The 10 Best Barefoot Hiking Boots & Shoes for Outdoorsy Folks

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A top down view of two pairs of feet wearing barefoot hiking boots and standing on muddy ground with the test "The Best Barefoot Hiking Boots, Anya's Reviews" written over it
The Best Barefoot Hiking Boots & Shoes – Updated for 2023

Serious hiking calls for serious shoes. But if you are committed to healthy feet you might want barefoot hiking boots that let your toes and ankles move more freely than your typical stiff, narrow hiking shoe.

In this article I review 10 of the best barefoot hiking boot & shoe brands, all of which I personally own and hike in.

Read on for the lowdown on barefoot hiking shoes that are zero drop, flexible, and wide.

The Best Barefoot Hiking Boots Available

This isn’t just a collection of links – I own and hike in all of the barefoot hiking boots and shoes here. After years of testing and hundreds of barefoot shoes in my closet, I am confident these are the absolute best barefoot hiking boots on the market, no matter where you are in the world. Hiking just feels so much better when I’m in barefoot hiking boots!

Psst, if you’re looking for barefoot boots for every day, check this review out!

Here is what I look for in my barefoot hiking shoes:

  1. Zero drop sole (totally flat from heel to toe)
  2. An anatomical toe box shape (space for all my toes!)
  3. A thin flexible sole (though sometimes I go for a thick sole for weather protection/durability)

These features are inherently different from your typical hiking shoe that weighs a ton and barely bends. Let blisters be a thing of the past! Barefoot hiking boots let your feet move naturally while still protecting you from the elements. Now let’s dig into the all time best options.

Or take a segue to learn why I only wear “barefoot” shoes

Ok, on to the best barefoot hiking shoes on the market!

Vivobarefoot Tracker

A collage of 3 different great barefoot hiking boots from Vivobarefoot - The Tracker

Lugs | Waterproof | Speed Hooks | Leather | $240 | Sizes US W5.5 – M15

Use code VBANYA20 for 20% off until Dec. 31, 2023

No one does outdoor shoes like Vivobarefoot. The Vivobarefoot Tracker is an excellent durable barefoot hiking boot with a waterproofed exterior (in some models), lugs for traction, and a removable thermal insole. They’re the best combination of barefoot feel with function.

While the Trackers boots are extremely functional and durable, they feel a little stiff at first for a barefoot hiking boot and take breaking in. We have multiple pairs in our house that are several years old and I can confidently attest to them becoming soft and flexible.

The Vivobarefoot Tracker comes with three different outsole types.

A collage showing the 3 different tread types available from Vivobarefoot's good barefoot hiking boots

Here you can see the different outdoor soles in order of their grip and durability. The FG and FG 2 outsoles work perfectly for the hiking and playing we do, while the Esc sole is extra rugged and durable (a little beefier than I really need). They are a great choice if you do high mileage and/or extreme terrain.

My husband wears his Tracker FG hiking boots for snow (swap out the insole for a sheepskin one if you plan to do this) and even to work with business casual pants. I wear my FG’s for hiking whenever it’s cold and wet and my Decons with the FG2 sole the rest of the time. They have held up very well and are extremely functional! You can read my full Vivobarefoot Tracker FG review here.

Sizing & Fit

Read this post to learn all about foot type and how to measure your feet!

  • Runs true to size
  • Fits average to narrow width feet best
  • Medium volume over the arch (try the Tracker Esc if you have high volume feet)

My husband and I have our normal size in all our Vivobarefoot hiking shoes & boots except for the Tracker FG, that one we both sized up in.

a close up of a hand holding a rolled up vivobarefoot tracker in brown

Be Lenka Barefoot

Leather | Waterproof Option | $179 | Sizes EU 33-47

Use code ANYASREVIEWS for 5% off your Be Lenka purchase. They only accept returns from the EU and USA.

Also available at Anya’s Shop in the US!

Be Lenka barefoot has two excellent hiking shoes. The first is the Be Lenka Ranger. This is a fleece lined, waterproof boot with a durable upper and rugged non-slip sole. I am loving everything about these, from their high quality materials, to the extra spacious toe box, to the warm fleece lining (I do a lot of cold weather hiking). These are easily my #1 choice for a cold weather hiking boot, but aren’t as practical year round – which is where the Vivobarefoot Tracker takes the cake. The Ranger can double as a snow boot too!

