The All Time Best Barefoot and Minimalist Shoe Brands

Minimalist shoe brands are exploding worldwide as people are making a shift in their priorities. Instead of arch support and heel rise, people are reaching for flat, flexible, and spacious shoes that mimic the effect of being barefoot. And not just for exercising, but for work, school, and everyday.

My family and I have been wearing barefoot shoes for years and have tested hundreds of different kinds (you can find all my reviews here!). Below is a review of the 10 best, tried-and-true barefoot shoe brands for every occasion and every member of the family, plus some runner-ups worth keeping an eye on.

*Are you new to barefoot shoes? Here is a guide to understanding your feet that will make selecting a shoe so much easier! And if you think you might still need some cushion, here is a post on good barefoot shoe brand for beginners.

Table of Contents

  1. Vivobarefoot
  2. Belenka
  3. Groundies
  4. Wildling Shoes
  5. Softstar Shoes
  6. The Drifter Leather
  7. Earth Runners
  8. Luna Sandals
  9. Shamma Sandals
  10. Unshoes Footwear
  11. Runner Ups

1. Vivobarefoot

Vivobarefoot Court and Addis sneakers collage

[ Adult | Kid’s | Fast Shipping | Free Returns | Vegan Options ]

Vivobarefoot is the original barefoot shoe brand for every occasion. They sell athletic, dressy, and kid’s footwear, all of which are consistently durable and high quality. With the advent of the new Addis sneaker (reviewed here), they work for even the widest feet. With Vivobarefoot there’s no need to put on uncomfortable shoes again.

Read all my Vivo reviews here and use the code ANYAVIVO for 10% off any purchase.

2. Belenka

Belenka shoes collage

[ Adult | Kid’s | Fast Shipping | Extra Wide | Vegan Options ]

Belenka Barefoot boasts some of the widest shoes out there for people really wanting to rewild their feet. With an impressive lineup of styles that includes men, women, kids, dressy, casual, athletic, and a ton of colors Belenka is also one of the fastest growing barefoot brands. Currently Be Lenka doesn’t accept returns outside the EU, but US customers can order several Be Lenka styles with free shipping/returns from Anya’s Shop and e-mail subscribers get 10% off a first purchase.
Read my other Belenka reviews here and other thoughts on Instagram. Code ANYASREVIEWS will give your 5% off from Be Lenka orders.

3. Groundies

Groundies urban barefoot wear collage

[ Adult | Fast Shipping | Vegan Options ]

Groundies Urban Barefootwear has some of the most flexible minimalist shoes, all with incredible style. With Groundies you can find the styles you loved and thought you had to give up to save your feet. With a full range of cold weather boots, dress shoes, and tons of sneaker options, Groundies is also growing rapidly and is a brand to watch. This brand doesn’t carry kids shoes. They have opened up an Amazon shop with free shipping/returns! Read my thoughts on their Odessa boot.

** The Groundies Liverpool was featured in the first episode of my new web series:

4. Wildling Shoes

wildling shoes collage

Adult | Kid’s | Fast Shipping | Free Returns | Vegan Options

Wildling Shoes are incredibly minimal and lightweight, one of the most truly barefoot out there. The sole is ultra thin and ultra flexible but still provides protection. They even have waterproof options, so you can take your barefoot adventures anywhere. If you want to run free AND support a sustainable business, these are the shoes for you.

Read my Wilding Crane Review for more info.

5. Softstar Shoes

collage of softstar shoes Merry janes, hawthorne dress shoes, children's rambler, and women's ballerine ballet flat

Adult | Kid’s | Free Shipping | Free Returns | Vegan Options | Extra Wide Options

Softstar shoes are handmade and high quality, with a full range of styles for all ages and occasions. Because of the many color options, Softstar is a favorite for picky customers (both kids and adults). Their Ballerine is one of the best minimalist ballet flats ever. Softstar also carries the widest shoe I have seen, the Primal, for those of you with crazy toes.

Here you can read my Primal Sawyer Review, and my Primal Merry Jane Review.

6. The Drifter Leather

The Drifter Leather custom shoes sandals, ballet flats, sneakers and boots

Adult | Custom | Vegan Options

The Drifter Leather hand makes shoes customized to your measurements. They are dedicated to barefoot ideals and have an impressive range of styles that are hard to find elsewhere. This is my personal favorite for anything dressy, because you get a great looking shoe that is also incredibly comfortable because it’s made to fit your foot!

