The Best Barefoot Sneakers That Still Look Cool

From Left to Right, Top to Bottom: Feelgrounds, Zaqq Piquant, Vivobarefoot Court, Sole Runner, Splay Thundercloud, Sole Runner Callisto, Vivobarefoot Ra

For me, the casual sneaker is a very specific category, distinct from athletic sneakers. Casual sneakers have to carefully straddle the line between sporty and streamlined, so you can wear them with all your casual outfits and not just exercise clothes. If it’s done right, they are some of the most practical shoes around.

I’ve been on the prowl for a foot-friendly casual sneaker in the vein of Ked’s, Sperry, or Van’s for a LONG time. Up until 2019 there just weren’t that many wide, flat, and flexible options. But brands have really stepped up (and popped up! Several of these brands didn’t exist before last year) so we all can pretty much have our pick. The following guide covers all your minimalist sneaker needs, for both men and women.

For reference, I normally wear a US 6.5/7 or EU 37 in sneakers and do not wear socks with my shoes. If you do wear socks, try ones you can’t see, like these.

*For all my coupon codes and current sales, see here.*

In this post:

  1. My Sneaker Picks
  2. The Full Sneaker List
  3. All-White Sneaker List
  4. All-Black Sneaker List
  5. High-Top Sneaker list
  6. Slip-On Sneaker List

1. My Sneaker Picks

1.1 Vivobarefoot Court

Vivobarefoot Geo Court minimalist sneaker review

My current favorite sneaker is the Vivobarefoot Court (reviewed in detail here). I could wear these every day and I love them to pieces. Vivobarefoot shoes last forever, but they don’t breath really well and make your feet sweat. Otherwise, these are perfect. Leather, $150, men’s and women’s sizing (a canvas option will be released later this year!) ANYAVB gets you 10% off

1.2 Mukishoes Sol

mukishoes barefoot shoes sol review

Mukishoes are simple, every day sneakers with a casual vibe. They always have a few neutral colors mixed in with some bright options that change seasonally. This spring the mustard yellow Sol stole my heart and they’ve quickly become a favorite. Extremely flexible, lightweight, and so fun, Muki is a brand I expect to be coming back to. Read my full review of the Mukishoes Sol here. ANYASREVIEWS gets you 10% off any purchase.

1.3 Feelgrounds

Feelgrounds droptop Original and Highrise barefoot shoe review

Feelgrounds are reminiscent of skater shoes and edgier than the other options. They are so lightweight and flexible you forget you’re wearing them, but look very mainstream. They also have some good color combinations you don’t see often, like blush/white sole and black/white sole. Here you can read all my Feelgrounds reviews. Vegan, $120, Unisex sizing.

1.4 Zaqq

top down view of feet Zaqq Piquant sneakers in grey on wood floor

The Zaqq Piquant, reviewed here, is another super-durable but kind-of-sweaty sneaker. They are one of the few options made in lots of different colors, so that will tickle your fancy if you’re a colorful person (I, obviously, am not). Zaqq really nailed that classic, streamlined look with this sneaker and they are super versatile. Leather, $165, men’s and women’s sizing (vegan options on the website).

1.5 Bohempia

Bohempia barefoot vegan sneakers Kolda grey

Very similar to a classic Ked’s, these Bohempia sneakers are in my top 3 for looks. The aesthetic is simple, low profile, and matches everything. One of the cool things about Bohempia (besides the fact that the shoes are sustainably made from organic hemp) is that their barefoot shoes have an extra wide version! I got a size 36 regular, and they are a good width and length for me. They are high volume, so I had to put in an insole to keep my foot from sliding around. The sole feels about 5mm thick with average groundfeel. More deets here. ANYASREVIEWS gets you 10% off.

1.6 Splay Athletics

a close up top down view of feet in Splay Athletics hammerhead velcro sneakers on wood floor

Splay Athletics are incredibly comfortable and lightweight. The toe box shape is good so I was able to get a smaller size than I normally wear in sneakers (4Y, or size 6) and still have enough width for my toes. They’re a solid shoe for only $44, albeit on the casual side. The main caveat about these is that they currently only go up to a size 38, so are not likely to fit most adults (don’t worry though, they’ll be adding adult sizes soon). ANYASREVIEWS gets you 10% off.

