The Best Wide Toe Box Shoes That Aren’t Barefoot

*Disclosure – Anya’s Reviews is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.

a collage of 5 different wide toe box shoes that leave plenty of space for your toes to splay out naturally but that aren't barefoot shoes. Flux Runner, AHinsa Comfort, Barebarics Zing, Birkenstock, and Bedrock Clogs

When it comes to shoes the dialogue can feel a bit extreme. It’s either a total barefoot shoe or a full blown marshmallow strapped to your foot. But what if you’re someone who wants to wear a combination of those two – a wide toe box shoe that doesn’t squish your toes, but that also doesn’t have an ultra thin, flat sole?

I’m here to solve your shoe woes, so here is your guide to shoes that have a natural foot shape but are not barefoot shoes.

The Natural Footwear Spectrum

When it comes to shoes there are two extremes: Maximalist and Minimalist. Maximalist shoes have thickly cushioned soles, arch support, pronation control, and all the doodads possible. And unfortunately, often a pointy narrow toe box as well.

Minimalist shoes are the polar opposite with no cushion or support of any kind, as little shoe as possible so that nothing interferes with the functioning of the foot. And also there’s the foot shaped toe box we love so much.

This is why minimalist shoes are considered to be the most natural – they are simply there for protection and don’t interfere with the natural functions of the foot!

But these are just the two extremes. There is an entire spectrum of shoes that fall in between and still have a comfortable wide toe box. That means you have the option of picking the shoe features that align with your goals, and leaving behind what doesn’t align – without compromising your toe space.

a close up of a pair of feet on grass wearing Lems Barefoot boots the Telluride showing the wide toe box and zero drop sole.

Because depending on your current life situation, your feet might not be able to do all that’s required of them without a bit of help. Here are a few reasons why a person might not want to be in full barefoot shoes all of the time:

  • Short term injury – e.g. achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, morton’s neuroma, stress fracture.
  • Long term condition – e.g. hallux rigidus, loss of fat pad under foot, severe joint instability, diabetes.
  • Working/Living environment – e.g. standing on concrete all day.

And then there’s simple preference. I’m not here to tell you what to wear.

But that’s not to say that anyone with one or more of the above conditions should never try barefoot shoes. Only to say that there might be stages of your life when you need or want different options.

The path to happier, healthier feet is WIDE and there is space for you! If barefoot shoes don’t work for you for whatever reason, I want you to know what your best options are.

And don’t forget that you can make many barefoot shoes less “barefoot” with the use of insoles (either from this list of insoles or your own) AND you can have more than one type of shoe in your closet. Choose the best option for the day or activity!

My guiding principle is to wear the shoes that support the life I want to lead, both in the short term and the long term.

Are These Shoes Still Good For Me?

Top down view of Icarus Ascent transition to barefoot sneaker

An anatomically shaped shoe that allows your toes to spread out is ground zero for foot health. So even though there are good reasons to consider true minimalist shoes, you should give yourself credit for taking what I would consider to be the most important shoe feature seriously!

What If I Am New To Barefoot Shoes?

Trying shoes from this list will allow you to experience more toe freedom and can be a good way to get started. However, true barefoot shoes have a totally different feel and if that’s your goal I would recommend starting with my other barefoot shoe resources instead.

If you’re ready to transition and need some guidance, check out my Find Your Footing Workshop to get started!

The Best Wide Toe Box Shoes That Aren’t Barefoot

Now let’s dig into your options for shoes with a natural wide toe box that are not barefoot shoes.

These are listed alphabetically.

Ahinsa Comfort

Use code ANYASREVIEWS for 10% off

Ahinsa Comfort shoes are the same as their barefoot shoes, but with a supportive insole. They are a very nice bridge for people who want a wide toe box, but are not ready to go without support. And if you want to experience the feeling of a true barefoot shoe, you can take out the insole and give it a whirl.

