Barefoot sandals are incredibly versatile – they can be used for walking, hiking, running, even water activities – all while letting your feet move naturally. In this article I’m sharing the top 10 best barefoot sandal brands that can take you anywhere.
This is based off my personal experience reviewing hundreds of barefoot shoes and brands, alongside my team of testers. I hope it helps you find your perfect barefoot sandals!
- Why I Wear Barefoot Sandals
- How To Pick A Size in Barefoot Sandals
- The Best Barefoot Sandals
- Additional barefoot sandals around the world
- Covered-Toe Barefoot Sandals
- Barefoot Sandals Without A Toe Post
- Let Barefoot Sandals Free Your Feet This Summer!
Why I Wear Barefoot Sandals
I wear barefoot sandals to preserve my long term foot health and for immediate comfort. They are unique from most sandals you find in the store because they are:
- Totally flat (zero drop)
- Foot shaped
- Securely attached to the foot
The adventure sandals I used to wear were often thick with hefty arch support. But I’ve since learned that minimalist sandals promote strength and mobility more than those other sandals. And strong and mobile feet support a pain free body!
This list focuses on my favorite unisex barefoot sandals for walking, hiking, running, and water activities. And because you may not want a thin sole at all times, we also have several options with more cushion. This article is for everyone who wants to take better care of their feet this summer!
If you are looking for stylish women’s sandals or a full list of options (including kids & no toe post sandals), check out my other barefoot sandal resources below.
How To Pick A Size in Barefoot Sandals
Everyone has unique preferences for how they want their barefoot sandals to fit, but here are a few guidelines to make it easier:
In general, sandals do not need as much extra length in front as close-toed shoes.
I often wear sandals that are about .5cm – 1cm longer than my foot, because when the sandal is open my toes can come up close to the edge without affecting their mobility. In fact, when a sandal is too long I often end up snagging the front of it on things.
After selecting the right size, the biggest factor in whether a barefoot sandal fits is if the straps are secure enough to hold my foot in place. I also pay attention to where straps cross over the foot, so I can avoid my sensitive areas. Depending on your particular foot shape or preferences, there might be certain things you also like to avoid that will vary from person to person. One of the best things you can do when choosing a size is get to know your own feet!
The Best Barefoot Sandals
Below are my top picks for the all time best barefoot sandals you can do everything in. I prioritized comfort, functionality, and durability in this list. I’ve also include the shoe materials, thickness, and places to shop them around the world. This is your one-stop-shop for everything barefoot sandals this summer!
Vegan or Leather | Sizes US Women’s 5 – Men’s 14 | 6 – 15mm Stack Height | Ships from US
Custom options available
Get 10% off your purchase with code ANYASREVIEWS2023
What I Love About Them: Hands down the best barefoot sandals out there, Shamma Sandals are everything I could ever want. They come in a range of sole thicknesses from extremely minimal (6mm) to fairly thick (15mm). And yet they are all flexible and light no matter the thickness. You also can request customizations for two-different sized feet, extra large or small sizes, different thicknesses, etc.
They’re immediately comfortable and my pairs have all lasted beautiful through tons of wear. I personally prefer the leather topped soles, they feel great on my feet and wick sweat. I wear both their thicker soled options and their thinner soles. My 3 favorites are the Elite Ibex (thick), TrailStar Maximus (medium thickness) and Warriors (thin). I take one of them with me whenever I travel!
I also make use of the power straps (works with all models except the Trailstar) because it helps them fit really securely on my low volume feet/thin ankles. With them on I feel like I can do anything in my Shammas! In fact, I love them so much we started carrying the Warrior at Anya’s Shop.
Sizing & Fit Type: They have a wide forefoot and are great for most foot types, even extra wide feet. Each strap is easily adjusted, and they fit securely both on low and high volume feet. The secure fit also makes them a good choice even for people who don’t need that extra width. because they don’t flop. Shamma sizing shows up in unisex sizing, so you’ll want to check their size guide. I am a Shamma 5.5, which converts to a US women’s 6.5. I typically wear a 6-6.5 (or EU 36-37) in most of my sandals, so this is true to size.
Shamma Sandal retailers around the world:
- Distance Runwear – Canada
- Bprimal – Australia
- Go Free Concepts – Germany
- Barefoot & More – Netherlands
That’s just a few, use Shamma’s Store Locator here to find more!
