Groundies Barefootwear stands out from the crowd as one of the most fashion forward barefoot shoe brands out there. They carry an incredible array of stylish (yet functional) shoes for men and women that also meet my healthy shoe requirements. They’ve outdone themselves this fall with a beautiful lineup! Keep reading for the lowdown on Groundies Barefootwear and their Fall/Winter 2022 Collection.
Please note: Groundies had to file for insolvency on March 30, 2023 (after this article was written), which resulted in a temporary closure of their webshop. They are now open for business again, and all orders are guaranteed by the lawyer who is negotiating the proceedings which means customers can order today with confidence.
But if you are someone who had an outstanding order or return as of March 30, unfortunately they cannot do anything for you at the moment – all of those claims are wrapped up in the insolvency proceedings that will formally begin June 1. They hope to be able to offer a solution as soon as possible, but are bound by the legal process. Obviously this is very upsetting for many customers! Frustration about this whole ordeal is completely justified.
Our sale of in-stock Groundies shoes at Anya’s Shop was unaffected by this, but it is resulting in a delay of the remaining spring models we ordered. Ultimately, we should still be able to offer everything we planned to carry but don’t know exactly when they will arrive.
Getting to Know Groundies
Groundies has been on my preferred list since they first launched in 2019. They’re the place I go to for on-trend designs you can’t find elsewhere in the barefoot shoe world. In fact, the Universe sneaker is one of your favorites as a first-time barefoot shoe!
So you can imagine my delight when I had the opportunity to visit Groundies’ facilities in-person in Germany last month. I held and tried on on the entire fall/winter collection AND got a sneak peek of what’s to come in spring! We chatted about the needs of the barefoot shoe community, what I hope to see in the future, and how we can make barefoot living more enjoyable and accessible to the masses. It was a great time, and I think you’ll be pleased at where Groundies is heading.
Ordering from Groundies
Groundies is located in Germany with fast and free shipping/returns to many EU countries. Outside those locations you can choose regular shipping (€10 to US) which in my experience is quite slow and unpredictable. Or you can choose expedited shipping (€15 to US) which takes just a couple days. I usually go for the expedited shipping because it’s so much faster than regular.
And in other exciting news, we at Anya’s Shop are now carrying select Groundies models for even easier access on this side of the pond! That means you can shop locally with us, or you can access the entire Groundies range in the EU and know that returns will be hassle free.
Regardless of where you live and how you shop, here is what you need to know if you want to try Groundies barefoot shoes.
Regular VS Anatomic
Groundies has a line of “regular” fit shoes with a more traditional tapered toe box – but are otherwise the same as their barefoot shoes. The idea is that someone who absolutely won’t try a foot shaped shoe might be willing to try an in-between option to get their foot in the door. If that’s you, I do believe a Groundies “regular” fit shoe is a more natural option than the thick, stiff, and highly supportive shoes popular today.
However I feel strongly that the foot shape of barefoot shoes is fundamental and if you take that away you’re losing the most beneficial feature of them! So I always recommend choosing the “anatomic” models from Groundies – they still look amazing and you get to experience the true foot freedom of a barefoot shoe.
You can easily choose which sole shape you see by using the filter at the top of any product collection page, or see all anatomic models in one place here.
Groundies Sizing & Fit
Because I only review barefoot shoes, we’re dealing entirely with the Groundies anatomic line in this article.
Men’s and Women’s shoes from Groundies are built on the same mold, and therefore have the same fit type. The only difference is the size range offered and some of the design aesthetics.
Groundies Anatomic shoes fit generally as follows:
- True to Size
- Medium to wide width
- Medium volume
Essentially, Groundies fits your average foot. That means they are not well suited for extra wide feet, but for many people they are a comfortable width without being too wide. If you have high volume feet you can go for models with laces, or the GS1 sole (see below).
Groundies Sole Types
Groundies anatomic shoes come on 4 different outsole types. Because they all have roughly the same shape, the difference comes down to style, functionality, and fit.
- GO1: Groundies original sole that is extremely responsive, grippy, flexible, and soft.
- GS1: This gives the appearance of a thick traditional sole, but it is actually quite thin. However it is slightly thicker and less flexible than the GO1.
- GX1: This one is thicker than the GO1 to be more rugged for hiking and cold, but still flexible.
- GP1: The second most flexible sole from Groundies, but with slightly more cushion and the appearance of a wedge heel. It also has a slightly elongated toe to give a more traditional appearance (but it’s no narrower than other Groundies shoes).
For me, the original GO1 sole is the most genuine barefoot feel, and it also has the widest fit. This is because the material is very flexible and doesn’t come up high, so it can spread out with your foot. I am pleased that Groundies is getting back to its roots this fall with many boots built on this incredibly comfortable sole. You can find all shoes built on the GO1 here.
Shoes on the GS1 sole have a slightly different fit type than the other models. These shoes fit high volume and a little narrower than the other sole types because the high walled sole prevents the shoe from spreading out. For that reason, I recommend them for average to narrow, high volume feet.
Now let’s get to the good stuff. Here are my thoughts on some of the best shoes from the Groundies fall/winter collection.
The Groundies Fall/Winter Collection Review
This season Groundies has launched many beautiful boots that cover both dressy/stylish options AND the practical needs of warmth, water resistance, and grip. You can find both men’s and women’s options reviewed here.
