One of the trickiest categories of shoes to find barefoot-compliant is the women’s dress shoe. As someone who doesn’t want to compromise on style OR foot health, this has been the area I’ve spent the most time researching. Here is my compilation of shoes you can wear to work or a night out, but are still completely flat, flexible and with a roomy toe box. Some of these I have tried and reviewed, but many of them I have not personally worn, so any feedback is appreciated. Also, remember to do your diligence before ordering to be sure they fit your needs.
The Drifter Leather and Zaqq both have multiple options for every one of these categories and are great brands for dressy occasions, so for convenience I won’t list them out below. See my reviews of those brands here and here.
My personal favorite dressy boots are the Drifter Leather and Zaqq. See this post for lots of styling ideas!
Vivobarefoot Fulham – See my review here
Belenka Riding Boot – I reviewed a different Belenka boot (with some
Sole Runner Larissa Boot
DaVinci boots – My review here
Luk Shoes Ankle High Boots – My review here.
Faery Steps – Look a little narrower than other options
Lace up dress shoes (oxfords)
Ballet Flats + other flat styles
Soft Star Ballerine
The Storehouse Flats – My review here
Oesh Dream and Townie Flats – These have more cushion than is typical for barefoot shoes, but they fit all the other requirements. See my reviews here and here.
Sole Runner Miranda
Joe Nimble Step Toes
Dextra Perspective – See my experience with the brand here.
Crupon flats – request Vibram/zero drop sole. No returns/exchanges. See my review here.
Unshoes Primrose – More like a fancy moccasin, not quite a flat.
Zeazoo Cheetah – Also more of a loafer/moccasin
Soft Star Mary Janes
Xero Shoes Cassie Flat
Tadeevo Ballet Pumps
Magical Shoes Ballerina – My review here
Zeazoo – comes in some fun colors and designs!
Faery Steps – Beautiful handmade shoes! The toe box looks a little narrow, but they are flat, flexible and high quality shoes.
Conker Shoes – They have a few Mary Jane styles
Soft Star Solstice
Crupon Sandals – Must request a completely flat sole
High Feels Sandals
I have several Etsy sandal makers compiled here, all of whom make zero drop sandals and are dressier. I also have a Summer Sandals post.
Yosi Samara (available for cheaper here and here) – This is what I’ve worn for years. The toe box kind of bothers me after walking a while, but they are zero drop and roomy, with a split sole. Also, more affordable than many barefoot ballet flats.
Crane Boutique – I’ve also owned these, they have a roomy toe box and are flat and flexible. I sold mine because they pressed down over the tops of my toes and didn’t stretch.
Manitoba Moccasins – These flats are completely flat, but the toe box is fairly tapered
Cinderollies – Points for being cheap, but not the greatest toe box. See review here.
Tieks – I thought I better put these on here because they are on KB’s shoe list here, but I am personally not a fan. The toe box is SO TIGHT and the sole is very thick (though it does bend in half). There is zero ground feel. I like to toe the line with my shoes when it comes to fashion, but these were not even close to being comfortable.
Zuzii Sandals – These are zero drop and flexible, but the straps that go over the ball of the foot are quite narrow and too painful for me.