If you need a barefoot trail shoe for warmer weather, the Be Lenka Trailwalkers are wonderful. These barefoot hikers are extremely comfortable and have great grip. Not to mention the incredible amount of toe space and excellent quality. I’ve banged up my ankle bones a few times in them on rocky hikes (the perils of not covering your ankles!), but I still prefer them when the weather is warm because of how light and and comfortable they are.

The tread is not deep, which actually helps keep mud from collecting in the grooves, and they’ve kept me steady even on loose rock and gravel. They come with an optional insole for some cushion or a better fit if you have low volume feet. Without the insole they are only 4mm thick! Overall, these are exactly what I’m looking for in a barefoot hiking shoe: practical, but my feet still feel free.

A side by side of two barefoot hiking boots from Be Lenka rolled up to show its flexibility - the Ranger and the Trailwalker

Sizing & Fit

  • Runs slightly small.
  • Fits wide to extra wide feet.
  • The Trailwalkers are high volume.
  • The Rangers are medium volume
A side by side of the outsoles of two different barefoot hiking shoes from Be Lenka - the Ranger and the Trailwalker

Xero Shoes

A foot wearing Xero Shoes Scrambler Mid Barefoot hiking boots on a mossy wet rock

Lugs | Water Resistant | Speed Hooks | Vegan | $169 | Sizes US W5-M15

The Xero Scrambler Mid is my FAVORITE hiking shoe from Xero to date. It’s soft, comfortable, and yet extremely functional. I love them for spring and fall hiking because the upper is breathable and light.

The lugs on the Scrambler Mid were effective at keeping me stable while hiking, and the sole is a great balance of being flexible while still having effective traction.

Xero’s hiking boots can be on the stiffer side, and I’ve had some trouble with certain models irritating my heel in the past (if you have wide feet and sensitive heels then avoid the Xcursion boot!). But the Scrambler Mid is really comfortable for me and I highly recommend them. If you are looking instead for a fully waterproof option, I would check out the Ridgeway.

Read my full review of the Xero Scrambler Mid for all the deets.

And if you’re looking for a barefoot hiking shoe instead of a boot, I recommend either the Scrambler Low or the Mesa Trail from Xero! They are similarly soft and breathable.

a side view of a pair of feet standing on dirt and leaves wearing Xero Shoes Mesa II lightweight trail hiking barefoot shoe in blue vegan showing the lugs and tread

Sizing & Fit

  • Runs true to size
  • Runs medium to wide width.
  • Works for most foot volumes from low to high

Lems Boulder Boot Grip

Waterproof | Leather | Sizes US W6-M15

European readers can purchase some Lems models at Mugavik Barefoot and use code ANYASREVIEWS for 5% off

The waterproof Lems Boulder Boot Grip is a new variation on their original Boulder, and they are everything I wished for! Classic styling, a soft leather upper, and a grippy outsole that has better traction on and off the trails.

The tongue is gusseted to keep water and debris out, and the sole is thicker than a lot of other barefoot hiking boots (13 mm without insole) so you have some protection from the ground. This also makes the Boulder Boot Grip functional as a light work boot! There is a removable insole if you need more space, and you can swap it out for a sheepskin one to stay extra cozy.

Sizing & Fit

  • Runs small – They have a reliable sizing guide, so follow that.
  • Fits wide feet.
  • Square shaped toe box.

One thing I love about Lems shoes is that they have a lot of space above the toes, which makes them feel very roomy without being too big on the rest of the foot.

Freet Barefoot

Freet Tundra, a zero drop flexible hiking boot in black being worn on wet leaves
Freet Tundra (vegan)

Water Resistant | Speed Hooks | Vegan & Leather Options | $130-$230 | Sizes EU 37-48

Get 10% off any Freet Barefoot shoes with code AR-10.

Freet Barefoot has several barefoot hiking boots and shoes that function excellently, including vegan options! The hallmark feature of Freet Barefoot boots is that they are soft immediately without needing much break in time. They are the lightest option I’ve tried, and the soles can be as thin as 4mm without the insole.