2. The Full Barefoot Sneaker List

  • VivobarefootANYAVB for 10% off
  • Feelgrounds
  • Mukishoes – Vegan and sustainably made. ANYASREVIEWS gets you 10% off.
  • Belenka – Ace and Prime are their two sneaker styles. ANYASREVIEWS gets you 5% off.
  • Ahinsa – Vegan
  • Zaqq – SO many great casual sneakers
  • Groundies – They’ve got everything, even metallic options!
  • Peerko – vegan and made in the Czech Republic. The only way for customers outside CR to get them is through the website Happy Little Soles.
  • Kigo Shoes – Vegan and sustainably made in the US, they run small batches with only a few color options.
  • Som Footwear – (vegan) I’ve heard these are good shoes with a medium width, but the soles are on the thicker side.
  • Sole Runner
  • Wildling – vegan options
  • Xero Shoes
  • Leguano Shoes – Leguano has a line of sneakers that are pretty sleek looking, but fall on the athletic side.
  • Bearfoot Athletics – These are shown in men’s sizing and don’t go small enough to fit me, but look like a good sneaker option.
  • Splay Shoes – EU 39 is the largest size they produce. ANYASREVIEWS gets you 10% off
  • Birchbury – Don’t have firsthand knowledge of how the toe box is, but they look promising!

3. The All White Sneaker List

4. The All Black Sneaker List

5. The Hightop Sneaker List

  • Feelgrounds Highrise – $109 (vegan) This is just a preorder (they’re shipping in March) but they look dope. The material is knit, not mesh like the original, so it has a cleaner look and is water resistant. Vegan, on sale for $120.
  • Vivobarefoot Kasana – $220 (leather) This is a new women’s style from Vivobarefoot with a pretty slick (slick? who am I?) design. I’m not stoked about the color options, but they’ve got style for sure. The men’s version is the Borough. ANYAVB gets you 10% off.
  • Zaqq Qore & Luq – $165-$175 (leather)
  • Xero Shoes Toronto – This high top is a brand new style from Xero that they are doing a limited release of on February 4th (will be 20% off!). They’re the best looking Xero shoes to date! $80 on sale, $100 normally, they are made of hemp canvas.
  • Mukishoes – $120 (vegan & leather options) Muki always has a few high top styles in different colors. ANYASREVIEWS gets you 10% off
  • Sole Runner Naiad – $165 (leather)

6. The Slip-on Sneaker List

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Comments

14 thoughts on “The Best Barefoot Sneakers That Still Look Cool”

  1. Thank you for this info! I have the feelgrounds, and I love the style, but the sole is a little too thin for me for hours of walking. I love the sole of my Xero Prios, but not the style so much. Do any of the style you reviewed have a more cushioned sole like the Prios?

    1. The Bohempia sneakers have a little thicker insole (I think it’s 7mm thick). Otherwise you could try adding a NorthSole insole. Those have worked really well for me.

  2. We just got Splay shoes for our kids. They’re much cuter in person than I expected, so I’m considering trying a pair. Could you share the width measurement of your 4y?

    1. I can try, but it’s hard to get internal width measurements when there is no insole. You’d get better info if you contacted Splay directly for the internal measurements.

  3. Not sure if they did at the time of this post, but Xero Prio has an all black sneaker. Great info, I love my Prios and LEMS Mariners! Shopping online is daunting, where I live none of these are in store, info on sizing and fit is helpful. Thank you.

  4. Wow thanks for the great reviews it really helps. I have a question. Out of those options which had the absolute widest toe box?

    And for convenience which of the above models offer free/low cost international shipping and returns?

    I know Zaqq is decent with their shipping/returns but Vivo doesn’t cover any returns. Which can create a pretty expensive gamble if a person doesn’t know exactly how it will fit.

    Thanks again!

    1. Where are you located? Vivobarefoot does free returns for the US, UK, and a few other countries. Wildling also does free returns. I believe Belenka is going to have the widest toe box of any on this list, but they don’t accept returns outside the EU right now (should be remedied soon though). So if you’re in the EU I’d recommend Belenka!

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