These shoes are still relatively thin and flexible, so if lots of cushion is what you’re after, check out the next option.


Altra Running

Altra Running makes zero and low drop shoes with a much wider toe box than is typically found on athletic shoes, but the cushioning level is high and they offer lateral stability. This is a good brand for ultra runners who log ridiculous miles on concrete and for people who need a more rigid sole – whether that is because of joint arthritis or to hold a supportive orthotic.

I personally recommend their lower cushion options (the high cushion is just excessive for nearly everyone!) and their extra wide fit – the Lone Peak is my favorite.


Baer Shoes

Baer Shoes is a German brand with many beautiful anatomically shaped shoes. The nice thing about Baer is that you can find options for just about every type of shoe you are looking for – they’re “regular” shoes but with a wide toe box. You can check each product description to find the height of the heel drop, type of support, shoe weight, and more.


Barebarics

Use code ANYASREVIEWS for 5% off from Barebarics, or find select styles at Anya’s Shop, including the custom colorway you see above left (not available anywhere else).

Barebarics are more of a barefoot shoe brand than others listed here, but I couldn’t leave them off because they work very well for people who want to add their own orthotic. The sole is wide, durable, and structured so they are quite stabilizing. If you need a supportive shoe and want toe space for days, this is one of the best options (with your own arch support added, because they come with a totally flat insole).

Read an in-depth review of Barebarics shoes here.


Bedrock Sandals

Bedrock sells a variety of models and most have a thick, protective outsole. And if support is what you’re after, the Mountain Clogs and 3d models are lightly molded. You can read our review of the Mountain Clogs here.


Birchbury

Birchbury shoes aren’t very thick, but they do have more cushion than a barefoot shoe. The insole is lightly padded under the heel with a bit of arch support. Birchbury are still pretty flexible and light, so make for a good bridge between traditional shoes and barefoot shoes.


Birkenstock

Birkenstocks are high quality shoes with rigid support for the entire foot. If you want/need a lot of foot support this is a good brand to consider, especially if rigidity is necessary for you due to structural limitations (e.g. big toe arthitis). Birkenstocks last a really long time too! Some closed toes models have removable insoles, so you can experiment with a more barefoot feel if you want to.

I have a long, somewhat tortured relationship with Birkenstocks. But I can’t deny that they saved my toosh when I couldn’t walk due to foot pain!


Chaco

Chaco shoes have a really durable sole with quite a lot of arch support. The sole is mainly rigid, especially in the heel area, but you do get some flex right at the ball of the foot. They do carry models with a conventional toe box and tall heel, so look for options with a flat outsole on models Paonia, Revel, and Ramble. Some sandal models are also available in a wide width.


Conker Shoes

Conker Shoes is a small UK-based sustainable brand making high quality leather footwear that can be resoled for a lifetime. Their made-to-order shoes can be customized a variety of ways and built on many different soles (including zero drop options). You can even be fitted in person at their workshop in Devon! While they don’t offer supportive insoles, they do have a more traditional structure and thickness to them – and you can always add your own insoles if you want to.


Crocs

Oh Crocs! These lightweight foam clogs have become a comfort staple in America because they slide on easily and have ample toe space. While I am not a fan of slide on shoes for long term foot health, I can’t deny that the toe box on Crocs is solid. And if cushion is what you’re after, they are soft and thick under foot.


Duckfeet

Duckfeet shoes has been making naturally shaped footwear since 1975! They all have a wide toe box and a moderate heel. There is no internal arch support, but the veg tanned leather midsole will form to your foot with wear. They’re based in Denmark, and all materials are European-sourced, including terracare® leather, making Duckfeet a sustainable and environmentally-friendly option. Oh, and they can be resoled too!


Flux Footwear

Use code ANYASREVIEWS for 10% off

Flux footwear’s Adapt Runner has ample toe space and a mostly flat sole, but they are cushioned and fairly stiff with a rocker effect. This can be useful for people who have trouble bending the big toe – but I wish there wasn’t so much toe spring! They also have a Trainer sneaker, but the toe box isn’t as wide.


