Some runners believe that it is better to run barefoot. Those who partake in barefoot running are claimed to suffer from fewer injuries, such as heel striking. The reason why running barefoot or with specifically-made light shoes may be better for you is the fact that the length is shortened. This means you land near to the ball of your foot, which is safer as it is more natural. Of course, literally running barefoot isn’t practical in most of our modern landscapes.

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  • Great ground feedback
  • Flexible and comfortable
  • Excellent grip
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  • A brilliant feel of terrains
  • Stimulates muscles
  • Durable outsole
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  • Equal heel and forefront
  • Natural Achilles
  • Supportive and comfortable

Barefoot shoes are designed to be as thin as possible, to provide you with the feel and benefits of running without shoes while protecting your feet from damage. We have used renowned brands and customer reviews to find the ten best barefoot running shoes for you this season.

View the Best Barefoot Running Shoes, Below.

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1. Vibram Men’s KSO EVO Cross Training Shoe

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These barefoot running shoes are the ideal combination of protection and ground feedback. They allow users to experience the terrain with a great grip and flexibility, keeping you level with the ground without risk of damage. These barefoot running shoes have separate toes for an even more natural feel, while still maintaining a high level of comfort.

The tongue is lightly padded for support, and the speed lacing system makes wear incredibly easy. The rubber sole has great traction to deliver support and grip on a variety of different terrains, as well as to be thin enough for you to feel every step.

Why We Like It

  • Great ground feedback
  • Flexible and comfortable
  • Excellent grip
  • Padded tongue
  • Rubber sole

Our Verdict

These barefoot training shoes are a brilliant combination of ground feedback and protection, while still offering a natural feel.

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2. TSLA Men’s Minimalist Barefoot Shoe

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These barefoot running shoes are simply stylish and ideal for a variety of different terrains. The slightly cushioned zero-drop sole offers the brilliant feel of the various terrains as well as actively working to improve your run, with the stimulation of the bottom muscles for improved stability. The outsoles are made from durable nylon and rubber that offer a brilliant grip and great resistance on most terrains.

These barefoot running shoes have an exclusive dirt-proof upper that is breathable as well as keeping dust and stains away from the shoe. As the body of this shoe is flexible, it can deliver a tight and snug fit for maximum safety.

Why We Like It

  • A brilliant feel of terrains
  • Stimulates muscles
  • Durable outsole
  • Dirt-proof material
  • Snug and flexible fit

Our Verdict

These simply stylish barefoot running shoes offer great feel and stability on multiple terrains.

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3. Altra AFM1833G Men’s Escalante

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These barefoot running shoes are incredibly high-quality and have been inspired by professional racers across the world. They are manufactured to be comfortable and supportive for natural runners, with their equal heel and forefront locations and natural Achilles. This barefoot running shoe is engineered to be a sock-like fit and have a flexible feel, making them suitable for long-term wear.

The breathable lining keeps feet cool and comfortable during running. These barefoot shoes are suitable for training, running and even marathons. They are weight-balanced from front to back to replicate natural movement. The InnerFlex midsole is a plush ride that offers a lively close to ground feel.

Why We Like It

  • Equal heel and forefront
  • Natural Achilles
  • Supportive and comfortable
  • Breathable lining
  • Sock-like knitted body

Our Verdict

These barefoot running shoes are incredibly comfortable and will offer a close to the ground, supportive feel that is suitable for professional or casual runners.

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4. New Balance Men’s MT10V1 Minimus Shoe

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The New Balance Men's MT10V1 Minimus Shoe is an updated version of the brand’s popular running shoes, so it features modernized technology for unbeatable performance. The material has been given an antimicrobial treatment to reduce odor and keep the shoe in good condition, even after long-term wear. The Vibram outsole has flex soles to deliver stellar traction and great balance on even rocky terrains.