Another big plus about Freet Barefoot is it their shoes have an excellent foot shape with plenty of space for all toes. I also appreciate that they go to great lengths to produce barefoot shoes that are ethically made using sustainable materials. And finally, after my code AR-10 for 10% off they have far and away the cheapest options out there. For the durability and comfort you get, these are a great find in the world of barefoot hiking shoes.

Close up of Freet Mudee, a vegan barefoot hiking boot, standing on dry leaves.
Freet Mudee (vegan)

One complaint about Freet shoes is that the interior is heavily padded and it can be kind of bulky around the ankle. They don’t rub or cause blisters though! The vegan waterproof options can also get hot and sweaty in warmer weather because they don’t breathe. They feel great in cooler temps and definitely with socks (or you’ll be in sweat city), but f you’re looking for something to hike in that is more breathable, I would check out the Botee M, the Feldom or the Ibex.

Sizing & Fit

  • The boots run a bit small, but it varies between models so consult the sizing & fit description for each model before ordering.
  • Fits wide feet.
  • Square shaped toe box.
  • Works for all foot volumes.

For more details on Freet’s sizing & fit, read my in-depth Freet Review.

Softstar Switchback

Side view close up of Softstar Switchback hiking boots outside.

Lugs| Waterproof | Speed Hooks | Fabric, Leather & Wool | $240 | Sizes US 5U-13U

The Softstar Switchback is a barefoot hiking boot with some amazing specs. It comes in two widths and two different material options. Mine are Wide, and they are SUPER wide! They are by far the widest hiking boot I’ve tried. The Regular Switchback’s are narrower and have a more tapered shape to them (see photo below).

These boots are made with Vibram’s Megagrip sole and have serious traction and durability – it should last for many, many miles. And if it does wear out, you can have it resoled by a professional cobbler. The interior is lined with a thin wool. The exterior on mine is Super Fabric, an extremely durable, waterproof, and yet breathable material. There also is an all leather version, which will mold more to your foot than Super Fabric.

I am finding them comfortable and practical, and I hiked miles in them the first wear without any discomfort! But be advised, these boots fit low to medium volume over the arch. That means if you need a lot of vertical space above your foot/have high arches you might feel cramped! Fortunately they’ve added more toe room, so it’s really just over the arch that can feel tight.

The sole is thick, so you don’t really feel the ground in them, but they are flexible and I still feel connected to the earth.

Sizing & Fit

  • Runs true to size.
  • Fits extra wide.
  • Square shaped toe box.
  • Low volume fit.

If you choose regular width these will be more average width.

Joe Nimble WanderToes 2.0

Close up of Joe Nimble Wandertoes 2.0 stepping on a log.

Lugs | Water Resistant | Speed Hooks | Leather |$199 | Sizes EU 35-48

The Joe Nimble WanderToes 2.0 is a rugged, water resistant minimalist hiking boot with a super grippy sole. This boot has excellent traction!

The tongue is fully gusseted to keep water and dirt out, and it can be cinched or expanded depending on the volume of your feet (major bonus). There is a tough microfiber toe guard to protect your toes and the material of the shoe from scuffs, and the rest of the upper is a soft, water resistant leather.

The truth is, I love everything about this shoe except for one thing. The sole is quite stiff. It bends, but it takes effort, and the reinforced heel cup rubs my heel. It also comes with an insole that is not zero drop (it adds a 3mm heel rise) so you need to remove it and replace it with a barefoot insole to be a true barefoot hiking boot.

If you are someone who needs traction over flexibility for intense terrain, this is your shoe. But if you’re looking for a real barefoot feel, I would go with something else in this list..

A vegan option, the WanderToes Lite, is now available at Joe Nimble International.

Sizing & Fit

  • True to size.
  • Fit wide feet.
  • Works for all foot volumes.
  • Fits sloped or plateau-shaped feet best.