Vegan | Sizes US Women’s 6 – Men’s 14 | 8 – 12mm Stack Height | Ships from US and retailers around the world
Get 10% off your purchase with code ANYA
What I Love About Them: Earth Runners are a no fuss sandal you can take anywhere. Once you get the strap adjusted to your liking, you can slip them on and off your heel. They are really secure over the arch of the foot, and your toes are left completely free to spread out. I wear mine for just about everything – they’re perfect for hiking, camping, water activities, and they even look stylish with everyday outfits. And like Shamma, I love that you have different cushioning levels to choose from.
While Earth Runners are very well-loved among barefoot shoe wearers, the most common complaint I hear is that the strap can feel irritating between the toes at first. If you have sensitive skin or are worried about this, I recommend choosing the ergonomic lace options. Ergonomic laces can be purchased with the Lifestyle sandals in the colors Canyon Clay, Carbon, Sunset, and Cloud.
I also recommend wetting the strap and twisting it back and forth to soften, or even roll the strap into a burrito shape right in between the toes and stitching. I have sensitive skin, so these tips make a big difference for me (I only wear the Lifestyle models – the Performance models irritate my skin too much.
Sizing & Fit Type: Earth Runners have a moderately wide toe box shape, fit all foot volumes, and run true to size. They advise getting a close fit without much excess length, but some people go against that and order a half size up. This can make them more comfortable between the toes (because the toe post is a little farther away). I started out with a size 6, but am now going to replace them with a 6.5 because my feet have gotten bigger and it is making the toe post too uncomfortable.
Vegan or Leather | Sizes US Women’s 6 – Men’s 13 | 9 – 19mm Stack Height | Ships from US and retailers around the world
Use code ANYA for 10% off your purchase!
What I Love About Them: Luna Sandals have really durable outsoles that last a looong time. If you are someone who puts a lot of mileage on your shoes, something like the Luna Mono can really take you places. The soles are on the thicker side, compared to some other options here, but it translates into a longer life. The straps also are very high quality and don’t fall apart. I recommend using the Tech Strap option for a secure fit.
Luna Sandals are Justin’s (pictured above) top choice during warmer months. We carry the Luna Mono at Anya’s Shop!
Sizing & Fit Type: Luna sandals run a little bit small compared to other barefoot sandal brands, and they are narrower in the toe box than the other options above. I’d classify them as medium width. Even still, I wear the same size in Luna as I do in Shamma and Earth Runners (a women’s 6.5) – they just fit me a little smaller. You can consult their size guide for measurements and printable templates. If you use the tech strap, Luna fits both a low and high volume foot.
Luna Sandal retailers around the world:
Vegan | Sizes US Women’s 5 – Men’s 15 | 6 – 11mm Stack Height | Ships from US or EU
What I Love About Them: Xero Shoes makes a variety of practical barefoot sandals at low prices in different strap styles and different thicknesses. So you can go for a very minimal sandals with no cushion (Z Trek), or a thicker option (Z Trail) for tougher trails, longer milage, or comfort. Xero is also one of the best places to get sandals that don’t go between the toes.
One of the biggest selling points of Xero is their price point – you can get a DIY sandal kit for only $25! And ready made ones can be as low as $43. This is a great price for what you’re getting – a quality barefoot sandal. Just keep in mind that extra skinny/shallow feet might have trouble getting the thong strap sandals to fit securely (I recommend the Z Trail or Z Trek for shallow feet). And they have a 5,000 mile warranty to boot, so you can expect them to last!
Sizing & Fit Type: Xero sandals come in an average width that should fit narrow to wide feet well. The women’s are narrower than the men’s and come in different colors, otherwise they’re the same (I would love to see Xero get rid of the gendering and instead offer two widths, just saying!!)
Each model fits a little differently, but I wear a size 6 in all of them. They tend to work best for high volume feet, but low volume feet can have success in the Z Trek, Z Trail, and Jessie.
Xero sandals around the world:
If you live in Europe, you can also find Xero shoes at Mugavik Barefoot and use code ANYASREVIEWS for 5% off
Vegan & Leather | Sizes US women’s 6 – men’s 14 | 8 – 20mm Stack Height | Ships from US
What I Love About Them: Bedrock is a phenomenal adventure sandal brand built for extreme activity. The sandals are available multiple thicknesses, but lightweight, and designed to be very secure on your foot. They are flexible enough to bend, but there’s not as much ground feel as the other barefoot sandals we’ve talked about here. All Bedrock sandals are zero drop. The “3D” models have a little bit of arch support, and the rest are totally flat. These are a great option for intense hiking/rafting, or if you just want a little more shoe between you and the ground.
Sizing & Fit Type: Bedrock Sandals run true to size (sizing/shape updated Feb. 2024) and I wear a size 6 in them. They also fit an average to wide foot type. The secure strapping makes them adaptable to both low and high volume feet.