This outsole has been made to deliver a natural feel and allow you to experience everything underfoot, without any damage or issues. The midfoot wrap on this barefoot running shoe works to keep your foot steady through even the most extreme marathons.

Why We Like It

  • Modernized technology
  • Antimicrobial material
  • Flex soles for traction
  • Natural feel
  • Keeps foot steady

Our Verdict

These New Balance natural running shoes feature modern technology and updated material to support your foot and deliver a natural feel.

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5. Merrell Men’s Vapor Glove 3 Trail Runner

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These barefoot running shoes have a breathable mesh upper to keep your feet cool and comfortable when running. This material is flexible and lightweight, making these running shoes have a natural feel. The rubber sole has great traction to keep you steady on a variety of terrains, as well as being thin enough to give you a close-to-ground feel.

This rubber sole also features an exclusive Trailprotect pad that protects your underfoot and keeps you safe. These barefoot running shoes have a great feel and offer a snug fit, which allows you to have total control when running. As the sole is thin, these natural running shoes are suitable for experienced barefoot runners.

Why We Like It

  • Breathable mesh material
  • Flexible and lightweight
  • Great traction
  • Close-to-ground feel
  • Great feel

Our Verdict

These running shoes are lightweight and flexible to deliver a natural feel and comfortable support when outdoors.

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6. Vibram Men’s V-Run Running Shoe

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The Vibram Men's V-Run Running Shoe has a soft upper to maximize breathability and comfort when outdoors. They are easily adjusted and can be controlled through the pull tab and cord closure, making them suitable for a wide range of runners. These high-quality barefoot running shoes have separate toes for an even more natural feel and balance when outdoors.

This running shoe is an updated version from the brand and has a thinner sole than other models. This thinner sole allows for you to feel close to the ground, without the risk of damage or going off-balance. These barefoot trainers are incredibly convenient and suitable for a lot of professional natural runners.

Why We Like It

  • Soft upper material
  • Breathable shoes
  • Separate toes
  • Thin sole
  • Supportive and balanced

Our Verdict

These running shoes are breathable, comfortable and convenient for those who partake in minimalist running regularly.

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7. Merrell Men’s 4 Trail Running Shoe

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These barefoot running shoes have a full-foot connection and deliver a natural feel on most terrains. The Vibram sole is durable and has great traction for balance, while still being thin enough to feel the natural ground underfoot. These running shoes feature bonus cushioning that works hard to keep you comfortable and supported.

The hypersensitive insoles give you control when running in these barefoot shoes, making them suitable for both novices and experts in the field of minimalist running. These running shoes are made to be safe and feature reflective details for maximum visibility in low light.

Why We Like It

  • Full-foot connection
  • Natural feel on terrains
  • Durable and great traction
  • Cushioning for support
  • Reflective details

Our Verdict

These minimalist running shoes have great traction and are incredibly comfortable to wear on most terrains.

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8. Xero Shoes Prio

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The Xero Shoes Prio are a high-performance and truly minimalist running shoe that allows your feet to move and bend as they should do naturally. They have a wide toe box that lets your toes spread out for a relaxed feel, even when running. The exclusive ‘XERO-Drop’ sole, which has a non-elevated heel and is low to the ground, allows for natural posture and balance.

These barefoot running shoes are vegan-friendly and are good for both your health and the environment. The true-rubber sole provides great protection as well as providing excellent ground feedback. These running shoes are made to deliver an unbeatable natural feel and support when outdoors.

Why We Like It

  • High-performance
  • Supports natural movement
  • Wide toe box
  • Exclusive low sole
  • Vegan-friendly

Our Verdict

These high-performance running shoes are made to deliver an unbeatable natural feel and comfortable support when outdoors.

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9. Vibram Women’s KMD Sport Shoe

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These barefoot running shoes have been manufactured to replicate natural feeling as much as possible. They feel very different to conventional footwear as they are thin and lightweight, as well as having separate toe compartments. These barefoot running shoes are designed to make you feel closer to nature when working your body. They are a lightweight and flexible shoe that is breathable and comfortable to wear.

