The 10 Best Barefoot Sandals for Hiking, Running, & Walking

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A photo collage of ten barefoot sandal brands - Earth Runners, Laboo Leather, Luna Sandals, Shamma Sandals, Paisley Running Sandals, Xero Shoes, Chala Sandals, Bedrock Sandals, Unshoes Footwear, and Deliberate Life Designs with the text "The 10 Best Barefoot Sandals - Anya's Reviews" superimposed

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 all time 10 best barefoot sandal brands that can take you anywhere.

This is based off my personal experience reviewing hundreds of barefoot shoes and brands. I hope it helps you find your perfect barefoot sandals!

Why I Wear Barefoot Sandals

A side by side comparison of two sandals held up by hands. On the left is a Chacos sandal with a contoured foot bed and arch support, shown with a red line and a red X underneath. On the right is an Earth Runners sandal that is completely flat with no arch support or contouring whatsoever. This is annotated with a straight green line and green check mark underneath.

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:

  1. Totally Flat (not even a tiny heel)
  2. Thin & Flexible
  3. Foot Shaped

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!

Learn more about barefoot shoes and how to transition to them here.

This list focuses on my favorite unisex barefoot sandals for walking, hiking, running, and water activities. 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.

Psst! I use the terms “minimalist” and “barefoot” interchangeably in this article.

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.

Learn more about how to measure your feet and use a size chart here!

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 10 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 barefoot features in this list. Price, materials, and stack height are listed under each brand in case you are looking specifically for Vegan or Affordable barefoot sandals, or a certain thickness (some are ultra thin, others are more cushioned).

Also note that there are some really amazing barefoot sandals available in Europe and elsewhere that I left off because they don’t ship worldwide. Check out the Barefoot Shoe Finder for even more sandal options that ship to your region of the world.

Shamma Sandals

a top down view of a pair of feet standing on rock wearing Shamma Warrior Sandals for hiking, running, and walking

Shamma Sandals | Vegan or Leather | $45 – $125 | Sizes US Women’s 5 – Men’s 14 | 6 – 15mm Stack Height | Ships from US

Some 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.

They’re quite strappy, so I don’t wear these for looking chic (except for the Trailstar, those are cute), but for activity they’re perfect. I bring my Warriors with me on most trips because they never fail – in fact, I love them so much we started carrying them at Anya’s Shop!

You can learn more about Shamma Sandals in my previous reviews.

Sizing & Fit Type: They have a wide forefoot and are great for 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 US men’s sizes, so you’ll want to check their size guide if you need a women’s. 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.

Earth Runners

A close up view of a pair of feet wearing Earth Runners Barefoot earthing sandals in tribal print submerged in water with sunshine reflecting off

Earth Runners | Vegan | $78 – $93 | Sizes US Women’s 6 – Men’s 14 | 8 – 12mm Stack Height | Ships from US

Get 10% off your purchase with code ANYASREVIEWSER10

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.

The most common complaint 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. These straps are softer and a little bit stretchy, which does compromise their sturdiness and security just a bit. But it makes them way more comfortable for everyday wear.

If you get a classic lace on the Lifestyle or Performance sandals I recommend wetting it and twisting it back and forth to help soften it, or roll the strap into a burrito shape right at the toe post so it feels thinner there. I have sensitive skin and only wear the Lifestyle models – the Performance models irritate my skin too much (and I don’t notice much difference in performance).

Earth Runners come in a variety of thicknesses, which means you can find something perfect whether you want a true barefoot feel or a little more cushion. I loved the extra cushion of the Alpha (12mm) when I was new to barefoot shoes). A few years later I switched to the Primal Lifestyle sandals (8mm) and now I absolutely love the thin sole.

For more in-depth info about Earth Runners, read my review of them!

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.

Luna Sandals

Luna Sandals mono Winged barefoot sandals for hiking and walking

Luna Sandals | Vegan or Leather | $70 – $130 | Sizes US Women’s 6 – Men’s 13 | 9 – 19mm Stack Height | Ships from US or UK

You can have out-of-stock sandals made to order in their USA shop!

