Whitin Review – Cheap Barefoot Sneakers

*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.

Since I wrote this review Whitin has made some big changes! Read this updated Whitin Review for the lowdown.

Whitin barefoot shoes are some of the cheapest available, but how do they stack up? Check out this review of Whitin’s $40 sneakers to find out if I consider them to be a natural footwear option.

Whitin Review

Bunion surgery, physical therapy, days off work, lost productivity – It’s hard to put a price tag on the health of your body. That’s why I would rather put a little more money into my footwear up front. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find healthy barefoot shoes that are also affordable!

Whitin is an Amazon brand that makes many different kinds of shoes. Only two models are barefoot friendly, so make sure you check the titles for the words barefoot or minimalist. They each cost around $40, come in sizes EU 36-46, or US women’s 6-men’s 13, and are available at Amazon websites around the world. With the insoles removed they are about 5mm thick.

Whitin Trainers

Let’s start with the model that fared the best. The Whitin Trail Runner (Find women’s sizes here) is a fully barefoot-approved sneaker that is surprisingly soft and flexible once you remove the insole. They are not zero drop (completely flat) unless you take out the insole, so I recommend removing it or replacing it with a barefoot insole.

They have a neoprene upper, adjustable elastic laces, and a velcro strap. The materials feel somewhat cheap, but I have to admit the shoe is better than I expected. I think the biggest question is how long it will take before the shoe gives out, since it meets all my other requirements for healthy footwear.

Fit Type

Check out this post to understand your feet and fit type.
It can go a long way to help you find the right shoes for you without the hassle of returns!

Whitin Trainers have a Mountain shape to them, so are good for people whose 1st or 2nd toes are longest. People with square shaped feet might find their outside toes running into the end of the shoe.

See the end of this post for an image of where Whitin fits into the width spectrum of barefoot shoes! They are right in the middle, a solid width that will fit most average to wide feet. But not extra wide.

While the shoes can be loosened, they will fit a low to medium volume foot best. Really high arches or tall feel will feel tight in these.

The outsole feels good to me, decent traction while still being very flexible. I think where the neoprene attaches to the sole is what will wear out first, but in the community section below you’ll find that several people have owned these a long time and they’re still going strong!


Whitin Casual Sneakers

These Whitin casual sneakers are cute, simple and very flexible (find men’s sizes here). The biggest difference between the trainers and the casual sneakers is that the sneakers have a narrower toe box that is borderline not foot-friendly. I would only recommend it to people with narrow feet whose toes have not yet spread. But, in order for your toes to spread you really want to give them the space for it.

You can see below that the shape of the toe box cuts off both my big toe and my little toes. But they’re super light and flexible without the insole!

Wearing shoes with a shape like this can keep your toes from reaching their full potential. So they might be a good entry point to the barefoot shoe world, but it’s not something I would stick with for too long (unless, you just have really narrow feet).

Read this article to learn more about why toe spread is important to your body.

This shoe fits a much higher volume foot than the runners. There is lots of space above the toes and in the arch and ankle. I had to put in a barefoot insole and even then had quite a lot of space above my foot. This should be good news to people who need extra high toe boxes.

Below you can see a width and length comparison of a handful of other casual barefoot sneakers that I wear. This is taken from the outside of the shoe so is not useful in picking a size, only in comparing one brand to the other. The Whitin casual sneakers are on the far right and you can see that besides having a tapered shape, they are also narrower than all the other major barefoot shoe brands.

From left to right: Bohempia, Mukishoes, Feelgrounds, Groundies, Be Lenka, Vivobarefoot, and Whitin.

I grabbed as many of my barefoot sneakers from my personal collection as I could find and ordered them all by toe box width. See below for the lineup of narrowest to widest barefoot shoe brands.

A couple brands I accidentally left out of this lineup:
Splay Athletics (They’d go right in the middle)
Wildling Shoes (They’d be between Vivobarefoot and Groundies)

You can find a full list of barefoot friendly athletic sneakers in this post!

Community Feedback

30 members of the barefoot community who own Whitin barefoot shoes shared their feedback with me.