The rubber sole has great traction and can provide balance as well as a natural, close-to-ground feeling on a variety of different terrains. These running shoes are available in three shades – black, blue and red – to suit personal tastes.

Why We Like It

  • Replicates natural feeling
  • Thin and lightweight
  • Flexible shoes
  • Breathable material
  • Great traction

Our Verdict

These barefoot running shoes are made to replicate natural feeling and movement with their thin rubber sole and a breathable elastic body.

Editor Rating

10. Saucony Women’s S10418-1 Running Shoe

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The Saucony Women's Running Shoe has a minimal upper design that delivers a superior lightweight fit and unparalleled underfoot feel. The sole is rubber to deliver good traction to keep you stable on a variety of different terrains. This sole is thin enough to give you a natural feel and support the natural shaping of your foot when out running.

The woven heel support keeps you safe and encourages natural posture when running. The midsole is made from EVA foam which is lightweight and molds to the shape of your foot during movement. These barefoot shoes are available in a range of bold colors to suit any style or preference.

Why We Like It

  • Brilliant lightweight fit
  • Unbeatable underfoot feel
  • Great traction sole
  • Supports natural shape
  • Great color range

Our Verdict

These barefoot running shoes are lightweight, supportive and stylish making them suitable for a range of minimalist runners.

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Buyer’s Guide To Barefoot Running Shoes

Barefoot running shoes are an essential tool for those who want to get into natural or minimalist running. In our modern landscapes, it is not safe for you to run around without any kind of protection on your feet. However, barefoot running is claimed to be better for your health and can actually provide more benefits than running with shoes, which is why a lot of people are attracted to it.

Barefoot running shoes are specially designed sneakers that have a thin sole and are lightweight. These running shoes are made to protect your feet from anything that may be on the floor around you, while still providing a natural feel. This natural feeling is the most attractive thing about barefoot running. When looking into the best barefoot running shoes, there are some things you need to consider.

Materials

As barefoot running shoes are designed to replicate a natural feel, the materials used are typically lightweight and flexible. The kind of materials that you should look out for will differ greatly, depending on your ability and knowledge surrounding the sport of minimalist running. If you are a beginner to the sport, then you will need to look for more durable materials, as you need time to adjust to this new feeling.

The Xero Shoes Prio are made primarily from rubber, which is lightweight but does offer more support than textile materials. This kind of shoes may be better suited to beginners into barefoot running due to the additional support they offer. Mesh and textile are a popular material within the barefoot running shoe market as they are breathable, flexible and lightweight.

Shoes such as the New Balance Men’s MT10V1 Minimus Shoe rely on a combination of lightweight materials for a natural and snug fit.

Flexibility

Barefoot running shoes are made to support natural movement and encourage a natural posture. This means that their flex is incredibly important and is something that you should certainly look out for. The more flexible your shoes are, the better they are going to be suited to barefoot running. The flexibility can be determined by the materials used and the sole of the running shoe.

Consider models such as the Altra AFM1833G Men’s Escalante, which has a knitted sock-like body, and the Vibram Men’s V-Run Running Shoe, which has a thin sole for flexibility. As a beginner to the sport of barefoot running, you may need more structure to your running shoes as you get used to it all.

Durability

Barefoot running shoes have to be able to handle a lot of different terrains and movements. As they are lightweight and thin, these kinds of shoes may run out quicker than your usual sneakers – but this doesn’t always have to be the case. When shopping for the best barefoot running shoes, you should consider the structure and materials to see how durable they will be.

Barefoot running shoes are going to be thin and lightweight, as their purpose is to get you close to the ground. Choosing materials such as rubber, leather, and textiles are going to extend their life and make your investment better value. Taking proper care of your barefoot running shoes will also extend their life-span. Take note that no matter how durable your barefoot running shoes are, they are likely to fade in quality after repeated wear.

