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:
- My Sneaker Picks
- The Full Sneaker List
- All-White Sneaker List
- All-Black Sneaker List
- High-Top Sneaker list
- Slip-On Sneaker List
1. My Sneaker Picks
1.1 Vivobarefoot Court
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 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.
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.
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).
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
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
- Vivobarefoot – ANYAVB for 10% off
- 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
- Vivobarefoot Court – $150 (leather) Men’s version here. ANYAVB gets you 10% off
- Feelgrounds All White Original – $131 (mesh)
- Belenka Prime White – $128 (leather). ANYASREVIEWS gets you 5% off. My full review here.
- Mukishoes Cloud – $130 (cotton) and Raw Leather Cloud – $130 (leather). ANYASREVIEWS gets you 10% off
- Groundies Kopenhagen – $154 (leather) Men’s version here.
- Groundies Sydney – $150 (vegan leather) Men’s version here.
- Zaqq – Several different all white styles prices at $165 or higher, vegan and leather options.
- Sole Runner Callisto – $140 (canvas) There are only a handful of sizes left in this style, but it’s a great white Ked’s dupe.
- Leguano Active White – $159 (vegan)
4. The All Black Sneaker List
- Feelgrounds All Black – $131 (vegan)
- Belenka Prime Black – $128 (leather). ANYASREVIEWS gets you 5% off
- Lem’s Chukka – $120 (vegan)
- Ahinsa – $200 (vegan) They make a number of all black sneakers in unisex sizing.
- Mukishoes – $105 (cotton) The Onyx comes in a low top and high top. ANYASREVIEWS gets you 10% off
- Wildling Tanuki Yoru – $96 (vegan)
- Bohempia – $115-$130 (hemp) All 4 of their barefoot styles come in all-black. ANYASREVIEWS gets you 10% off
- Xero Shoes Prio – $90 (vegan)
- Peerko Plain Black– $86 (vegan) unisex but sizing doesn’t go up very high
- Ani Low Top & High Top – $115 (vegan leather)
- Sole Runner Metis – $130 (leather)
- Som Footwear Norwood – $149 (canvas)
- Zaqq – $165 Again, several styles in both vegan and leather.
- Unshoes Terra Vida – $74 (hemp) Unshoes just released an all-black version of their Terra Vida. My code ANYA gets your free shipping
- Bearfoot Athletics Ursus – $80 (Leather). These are in men’s sizing, so won’t fit some ladies.
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
- Xero Shoes Aptos $60 (Vegan) Women’s version here, really affordable and cool looking! See my review of them here.
- Belenka Eazy – $110 (canvas and leather options) – LOVE. See them on me here. ANYASREVIEWS gets you 5% off
- Feelgrounds Droptop – $117 (vegan) ALSO LOVE. See my Droptop review here
- Bohempia Slip On – $114 (hemp). ANYASREVIEWS gets you 10% off
- Vivobarefoot Ra Slip On – $160 (leather & vegan options). ANYAVB gets you 10% off
- Unshoes Terra Vida – $74 (hemp) – This slip on shoe only really looks like a slip-on sneaker in the all-black version. The others look more like Toms. ANYA gets your free shipping in the US!
- Luks Shoes Fuego – $100 (leather)
- Splay is working on a slip on!