Barebarics Review – The Best Foot Shaped Chunky Sneakers

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A collage of 7 different Barebarics barefoot sneaker models on different feet and from different angles

Barebarics makes foot shaped shoes with a modern chunky design and a more durable zero drop sole than we’ve seen from a barefoot shoe brand. They are the perfect solution for someone who wants zero drop and a wide toe box, but doesn’t want an ultra thin sole! Whether that’s because of your life situation or because you are still transitioning to barefoot shoes, Barebarics is a reliable solution.

Get To Know Barebarics

$159-179 | Sizes EU 36-47 | 6-10mm Stack Heigh | Vegan | Ships from EU

Code ANYASREVIEWS gets you 5% off full-priced Barebarics at any time.

Barebarics is a new barefoot shoe brand created by Be Lenka (a long time favorite brand of mine). All Barebarics shoes are vegan and designed with an urban setting in mind – both in their distinctly urban style and extremely abrasion resistant outsole. Never before has a naturally shaped toe box and zero drop sole been combined with such durability and style, it is an exciting step forward. Concrete jungle inhabitants, this is the brand for you!

two people visible from the knee down standing at a table wearing Barebarics barefoot shoes - the Zoom in black and the Hifly in green

In fact, Barebarics has become a favorite for the Anya’s Reviews team. Justin, Ian, and Aaron all wear their Barebarics shoes in the Anya’s Shop warehouse where they spend lots of time on concrete. For their line of work and their current comfort level with barefoot shoes they’re perfection. They look damn good too.

two men working in a warehouse standing by a table and smiling at the camera wearing Barebarics barefoot sneakers - the Hifly hightop in green and the Zoom in black

Sizing & Fit

Barebarics shoes are:

  • True to size
  • Low to high volume
  • Extra wide in the toe box
  • Good for most foot shapes, even square
  • Fan shaped

For a definition of these terms, head to my Barefoot Shoes by Foot Type article.

a close up of a pair of feet standing on concrete, the left foot is bare and the other foot is wearing a Barebarics barefoot sneaker, Zing model in taupe, to show it's natural foot shape and wide toe box

Barebarics has a fit that should work for most foot types, thanks to its wide, square shape and close fitting (but adjustable) upper. If you have narrow feet you will likely have lots of extra space around your toes, but that might not be an issue if they fit closely everywhere else. The only other fit concern to watch out for is if you need a lot of vertical space in the toe box – because they aren’t super soft and squishy you might feel pressure above the toes. A super easy fix for this is to remove the insole.

Are they barefoot?

a close up of a hand holding a rolled up barebarics zero drop barefoot sneaker to show its flexibility

You can be certain that every shoe from Barebarics is zero drop with a foot shaped sole. But while the toe box is uncompromisingly wide, I find them to be more of a transition barefoot shoe. If you are used to light, flexible barefoot brands like Wildling or Mukishoes you might be surprised at the heft of Barebarics. But despite the extra material on the sole and upper, you can still feel bumps and cracks under your foot. Compared to mainstream shoes, Barebarics are still very minimal with a total thickness of about 1cm including the tread and insole (6mm without insole). And for certain populations this is a great marriage of minimal features with durability.

For example, people who work in healthcare or food service and need slip resistant outsoles will be very pleased to see an option for them (all black and all white wipable options too!). As will barefoot beginners who are not yet ready for thin soles, or anyone who is finding themselves uncomfortable on hard surfaces. You’ll also love Barebarics if you’re hard on your shoes and wear through them quickly.

The insole is also removable, so if you’re someone who wants a thinner sole feel free to take that out.

Ordering from Barebarics

Barebarics is based in the EU and ships via DHL. To the US one pair of shoes is $12, and arrives within about a week. Returns are accepted on EU and US purchases only on new shoes within 14 days. That means if you live anywhere else your purchase is final sale. Be sure to check the Discounted Seconds section at Anya’s Shop for a deal on Barebarics!

I find the checkout process a bit funny, you don’t pay until after you place you order. So don’t forget or your shoes will never ship! But those are minor things.

Alright, now let’s dig into the individual Barebarics models.

Barebarics Review

All Barebarics shoes have the same sizing and outsole shape, so the differences between models really comes down to style and a few fit differences.

Here are the models we on the Anya’s Reviews team love.


Axiom

a side view close up of a pair of feet standing on wood chips wearing Barebarics white grey Axiom chunky dad barefoot sneakers

The Axiom has a classic sneaker design and a leather look. I love the White & Grey colorway and think they look awesome! My one complaint with this model is that the heel and ankle area felt extra stiff and rubbed quite a bit at first. I am used to adding moleskin or heel grips to my shoes, but feel like this could be improved.


Zoom

A pair of feet wear black Barebarics Zoom barefoot sneakers with black socks

Zoom is the model for employees with a dress code. They are wipable faux leather, which makes them even better for healthcare and food service employees. Or you can just wear them as everyday shoes! Aaron is wearing this in the warehouse as an every day work and casual shoe. He loves them.


Pulsar

a top down view of a pair of feet standing on concrete wearing maroon Pulsar Barebarics zero drop barefoot sneakers

The Pulsar is a simple Barebarics design and the first model I tried. They have a canvas look to them and I love the burgundy. This is the pair I took with me to Europe for long travel days, and they did not disappoint!


Hifly

a close up of a pair of feet standing on concrete wearing jeans and green Hifly Barebarics hightop barefoot sneakers

This is the only high top from Barebarics currently. They are simple with a few details to make them pop. Ian tested these out for us and he found the ankle area quite stiff at first, in contrast with all the room around your toes. Again, it would be nice for this to be softer at the beginning (even though it breaks in).