Bedrock Sandals around the world:
These are just a few, you can find physical shops in the US that carry Bedrock, as well as more online retailers around the world using Bedrock’s Store Locator
Leather | Sizes US women’s 6 – men’s 13 | 8 – 14mm Stack Height | Ships from US
You can use code ANYASREVIEWS for 7% off your order.
What I Love About Them: Toetem sandals have the widest forefoot of the options shown here, and the adjustments are all velcro and super easy to use. I also love that they are a small, family-run business with each pair handmade in their workshop!
Sizing & Fit Type:
Toetem Sandals can fit a wide variety of foot types, but in general they fit as follows:
- Average to extra wide width
- All foot volumes (thanks to the velcro straps and Metastrap option)
- Plateau toe box shape
Additional barefoot sandals around the world
Peracles (AU) – Custom sizes. Super minimalist all leather sandals that I love.
Peracles closes for a couple months in the spring (or fall for Southern Hemisphere) so plan accordingly.
Wildsole Sandals (UK)
Wildsole Sandals (UK) – Sizes UK Kids 10 to Adult 14 or custom option. Wildsole Sandals are lightweight, flexible, and really practical adventure sandals with several outsole options available.
Use code ANYASREVIEWS for 10% off
ZuZu Sandals (IL)
ZuZu Sandals (Israel) – Vegan or leather, Sizes EU 34-47. The soles on ZuZu sandals are made from recycled tires, so they feel a little heavier than other brands but they are a solid option available in 2 different stack heights.
Use code ANYA10 for 10% off
Panta Sandals (EU)
Panta Sandals (EU) – Sizes EU 37-47+. These barefoot sandals are light, comfortable, and can be worn both as a lifestyle sandal or for athletic use. They also come in children’s sizes.
A few more favorites
Nallu (EU) – Sizes EU 35-48
Pyopp Fledge (Asia) – Sizes EU 36-46
La Mexa (Mexico) -Vegan, suitable for feet measuring 23-30cm.
Tapak Outdoors (Philipines only) – To order, you must message them through their social media page.
Deliberate Life Designs (US) – Vegan, Sizes US Women’s 5 – Men’s 14. handmade to order using recycled climbing slings. They’re a great brand if you have an uncommon foot type, because they come in 5 different preset shapes and 5 different outsole options. And if none of those work, you can still choose the fully custom route. Read my in-depth review of Deliberate Life Design Sandals here.
Get 10% off your purchase with code ANYASREVIEWS
Unshoes Footwear (US) – Vegan, Sizes US Women’s 5 – Men’s 13 (some customizations available). These are really easy to take on and off because of the buckles and elastic, and they can be easily worn both for everyday and sport. The Wokova Feather shown here is my favorite model.
Get 10% off your purchase with code ANYA
Covered-Toe Barefoot Sandals
Looking for a barefoot shoe/sandal hybrid? The following are similar to a Keen style, but with a barefoot sole. They can be used for more protection while hiking or in water activities. *Some are more shoe than sandal, but I included them anyways!*
Wildling Feather – These are extremely lightweight and don’t offer much toe protection, but they function well for walking and cover some toes (they still peek out on the sides)
Xero Aqua X Sport – These are a trail/water shoe hybrid. Straight forward functionality!
Freet Zennor – Great barefoot adventure sandal from Freet. Code AR-10 gets you 10% off.
Hiitave Water Shoes – These are meshy and holey to drain water and really flexible!
Vivobarefoot Ultra – Gets restocked seasonally, should be back April/May (this photo shows them on my son, but they come in adult sizes too).
Code VBANYA15 gets you 10% off!
Zaqq QERRY & QLEAR Sandals – These are leather and seem geared more for hiking instead of water use.
Astral Loyak – These are only zero drop and flexible after removing the insole. They are also a narrow option. But great quality shoe designed for boating/water use.
Barefoot Sandals Without A Toe Post
Many of the barefoot running and hiking sandals have a toe post or thong strap. If you’re someone who doesn’t tolerate that, check out these options of barefoot sandals that do not go between the toes!
These are a few of our favorites, but for even more options head to the Complete Sandals List.
Feelgrounds Pathways (EU) – Sizes EU 35-49
Monk Sandals (EU) – Sizes EU 37-46
Saltic Trek (EU only) – Sizes EU 34-47
Let Barefoot Sandals Free Your Feet This Summer!
As you can see, there is a practical barefoot sandal for just about any activity. If you still have lingering questions (like barefoot sandals for kids), make sure you check out this Complete List of Barefoot Sandals, or you can make use of the quiz & filters on the Barefoot Shoe Finder for even more options!