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.

UK customers can order Luna Sandals from this shop.

Xero Shoes

Top down view of a pair of feet out in nature wearing Xero Z Treks in black

Xero Sandals | Vegan | $25 – $110 | Sizes US Women’s 5 – Men’s 15 | 6 – 11mm Stack Height | Ships from US or EU

If you live in Europe, you can also find Xero shoes at Mugavik Barefoot and use code ANYASREVIEWS for 5% off

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.

You can read my in-depth Zero Z Trek review here!

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.


A close up of a pair of feet wearing brown Peracles Footwear barefoot sandals, one of the best minimalist sandals available, custom made from kangaroo leather

Leather | $150 | Fully Custom Sizes | 5mm Stack Height | Ships from AU

Peracles closes for a couple months in the spring (or fall for Southern Hemisphere) so plan accordingly.

What I Love About Them: Peracles Footwear is a small Australian operation that custom makes every order to your exact shape and measurements. I’ve seen many barefoot sandals that look like this, but Peracles takes the simple leather huarache to another level. You might think the leather wouldn’t be very practical but they are secure, durable, and comfortable. Definitely one of the best truly barefoot sandals I’ve tried.

While I don’t recommend them if you need cushion, if you want a very minimalist sandal Peracles can handle just about any activity you throw at them. They are made to your shape and size, and the leather conforms to your foot quickly. They are designed for lots of mileage and because they are fully leather you can adjust and repair as needed.

Sizing & Fit Type: These are custom, so will fit any foot width and shape. Even low volume feet should have no problem adjusting the straps to be secure and comfortable.

Deliberate Life Designs

A top down view of a pair of feet standing on concrete wearing Deliberate Life Designs custom sandals in green

Deliberate Life Designs | Vegan | $89 – $129 | Sizes US Women’s 5 – Men’s 14+ | 7 – 12mm Stack Height | Ships from US

Larger sizes available as a custom order.

Get 10% off your purchase with code ANYASREVIEWS

What I Love About Them: Deliberate Life Designs (DLD) sandals are 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. Because this can be information overload, I typically recommend DLD to people who know exactly what they want in a sandal.

I love how durable Deliberate Life Design sandals are. But for how durable the straps are, they still feel comfortable on foot. I appreciate that the toe post is a thinner material between the toes – there is no discomfort there. These sandals come with an additional tech strap that I prefer to use for extra security, even though it makes them look rather bulky. I can’t complain when they are both comfortable and extremely functional! They do everything the bigger barefoot sandal brands do but they also come in unique colors, shapes, and sizes.

Read my in-depth review of Deliberate Life Design Sandals here.

Sizing & Fit Type: My DLD sandals are custom, and so they fit my foot type perfectly. I have not tried their preset shapes, but they have printable templates for them to help you find the right one. With all the options, Deliberate Life Design barefoot sandals should work for all foot shapes, widths, and volumes.

Chala Sandals

Close up of angled view of Chala Huarache Sandals being worn.

Chala Sandals | Vegan or Leather | €60 – €120 | Sizes EU 36-47+ | 3 – 8mm thick | Ships from EU

Custom sizes available

Get 5% off your purchase with code 93D5B5E9

What I Love About Them: Chala makes extremely minimal sandals that feel like going barefoot. They are also an affordable option (more so if you live in Europe), and they take up next to no space in a travel bag. And yet the materials are high quality and durable. There is a bit of a learning curve with tying Chala Classic sandals. It took me a few tries to get them secure. After that they were very comfortable and easy to slip on and off, but I prefer them for road walking and running. When hiking on uneven terrain, my foot strains against the straps and they cut into me a little bit. They are a favorite for barefoot purists who need just a teeny bit of protection.

Read my in-depth Chala review here.

Sizing & Fit Type: Chala sandals fit average to wide feet best. They are also extremely adaptable to any foot volume. The sizing is true to size, and they have a size chart with measurements to guide you.