Green Shoes

Green Shoes are all handmade in the UK with a variety of custom options – you can even have them fully bespoke to your foot shape! And because you can resole them they can last forever.


Icarus

Use code ANYASREVIEWS for 10% off

Icarus is a fun one because they come with 3 different insole options depending on your needs. I wear mine with a thin, flat insole but you can choose the cushioned option with extra padding under the heel and a bit of support. They’re really comfy and I love the simple styling!

Read my in-depth Icarus review here.


Joe Nimble

Joe Nimble is a spin off brand from Baer shoes that focuses on athletic/outdoor models. These shoes are good quality and function well, with a lovely anatomical shape to them. I like them for people who need a more rigid sole but have wide feet. The support is minimal (light molding around the heel and flared base for lateral stability) compared to a Birkenstock, but you can always replace the insole with your own if you feel you need it.


Keen

Keen footwear was a staple in my life before I found barefoot shoes – they are really durable and long-lasting with a much wider than average shape. We like the water sandals, and also found that their work boots have good toe space (great option if you need a heel for ladder climbing). The product descriptions clearly show each model’s sole thickness and heel-to-toe drop so you can find a model that works for you!


Lems Shoes

You can find the Lems Primal Zen sneakers at Anya’s Shop

Lems are another brand that is well loved in the barefoot shoe community, but really can go either way. Their shoes are fairly thick and cushioned and they can easily hold your own arch support if you want to add it in. If you want a thicker, more supportive feel, I would choose Pursuit, Summit, & Outlander models, but all Lems are cushioned.

The Mesa & Trailhead are the only Lems models that do not have a wide fit and that I would stay away from. Each product listing includes width information.

Read all my in-depth Lems Reviews here


Oesh Shoes

Use code ANYA2023 for $20.23 off until Dec. 17, 2023

Oesh Shoes are made with a natural shape, zero drop outsole, and no internal support. They have a more cushioned sole than most barefoot shoe brands and a plant-based recycled knit upper that’s soft and stretchy to fit a wide variety of foot shapes.


Peluva

Peluva doesn’t just have a wide toe box, they have individual toe pockets! You can find trainers and casual shoes for men and women with a stack height of 9mm or 12mm.


Saltwater Sandals

One reason these perennial sandals are so adored is because they are quite wide in the toe box and therefore more comfortable than most cute sandals! As a former Saltwater sandal wearer (who has always hated uncomfortable shoes) I can personally vouch for this. While not supportive, they are stiffer and thicker than most barefoot shoes.


Taos

Taos wool clogs can be used as house slippers or as outdoor shoes. They have a good anatomical shape to them and a molded supportive insole that is removeable.


Teva Sandals

Teva Original sandals are generously shaped as far as most adventure sandals go, and the adjustable velcro makes them comfy even for my wide feet! I also like that Tevas are lightweight and still flexible, despite being cushioned.


Topo Athletic

Topo Athletic has a wide toe box and a low or zero drop sole, but more cushioning and rigidity than any barefoot shoe. The pedorthists at FootRX specifically recommend the Phantom 3 model for people with hallux rigidus (limited to no range of motion in the big toe), because the sole is stiff enough to prevent bending.


Vibae

Vibae shoes have a classic vibe and come with a molded supportive insole. The outsole is flat, and the shape is generously wide so they make for a mostly natural fitting shoe but with some support.

Share This Post:

Tagged:

Subscribe to the Barefoot Shoe Digest™

Stay up to date on all the best shoes, current sales, newest releases, and more

You May Also Like:

Comments

96 thoughts on “The Best Wide Toe Box Shoes That Aren’t Barefoot”

  1. Hi Looking for a natural foot shape dress shoe to wear with a suit that looks good but is not barefoot. Do you have any recommendations that aren’t too expensive? Thank you

    1. I would suggest Birchbury. Their Brenston has a lot of toe space, a cushioned and lightly supportive insole, and look really nice.

