Affordable Barefoot and Minimalist Shoes

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A group of several affordable barefoot shoes sitting on the ground in a row - Ahinsa vegan barefoot shoes, wildling barefoot shoes, mukishoes, feelgrounds, vivobarefoot, unshoes barefoot shoes, softstar shoes, and Be Lenka barefoot sneakers.

Updated June 2022

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Have you been curious about the health benefits of barefoot shoes, but scared by the hefty price tags? Many barefoot shoes are expensive, it’s true. But you don’t need money to reap the benefits of going barefoot. Below is a list of affordable minimalist shoes to get you started!

Even one pair in your closet will greatly increase the time you spend using those foot muscles, and you can work up from there. Don’t forget, it doesn’t cost a thing to be barefoot.

If you’re interested in minimalist footwear and not sure where to begin, be sure to check out my shoes lists and reviews to get familiarized! There also is an Affordable Barefoot Shoes for Kids post

Under $25

Walmart and Target are both known for having cheap sneakers that are thin and flexible. I always check under the insole in case there’s a hidden wedge to take out, and the toe boxes can be tapered. But Faded Glory, Time and Tru, and Mad Love all make minimal sneakers that are very soft, flexible and really cheap.

$50 or less

Sandals

Shoes

$75 or less

Sandals

Shoes

Dress shoes (women)

Boots

  • Minnetonka has soft soled leather boots and can also be found on Amazon. They come in men’s as well, but are a little more expensive.

$100 or less

Sandals

Shoes

Dress Shoes

Men’s

Women’s

Boots

$150 or less

Sandals

Shoes

Dress Shoes

Men’s

Women’s

Boots

More ways to save

Buying used is a great way to save money, as long as you know what to look for. I don’t recommend buying expensive used shoes in a brand you haven’t tried before, but if you’re getting a good deal and can resell/return if they don’t fit, go for it!

Great places to buy/sell used barefoot shoes:

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Comments

16 thoughts on “Affordable Barefoot and Minimalist Shoes”

  1. Catherine Freemantle

    This is so helpful, thanks Anya. Do you think the Yemeni shoes would be barefoot friendly? There are a couple on Etsy that make them to fit your foot, they appear to be zero drop…. but I’m not sure how flexible the soles would be. I’ve asked… fingers crossed! They’d be perfect with trousers for work.

    1. I looked into this, and they look like they have a lot of potential. I would verify with each seller that they are zero drop and that the entire shoe is leather. If that’s the case, they should stretch well to accommodate your foot, since they look narrow to begin with.

  2. Hi! I’ve been reading so many of your articles. I have a deep love for berkenstocks. I recently bought a pair of WITHIN shoes and like those alot. I’m wondering though, if you know of any shoe brands that also have wide toe boxes that may not be barefoot shoes (other than berkenstocks). If not no worries I just thought I’d ask the guru!

    1. Hello! Keen does a pretty good job with a wide toe box, and I’ve heard Earth Shoes are nice and wide. Otherwise, I think Birkenstock takes the cake in that area.

    2. I’ve been dealing with very wide feet (USA women’s 6.5 EE or EEE) for years, and just found out about barefoot shoes. Here are a few brands of conventional shoes that might work.
      Munro Shoes – women’s shoes, dress and casual. Most styles are in XXW, EE equivalent.
      New Balance has very wide sports shoes
      Merrill makes only one width, but fits very wide feet surprisingly well. My Minnesota snow boots are from Merrill, I can even wear thin wool socks in them.

  3. I tried the Velho shoes after seeing them here so I thought I’d come back and say a bit about them. The soles are thicker than I expected, so I don’t feel the ground as much as I’d like, and the toe box is not tight but it is tapered enough that you don’t have a full range of spread. However, they’re really flexible and comfortable straight out of the box and the price is definitely appealing. I wouldn’t recommend it to those who are used to being truly barefoot, but they seem like a great pick for people who are new to minimalist shoes. You get to break away from stiff shoes and try something flexible without the shock of feeling every pebble under your feet, for an approachable price. Possibly also good for people who are apprehensive about thin soles because they live in places where there are many hazards on the street. Overall I’d say they’re an excellent beginner shoe but likely an underwhelming choice for the enthusiast.

    1. Hi! They look like they have a nice wide toe box and a thin sole, but I can see there is a slight heel rise. So I would buy according to how important that is for you.

  4. I just wanted to comment about the $10 Amazon water shoes! I work at a hospital and am running constantly so I go through shoes like crazy and hate spending a bunch of money when they end up covered in blood and who knows what else. The cheap Amazon water shoes have been my favorite so far! They last me about 3 months before I walk through the sole of them but they are so easy to throw in the wash with my scrubs and come clean every time. The sole is pretty non-slip on wet floors too but not so good on sandy floors. Highly recommend them for a barefoot shoe you don’t mind getting trashed!

  5. I’m glad I researched and found this whole new world of healthy shoe options to the mainstream. Phew, I was close to buying a pair of rigid, popular clogs and then saw your site. I enjoy your reviews and I am excited to go in this healthy direction. Can you tell me what brand the gray cotton sneakers are in the picture at the top of this article? They are next to the red lace ups on the right side with the little pattern inside. Thanks!

  6. I did not find Wildlings in your reviews. They are quite pricey and I had a heck of a time trying to do business with them. They think that a size 43 is equal to US Women’s 10, which it is not. The shoe seemed strong, but I’m not so sure they could take any wet conditions. The return of the shoes and the insoles was confused and took a lot of time.

    1. I have quite a few Wildling reviews on my site, I love the shoes. But I agree that their size conversion to US is odd – fortunately I already knew my EU size so I went with that and not with their US size conversion.

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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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