Altra Lone Peak

Close up front side view of Altra Lone Peek zero drop minimalist trail running shoes

Water Resistant Options | Vegan | Sizes Kids 13 – US Men’s 16

The Lone Peak from Altra is a well loved zero drop trail and hiking shoe line that features a thicker sole than you usually find on barefoot shoes. I tend to prefer my thinner and more minimal barefoot hiking boots, but I can appreciate the quality of Altra Lone Peak shoes. They have several different toe box widths depending on which you get, and a full range of sizes from youth to the biggest of men’s sizes. They also have some over the ankle options that would be more boot-like than the Lone Peak 5 that I have.

Many ultra runners and hikers use Altras and swear by them, the thick sole can be a life saver at those distances. Lots of barefoot newbies also really appreciate the extra bit of cushion, and the variety of sizes and toe box widths make Altra easy for people to access. So even though you can’t really feel the ground in Lone Peaks, they have a valuable place in the barefoot hiking shoes scene.

Sizing & Fit

  • Runs true to size, but if in between go up.
  • Fits wide toes, and even comes in a wider width.
  • Square shaped toe box.
  • Fan-shaped (they narrow at the arch and heel).

Feelmax Kuva

Lugs | Waterproof | Speed Hooks | Leather | €190 | Sizes EU 36-48

Feelmax is a Finnish brand and the Kuuva is their flagship product. They are a fabulous barefoot hiking boot. The sole is durable and slightly stiff, but thin and the quality is undeniable. They are waterproof and come up high on the ankle to keep water out. They have a tall toe box and work well for high volume feet, but I was also able to cinch them close around my shallow arches. My only complaint is that the high collar restricts my ankle motion when hiking. I sized up one so I could wear thick socks, and I am glad I did because of the stiffness of the material.

But the Kuuva gets 5 stars for quality and they meet all the barefoot requirements.

Zaqq Expeq

Waterproof | Speed Hooks | Vegan Options | $170 | Sizes EU 36-49

The Zaqq Expeq is the most flexible barefoot hiking boot on the market. The sole is slip resistant, and the upper is leather (though there are vegan options!) with a lightweight lining. These aren’t the most durable barefoot boots by any means, but they are extremely comfortable and get the job done. Zaqq shoes fit medium width and are true to size.

I am the type of hiker who would rather have a soft, flexible shoe that might wear out a little quicker than use a shoe that rubs my heel or feels uncomfortable. For that reason the Expeq still ranks highly for me! Just be aware that more serious hikers might want to look at another option on this list.

Barefoot Hiking Boots Comparison Table

Here is a quick look at the specs of the barefoot hiking boots & shoes in this review.

Vivobarefoot TrackerFreet MudeeJoe Nimble WanderToesXero XcursionLem's Boulder
a close up of a pair of vivobarefoot trackers in brown sitting on concrete for the best barefoot minimalist hiking boots reviewa close up of a pair of freet mudee vegan in brown sitting on concrete for the best barefoot minimalist hiking boots reviewa close up of a pair of Joe nimble wandertoes in black sitting on concrete for the best barefoot minimalist hiking boots reviewA top down view of a person wearing Xero Xcursion barefoot hiking boots climbing on rocks.a close up of a pair of lems waterproof boulder boots in brown leather sitting on concrete for the best barefoot minimalist hiking boots review
Speed Hooks
Removable Insole
Stack Height11.5mm
-8mm w/o insole
-4mm w/o insole
10mm w/o insole
*insole adds 3mm + another 3mm heel rise*
-12mm w/o insole
-10mm w/o insole

Scroll right on mobile
Continue reading for lots of coupon codes to save some money!

Which Barefoot Hiking Boots Are The Widest?

Curious which barefoot hiking shoes are the most wide? See below 10 barefoot hiking shoes in order from narrowest to widest, starting with the Xero Shoes Xcursion and ending with the Softstar Switchback in wide.

6 barefoot hiking boot brand collage showing top down and outsole view of Xero, Zaqq, Vivobarefoot, Joe Nimble, and Feelgrounds
5 barefoot hiking boot brand collage showing top down and outsole view for Altra, Freet, Lems, Be Lenka, and Softstar
Barefoot Hiking Boots in order from narrowest to widest! Top left is most narrow, bottom right is most wide.

Everyone will experience width differently, but I did my best to generalize it here. Keep in mind that this is organized by width in the toe box.