Whitin Trail Runners

  • Out of 20 respondents who bought the Whitin Trail Runners, 10 of them reported all good things! All foot types were represented here, even some extra wide, high volume feet are enjoying them.
  • 8 reported that they were slightly too small and narrow in their regular size. Of those, 2 returned the shoes outright, one no longer wears them. The remaining 5 continue to wear their sneakers but will size up in the future.
    *Wide high volume feet take note! Based on this feedback you might want to size up!*
  • 2 people with narrow feet found them too wide. and 3 remarked that they were holding up longer than they expected (one owner has been wearing hers for 2 years)

Whitin Casual Sneakers

  • Out of 10 respondents who bought the Casual Sneakers, 7 love them and wear them. Of these, all had either narrow, average or wide feet. None had extra wide feet.
  • Of the 3 that did not have a good experience with the Casual sneakers, it was either because they were too narrow or too high volume.
  • 3 reported that the material gets dirty really quickly and they have to be washed often.
  • For half of the respondents this was their first barefoot shoe.

Video Review

Conclusion

At the end of the day, this barefoot movement needs to be accessible to everyone. While I prefer to shop small where possible, we should not ignore cheaper options! Whitin Barefoot Shoes are affordable, accessible, and meet natural footwear requirements. Your body will thank you. For more affordable options that are still zero drop, flexible, and foot-shaped see the links below!

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Comments

39 thoughts on “Whitin Review – Cheap Barefoot Sneakers”

  1. Can anyone direct me to a men’s size chart? The link to the amazon site does not show a size chart. Thanks

    1. Hi! I’m trying to find the size chart for women everywhere! My feet are 23 cm with socks, would be ok a 6 whitin size? It’s the smallest they sell in Amazon. Thanks!

  2. Thank you so much for the width comparison! I’ve literally been looking for this everywhere and I’m so glad you did it! It’s like GOLD! Do you do this for athletic shoes as well? Love your site!

  3. Thank you for this! I have the Casual sneakers and love them! I have a high arch and bare feet isn’t as good as it used to be (I’m 62) so I just bought an insert. They feel almost as good as barefoot regardless. I believe after reading your review I will try the Trail Runners.

  4. The latest Within shoes I bought were narrow, they stopped making the wide fitting shoes that they sold last year.

    They changed the width from very wide to normal.

  5. Can the trail runner sneakers with Zero sole be worn as a daily walking sneaker for 3-5 miles walks on asphalt pavement? If so long might it last compared to a traditional walking sneaker? I am looking for a substitute to wear this winter in lieu of my Teva sandals. If I wanted to wear athletic socks, should I size up a half size?
    Thank you

    Bob

    1. You would probably want to go up a half size or maybe even a full size in the trail runners if you wanted to wear athletic socks. Durability wise, It’s hard for me to predict since everyone will wear through a shoe at different rates, but my guess is they would last as long as any other sneaker.

  6. How do Whitin men shoe sizes compare to Sketchers. I typically wear a 10.5 to 11 men’s shoe, but with Sketchers I need a size 12. I am interested in the Whitin Max Cushing Mens Running Shoe. Thanks

  7. Hi Anya,

    Thanks for this helpful review, and your website, more generally! It’s truly a wonderful resource.

    I came to this particular page after observing that the Whitin outsole on your “Foot Type” post most resembles my wet footprint.

    Like you, I’d prefer to shop small; I’m wondering what non-Amazon brand offers an athletic shoe that fits most like these trainers? Specifically, I’m looking for width across the arch (for super-flat feet), low volume in the instep and the toebox, and a shape suitable for mountain/plateau toes.

    (If it helps, I find the Vivobarefoot Ababa to fit me pretty well, except that the toebox is a tad too sloped and the shoe can become too loose in the instep.)

    Thank you so much for any suggestions!

    1. Freet and Lems would be two good options that match that description! The Freet Pace and Feldom are super comfortable, match that shape, and work on my low volume feet. The Lems Primal 2 also meets all your requirements, but it has a little thicker of a sole.

      1. Thanks, Anya! I’m going to try the Freet Pace 🙂

        Btw, it seems your Freet coupon code (ARV10) is for 10% off, not 15% — and it doesn’t work on sale items. But maybe it’s something wrong with just my order and I should ask Freet about it…?