Here are all my Drifter Leather Reviews.

7. Earth Runners

Earth Runners close ups in nature

Adult | Kid’s | Fast Shipping | Vegan

Earth Runners are a one-stop-shop for sandals. They are simple and have sizes for the whole family. But they’re also super secure and great for exercising. Earth Runners are some of my all time faves because they wear so well, look cute, and feel secure enough even to hike in. Read my Earth Runners Review and get 10% off with code ANYASREVIEWSER

8. Luna Sandals

Luna Sandals running sandals and traditional leather sandals

Adult | Fast Shipping | Vegan Options

Luna Sandals makes great running sandals in a variety of thickness options. They also have a very sleek looking line of traditional leather sandals that are a little dressier (my personal favorite). They are incredibly comfortable and long-lasting shoes with an option for everybody. Last year Lunas were my favorite shoe of the summer and this year I am trying out a new Luna style. Get 10% off your first order with code ANYASREVIEWS10

9. Shamma Sandals

Shamma Sandals Super Goats, Warriors, and Chargers elite running minimalist sandals

Adult | Fast Shipping | Vegan Options

Shamma Sandals is a running sandal company that uses velcro adjustments, making it even easier to get a perfect fit. With lots of different options, including some nice leather ones and extra thick sole options, you can use Shamma sandals for just about anything (not just running). Like the above sandal options, they are very durable and comfortable.
You can read my full review here and get 10% off with my code ANYA10PERCENT

10. Unshoes Footwear

4 Unshoes Footwear shoe styles, Saffron, Terra Vida, Kid's sandals, and adult running sandals

Adult | Kids | Custom Options | Vegan Options

Unshoes is a small business that has my heart. They hand make shoes for men, women, and children all with a natural foot shape and thin sole. Unshoes carries some of the most affordable barefoot sandals out there as well as one of the dressiest women’s sandals. Get free shipping in the US with code ANYA

Here you can read all my Unshoes Reviews.

11. Runner Ups – You want a few more? Ok, here are a few other great new brands that are showing lots of promise

Feelgrounds – I have all 3 of their styles and have been loving them. See my Feelgrounds Reviews for the details.

Mukishoes – This brand releases new styles each season. I reviewed the Mukishoes Sol. Use code ANYASREVIEWS for 10% off.

Bohempia – A growing brand with only some options made barefoot friendly, but the ones that are barefoot are great (they even have a wide version). I have the Kolda style and love them. Use code ANYASREVIEWS for 10% off the official site.

And my favorite artisan shoemakers. Woot, shop small y’all!

The following are barefoot brands designed and made by one shoemaker.

Gaucho Ninja – I have not yet tried this brand, but have been talking with the owner the last year and I am very confident in his work.

Still want more info about minimalist shoe brands? Check out my Shoe Lists for barefoot brands in specific categories and styles (like barefoot sneakers, or ballet flats). And be sure to hit up my ever popular Affordable Barefoot Shoes.

Are you new to barefoot shoes? Check out this resource page to get started.

What barefoot shoe brand is your favorite? Comment below with your top picks!

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4 thoughts on “The All Time Best Barefoot and Minimalist Shoe Brands”

  1. Hi I really miss Zaqq as those are the only shoes one can wear also in an office and which fit ppl who have feet that are narrow Greek feet. Best Sophie

    1. I love Zaqq, but I left them off for two reasons. One, their toe box shape and width Is inconsistent across styles so some are pretty narrow. And another, they can be very slow to respond and US customers can’t just checkout on their website without contacting first. Hopefully in the future they will fix these things (or make it more clear on their website) and they can be added to this list.

  2. I would love a round up for winter boots! Not city boots, but boots for winter sports like walking the dogs and snowshoeing!!

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Hi. I'm Anya.

Hi. I'm Anya.

I first discovered “barefoot shoes” after a long bout of foot issues. I realized that with some extra research (and a whole new set of standards), I could curate shoes that made me feel amazing and didn’t require any compromises. I started my blog Anya’s Reviews to share what I learned with others.

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