The Best Barefoot Shoes & Brands for Your Foot Type

When you switch to healthy footwear, you’re deciding your feet are important. And that means no longer wearing shoes that don’t fit. But with so many variations in foot shape and size, it can be really hard to find a shoe that actually fits YOUR foot. In this post we’re talking about how to measure your feet, basic foot types, and barefoot shoes and brands that work well for your foot type.

Keep in mind that this is a general guide. There are tons of other barefoot shoe brands that fall somewhere in the middle and aren’t listed out here. To find barefoot shoes by category and lots more brands make sure you check out my other barefoot shoe lists. But no matter what type of shoe you are looking for, getting to know your feet first will make shopping that much easier!

I have experience with nearly every single brand on this list. Be sure to check out the reviews section and make use of the search bar if you have any questions about a particular barefoot shoe brand!

Measuring Your Feet

First things first. Having a handle on your foot measurements is pretty important. I measure my feet before every purchase in centimeters to ensure an accurate number. If you plan to wear socks you should have them on when you measure.

There are two main ways to measure: A foot tracing and the wall method. For expensive/risky shoe purchases I always measure both ways TWICE at the end of the day (your feet are smaller in the morning). It’s ok if your measurements are slightly different every time, just use the average.

Foot Tracing

A foot tracing is the most common way to measure. You simply trace an outline of your foot and measure. But it’s important to know that it adds about .5 cm to your actual foot size. The general recommendation is to wear shoes that are 1 – 1.5cm longer than your foot. So if you use a foot tracing to figure out what size shoe you need, take your measurement and add only .5 – 1cm (so the total shoe length you are looking for would then be 1 – 1.5cm longer than your actual foot size), and find the nearest corresponding size on the size chart. My feet measure 23.2 from a foot tracing, so I look for shoes with an internal length of 23.7-24.2.

Some people get confused about their foot width when they use a tracing, because they aren’t taking into account the extra mm the tracing added. My foot measures 9.2cm wide from a tracing but I can comfortably wear shoes that have an internal measurement of 8.8cm (without socks). This is because my actual foot width is .5cm less than the 9.2 I get from a tracing.

Watch the vid below for how to do a foot tracing. Make sure you keep your pencil straight up and down!

Wall Method

The wall method yields the most accurate length and width of your foot. You measure foot length by placing your heel lightly against the wall (don’t push it in) and putting a heavy book where your longest toe ends. Then mark where the book is and measure that distance. You get your foot width by lining up the outside edge of your foot against the wall and placing the book on the other side. Then mark with a pencil and measure.

Understanding Foot Type

Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Square

There are a dizzying amount of foot types and most people fall somewhere on a spectrum (metaphor for life). So let’s illustrate the main ones. Egyptian feet have a prominent big toe and all toes are shorter than the previous one. Greek feet have their 2nd toe longest. Roman feet have the first 3 toes all the same length and then it tapers. And Square feet are straight across. Identifying the shape of your foot can make it a lot easier to select a shoe! Let’s discuss brands that work well for each foot type.

Barefoot Shoe Brands for Egyptian Feet

1. Luks Sandas, 2. Vivobarefoot Geo Court, 3. Be Lenka Prime

Not many brands cater to Egyptian only feet, but the good news is they don’t need to. When all your toes are shorter than your big toe you’re not likely to have issues with them running into the front of the shoe. So people with Egyptian feet can fit into every shoe shape (provided they work for your width and volume, keep reading for more info). Here are a few barefoot shoe brands that follow an Egyptian foot shape.

Barefoot Shoe Brands for Greek Feet

1. Unshoes Terra Vida, 2. Groundies Liverpool, 3. PaperKrance

People with Greek feet have to be careful about shoes that slope after the big toe. The following brands have a more rounded toe box shape, but also check out the brands for Roman & Square feet, as many of them will work too.

Barefoot Shoe Brands for Roman & Square Feet

1. Ahinsa Ankle Boot, 2. Zeazoo Dingo, 3. Wildling Crane

Roman and Square feet also need to watch for sloping toe boxes. That doesn’t mean you can never try other options, but you might need to size up for enough toe space. Below are some brands that cater to feet that are more square.

What is Foot Volume?

Foot volume describes how much vertical space your foot takes up. This is independent of your length, width, and foot type. High volume feet are “tall” or “deep” and take up space in the top of the shoe. If you have this type of foot you may find that shoes feel extra snug over the arch of your foot and you have to keep your laces loose.

Low volume feet are shallow, or in other words they don’t come very high up from the ground and don’t take up much vertical space. People with this type of foot may find that there is extra space in the top of their shoes. This can result in a lot of sloshing around and toe gripping, but don’t worry it’s an easy fix.

Barefoot Shoes Brands for Low Volume Feet

Vivobarefoot Opanka

There aren’t many brands that cater to low volume feet, BUT that shouldn’t prevent you from trying them all. It is very easy to fix a low volume problem either with barefoot insoles or my favorite felt inserts. You can learn more ways to make shoes fit your feet better in this video.

Barefoot Shoe Brands for High Volume Feet

Lisbeth Joe London

If you have high volume feet it’s unlikely you’ll be able to make a low volume shoe fit. Your best bet is to choose a high volume shoe to begin with and get good at stretching techniques. Here are some good high volume brands and shoes.

Narrow Vs Wide

an image of two different left feet side by side. One is a narrow foot, and the other is wide with a large toe splay.