        Btw btw, I only just discovered your Shoe Finder. What a wonderful tool! I’m going to use it when I shop for shoes for my family 🙂

        1. Oh, where does it say the code is for 15% off? I need to go change that. I think you’re right that it doesn’t stack on top of sale items though.

      2. Hi Anya,
        One more thing – do you happen to have tried the Chala Unico? I’m wondering how it might fit me. Also wondering how secure they’ll be for side-to-side and twisting movements when worn by a low-volume foot, given that the laces only go halfway up the foot. Any chance you have an opinion on this? 🙂
        Thanks again!
        Elaine

        1. I haven’t tried the Unico, and I don’t know anyone who has. But Chala’s shoes are very flexible and soft so I would imagine they would move well with the foot.

  8. Thanks for this,
    Just came to say that I have been wearing my Whitins for 2-3 years – I use the insole and take it out when I use them as a water shoe in rivers or over rockpools etc. They go through the washing machine too. About to order a new pair – for variety – so hopefully the shape will remain as comfortable.

    My cheap Whitins have lasted longer then my vivobarefoot shoes, although I know that vivo barefoot will reuse my sole for me.

  9. My Physical Therapist recommended I change my sneaker and I choose this affordable option, casual sneaker. Just to confirm, these are machine washable without a risk of damaging the show shape, size or materials including leather (suade)?
    Thank you for the review.

    1. I am not sure what the manufacturer recommends, but I’ve been able to was them without a problem on a delicate cycle. The more you wash them the more wear and tear the shoes will be getting, and some washing machines are not very gentle. So I would just be careful.

  10. I got a pair of whitin’s trail runner in eu43 or men’s 10 and the width across the insole was only 92mm at the widest point.the outside of the shoe was 113mm. But The insole was also not one I’d expect in a barefoot shoe as it was 5-9mm thick depending on the spot with some sudo soft arch support. Without the insoles they are not bad as it widens the shoe and removes alot of Stack height.the issue is the shoe under the insole seems to be a thin foam before the sole that would wear. It also affects the fit alot and my low volume feet juat swim even if i tighten it up.
    if your measurements were based on the insole width it seems they have changed alot.

    1. Yes, I removed the insoles as well and it made a big difference. They’re not zero drop, so I recommend swapping them out if you don’t like the way they feel without an insole at all. If you have other barefoot shoes with a removable insole it should be easy to do.

      1. Thanks for the replys. it seems they may have started making them more narrow at some point after your review which would explain why my 43eu size measured 92mm at the widest point. I ordered a pair of there “wide” listed shoes and will see how they fair according to there size chart it should be decently wide but who knows. Worse case I will just send them back to amazon. But im glad I found your shop I placed an order for some be lenka champs that are on sale

  11. Thank you for this site, Anya. I’m very new to barefoot shoes. Your site is just an incredible source of information. Low on fluff and high on facts, such a rarity today!

    I’ve worn nothing on my feet but Vionic Tide sandals for the last eight years due to plantar fasciitis. After devouring your articles I started doing foot exercises and just received my first barefoot shoes: The Xero Aptos, the Whitin pull-on loafer and the newer Whitin Wide width sneaker that Sarah mentioned, above. All in 39.

    The Aptos and the loafer were both too small; my toes hit the end and couldn’t spread out. The padded collar on both shoes really hurt my ankles. Also, the fabric on the Whitin loafer was rather scratchy. They’re both going back.

    But the “Wide” sneaker fits like a dream! Either it runs large or the others run small because it has room to spare. This is the first shoe I’ve ever worn that lets me spread my toes as wide as I like, and I like air between my toes! The floor of the shoe feels like felt and has a slight amount of give. The removeable insole adds another 4mm or so. I guess it could be considered a transition shoe? It’s nice to know that I can remove the insole later as my feet get stronger.

    I also ordered a pair of Be Lenka Icon from your shop. I hope they fit.

    Thank you, Anya!

  12. Been using the Trainers for over a year now, 3 months of one and off use, 3 months of moderate use, and 7 months of everyday use, the treads are starting to wear, not sure how long the tread will last before breaking, but I’m witing for a replacement to be in stock, best pair of shoes I’ve ever worn, next pair I’ll try without the insole.

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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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