Unshoes Footwear

A pair of feet standing on grass wearing Unshoes Footwear Wokova Feather barefoot sandals in black

Unshoes Footwear | Vegan | $64 – $106 | Sizes US Women’s 5 – Men’s 13 | 8mm Stack Height | Ships from US

Customizations available

Get 10% off your purchase with code ANYA

What I Love About Them: Unshoes sandals is another brand that offers practical barefoot sandals at affordable prices. They 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. I have tried all Unshoes sandal models and my favorite is the Wokova Feather – it has a thin, minimal sole and the strapping fits my foot type best. They have been great pool and lakeside barefoot sandals for me!

Sizing & Fit Type: Unshoes typically work best for a higher volume foot. I have low volume feet and so I have to wear the straps tight or else my foot slides around. The Pah Tempe and Wokova are the best for low volume feet, but you might consider getting the Pah Tempe in a custom thinner strap if you have small feet (I have the regular strap and they look ginormous on my feet). They are true to size and have a wide forefoot shape. I wear a size 6 in Unshoes Sandals. You can also create a customized sandal by choosing from 6 shape templates, outsole, footbed, and toe strap placement.

Bedrock Sandals

A close up side view of a pair of feet wearing burgundy Bedrock Sandals, the Cairn minimalist sandal model

Bedrock Sandals | Vegan & Leather | $78 – $130 | Sizes | 9 – 16mm Stack Height | Ships from US

What I Love About Them: Bedrock is a phenomenal adventure sandal brand built for extreme activity. The sandals are thick, 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. Mine are the Cairn Adventure model.

You can find a really useful Comparison Guide to the different Bedrock models here.

Sizing & Fit Type: Bedrock Sandals run a little bit small and I wear a size 7 in them. They also fit a slightly narrower foot type, so my toes come up to the very edges. The secure strapping makes them adaptable to both low and high volume feet.

Laboo Leather

A top down view of a pair of feet standing on concrete wearing black Laboo Leather barefoot sandals

Laboo Leather | Leather | $89 – $105 | Sizes EU 35 – 45 | 6.5mm Stack Height | Ships from EU & US

What I Love About Them: These barefoot sandals from Laboo Leather are special to me because I helped design the shape of them! Botond, owner of Laboo, was originally making sandals with a more tapered foot shape and a small heel. I loved his work, so I asked for a custom pair (shown above) with a wider foot shape and zero drop sole. The relationship blossomed and these barefoot sandals are now available in his Etsy shop (EU) and in my own Anya’s Shop (US).

These sandals are fully leather, so I must admit that I don’t like taking them in water. But they fit securely enough that they can be used for hiking, walking, and running. They also can be worn as a fashion sandal. The straps are all fully adjustable (you can cut off the ankle wrap if you don’t like it), and they are a dream to wear.

Sizing & Fit Type: Laboo Leather sandals run a little small. I wear an EU 37 in them. They have a wide forefoot shape, and should fit both high and low volume feet. Some people with narrow ankles reported that it’s tricky to get the back tie secure enough – otherwise these are a home run for most foot types.

Runner Up – Panta Sandals

Panta barefoot big kid sandals

Panta Sandals | Vegan or Leather | €79 – 89 | Sizes EU 37 – 47+ | Ships from EU

Panta is the only one on this list that doesn’t ship worldwide, but I wanted to include them for my European readers. They are a great alternative to Earth Runners if those are too expensive to ship to your location. These barefoot sandals are light, comfortable, and can be worn both as a lifestyle sandal or for athletic use.

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!*

A close up of a single foot stepping on the rocky shore of a body of water wearing Sole Runner FX Training sandals in red and brown

Sole Runner FX Trainer – These ship from Germany and are a high quality sandal built for outdoor adventuring.