Narrow and wide are subjective terms. But most barefoot shoe brands fall into what we’ll call “average” width. So if you find that your feet are sloshing around in all your shoes then you may have narrow feet. If your foot is always rolling off the edges of your soles, then you might have wide feet. If you have no idea, I recommend trying one of the average width brands listed below (maybe one with free shipping/returns to be safe!) and going from there.

In the barefoot shoe world width usually refers to toebox width, not width the entire length of the shoe. Some people might have narrow heels but wide toes, while others are wide the entire length of the foot.

Barefoot Shoe Brands for Narrow Feet

Barefoot Shoe Brands for Extra Wide Feet

A top down view of 3 right shoes with the text "Barefoot Shoes for Wide Feet" at the top. Shown are the Vivobarefoot Addis, the Softstar shoes primal merry jane, and the lems waterproof boulder boot
1. Vivobarefoot Addis, 2. Primal Merry Jane, 3. Lems Boulder Boot

All barefoot shoe brands should be wide compared to conventional shoes. But this is a list of extra wide options, for people who don’t fit into other barefoot shoe brands, starting with the widest. Keep in mind that custom may be a good option if you have trouble finding shoes that fit (see the next section).

Major Barefoot Shoe Brands for Average Width Feet

Custom Barefoot Shoe Brands

A photos showing 3 right shoes: the Gea Soles Custom Barefoot Yrsa, the Drifter Leather buckle boot, and the handmade Gaucho Ninja Desert Blaster
1. Gea Soles, 2. The Drifter Leather, 3. Gaucho Ninja

While custom shoes can be a scary investment, if you have tricky feet it can make all the difference. My custom shoes are some of my all time favorites because they fit like a glove. Check out this list of shoemakers that will customize your purchase to your personal foot measurements.

Sandals

Looking for more categories of shoes? Here are a few more lists

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Comments

10 thoughts on “The Best Barefoot Shoes & Brands for Your Foot Type”

  1. oh my gosh this is a brilliant article,
    i just discovered i have roman high profile feet.
    i will never look at feet the same way again
    this is so interesting
    thank you!!!

  2. Love shoes that are custom made to fit! Besides having low volume Greek feet, there is a whole size difference between my left and right. Now I have my eye on a pair of Gea Soles boots in the forest green/ ocean blue combo. Your site is bad for my wallet 😀

  3. Hi Anya,
    I am obsessed with your website and your knowledge!
    Wondering if you can advise on some shoes, basically I have bunions. My big toe being out of alignment has pushed most of my other toes outwards, i literally can’t find a pair of shoes that doesn’t rub on the outside of my toes! once i had a pair of Vivobarefoot Jazz shoes and they were the first shoes that i had ever worn that were comfortable, unfortunately as they were canvas, i washed them and the whole shoe shrunk 🙁 i have never found another pair of shoes that don’t rub on my toes. Recently i have tried Camper Peu, Vivobarefoots in Fulham, Geo court, Primus light. Feelgrounds droptop. Groundies Toulouse, ibiza, milano, sidney (kind of fit but sent them all back). Just received a pair of Freet Pace on your recommendation, but they too after wearing round the house for a while are rubbing on my toes a bit. I am waiting for a pair of Vivo Addis as i hear they are wider than the other vivos, but not holding out much hope. I don’t want to have surgery but I literally can’t find a pair of shoes that fit me. Any advice and thoughts would be amazing. xx

    1. Hmm, well my first piece of advice would be to work on your feet so your bunions aren’t so inflamed. Toe spacers, foot exercises, etc. Of course, that’s the long game. In the short term, Unshoes Terra Vida might be a good choice, they are very soft and lightweight. Or the Primal line from Softstar, they are suuuper wide, the widest out there. I recently reviewed their Merry Jane style that is pretty darn cute for being so wide. Thanks for the kind words! Best of luck to you.

  4. In this world we live in, with so much to “do”, especially this time of year, even when I love doing research, it’s a bit much. THANK YOU for making it easy! I haven’t even begun to read the article yet, as I have a busy day ahead, but from past history of yours, I have faith that it’s going to be perfectly what I need. Thank you again.
    Much love,
    Amy S

  5. MICHELLE BAUMGARTNER

    Hi there,
    I am new to barefoot shoes but want to learn from you. Your site is so great!! I’m looking to purchase the Vivobarefoot Geo Court Eco and not sure what size to get. I usually wear a women’s size 9. I measured my foot without socks with heel to the wall as you show to do. My measurement is 25.4 cm. Vivobarefoot’s website says to add 10-12mm. I’m not sure if it best to order a size 9 (40 EU) or size 10 (41 EU). What would be your experienced opinion?
    Thanks for any info!
    Michelle Baumgartner

    1. Hi, thank you Michelle! If you plan to wear socks in your shoes I would wear those when you measure. In that case, a 41 would likely be best, since a 40 only gives you 7mm of extra space.

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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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Barefoot shoes aren’t known for being cheap. So it’s great news that TONS of barefoot shoe brands participate in Black Friday & Cyber Monday sales. Here you can find all the holiday sales in one place!

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Barefoot Shoes for Your Foot Type

When you switch to healthy footwear you’re deciding your feet are important. But with so many variations in foot shape and size, it can be hard to find a shoe that actually fits. In this post we’re talking about basic foot types and barefoot shoe brands that work well for them

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