What Is the Difference Between Barefoot Shoes, Minimalist Shoes, and Natural Footwear?

Natural footwear (sometimes called “functional footwear”) is an umbrella term that generally refers to all shoes that let your feet move naturally. “Natural footwear” can range from an ultra-minimal sandal to a thick cushioned sneaker – but at a minimum natural footwear is zero drop (no heel elevation) and has an anatomical foot shape. Minimalist and Barefoot are terms often used to describe shoes that meet those same minimum requirements plus have a thin flexible sole. For more detailed info, read this article on the Benefits of Barefoot Shoes.

*For the entire searchable FAQ list, visit Barefoot Shoes FAQ

*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.

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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!

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