The Best Barefoot Ballet Flats – Updated 2023

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A pair of feet with two pairs of barefoot ballet flats on either side of them

For women, barefoot ballet flats are an incredibly versatile shoe. They are classy enough to wear with a professional outfit, simple enough to wear with jeans, and somehow dressy enough to wear with a formal gown. In the world of barefoot & minimalist shoes, which doesn’t usually cater to women, that’s a tough find.

But ballet flats present some problems to a person who prioritizes their foot health. The lack of straps, laces, and shoe upper give you little wiggle room (literally) for fit. They have to be just right or they will either not be secure, or the material will be so tight that it scrunches your toes. Understanding your feet and your options is more important than ever when picking out barefoot flats. Read on for my personal favorite barefoot ballet flats and the complete list of minimalist ballet flats for women.

For a complete guide to all Women’s Barefoot Dress Shoes, check out my All Time Best round up here!

Two women standing in a road wearing dress clothes smiling at the camera. Groundies Lily ballet flats in two widths for wide and extra wide feet with anatomical toe box and zero drop outsole

What Are Barefoot/Minimalist Ballet Flats?

“Regular” ballet flat (left), Barefoot ballet flat (right)

First off, a quick reminder for what we are talking about here. A flat is a flat, right? Once you start paying attention to the shape of your footwear (and how conventional footwear may be shaping your foot in unhealthy ways), you’ll notice that plenty of “flats” have raised heels or have a pointy toe box that squishes your toes. As far as I’m concerned, barefoot or minimalist ballet flats (I’m using the terms interchangeably here) must have the following essential qualities:

  • Zero drop (i.e., actually flat). No heel whatsoever.
  • Shaped like a foot. No squishing of the toes into unnaturally pointy, symmetrical shaped toe boxes.
  • Secure to the foot. If it’s not secure, your gait will be affected.
A side by side comparison of two black ballet flats being held up by a hand. On the left is a flat with a small heel (annotated with a red line) and a red X underneath. On the right is a shoe that is completely flat the whole length of the shoe with no heel whatsoever. This is annotated with a straight line and a green check mark underneath.
Most flats actually have a small heel! I look specifically for zero drop flats.

For more on why I care so much about the “barefoot qualities” of footwear, see What Are the Benefits of Barefoot Shoes?

How to Style Barefoot Ballet Flats

Because I want my ballet flats to be super versatile, I pay a lot of attention to how they are made. In general, the smoother the shoe the classier the look, so learning to notice those details can ensure you’re happy with your choices. There are 3 main ways a ballet flat can be finished:

A closeup of invisible stitching on the Zaqq barefoot ballet flat.

Invisible Stitching – This is my favorite and what I usually look for in flats. It is the cleanest look and easiest to cross over into all categories of life. Sometimes these flats are simply glued together, but high quality ones have an interior stitch for more durability.

A closeup of top stich on Gea Soles barefoot ballet flats.

Top stitch with finished edges – This will add a little bulk to your flats, but still has the potential to be smooth and classy. Examples of brands that do this well are Gea Soles, Drifter Leather, and Luks Shoes

A closeup of a top stitch with raw edge on Botky Mechovky barefoot ballet flat.

Top stitch with raw edge – This is the most casual finish and can sometimes look bulky. I have seen it done well (in Crupon Sandals’ work, for example), but I generally avoid this type of finish in anything I want to be dressy. The flats I have with raw edges are for casual occasions.

Understanding your feet is super important when choosing barefoot ballet flats! Make sure you check out this post on The Best Barefoot Shoes for Your Foot Type to learn your volume, width, and shape!

My Favorite Barefoot Ballet Flats

Below is a collection of my personal favorite barefoot ballet flats! Keep in mind that here I am covering only simple ballet flat styles without straps or details. Check this article if you’d like to see more women’s barefoot dress shoe options in different styles.

Be Lenka

Use code ANYASREVIEWS for 5% off your Be Lenka EU purchase. We also carry the Bellissima and a limited selection of other Be Lenka flats at Anya’s Shop in the US.

Be Lenka ballet flats are well made and durable, with a removable insole. I especially love the Bellissima flat that has a cut out detail for just a little bit of interest – it gives them a professional edge.

Because these have a bit more structure to them than the others we’ve talked about so far, I found that they felt a little tight when brand new and needed some breaking in. But after a few wears they are comfortable without slipping. I also appreciate the removable insole which gives you a little more cushion and a lower volume fit if you need it (or remove it for more space!).

Full body photo of a woman in a black dress walking to the left wearing Be Lenka Bellissima flats outside in the sunshine on a gravel road


We also carry some Groundies flats in the US at Anya’s Shop!

Groundies barefoot ballet flats are super light and stylish, and the two widths make them versatile for a variety of foot types.. They are sleek and stay secure around my narrow heels, while still being light and spacious for comfort. The outsoles are very thin and flexible, with real barefoot feet.