More Barefoot Hiking Boots

If you want to check out a few more options, here are more barefoot hiking boots!

More Barefoot Hiking Shoes

If you’d prefer to hike in a barefoot shoe, instead of a full on boot, check out some of these trail shoes.

Kids Barefoot Hiking Boots

Vivobarefoot kid's barefoot shoes Fulham boot

In my experience, barefoot hiking boots for kids is often not necessary unless they are serious little mountain goats. With their center of gravity so close to the ground, additional tread often doesn’t add more stability. So we focus more on durability and water resistance when choosing practical hiking shoes for my kids.

A photo of a child's feet wearing kids barefoot shoes as they climb in a tree with the text "The Best Barefoot Shoes for Kids, Anya's Reviews" thumbnail

This post is where you can learn all about the Best Barefoot Shoes for Kids, which we use for hiking and play.

But if your kids do more serious hiking, here are a few barefoot hiking shoe options for kids.

  • Vivobarefoot Fulham, Lumi, & Primus Trail – 10% off with code VBANYA20
  • Freet Mudee 10% off with code AR-10) . This one comes in and out of stock.
  • Be Lenka Xplorer – Use code ANYASREVIEWS for 5% off

Barefoot Hiking Boots Review Conclusion

Whether you’re a casual weekend hiker or are doing serious ultras distances, there are barefoot friendly hiking boots that still getting the job done. Because even the most durable options in this list still have a zero drop sole and wide toe box.

I hike weekly in barefoot shoes, so you can expect this review of the 10 best barefoot hiking boots to continue to be updated with any new options that come to the market (or if over time my thoughts change). I am always testing and reviewing barefoot shoes to help you find what best option for your feet and your lifestyle!

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162 thoughts on “The 10 Best Barefoot Hiking Boots & Shoes for Outdoorsy Folks”

  1. Hello Anya,
    I stumbled across your page on my hint for kids weatherproof hiking boots. I’m taking my 3 children (ages 4, 6 and 8) to Ireland in the spring. We’re going to be hiking a lot on grass and rocky terrain in the rain. I’m really struggling to find a suitable barefoot shoe. They have never worn conventional shoes before. Any suggestions? Thank you for you help.

    1. Hm, I’m thinking that something like the Koel Rana. You can also find more options directly from Koel, but they’re more expensive (and I have a code with Mugavik making them even cheaper, ANYASREVIEWS for 5% off). Just know that the Koel Rana fits low volume. Other options are Vivobarefoot Fulham or all weather bootie, and Be Lenka Panda. I would say waterproof is what you want to focus on, but not rubber boots because those aren’t secure enough for hiking. There are more water resistant kids boots listed here you can check out:

        1. Yes! I just got myself 3 pairs of them because I knew I needed to try the brand out. They are on the slimmer side, I would say medium width but can fit wide feet. It looks like I’m going to need to wear them barefoot to have enough toe splay room. Slightly stiff, but I wore one pair out for a few hours this week and they were already softer by the end. The leather is super nice. Still trying to learn more about them but haven’t been able to communicate with anyone from Koel yet (I ordered my boots from Mugavik Barefoot, a retailer). If you’re on social media, I have a short video and a photo of them up today on my Facebook and Instagram stories. Will do a mini review in an email newsletter soon.

  2. Do Freet only work for narrow feet?

    I contacted one of the retailers with my measurements (27.5 cm long, 10.4 wide at the max) and they said the Ibex would be too narrow for me in the right size.

    1. Freet is a wide fitting brand in general, not many people report back that they are too narrow. Do you have other barefoot shoes? If you have extra wide feet and have trouble fitting in other brands as well, then it may be that you need to look for extra wide options. But it’s also possible that they will fit you fine and the numbers are throwing everyone off a bit. It’s really common, because width measurement is often taken from the insole which sits under the foot. If you combine that with a measurement gotten from a foot tracing (which usually adds a few mm because of the width of the pencil) it’s easy to look at a size chart and believe the shoes will be too narrow, when they actually will fit fine. I can’t say for sure, but my guess is that those foot dimensions will work well with any Freet shoes.

