Whitin Review – Cheap Barefoot Sneakers

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Since I wrote this review Whitin has made some big changes and now offers two widths! 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. 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

62 thoughts on “Whitin Review – Cheap Barefoot Sneakers”

  1. 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.

  2. 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

      2. hi
        On their website it’s said that there are zero drops, it’s not the case?

        I also bought the Canavs sneakers which are supposed to be Zaro Drop.

        the insole fell think, the barefoot insole of other companies can fit instead? i Don’t to go without an insole at all so that it will not wear off.

        1. Unfortunately a lot of brands can use the term zero drop without actually being so. Things get muddled when the outsole of the shoe is zero drop but the insole adds a small heel lift (which is the case with Whitin athletic sneakers). However I recently tried the most current Whitin casual sneakers from the Wide Barefoot section of their website and the insole was different and totally flat. It’s a little frustrating that I don’t know what to expect with each Whitin sneaker, but if you want to swap out the insole I would recommend replacing it with an alternative one from another pair of barefoot shoes or from this list of barefoot insoles.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. Hey Anya, love your reviews. Just wanted to bring something up about Whitin.

    They have two different sole widths. Standard and wide. They don’t do a good job of saying this anywhere on their amazon page. The sneaker you have looks to be the narrow width.

    Wide version: https://www.amazon.com/WHITIN-Barefoot-Minimalist-Lightweight-Comfortable/dp/B09MVW4KYZ/ref=sr_1_6?keywords=whitin+shoes+for+men&qid=1675483177&sprefix=whiti%2Caps%2C138&sr=8-6

    Standard width: https://www.amazon.com/WHITIN-Barefoot-Minimalist-Sneakers-Lightweight/dp/B0B76D542W/ref=sr_1_7?keywords=whitin%2Bshoes%2Bfor%2Bmen&qid=1675483177&sprefix=whiti%2Caps%2C138&sr=8-7&th=1&psc=1

  6. Are the barefoot tennis shoes made to work for Tailor’s bunions? Has anyone else had experience with this problem? Thank you.

    1. The uppers are soft and have some stretch to them so I don’t think you’ll have an issue wearing these with a tailer’s bunion.

  7. I’m in the UK, I bought four pairs of these on Amazon in 2019, they are so comfortable for my arthritic feet. I’m gutted that I can’t find them on Amazon now, please do you know how I can get more? I’m desperate.

      1. I am very grateful for your reply. These look great but sadly not in my size (8UK). I found some Whitin but they were £150+ and sadly out of my price range. I’ve found plenty of water shoes but need them to be durable for everyday wear. I can’t go back to painful shoes, I’ll keep looking, but thank you so, so much for taking the time to reply, really appreciate it, keep up the good work 🙏

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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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