The Barefoot+ (wide width) means even people with extra wide feet will be able to enjoy the good style and quality of Groundies barefoot flats. It’s not available in every Groundies flats style, but the most popular ones are. The fit has been true to size for me.

Groundies Lily flats shown top down unworn. On the left is Lily Brown in Barefoot Plus extra wide width, and on the right is regular barefoot width is a pretty pale pink. Both feature anatomical shapes and a super flexible outsole
Groundies Barefoot+ (wide) next to Groundies Barefoot.

Learn more about the fit and feel of these in my Groundies Dress Shoes Review.

Xero Phoenix

The Xero Phoenix is one of the most affordable cute barefoot ballet flats, and I find them perfect as a simple dress shoe. They are knitted, which makes them look a bit more casual, but the cut is really nice and they feel good to wear.

These also come with a removable insole, and they can be a bit loose on narrow heels. They’re also frequently out of stock because they are so popular! If you can snag a pair, they are worth it.

A woman's feet close up wearing a pair of Xero Shoes black knit rothy's dupe barefoot flats.

Read my detailed Xero Phoenix review here!

Softstar Ballerines

Softstar Ballerines are one of the best barefoot ballet flats around. They are soft and unstructured but not wrinkly; spacious but not bulky. You can order it in tons of different colors and it has a very mainstream look (calling all Tieks fans!). I love the metallics myself. Softstar hand makes all their shoes in Oregon and they are high quality.

I appreciate that the insole is a little bit cushioned, which makes these more practical for all-day wear or pavement walking (they’re a favorite among teachers). And these also come in two widths!

Top down view of Softstar Shoes Updated Ballerine in Regular and Wide width. The wide version is truly wide.
Ballerine in regular width (left), and Wide (right). Wide fit is best for extra wide feet.

The heel does slip a little more in these than in my Groundies, so I added a heel grip once the leather broke in. You can also get a sport strap if you’re concerned about slipping and they also come in a wide version. I have one pair in a 5u/women’s 6, and another in a 6u/women’s 7. The fit is true to size.

Read my detailed review of the regular and wide Softstar Ballerine here!

Shapen Tulip

Use code ANYA5 for 5% off. Note that they don’t accept returns outside the EU

The Shapen Tulip is a classic ballet flat but with an option ankle strap. I love that detail because it makes the flats more secure on your foot and is super cute. The Tulip also comes in two widths, so work for a lot of people with extra wide feet! They have some gorgeous metallics and neutrals that are perfect for weddings and other fancy occasions.

The sizing is a bit funky on the Tulip because the sole curves, so I find that I need a bigger size than usual in them or my toes get pushed to the front of the shoe. It’s extra confusing because Shapen makes another dress shoe I love called the Poppy that runs big and most people size down in! *This is no longer true for the newest version of the Tulip, the 3.0! I will update with more details soon.*

The Tulip also is more structured than the other flats listed here, so I found that the leather can rub a bit on my sensitive skin. Getting the right size and a little moleskin goes a long way!

a side by side comparison of the regular and wide width black Shapen Barefoot Tulip ballet flats on feet, top down view
Shapen Tulip in Wide (left) and Shapen Tulip in Regular (right).

These are my favorites, but there are more options if you haven’t found what you’re looking for! See below for a full list of barefoot ballet flat options.

The Full Minimalist Ballet Flats List

Here is a full list of ALL the barefoot ballet flats out there, in alphabetical order!

Angles Fashion slim barefoot ballet flat Antiopa style

Angles Fashion – Use code ANYA for 5% off (does not ship to the USA). Read my review here! You can also find Angles Fashion at Anya’s Shop

Side view highlighting the cutout sling back style feature of Be Lenka Bellissima black leather ballet flats.

Be Lenka – Use code for 5% off (returns only accepted within the EU and USA). You can shop select Be Lenka styles at Anya’s Shop

The Drifter Leather – A few ready-to-ship styles, with custom options available. My Drifter Leather reviews here.

Gea Soles – Custom. Thyra, Yrsa, and Tarian. My Gea Soles review here.

A woman wearing Groundies Lily soft pink barefoot ballet flats and standing on the balls of her feet to show their flexibility

Groundies – Comes in two widths! You can find select Groundies styles at Anya’s Shop

Close up front angled view of Jenon Leather J. Joplin Pumps in embossed leather with criss cross elastic laces up the front.

Jenon Leather – Custom options. Only available for shipping within Europe & US. Read my Jenon Leather Review here

Leguano Ballerina in black

Leguano – Handmade in Germany with a stretchy upper

Lisbeth JoeANYASREVIEWS for 5% off. Currently out of stock, but a restock is expected sometime in 2023 (hopefully).

Stock photo of a pair of blue green d'orsay style leather barefoot flats with anatomic toe box from Luks Barefoot

Luks Barefoot – Super soft, narrower than their other models. Lots of color options!

Magical Shoes – Use code ANYA for 10% off. See my review here.

Shapen Tulip barefoot red flats in red. Top Down view shoes the foot shaped toe box.