A top down view of a pair of feet standing on concrete wearing Wildling Shoes Forest Feather barefoot sandal made of green microfiber material

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)

A close up of a foot mid step on rock outdoors wearing the Xero Shoes Aqua X Sport water sandal shoe hybrid

Xero Aqua X Sport – These are a trail/water shoe hybrid. Straight forward functionality!

Closed toe barefoot sandal from Freet Barefoot

Freet Zennor – Great barefoot adventure sandal from Freet. Code AR-10 gets you 10% off.

A product photo of the Hiitave barefoot water sandal shoe hybrid in grey

Hiitave Water Shoes – I don’t know too much about these, but they look like a good affordable option. Check inside for a removable insole that might have a heel lift.

A close up of a pair of feet standing in shallow water on rocks wearing blue Vivobarefoot Ultra Bloom barefoot water shoe sandals

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 VBANYA10 gets you 10% off!

Saguaro neoprene adult barefoot water shoes

Saguaro – These neoprene shoes can be used as a water shoe, but I have only ever used them as running shoes. Decent shoe for the price! Read my full review here

Use code ANYASREVIEWS for 15% off

A close up product photo of a pair of black and red Zaqq Qerry water hiking sandals with a white background

Zaqq QERRY & QLEAR Sandals – These are leather and seem geared more for hiking instead of water use.

A close up side view of a single navy blue Astral Loyak water shoe with a white background

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 Top Down One sandal on, one sandal off

Feelgrounds Pathways (EU) – $89 – Sizes EU 35-49

Monk Sandals

Monk Sandals (EU) – $50 – Sizes EU 37-46

Top down view of a pair of feet out in nature wearing Xero Z Treks in black

Xero Shoes (US) – $60-$80 – Sizes US Women’s 5 – Men’s 15

Click here for Xero Shoes EU

Saltic Sandals Teva dupe

Saltic Trek (EU only) – $60 – Sizes EU 34-47

Unshoes Pah Tempe

Unshoes Pah Tempe (US) – $74-$101 – Sizes US 5-12. The Uinta can also be worn without the toe loop – review here. Use code ANYA for 10%

A side view of a pair of feet standing on concrete wearing Wildling Shoes Forest Feather barefoot summer sandals in green microfiber

Wildling Feather (EU & US) – Sizes EU 36-48 . Read my Wilding review here!

The Best Barefoot Sandals Review Conclusion!

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!

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68 thoughts on “The 10 Best Barefoot Sandals for Hiking, Running, & Walking”

  1. I’ve been looking for a Keen replacement. Thanks for the links to those!
    Side note: some types of leather can handle getting wet without ruining them. I have Drifter’s Aventuras and they’ve held up extremely well even in saltwater. Waterproofing everything first keeps them from taking forever to dry too.

    1. Thank you! It makes sense (Saltwater Sandals), but I once ruined a pair of leather Birkenstock in my pre-barefoot days so I’ve been nervous ever since!

      1. You’re welcome 🙂
        And thank you! Your articles and resources on foot health helped my mom go from barely able to walk around the grocery store at 60 to being able to do 10 mile hikes at 70!

  2. Unshoes are fantastic. They are really durable. One pair will last me for several summers with nearly constant wear. I love also that they are completely waterproof, and if they get dirty, they can be washed and air-dried. That makes them great for travel.

    I personally like the Pah Tempe best, because I cannot tolerate having anything between my big and second toes.

    Note that Unshoes offers a “custom” option that allows you to pick among several sole shapes. For me, this is critical, because my feet are very wide and my toes are relatively straight across, so that my fifth metatarsals hang off the sides of most sandals (very uncomfortable).

    1. Oh thank you so much for reminding me about the custom sole options, I will be sure to add that to the article. Glad you are loving your Unshoes!

  3. What are the two sandals in the upper right hand corner of the title image?
    I have the xero z-trek sandals, but I feel like I can’t get a snug enough fit, so I want ones with a toe strap.

  4. You forgot Wildling sandals. I love mine! They are comfortable for people who like super thin and flexible soles and I think they look nice when dressed up.

