A custom barefoot shoe is a beautiful thing. If you’re having trouble finding that perfect barefoot shoe for whatever reason, custom-made might be the answer! Read this article for a list of custom barefoot shoe brands plus tips for making the process as smooth as possible.
Who Should Get Custom Barefoot Shoes
There are a great many barefoot shoe brands already out there, with tons of options for all different occasions. But there are some good reasons to consider a custom barefoot shoe.
You might want to go custom if you have:
- A Special Occasion/Dress Code
- An Uncommon Foot Shape/Width
- Two Different Sized Feet
- Extra Large Feet
- Extra Small Feet
- That Perfect Shoe In Mind That You Can’t Find Elsewhere!!
My first custom barefoot shoe order was a pair of riding boots to fit my small calves (and they ended up being my first ever barefoot shoe review in 2018!). They were a time and money investment, but they fit perfectly and I have gotten tons of use out of them, i.e. they were worth it!
What Are The Risks
While I think custom barefoot shoes don’t need to feel intimidating, it’s important to understand that it’s not the same as ordering a pair of ready made shoes.
When ordering custom you are paying primarily for a shoemakers’ time and that can’t be returned if the shoes don’t work out, so most don’t accept returns for a refund. While makers will often try to work with you on a solution, it’s always possible that you are not happy with the outcome.
And also, slight imperfections and variations between shoes are inevitable because these shoes are not made with prefabricated tools. Some people will want to stick with machine made shoes for this reason alone.
If you know what you’re getting into, custom can be a beautiful thing! Once you’re ready, the next step is to measure your feet.
How To Measure Your Feet For A Custom Order
In order to get what you’re looking for in a custom barefoot shoe, you need to provide the shoemaker with accurate measurements of your feet. The instructions will vary depending on the shoemaker, so always defer to their requests. But in the article below you’ll find tips for measuring as accurately as possible.
Additional Tips For Ordering Custom Barefoot Shoes
Custom Takes Time: One important thing to keep in mind is that custom shoes will take much longer to get to you than ready made ones. If you need something for a specific time frame, plan ahead or ask the shoemakers directly if they can accommodate your needs.
Only You Know What You Want: It’s also really important to remember that these shoemakers can’t read your mind. It might take some back and forth, but it’s worthwhile to communicate the exact fit you’re looking for. It helps to send photos and examples of shoes you like (or don’t like) so they have something to go off of. Always better to err on the side of too much information than too little – that way they can tell you if what you envision is even possible for them.
And now, on to the custom barefoot shoe brands!
Custom Barefoot Shoe Brands
Here is a list of the custom barefoot shoemakers around the world that I have personally worked with.
But for a full list of custom barefoot shoe brands for kids and adults, in all categories (dress shoes, boots, sandals, sneakers, etc) check out the Barefoot Shoe Finder below! This link takes you directly to the custom options, but you can also use the Barefoot Shoe Finder to find all kinds of different categories of barefoot shoes. So if there’s something else specific you’re looking for give it a look through!
On to the brands I’ve loved working with in the past!
Deliberate Life Designs – (USA) Vegan Sport Sandals for kids and adults. Use code
ANYASREVIEWS for 10% off. I have two pairs of sandals from DLD and they’re both comfortably and durable, and I love that they’re made from climbing slings that would have gone to the landfill. These are great as everyday, hiking, running, and water sandals.
Earthing Moccasins – (Europe) Leather moccasins, sandals, and boots for all ages. This shop uses your foot tracing and measurements to create custom leather footwear. They do make them to fit snug with the expectation that they will stretch, so don’t be alarmed if they feel tight when brand new. You can also find patterns and videos to make your own!
Read the full Earthing Moccasins Review here! Use code ANYASREVIEWS for 10% off
Fyous (UK) – 3D Printed Gym Shoes made from a foot scan you take on your phone. These are the only custom training shoe option right now, and are especially excellent for people who might need custom orthotics.
Gaucho Ninja Leather – (UK) Leather boots, shoes, and sandals for adults. You can also order custom heavy duty hiking and work boots. These boots are so well made, but really expensive. If you invest, they should last forever and can be resoled as needed. Read my review of two Gaucho Ninja boots here. Leather outsoles are available for grounding.
Gea Soles – (Europe) Leather boots, shoes, flats, and sandals for adults. I adore my custom Gea Soles shoes. Esther tends to make shoes on the bigger side, which means plenty of toe space! But if you have low volume feet I would make sure to discuss it with her. Read my review of Esther’s work here. Leather outsole option for grounding.
Jenon Leather – (Europe) Leather styles for adults. Jenon Leather has a lot of unique styles that can be customized as needed. Dress shoes for men and women, boots, sandals, and sneakers in a huge variety of leather options. Read our Jenon Leather review here for more details!
Paisley Running Sandals – (USA) Vegan & Leather Sport & Lifestyle sandals for adults. These sandals are thoughtfully made by Matt, who makes sure you get exactly what you’re looking for in a sandal. The soles are thicker than most barefoot shoes I am used to, but they are meant to least forever and if they don’t then you can get them fixed up so they never end up in the landfill. You read more on my experience with Paisley Running Sandals here.
*Note this shop is operated by a teacher and only open in the summer*
Ursanina – (Europe) Fabric Ballet Flats. These cute and simple flats can be custom made to your measurements and are still an affordable price. They are accustomed to a more tapered shoe shape, so make sure to specify that you want your flats to match your foot tracing and leave space for your toes. They have some super fun colors + prints!
ZlaTush – (Europe) I have two pairs of ZlaTush flats that were in a preset size, so I’ve actually never gone through the custom process with this shoemaker. But the flats are soft, wide, and well made, with tons of style and color options.
I love that I can get almost any style or color I want in a barefoot shoe if I’m willing to go custom. It might take extra time and money, but it’s worth it if it means having healthy, happy feet no matter where you go or what you’re doing!