€ 150- € 160 | Sizes EU 36-43 | Leather | Leather Lining | GO1 & GX1 Sole
Oh Odessa! This model was first released a few years back and I immediately snatched up a pair. They are timeless (my mom wore boots like this as a young adult) and so comfortable. You can dress them up, but feel like you’re still wearing your slippers!
The ankle opening runs on the wider side, but they are medium volume over the arch. The leather is suede, so I recommend using a waterproofing spray to protect them.
€ 190 | Sizes EU 36-47| Leather | Waterproof | GX1 Sole
The Ontario functions as a hiking boot with a non-slip sole, waterproof upper AND a waterproof membrane. They are about 8.5mm thick and run on the small side, so sizing up is recommended.
These feel a little bit stiff at first, but the sole breaks in rather quickly (took about a mile or two of walking before I felt it) and the entire shoe becomes soft.
€140 | Sizes EU 36-43 | Leather | Leather Lining | GO1 Sole
The Salzburg is a feminine zip up bootie made of the softest nubuck leather. The beige color is so pretty, but prone to getting dirty so I sprayed them with Carbon Pro before wearing them out. Nubuck leather is usually more delicate, so protecting before wearing is a good idea (even the black color).
This model is a delight if you want something stylish while still being light and soft.
€210 | Sizes EU 36-43 | Leather | Waterproof | Synthetic Wool Lining | GX1 Sole
This model has a thick, plush lining throughout the entire boot and the material is WATERPROOF. There is some gusseting inside the zipper, above which water could come in if you stepped in a deep puddle. They are built on the GX1 sole which increases their functionality. I’ll be using them as a warm walking and hiking boot, but they almost could be used as an outdoor work boot.
You might want to size up one if you plan to wear thick socks (generally that’s a good practice), but I found them true to size even with the lining.
€140 | Sizes EU 36-43 | Leather | Faux fur Lining | GO1 Sole
This Chelsea boot has a tall shaft, just like I saw all over London last month. At first I was so-so on the style, but was won over by how sleek and close-fitting the ankle is giving an edgy but streamlined look. I love them with skirts and dresses or leggings.
The lining is microfiber, so not very thick and I did not need to size up.
€150 | Sizes EU 36-43 | Suede | Fabric Lining | GX1 Sole
These booties are very soft and flexible, and built on the GX1 sole. They work as an every day boot, or for light hiking. The lacing and attached tongue make them adjustable for most foot volumes, and they are pretty darn cute! They are not waterproof.
€140 | Sizes EU 36-43 | Suede | Virgin Wool Lining | GX1 Sole
The Alaska is a cozy boot lined with a medium-thick fleece. They have a casual, cozy vibe for cool days and a looser fit (perfect for warm socks). The side zipper makes them perfect for quick errands.
€140 | Sizes EU 36-43 | Leather | Wool lining | GS1 Sole
The cozy is a slip on Uggs style boot. They are on the GS1 sole, which makes them a little less comfortable for me, but I still like the ease of these boots. The lining is medium thickness, so good for cool fall and early winter days. Supa cute if you’re going for the Uggs look!
€110 | Sizes EU 36-43 | Leather | Microfiber Lining | TrueSense 3mm Ballerina Sole
The Felicia was an exciting one for me, they are so beautiful and stylish. They also have a wide comfortable fit and a microfiber lining for a little more warmth in the fall & winter. I reviewed these barefoot ballet flats along with 4 other testers recently, you can read my Groundies Felicia review for all the details.
A cross over style from the spring is the Belina flat. This is your basic black flat, perfect if you need a versatile dress shoe with no frills.
Groundies barefoot sneakers are available year round and perennially popular among barefoot shoe fans. They just look so dang smart! The options this fall are mostly riffs on old favorites.
€120 | Sizes EU 36-43| Nubuck or Leather | Chrome-free Leather Lining | GS1 Sole
The Nova is Groundies most popular style from season to season. They have a retro-inspired design and come in many different colorways. These are built on both the GS1 sole (which looks awesome but is a little squishy on my foot type) or on the GO1 sole which is my favorite. They’re all so beautiful!
Universe & Universe HiTop
€120-140 | Sizes EU 36-43 (select models up to EU 48) | Leather | GS1 Sole
The Universe is another perennial model from Groundies with a classic sneaker look. So many of you have used this shoe as your first step into the barefoot shoe world! They look mainstream, but still give you the barefoot experience. The Universe line continues to expand with the HiTop model for the ultimate white high top trendy sneaker.
This fall the low top Universe come in a fur-lined or subtle snakeskin detail option. The snakeskin Universe is available at Anya’s Shop!
Brand new from Groundies this season is their Active line! These are built on a grippy outsole for running and exercise (both indoor and outdoor). While I like the outsole for sports, I’m finding that they fit narrower than other barefoot models from Groundies. So these sneakers I recommend for slimmer feet.
Vegan Shoes from Groundies
If you only buy vegan shoes, there are a fair number of options in all categories. Below you can browse Groundies’ 100% vegan barefoot shoes.
If you have a medium wide foot, Groundies is a wonderful barefoot shoe brand both for style and functionality. You can find attractive sneakers, warm waterproof boots, and exercise shoes all in the same place.
Groundies barefoot shoes are a marriage of style, quality, and healthy shoe. Plus, one of the most flexible soles you can imagine! If you’ve been on the fence about barefoot shoes, this is a great brand to start with.