    1. I guess I don’t think of the Feather as an adventure sandal…but I admit I used to think that about all my Wildling shoes and now Tanukis are my favorite hiking shoes!

  5. hi! I purchased EarthRunners last summer based on your reviews. I love almost everything about them, but can’t seem to get the straps adjusted well. It seems to either be pulling too tight between my toes or too loose on the heel.

    Do you think a different sandal is best or have I just not figured out how to adjust them well enough?

    1. It’s possible you haven’t landed on the sweet spot yet, have you checked out their resources on how to adjust? But some people never end up liking them, so if you’ve done everything and they’re still not right then I would check out Shamma sandals.

    2. Deliberate Life Design has a new lacing pattern- does away with the buckle and is super secure, but I can slip them on and off without readjusting. Takes a little longer to get them adjusted initially, but once you find it they stay right there. I highly recommend trying it out!

      I agree the sheer number of options can be a little intimidating but I found their Instagram posts to have a good amount of info to get started. I currently wear Intuitions with a SVIG footbed- I found the SVIG less dense and super comfy – if you don’t need the superior wet grip of the vibram footbed it’s a perfect option on the Intuition for something a little more casual/daily wear than the other trail oriented styles (and SVIG the dry grip is great, no slipping around there). The vibram footbed density is a little harder, but the wet and dry grip on your foot is phenomenal- def my go to for trail sandals.

  6. Any chance you have reviews for a slip on shoe? I really miss the ease of birks but cannot wear them any more. I have a no shoes in the house policy and really like having something hands free to slip on.

  7. I am a big advocate of the Xero shoes Z-Trek and Z-Trail. I own both, as does my SO. They are rock solid, extremely comfortable, and look like normal sandals! The price is amazing too, and, you can purchase them from other retailers that might have a more generous return policy if you want to buy a few in different sizes and see what works.

    10/10 recommend for most people.

  8. FWIW, as comfortable as the Shammas I tried out were otherwise, their various Elite lacing system sandals do not work well with feet that are wide/flatter in the arch. You end up standing *on* the strap anchor and it’s too stiff to be comfortable. They can make custom sandals with the strap anchoring points out up to 1/8″ each (so 1/4″ more between the two total) and that might be enough to make things work, but it costs more so I ended up not trying it out. The looping strap system like they use on their Cruzers had no comfort issues, the reason I sent that pair back was completely unrelated.

    Ended up going with Bedrock Cairn Adventure even though they were thicker than I wanted because I could actually try them on at REI. So far no complaints and they’ve actually got more ground feel than I was expecting which is nice. (At the time, Luna was in-between providers for their Origen soles, which I was and still am fascinated by, otherwise…)

    1. Hi Becky,

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience! You addressed the main hesitation I’ve been having about the Shamma Elite line — thus saving me the trouble of ordering and then returning a pair 🙂

      Any chance you (or anyone else with wide/flatter arches) have had experience with Earth Runners? Seems we’d be stepping on a LOT of strapping material…though if the material is soft and not too thick, maybe it’s not a problem…?

      Thanks again!


      1. Hi Elaine,

        I like to say, “Once you go Earth Runners, you never go back.” I do indeed have wide, flat (low-volume) feet. I have been basically living in Earth Runners for 11 months now, and just ordered my third pair (for variety). I will get a fourth when the one I want comes out.

        In barefoot shoes, I wear anything from size 41 to size 44, and in Earth Runners my perfect size is W11/M9. I have never had ANY issue whatsoever with feeling straps or grounding plugs from beneath the sole. I frequently walk up to 60 miles a week in mine, and that is only the exercise miles. I run and cycle in them as well. I could not possibly recommend them more highly. I tell everyone it is the one shoe I cannot do without, and they shouldn’t either! In fall and winter I just add toe socks. :))

        I hope you try Earth Runners and love them. They have been an absolute game-changer for me. No more Morton’s Neuroma, and no other pain in feet, knees, hips, or back. All gone.