  3. Hi Anya,
    I am considering purchasing my first pair of barefoot shoes, since I have bunions and am way more comfortable in a wide toe box. I need something for light hiking (trails that my 5 year old can handle), but waterproof and with good grip since we have muddy/snowy winters and springs, and I currently carry my toddler on my back. I would love if these boots also looked nice for casual winter wear to save me some money. I am most interested in the Lems Boulder Summit, the Feelgrounds Patrol, and the new Belenka Winter. Would the Winter work as a hiking boot, or is the Ranger a much superior choice (I just don’t find the aesthetic as versatile)? Warmth is of less importance since I’m usually moving around a lot and my kiddos only last outside for so long. Of these options, what do you recommend? I have wide-ish feet and I think medium to high volume, and I think I’d want some cushion since I have a bone spur on my calcaneous from a long period of plantar fasciitis years ago (it doesn’t bother me often but I feel nervous going super thin since it’s a bigger purchase). Thank you so much for all your reviews and everything you do!

    1. Hi Emily!
      The Lems Boulder Summit has a small heel rise (I think 4mm) so they aren’t zero drop. But they do have a thicker sole. Feelgrounds Patrol I think might be perfect for you. I have really sensitive heels and found they were a little stiff back there for me, but Justin loves his and wears them all the time. If you don’t often feel your bone spur, they probably won’t bother you (and you can put a little moleskin or heel pad back there too). Be Lenka Winter is also a good choice, but they have a slightly thinner, harder sole than Feelgrounds. They function well as a hiking boot, but because the lining is pretty thick and warm so people usually size up. Finally, you might like the Groundies Williamsburg. The sole is a little thinner than Feelgrounds, but they are lighter than both Feelgrounds and Be Lenka. We have a number on sale at Anya’s Shop

      1. Thanks for your advice! Do you find the Belenka Winter to be too warm for spring? Like 40s and 50s F? For me that’s when it’s just cool enough that I don’t want wet feet, but I also don’t want sweaty feet. The natural materials appeal to me a little more than their vegan counterparts. And the fact that you sell them in your shop, along with discounted seconds, is less intimidating than ordering internationally when I’m not 100% sure of size

      2. Hi Anya, different Emily here! I just wore my Lems Boulder mids hiking today for the first time. I’ve had them for a few years, but finally tried them out for hiking today because my other hiking boots are too narrow and not foot shaped. I was looking at the Lems site for them other options, and saw the Boulder Summit. Their site says the Boulder Summit are Zero Drop. I couldn’t find a review of them on your website, did you measure them as having a heel rise that they advertise as not having? I’m considering getting them (not pleased with the Xero hiking boots I tried), but I’m hesitating after seeing this comment from you that they have a heel rise

        1. Yes, it’s a bit of a weird situation. They are not technically zero drop, but they are what is called “effective zero drop.” That means they have a slight cushion under the heel that flattens out to be flat with the weight of your body when you step. To me, that’s not zero drop. But it’s a shoe feature that comes into play with cushioned shoes because there is more material under foot. Ultimately the research suggests that such a small heel rise shouldn’t affect your biomechanics in a significant way, but I prefer more minimal options. All of this is to say that if you want an option that is more robust with a technical outsole then the Boulder Summit is fine. But you can also find options that are similar in technical specs and more “barefoot.” This fall Lems will have a few more options that actually are zero drop and on their widest shape. Also, if you haven’t tried the Xero Scrambler Mid they are fantastic. I will be updating this article to include this newer Xero shoe soon.

  4. I’m on the fence between Be Lenka trailwalker and Softstar Primal RunAmoc. I’ve gone barefoot for over 2 years now and find my feet splay & foot have gotten wider. So much that I find my big toe and little toe are hitting the sides of my current barefoot shoes. As a result of this, I’m looking for hiking trail runners with width. The Softstar seems to be the best in the wide version. Which would you recommend? Thank you for any assistance and your reviews.

    1. The Trailwalker has much more volume/vertical space, and it overall a very roomy shoe. I like them a lot. The Primal RunAmoc is indeed very wide, but it sits low over the tops of the toes so some people find that uncomfortable. If you high volume feet I would for sure say Trailwalker. If you just want lots of width and don’t need a lot of volume in your shoes, then the Primal RunAmocs.