Zing

a side view of a pair of feet wearing white and taupe Zing Barebarics zero drop barefoot sneakers

The Zing is a white sneaker with color block detailing. I might love the style of these most of all. Classic, but just enough details to stand out. You can’t go wrong!


Rebel

A close up of the Rebel barefoot sneakers from barebarics in Charcoal black

This model caught me by surprise. I did not find them attractive on the website, but seeing them in person changed my mind. The detailing makes them interesting without being loud. They have a bootie construction and can slip on and off, which is good because the lace holders are very stiff and not at all good for threading laces through. Justin and Ian are really liking them as an everyday sneaker!


Revive

a close up of a pair of feet standing on concrete wearing blue Revive Barebarics barefoot chunky sneakers

The Revive has a functioning lace plus a cosmetic one, giving it a double lace look. It comes in 3 colorways, each with bright accents and a nylon upper. It’s been really popular with both men and women as a stylish sneaker, there is nothing else like it from other barefoot shoe brands.


Complaints

The only issue that occurred for us consistently in the testing process was that the heel and ankle area rubbed. As someone you might call a barefoot purist, I am used to shoes that are immediately soft with no break in time and I would really prefer more flexibility in that part of the shoe. Besides that, there is nothing I would change about Barebarics! Except maybe more style options…

Conclusion

Barebarics are an exciting addition to the barefoot shoe world, delivering on style, quality, and barefoot features. I highly recommend them if you need just a little bit more cushion under foot for whatever reason, or simply want to participate in current sneaker trends.

a woman standing on the edge of a cliff by the ocean wearing Barebarics zero drop sneakers in maroon

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Comments

28 thoughts on “Barebarics Review – The Best Foot Shaped Chunky Sneakers”

  1. I love the style, but my pair of axioms get dirty SO easily!! Because the grey area is suede I find it’s a bit harder to clean as well. That’s my biggest complaint/disappointment.

    1. Good to know! Do you have a shoe brush? I like to use that on vegan/fabric materials with water (and sometimes oxiclean) for getting dirt out. Annoying to have to do, but I find it works pretty well.

    1. They did not for Justin, Ian, and Aaron (I didn’t get either of those models in my size). The Rebel has the sock like collar opening, so they are quite a bit softer around the ankle and heel.

  2. I was excited to read about these shoes as I am still in the transition phase and need a little extra cushion. I also mainly walk on sidewalks in my neighborhood so these should be more durable. That said, for me the Pay Pal or bank transfer options are deal breakers. I had security issues several years ago involving Pay Pal and will not use them. Also not comforable with a bank transfer..especially overseas. Hoping they add a charge option in the future ! Thanks as always for your very helpful reviews.

  3. Do you have any insight which ones have bigger volume? I tried Barebarics Kudos, they were so flat, I had barely could put them on! Super super low volume. Thank you!!

    1. The Kudos is only one of two styles that we didn’t test out, but with the exception of Hifly all the rest we tried are good for at least medium volume. The Axiom opens up wide for high volume feet, as does the Pulsar.

    1. They have some styles on Happy Little Soles who are a UK company and accept returns! Perhaps give them a try – even if they don’t have the styles you’re interested in you could at least get a sense of the fit and feel to more confidently order directly from Barebarics / Be Lenka.

  4. I just got my Pulsar Barebarics yesterday as this review came out. I totally agree that the heel and ankle area rubs and feels stiff! I wish I had read this review before I ordered my pair as I agree on them being transitional. This pair of shoes is super cute, the wide toe box is wonderfully comfortable for me but the thick sole feels and sounds really chunky and heavy when I walk. For references I’ve had a year of barefoot shoes (Xeros and Shamma) and am looking to broaden my ‘cute’ barefoot shoe inventory.

    1. Yeah it can feel a bit clompy if you’re used to barefoot soles. They break in, but the construction of the sole prevents flexibility in all directions.

    1. We probably won’t start with the high tops, but we are going to get some models of Barebarics in the shop soon. And we likely will go the full size range.

  5. Hi all, do the Barebarics fit square shaped feet? My Bohempia’s in wide width are almost too wide (which is a first for me!). How do they compare with Bohempia?

    1. Bohempia Wide is wider than Barebarics by a little bit, but Barebarics are still a wide to extra wide fitting brand (even on square shaped feet).

  6. Can you give an idea of stack height for some of these models? Are they a bit more stacked than, say, a Lem’s Primal 2? Just curious…I’ve spent the past year or so in Altra and am looking for something not quite as cushioned, but am not really ready for the thinnest soles yet. These look promising for a new work shoe — I stand on thinly-carpeted concrete floors about 20 hours a week. They sure are cute!

    1. They are roughly 10mm thick with the insole, 6mm without. Primal 2s are 12mm with insole and 9mm without. So a teensy bit thinner than the Primal 2.

      1. Hi Anya

        On the Barebarics website it says the sole is only 4mm thick, I have a pair of Groundies Milano which are only 3mm sole and looking for something thicker than this for a sneaker. Are these for sure quite a bit thicker in comparison as only 1mm difference in the sole?

        Many thanks

        1. Yes, the 4mm thickness refers to the outsole minus the tread and the insole material. I’ve confirmed the measurements with them (and also suggested they change it on the website, since it’s a bit misleading IMO to say 4mm…)

  7. Hi! I just received my Zings and really does run my ankles… Does this get better as they’re broken in? Do you have any solutions for that?

    1. It does improve as they break in, but it can take several wears. You might want to add some moleskin or a heel grip to make that area softer in the meantime. From the feedback I’ve gotten after this review, it does seem like a pretty common problem.

    1. They’re both pretty padded, so that makes them a little warmer. And the thicker sole helps as well. I didn’t ever wear them in the rain, but I imagine they’d be fine for light rain. They’re definitely not warm warm, but as far as barefoot shoes go I could get away with these in cooler temps.

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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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