        May you enjoy happy, healthy, joy-full feet,


      2. Rather belated answer, but I’m currently trying out a pair of Earth Runners and figured I’d comment now that I actually *can*.

        So with the instep strap in its usual arrangement (down one hole and back up the other) the sandals were reasonably comfortable (arch was bumping up against the straps some, but not problematically so and I expect it would break in with use) but the heel was rotating inward rather annoyingly. Switched the instep strap to use the outer of the two holes (wrapping back up around the edge of the sole, like on the other side of the sandal) and it’s both more comfortable and far less prone to wandering underfoot. (And no, the now-empty hole under the arch of your foot isn’t noticeable, at least not for me.)

        Still debating whether I want to keep them or not, but while you might need to adjust the lacing a tiny bit Earth Runners seem to be totally workable for wider/flatter arch/mid-feet. 🙂

  9. Anya,
    I love my Laboo Leather sandals
    Thank you for helping design this beautiful sandal they are one of my favorite they fit my wide feet perfect.

  10. Hi, thanks for this post. Please may you tell what brand the sandals are in the top right of the main picture for this article? Burgundy and grey straps? Thank you

  11. Pathik doesn’t make shoes for a long time now, the sandals you mentioned are my all life dream. I have their “flip flops” style sandal and since that time I can’t wear anything else. It breaks my heart, lol. For real, though 😀
    Could anyone please tell me what brand is the black sandal in the first picture, on the top, second from the right ? Thank you…
    I really need this style, but can’t find it in Europe exactly as I prefer.

    1. It is the Trailstar from Shamma Sandals! Go Free Concept is a European barefoot shoe retailer that carries Shamma, they might be getting this model in soon. It is fairly new.

  12. You have no idea how happy I am to find your website! I seriously teared up because FINALLY someone is addressing foot health prevention, correction AND fashion. I’m forwarding your website to pretty much all my family and friends to spread the word so they can spread their toes!
    My one question, do Teva’s fall in line with healthy footwear? If not, why?
    Thank you again so much!

    1. Hiii! So glad you found the website! Regarding Tevas, I don’t consider them a minimalist shoe because the sole is not totally flat and it’s also pretty thick/stiff. It is definitely an improvement over Chacos, and they’re not horrible (the classic Teva styles at least, some of the newer ones are VERY chunky). It’s just that there are other options that have the same functionality but are totally flat and flexible – so I’ll always choose those ones instead.

      1. Hello, a few years back I bought Teva the Winsted model. I thought i did a good job with the sole an good support. Last summer I used them a lot more and gave me a lot of pain. From the half of my spine to my Toos and everything in between.
        That’s where I found your website. The comments of everybody are nice to read. Most barefoot sandals a expensive, so i dont really want to buy a disappointed. At this point (winter in Europe) reading a lot about it. So that i can start practicing next spring.
        Thank you for sharing your knowledge and time for this website. 🙏🏼

  13. Thank you very much for this detailed review!
    I do have one quenstion:
    Between Shamma Ultragrip and Earth Runner with cotton sole, which ones are better for ativities in water?
    I wish you all the best,

  14. Hi Anya,
    I am so happy to have found your website! I am a proponent of barefoot shoes for some years now. I love my wildlings and some of vivobarefoot. What I miss the most is finding barefoot shoes that look stylish and could be worn in the office (and be vegan…). Have you come across any? Most of the ones I’ve seen look too clunky (like duck’s feet). Mostly because of the wider toe box, but I would be curious if you have come across any that you could share (that would ship to the US)? I love the style of High Heels for pretty looking sandals so will be checking those out but they would not be for the office, any office suitable ballets? 🙏

  15. Hi Anya. In one of your reviews you mentioned a barefoot sandal that is somewhat resembles a Birkenstock. I can’t find the review now but hoping you can point me in the right direction. Thanks ..I have learned so much from your wonderful articles !! I would be a lost newbie in barefoot land without your support.

