Barefoot Pals is a new brand by talented shoe maker Lisandro, of Gaucho Ninja. They’re possibly the softest, lightest, most comfortable barefoot shoes we’ve ever tried. Read on for our review of the signature desert boot style from Barefoot Pals.
Gaucho Ninja is Lisandro’s first barefoot shoe brand founded in 2015, and is a combination both of Lisandro’s Spanish heritage and his background in martial arts (gaucho means cowboy in Spanish). Under that brand he has been hand crafting beautiful shoes and boots in the UK with high quality materials in a way that is kind to the earth. He even offers fully bespoke shoes for a custom experience. You can read my Gaucho Ninja Review here.
But shoemaking in this way is expensive for customers, and he wanted to find a way to bring his handiwork to more people with a lower price tag. It took a lot of searching, but he finally found a factory that would adhere to his high standards and produce on a larger scale so he could lower the costs. And thus, Barefoot Pals was born.
They combine the features of barefoot shoes with quality craftsmanship and style – Pals are certainly one of the most comfortable barefoot shoes available!
Barefoot Pals Review
$180 after coupon | Leather | Sizes EU 36-46 | Free worldwide shipping from the UK
Use code ANYASREVIEWS for 10% off
These boots are made for walking! Pals are some of the most lightweight shoes I have worn. We got one of the very first sample pairs made in 2021 and have been waiting to share about them until Lisandro found the right fair-trade production facility. That day has come!
The outsole is made from my favorite Vibram® Superflex, and the upper is a buttery soft leather that requires no break-in time. The leather is ethically sourced and comes in 3 colors: black, red, and navy (I love the contrasting yellow laces and stitching).
All 3 shades of leather are chrome & heavy metal-free, and red and navy are even biodegradable! The top stitched construction means these boots can be resoled, so you can get many miles out of them.
If they’re a little snug at first, I wouldn’t worry as the leather is very capable of stretching. The waxed cotton laces are really nice quality and are finished with a metal end.
They’re made on a last (shoe mold) that ensures they have enough vertical toe space for toes, but the uppers are unlined so you will be able to see your foot shape through the leather – aka toe poke. This also means they are super flexible, moldable, and breathable. They feel like wearing thin gloves on your feet.
Sizing & Fit
Barefoot Pals are:
- True to size
- Average to wide with a straight/fan hybrid fit
- High volume
Even though they are true to size, we recommend checking the size chart below before ordering. It shows the inside length of each shoe size.
Because of how incredibly soft and stretchy the leather is, there is the possibility for people with even extra wide feet (especially if they are Wide Straight) to be comfortable in these shoes, but it’s likely your toes will go over the stitching. Samantha, below, has extra wide feet and you can see how her foot ends up on top of the stitching on the sides. Her higher volume feet fill up the whole shoe but she doesn’t find them uncomfortable or too snug anywhere thanks to the very supple leather.
And if you have low or medium volume feet I’d be prepared to wear an insole, especially if you don’t want them to have a baggy appearance. I can even fit a thick sheepskin insole in mine, which made them feel even more luxurious! See below how they fit on my low volume feet.
How To Order
Because this is a new brand there are some perks with being an early customer. The first 50 pairs of Barefoot Pals are 40% off at $121 plus shipping. After that, retail will be $202 with free worldwide shipping and you can use code ANYASREVIEWS for 10% off. As far as barefoot shoes go, $121 is a good price for a high quality shoe this comfortable. And they can be resoled once worn out to extend their life.
Pals are in stock in most sizes and ready to ship anywhere in the world via DHL, so you shouldn’t have to wait long to receive them. Any sizes not in stock will be a 4-6 week lead time.
Size exchanges will be free, and returns are also free within 30 days on new shoes. You can start a return here.
Pals In Action
Desert style boots are a versatile and stylish unisex design. Wear them casually with jeans and a sweater like I did for this Fashion, But Make it Barefoot post on Instagram, or pair them with dress pants, or even a flowy skirt. The black can easily work as a traditional dress shoe, and the others are a fun pop of color.
There are no hard and fast rules, desert boots are neutral and you can wear them with anything!
Barefoot Pals desert boots are a total delight to wear. Not only are they classic, but they are also ethically produced with sustainable materials. Kudos to Lisandro for sharing his passion for shoe making with a wider audience.