Vivobarefoot Ryder Review – A Barefoot Riding Boot

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The Vivobarefoot Ryder is a stylish barefoot riding boot for women, not exactly a common find in the barefoot shoe world. But I am done torturing my feet in painful shoes. Thanks to barefoot shoe brands like Vivobarefoot, there are fashionable options that are zero drop, flexible, and wide. Chunky heels and narrow toe boxes not required! Read on for my full Vivobarefoot Ryder review below!

The Vivobarefoot Ryder Review

The Vivobarefoot Ryder is a zero drop barefoot riding boot with an anatomical foot shape. Essentially, all the best parts of a classic riding boot and none of the bad! A simple, classic look that comes in both black and brown. As someone who loves boot season, but hates foot pain, I sure appreciate these classy barefoot shoe options that are becoming more popular.

Ryder boots are leather in the front and stretchy neoprene in the back. The outsole is grippy, thin, and flexible and you can roll the entire boot up into a ball (ever seen a riding boot do that before??). Vivobarefoot boots come with a removable thermal insole that is meant to keep your feet warm, but I prefer to swap mine out for a wool one.

The interior (behind the leather) is lined with microfiber. Because they are unlined they aren’t super warm for winter, but work well if you don’t want to be too hot inside at work. My one complaint about the fit of the Vivobarefoot Ryder boot is that the heel cup is stiff and digs into the back of my heel. I am sensitive there, so I need to use a heel grip on them.


I have owned and reviewed many Vivobarefoot shoes over the years. The Ryder fits on the narrow side for a Vivobarefoot boot, but I am still wearing my usual size US7/EU37. They have an Egyptian foot shape with plenty of big toe space, and are low-medium volume over the instep (you could remove the insole for more space). The calf is not extra wide, so you might consider a Boot Band if you don’t usually fit into average width boots.

If you have high volume, wide feet, or want to wear thicker socks for warmth I would consider sizing up.

To Get To Know Your Foot Type, Read This Post


The Ryder is $235 at full price, but you can use code ANYA20 for 20% off for 10% off any Vivobarefoot purchase. You then have 100 days to return them if you choose, and they will send you a free label. That’s right, 100 days. Shoes that get returned end up on Revivo, where you can shop second hand Vivobarefoot shoes at a discount.

How to Style Barefoot Riding Boots

My favorite way to find outfit ideas is on Pinterest. Search riding boot outfit ideas and you’ve got tons of styling possibilities! I wear my barefoot boots just like I would conventional boots. Because I have narrow calves I like to wear tall socks to fill in some of the extra space. The exact ones I’m wearing in this post can be found here (my set is called Textured Diamond).

For more barefoot style inspiration make sure you’re following my weekly Fashion Friday posts!


Vivobarefoot is one of the best barefoot shoe brands for a reason. They’ve been producing quality zero drop shoes for men, women & kids for years, and have options in all categories! Including lots of vegan options. While I wish that the Ryder was made slightly wider (like the new Fulham is this year), I am still a big fan and have been getting lots of use out of them this season. How do you like your Vivobarefoot Ryder boots?

Video Review

Special thank you to Eye of Shay Photo for shooting these great outdoor photos of me in the Ryders!

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28 thoughts on “Vivobarefoot Ryder Review – A Barefoot Riding Boot”

  1. Hi, I was wondering whether you prefer the Vivobarefoot Ryder boots or the Be Lenka Sierra ones? I am stuck between the two! Absolutely love your website and YouTube reviews by the way.

    1. Hi! I end up wearing the Sierra more often because they are quite a bit wider than the Ryders and fit my foot better. Also, they are lined with fleece and are super cozy.

      1. Thank you! I realized I have one more question. I saw Vivo released the Ryder 2, do you know if there are differences between it and the original/last years model?

        1. So far I’ve only heard that the leather is better quality this year. But I have a pair on the way to me already and will update the article with any changes so it’s current.

  2. Hi, thanks for your wonderful work. I would like to order the Ryder 2 but I don’t really know what size I should go for. The only pair of barefoot shoes that I own are the BeLenka Champs in size 39 and I love them but they are definitely too big. I need to use an insole, especially if I want to wear them without socks. My feet are square, not narrow but not excessively wide, and I have narrow calves. I would be very grateful for any advice

    1. My best guess is that you would be a 38 in the Ryder. They are narrower than Be Lenka Champs, but run generally the same for length. So if the Champs are a size too big, then you probably need a size down in Vivobarefoot too.

  3. Super nice boots, I especially love your barefoot style inspirations. I stay away from boots thou, because I always end up with pairs that are too tight because of my high instep. πŸ™ Anyway I feel the need to add my two cents before someone gets a wrong idea. Pretty straightforward but still, in case google brings someone looking for them. These are NOT barefoot riding boots, these are barefoot fashion boots. πŸ™‚ Real riding boots have to have distinct heels, because heels prevent feet from slipping forward in the stirrups and have ankles caught. Trapped ankles on horseback could end up being fatal.

      1. I have the 39 of these boots – same size I get of other shoes and they fit well. I want to get Be Lenka Barebarics – should I go with 38 or 39 (it seems like they run big)?

  4. I’ve worn my vivo Ryders for over a year and they could do with some repairs, I was upset to see Vivo’s repair service is not available for the Ryder’s so that’s a big down side in my mind, I spent a lot of money on the boots but they can’t be repaired so I wouldn’t ever buy another pair πŸ™

  5. Hi!

    Love your site and have turned my whole family into barefooters. I’m trying to buy the Vivo Ryders but your discount code appears to be invalid. I was wondering if it was updated or perhaps a glitch. Thanks so much!

  6. hi anya! i am trying to decide between the ryder and the be lenka tall boot. i am a farmer and pretty rough on boots and trying to get a durable somewhat water resistant tall boot for winter since we got more cold and snow than usual last year in northern cali and expecting that again. i am hesitant about the ryder because of the neoprene back.. thinking i will catch it on fencing or snag it somehow and it will rip. grateful for your advice and thoughts! -blair

    1. Hi Blair, I don’t think the Ryder would be less durable than the Be Lenka Charlotte – it also has a full elastic panel in the back that could get caught on something. I would guess that the neoprene would be more durable. You also might want to look at the Koel Rana. If you fit into a size 38 or smaller they are a practical option. You can use code ANYASREVIEWS for a 5% discount with Mugavik.

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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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