  16. Hi Anya. I wanted to share feedback on Luna sandals. I recently bought a pair of Mono Winged sandals and initially loved them. However the strap coming up from the toe area has a seam on the underside. On the first pair, the seam was not evenly positioned and created a slight raised area which rubbed my foot. I exchanged for the same model and although the seam is flatter..its still a seam and irritated the top of my foot. I was so disappointed but had no choice but to do a full return. I am curious…have you heard this compliant before ? Anyway, it would be nice if they would modify the strap design. I will buy again if they did. So now I think I will try EarthRunners with the new strap they just released. Thanks again for all of your help..I would be lost without it !

      1. Hi Anya,

        So I now have three pairs of Earth Runners and have been living in them for most of the last 11 months (except the really cold and/or wet times from November through January, when the Be Lenka Rangers or Vibram Five Fingers V-Trek if dry/cold are needed). But I was looking for a bit of variety, so I am investigating other brands of sandals. I am also having a custom pair of Peracles sandals made in a special color I requested and got to select.

        I had been interested in a pair of Shammas as well (especially for the water performance), but ultimately, the grounding feature inherent to Earth Runners is very important to me. The leather-soled Peracles should give me that as well, but I want them to stay nice (hoping I can wear the color I chose for dressier applications) so I will not take them to some of the places I take Earth Runners, nor will I log a ton of miles on them like I do with Earth Runners.

        Are there any other awesome grounding sandals that can go just about anywhere and are also aesthetically pleasing? I tend to say, “Once you go Earth Runners, you never go back,” but again, I’d love a little variety. Also! At some point Earth Runners will release the new black ergonomic/tubular Lifestyle lace (like Canyon Clay, but black; I have already seen it by accident!), and then I can finally procure a nearly black-on-black sandal by ordering the Elementals (but without all of that annoying light/silver stitching: only one line of stitching on the ergonomic lace).

        Also, what are your top favorite sandal choices for the following applications:

        1. Rain (walking/hiking)
        2. Mud (after rain)
        3. Walking into ocean, lake, or river (if you want to swim but there is no one to watch your stuff, so you have to wear it on you)

        Btw, I never receive a message or email alert when you reply here for whatever reason, so perhaps you could alert me via email and tell me where to look for the reply.

        Thank you,


  17. I can’t stand toe posts for very long. Just got a pair of Xero Z-Trails, instantly liked them and wore them all day and ordered a second pair in a different color. Haven’t hiked in them yet, but I’ve hiked a lot in Tevas and these are more comfortable than Tevas.

  18. Thanks for the wonderful updated info ! Fyi, I am on Bedrocks distro and they are coming out with a barefoot clog type sandal/shoe sometime this month I think. Are you aware of that one ? Would be interested in your feedback on it once available.

    1. I am! In fact I have some testers lined up who are going to be testing them out for a review! They are going to be wider than their Cairn sandals and I am excited about them.

  19. I really like Unshoe Wokova Feather sandals. I originally didn’t like them, because, the ones I had would move around too much under my feet. Addressing that by tightening the straps always resulted in discomfort at various areas of my feet and still didn’t really solve the problem. After I realized that my pair were really too large for my feet, I ordered another pair in a more appropriate size and have been very happy with them ever since. It also matters where you place the buckle – keep it more above the foot, rather than to the side. This Summer will be my third year on the appropriate size.

    I love the thin-ness of the Wokova Feather sole (6mm) and their yoga-mat footbed surface. Mine get dirty when I mow the lawn or other other landscaping/gardening but are very easy to clean. After I take them off, I just flex them to loosen the dirt/grass-mash from the shallow tread pattern as I brush with a whisk broom and it will come clear pretty quickly.

    I wear the Wokova Feathers every day when the weather is at least 70f. Even while bicycling, which I do a lot of (it’s my primary transportation method). Many people balk at the idea of bicycling with flexible footwear. My feet/arches are strong enough, from exclusive minimalist footwear use since 2009, that I can ride any distance without my feet getting tired or other such things that non-minimalist-footwear bicyclists warn about. Fifty-mile rides in flexible footwear, no problem for me.