  2. These shoes seem better than most, but they still are all tapered at the pinky toe. The shape of my foot has the big toe and next two toes all extending the same distance. The next toe extends almost as far (about half a knuckle short). The pinky toe is about a knuckle shorter then the two longest toes, or half a knuckle shorter than its neighbor. I don’t need more space for the big toe, which angles slightly toward the other toes. I need space for the pinky toe and its neighbor. Any shoes that match this pattern?

  3. I have peripheral neuropathy and my toes are very sensitive so I need a wide toebox shoe not just wide but tall I also pronate so I need a shoe with good arch support and cushioning is important for my heels. What would you suggest? I was so glad to find your website because wide tow box shoes are so hard to find. Thank you,
    Brenda Cool

    1. Lems Shoes are great if you need a tall toe box. I particularly like their Primal Zen sneaker. They don’t come with built in arch support, but all the insoles are removable so you can easily swap in your own orthotic or insole. And they have cushion.

  4. Thank you for this!
    I have my own list, which includes some of the brands you listed, but I would like to add the ones you didn’t:
    Asportuguesas (Portugese brand of sustainably produced shoes with cork soles)
    Shangies (Danish brand of sandals with natural jute fabric footbed)
    Bokyna (sandals made in Thailand, with at least one model for wide feet)

    I wear those brands, including Birkenstock, (and of course barefoot shoes), and I can vouch for wide footbed and comfyness.

    I’ll dig more into your lists, and won’t hesitate to ask about something 😉

  5. I have a foot drop, a result of an injury that left much of my left foot, toes, very “fragile.”
    I’m 80 years old and have worn Finn comfort sandals with and without socks (seasonal) but this past year or two I have suffered many falls, broken bones. I have tried Duck Feet but my right foot is lost in them…besides I think they’re ugly. Will any of the shoes you recommended sell two sizes

    1. From this list, no but I have a list of barefoot shoe brands that will sell two sizes here.. If you write in to the FeelBarefoot Etsy shop and let them know what you need they do a good job of accommodating. And their close toed shoes can often accommodate your own insoles/orthotics if you want to add your own support.

  6. Hi, Anya~~I am trying to find a wide toe boot that would work for riding my horse (needs a protective toe, of course, and a slight heel)~~it looks like the Keen brand might work, but can you tell me how their sizing goes? Do they run small or large? I would rather not have arch support and I don’t know if they have that, either. If you know of any other wide toe box boots that might fit the bill I am all ears and thank you!

    1. Hi Sheree! I would check out the Duckfeet brand mentioned in this article. They have a small heel, but no internal arch support.

  7. Hi Anya
    I have multiple issues with my right foot: i need arch support (the result of a past injury) and i get corns under my pinky. Plus i have wide feet. So i need cushion plus arch support plus wide toe box. What would you suggest? most brands i checked out met only 2 out of 3 requirements.

    1. Hi Deepa, I would suggest using this list to find the amount of cushion and toe space you’re looking for – then adding whatever level of arch support you need. That might be the easiest option for you!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Picture of Hi. I'm Anya.

Hi. I'm Anya.

I first discovered barefoot shoes after a long history of foot issues. By changing my footwear and strengthening my body I was able to completely transform my life. Anya’s Reviews is my way of sharing with the world that healthy feet are happy feet!

Follow Me

Subscribe for weekly updates

Check out our shop!

Shoe Finder

Popular Posts

Archives
Scroll to Top

Thank you for subscribing!

So I can serve you better, can you answer this one quick question?

What is the #1 thing I can help you with?

Subscribe to the Barefoot Shoe Digest™

Stay up to date on all the best shoes, current sales, newest releases, and more.