About Barefoot Running

Barefoot running, which is also called natural or minimalist running, is the sport of running without footwear. Those who participate in barefoot running do typically wear shoes, but these are specially manufactured sneakers. Barefoot running has been claimed to be better and more beneficial than typical running, as it relies on natural movement and posture.

This kind of sport may seem like an unusual idea – after all, going barefoot may feel archaic and strange in a modern setting – but it is actually increasingly popular. If you already enjoy running, either a casual jog or training for a marathon, then you may also enjoy barefoot running.

Why Run Barefoot?

There are a variety of different reasons why people want to run barefoot, ranging from personal preference to health benefits. Barefoot running may seem like a strange idea to those who haven’t heard of it before, but it can actually make such a difference to your practice and health. Here are some of the most popular reasons for taking up barefoot running.

Prevents Damage

Running is a brilliant fat-burning workout, but it also comes with its own set of disadvantages. Many people turn to barefoot running to prevent damage to their knees, back or ankles. Running in shoes that support your natural movement and shape, such as barefoot running shoes seen throughout this review, can prevent damage to your joints.

Maintains Energy

Barefoot running prevents over-striding and dodgy landings which can cause damage to your body, as well as wasting energy. When running, you don’t want to use your energy on slowing down or landing from certain movements when it could be used to up your mileage. Barefoot shoes prevent this waste of energy, making them better for the sport.

Learn Proper Running Form

Having a good form is so important when running and many people overlook this. Cushioned sneakers or running shoes prevent the need for you to learn how your foot naturally moves, as they take all the control. Barefoot running shoes, however, force your body to correct itself and learn the best form for exercise.

How To Get Into Barefoot Running

As barefoot running is super beneficial to your health and body, you may be desperate to get into it. Once you have chosen the best barefoot running shoes for your needs, there are some things you need to know about the sport. Knowing more about barefoot running will allow you to make the most out of the sport and your purchase of barefoot running shoes.

When getting into barefoot running, there are some things you need to consider. Barefoot running is not an easy sport by any means and can take a little while to get into. Here follow some of the most important things to remember when getting into barefoot running:

No Overstriding

Overstriding means landing with your feet far out in front of your hips. In this kind of landing, you are also likely to be heel striking too which can cause a lot of damage. You want to make sure that you are landing properly with each step as during barefoot running you no longer have the same kind of support and cushioning as with regular sneakers.

flat-feet-shoes-2One of the easiest ways you can prevent overstriding is to lift your legs higher and always keep a slight bend in your legs. This bend will prevent over-extension in your legs during landing and will work to prevent damage.

Forefront Landing

Finding out whether you run forefront will take some time and may require a second opinion to determine. As barefoot running has less support than regular training, as the shoes are lighter and closer to the ground, ensuring you land properly and find your natural shape is essential. The benefits of barefoot running will not be felt if your posture is wrong.

Forefront landing is likely to come naturally over time the more your run in barefoot running shoes. Barefoot running is favored due to the fact it forces you to change your natural posture and shape. Forefront landing should feel comfortable and efficient.

Be Patient With Yourself

Perhaps one of the hardest things about barefoot running is the patience it requires. No matter how skilled or trained you are in regular distance running, barefoot or natural running takes a little more time to get used to. It is incredibly important for you to gradually build up your resistance to barefoot running. You cannot run long lengths in barefoot running shoes immediately without causing damage.

Our entire lives are spent in cushioned shoes, so it should be expected that it will take a little time for you to get used to anything else. You need to actively build up the new muscles that are being stimulated when your run barefoot to comfortably get into the sport long-term.

Did You Know?

Barefoot running is a great way of preventing joint damage while still getting your heart rate up and toning muscles.

Expert Tip

Choose flexible barefoot running shoes as the more flexible a shoe is, the better you can run in them and feel the benefits quicker.

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