  5. Hi Anya, Thank you for all your reviews I really appreciate them! I was wondering if you had any suggestions or might consider doing a post on a conundrum I find myself in quite regularly doing field work. Basically, I have to stomp on shovels and stand on ladders which becomes uncomfortable very quickly in shoes with flexible soles. I also do a lot of hiking/bushwacking up and down steep, slippery, rocky, down tree-covered slopes so some foot protection is important.
    Basically, my golden unicorn boot would have the protection and durability (waterproofing would be cool too) of a traditional hiking boot upper with a wide toe box, lots of vertical space and a zero drop, flexible in the toes, but not the midfoot sole. And good traction. I’m assuming this shoe doesn’t exist but I was wondering if you have ever run across anything that might be close!
    For context, I wear my Altra Lone Peaks (without an insole, makes them too bouncy and squishes my toes flat) for all my hiking and running. I’ve been wearing a pair of Lems Boulder Boots for the duration of this long, wet, cold winter (they really are waterproof!) and they are good for walking around town. I definitely have to take the insoles out in order to make enough vertical space for my toes in those and that also makes them too sloppy to wear hiking steep hills at work (bummer). Also, the soles are not that grippy. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated!

  6. Hi,

    is there any evidence about ankle support? I am looking for a shoe for survival/bushcraft in the forest. And i am curios about ankle support. There are low profile ones (like the Groundies All Terrain low) or high ones (like the vivo forest esc).

    In terms of stability, i am not sure. The only advantage would be, that high profile shoes may protect your ankles more from water or rocks.

    What are your thoughts?

    1. I agree with the section of video you shared (there are always exceptions of course, some individual people might need more ankle support. But for the most part we can try to build strong ankles instead of supporting them). I wear hiking boots that come above the ankle only to protect me from banging into rocks and tree branches, which is basically what all the taller boots on this list do. They don’t really hold my ankle in place. In fact, I often will not lace my boots all the way up to the top and stop just above the ankle bone so that I’m able to move a little more easily.

  7. Jamie Wedderburn

    This is a great article..thanks for writing it.
    I have the wandertoes mk1 and love them.. they’ve lasted 5 years of almost daily use. I’m sad they’ve made the sole LOTS thicker on the mk2 model but think I’ll give it a go when mine finally die.
    Always been tempted to try softstar but they’re expensive if you’re UK based like me.
    Vivo annoy me as they are not for real barefoot enthusiasts IMO as they’re far too narrow. My feet have become a lot wider after a decade of barefoot shoes and vivo crush my feet.
    Freet are cheap and dont last at all well but are crazy comfy.
    Lems have a new hiking boot released in the last month or two that looks great… also worth a look.

  8. Hi Anya,
    Thanks for your reviews, they have helped me a lot!
    I’m going hiking in Scotland this summer, and I’m afraid my Freet Mudees will be too slippery in Scottish weather conditions.
    I considered buying Freet Tundra or Ibex, but I read they are narrower than the Mudee, which is a tight fit for me (I upsized already). What’s your take on the sizing?
    I have the Be Lenka Winter for cold weather, and was happy with them on snow and ice. Would you recommend the Nevada for hiking, too, as it has the same outsole, but no warm lining?
    All the other options I found are far too narrow for my feet.
    Thank you!

    1. For me Freet runs on the small side in hiking boots, but I’ve found that sizing up makes them wide enough for me. They are however not as wide as Be Lenka boots. The Nevada has the same outsole, so functions really well in a lot of different weather.

      1. Hi Anya,

        So happy I found your detailed review. I’m super new to hiking and am currently training to climb Machu Picchu. I am
        wondering what shoe you would wear for this climb? I’m all for zero drop shoes and would love your opinion. Thank you!

        1. Oooh Machi Picchu is on my bucket list! If I were hiking Macchu Picchu I would consider taking either the Vivo Tracker Decon or the Xero Scrambler (which is coming in a short height this fall). If you want a little bit of cushion I would go for the Xero Scrambler, but the Vivo Tracker is higher quality/more durable.

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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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