xero Barefoot Shoes

Pros:

  • Advanced and patented footwear production technologies, including FeelTrue soles
  • Beautiful and functional barefoot hiking shoes for natural movement

Cons:

  • Be attentive to choosing the right store, depending on your shipping address — there are EU and US online marketplaces under the Xero Shoes roof. What’s more, there are fake websites to avoid too

Hiking footwear can be visually appealing too. Bright and vivid tones for both men’s and women’s shoes will inspire your shopping mood. On the website, every model comes in an abundance of colors and sizes. We like how people are willing to share their experiences and reviews — it simplifies decision-making a lot. Our team recommends waterproof designs in the Ridgeway collection.


FAQs About Barefoot Hiking Boots

Are socks a good idea if I go for barefoot shoes?

Don’t let the term barefoot confuse you — it is about the construction of the target model itself rather than the demand to be barefoot in footwear. Overall, it is up to you and what seems more comfortable. There is no reason why socks wouldn’t be a perfect match for minimalist footwear.

Is arch support characteristic of minimalist footwear?

This feature is absent from the list of natural shoe traits. No need to panic though — it is for the better since it lets your feet function qualitatively on their own and without artificial restrictions. Although a lot depends on your current situation and demands, a healthy pair of shoes comes without additional cushioning, toe springs, and elevated heels. In our experience, those with wide-toe boxes or so-called toe socks will work exceptionally.

How can I tell whether a pair of shoes is natural?

Online shopping doesn’t let you examine and fit them first. To solve the puzzle, pay attention to models with the thinnest sole possible (not more than 3 millimeters or 0.11 inches. Since they don’t restrict movement, their shape is flexible and can be rolled up in different directions. What’s more, they don’t have any high volumes.

Wrapping It Up

What are your impressions from this adventurous journey in the universe of barefoot hiking boots? The more natural and flexible shape promotes a better ground sense and body balance, encouraging a firmer foot function and structure — no more deformations and pain caused by narrow toe box shoes. 

We don’t mind wearing zero drop hiking boots casually. The temptation is irresistible — so comfy and cloud-like they are. Whenever you are getting ready, don’t hesitate to buy your ideal partner and health-maintaining tool. Follow the tips from this guide to choose the right pair of barefoot hiking boots.

Comments

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