    I wish Unshoe would offer the 6mm sole as standard for their other sandal models. Instead, those are 10mm. I could pay extra for a custom pair w/6mm sole, but, don’t think I should have to pay extra just to get less material.

  20. I tried the Shamma Warriors with the Elite strapping system. The part of the strap that anchors to the sole is very stiff. It felt like hard plastic or something. Whatever it is, this part of the strap would bite the lower edge of my anklebone. Rather than try to modify them, I chose to return the sandals for a refund.

    A lot of people like their Shamma sandals. I’d still consider the ones with the original strap design, that uses a single layer of leather which wraps around the edge of the sole in the manner of traditional Tarahumara huaraches.

  21. Thanks so much for all this amazing info! I’m trying to decide between Shamma Cruzers and Earth runners Chronos Lifestyle – which one would you say has the most comfortable (thinnest) toe strap?

      1. Thank you so much for replying! In the meantime, I also discovered the Chala Classic – so cute! How do they compare to the Shamma and Earth Runners, toe-strap comfort wise?

        1. Chala Classic is a great sandal, but they work best for people with thicker, high volume feet. I had to do a lot of adjusting and fiddling to get them to work on my thin heels and low arches, and even then they weren’t as secure as Shamma and Earth Runners. I love both of those brands best for hiking because they don’t slide around. But it is nice that Chala has a thinner strap between the toes.

  22. I recently got a pair of Luna sandals. I am/was so very happy! After having used them for about three weeks the soles have worn away quite a bit. More worn than the soles of my bosky’s that I wore almost every day for 6 months. What could be the problem? I have read good reviews on the Luna soles. I wear the mono winged Luna’s. I hope you have some insight for me. Greetings from Amsterdam, the Netherlands

    1. I really don’t know! We’ve never had a problem with Luna’s wearing out, in fact they’re the most durable sole we’ve ever tested. Is there anything different about your habits/what you’re walking on now? In any case, you are still covered under their 30 day guarantee so I would recommend reaching out to them soon.

  23. I have 2 bunions, a Morton’s Toe and a Morton’s neuroma, which don’t give me any problems as long as I wear my plastic orthotics. I am assuming that because I wear an orthotic, that that defeats the purpose of barefoot shoes?

    1. Not necessarily. While the thin, flexible soles don’t work with orthotics you can pair an orthotic with the thicker soled shoes from this list. You will benefit from the wide, anatomical toe box and flat sole. I do think there is benefit in exploring whether you can strengthen and rehab your feet to be more comfortable with out the orthotic, there are many ways you can participate in the barefoot shoe world and still wear orthotics. Here are some foot exercises you can do on the side regardless of what shoes you wear:

  24. I’ve been enjoying my Xero Z-Trails for a couple of years, but saw when I was deciding which sandals to get that Decathlon has one called the Forclaz Trek 500 sandal, which looks pretty minimal. Have you ever heard of/tried them? Would be curious to get your thoughts.

  25. Hi Anya! What shoe is the 5th shoe on the top row in the picture. I looked for it in the post, but I didn’t see it anywhere.

  26. Have you tried Calpas sandals? It looks like they have cuter options and can come in a barefoot zero drop option. I’m trying to find cute sandals for summer! And something more affordable but long lasting.

    1. I haven’t tried them personally but I know several who have. They have a zero drop option, but from what I’ve heard the soles are on the stiffer side so are a bit of a compromise option.

  27. Not sure if you had anything to do with it, but I just received an email from Shapen. They discovered that my shoes were lost in their warehouse and they are refunding me the money with a 20% discount coupon as well. I really still want the sandals so I asked if that was possible. Either way, the issue will be resolved. Thank you.

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Hi. I'm Anya.

Hi. I'm Anya.

I first discovered barefoot shoes after a long history of foot issues. By changing my footwear and strengthening my body I was able to completely transform my life. Anya’s Reviews is my way of sharing with the world that healthy feet are happy feet!

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