Shapen Tulip – Regular and Wide width. Use code ANYA5 for 5% off

A top down view of a woman with wide feet and narrow heels wearing Softstar Ballerine flats in aged acorn on her right foot. Her left is bare to show her foot shape

Softstar Shoes – Handmade in the USA available in 2 widths and a the ability to customize your colors! Read my detailed review of the regular and wide Ballerine here!

The Storehouse FlatsANYA for $5 off + free bag

Unshoes PrimroseANYA for 10% off

Ursanina (€36) – Custom

Stock image of Vivobarefoot Opank ballet flat in black leather with anatomical wide toe box and zero drop sole

Vivobarefoot – Opanka Ballerina. My code VBANYA20 will get you 10% off

A close up angled side view of a woman's feet in Xero Phoenix black knit dress flats

Xero Phoenix – Knit or leather. Perfect Rothy’s dupe! Read my Phoenix review here

Zaqq – A ton of unique style options

A close up view of a pair of feet wearing stylish women's barefoot dress shoes from Zlatush

Zlatush – Custom options

Best Brands for Wide Feet

Have extra wide feet? Here are all the barefoot ballet flat brands that cater to wide feet, with many custom options to get your exact shape and size.

The Drifter Leather – Custom. My Drifter Leather reviews here.

Gea Soles – Custom. Review here.

Magical Shoes – Use code ANYA for 10% off. Read my review here

Tadeevo – Use code ANYASREVIEWS for 5% off. Read my review here!

Unshoes PrimroseANYA for 10% off

A close up view of a pair of feet wearing stylish women's barefoot dress shoes from Zlatush

Zlatush – Custom options

Back to top

Vegan Barefoot Ballet Flats

If you wear vegan shoes, here is a list of all the vegan barefoot ballet flat options. Check out this post for more on vegan barefoot shoes.

AhinsaANYASREVIEWS for 10% off

Cinderollies – Very cheap, a little bit narrow.

Tadeevo Velvet or Mesh Pumps – Use code ANYASREVIEWS for 5% off. Read my review here!

Ursanina – Custom

A close up angled side view of a woman's feet in Xero Phoenix black knit dress flats

Xero Phoenix – Super comfortable and cute knit flats! Read my Phoenix review here

Barefoot Mary Jane Flats – with a Strap

These barefoot ballet flats all have a mary jane strap, which can make them fit more securely.

Ahinsa – Vegan. Use code ANYASREVIEWS for 10% off

Angles Fashion barefoot mary Janes

Angles Fashion – Use code ANYA for 5% off (does not ship to the USA). Read my Angles Fashion review here!

Conker Shoes – You can have them made on their barefoot sole without a heel.

The Drifter Leather customer barefoot mary janes

The Drifter Leather – Custom and ready-to-ship options. My Drifter Leather reviews here

Gea Soles – Beautiful handmade leather flats! My Gea Soles Yrsa review here.

Lisbeth Joe Paris Mary Janes minimalist suede dressy shoes for women in grey blue color

Lisbeth Joe – Use code ANYASREVIEWS for 5% off

Magical Shoes – Use code ANYA for 10% off.

Posh Panda – Read my mocc review here!

Tadeevo – Use code ANYASREVIEWS for 5% off. Read my review here!

Xero Shoes Cassie hemp barefoot sporty mary jane in purple

Xero Cassie – Hemp sporty mary jane in several solid colors.

Zeazoo – My review here. Use code ANYASREVIEWS for 5% off

A close up view of a pair of feet wearing stylish women's barefoot dress shoes from Zlatush

Zlatush – Custom options

And that’s a wrap on the best barefoot ballet flats in the industry! You can see that there is a wide variety

A photo collage of barefoot ballet flats for women - Zaqq Marq, Lisbeth Joe Harare, Storehouse Flats, Softstar Ballerines, Zlatush shoes, and Vivobarefoot Jing Jing

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45 thoughts on “The Best Barefoot Ballet Flats – Updated 2023”

  1. Hello! The photo on pinterest that sent me here are a pair of black ballet flats with an X strap across the ankle and a top stitch with what looks like a light colored sole or midsole? But I don’t see those on this post, can you point me in the right direction?

  2. Hi! Love that you have lists of all the cute barefoot flats around! Looks like there might be a restock of the Lisbeth joe Harare this summer? Do you know when that might happen? Love the style and that it comes in brown!

    1. I checked in with Lisbeth Joe and the Harare is being produced now! I didn’t get an official ETA, but I would imagine a few to several weeks?

  3. useful advice, thank you.
    I just wish they were more widely stocked! being able to try them on/send them back easily is especially important for ballet flats.
    FYI the “Vivobarefoot – Opanka Ballerinas” are actually jing jing lace ballerinas which were, in my opinion, a much prettier shoe. The opankas have a much wider elastic making them them more of a slip on than a ballerina.

  4. I am thrilled to have read about the Peerko Petite in the email you sent out recently! I have low volume feet and very narrow heels. I now have hope that there is a ballet flat that I can wear, that won’t slip on my heel!

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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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