- Who do I prefer:
- I prefer male
- I prefer to drink:
- My hobbies:
- Mountain climbing
Men, when was the last time you did your pedicure? Scrubbed your feet in the shower?
You were born barefoot, and a best body of evidence suggests you should have stayed that way. The technology and padding of the modern mens protect your feet, but protection isn't always what you want. Feet were made to stretch, flex, roll, and bend, and letting them do what they evolved to do can reduce impact injuries and provide a host of other benefits. That said, please do not buy a pair of these barely-there shoes and start walking or running the way you always have. That won't work, and it can lead to injuries. You need to ease into all things barefoot related, and to some degree, you need to relearn how to walk and run.
They're as close as you can get to achieving that barefoot sensation without running afoul of "No shirt, no shoes, no service" s. We've also updated prices and links throughout. Subscriptions help fund the work we do every day. If you buy something using feet in our stories, we may earn a commission. This helps support our journalism. Learn more. The best barefoot footwear out there is … your bare feet.
There is no need to run out and spend money on any of these shoes. Instead, start by looking around barefoot.
Young man bare feet stock photos and images
This may be easier said than done; if you live in a major US city, don't stroll the sidewalks barefoot. See if a nearby park has some small stretch of grass you can explore barefoot. Don't walk far—10 paces is enough—but as you walk, pay attention to your feet. Focus on how much of your foot is actually in contact with the ground.
Man feet sandals stock photos
If you're like most people, this can be a mind-blowing experience. Now put your shoes on and go home. If you wake up the next day feeling fine, go do it again for a little longer. Keep slowly expanding your distance until you can comfortably walk a mile barefoot. Once you've got that down, you're ready to go all-in on some shoes. I love these shoes. They are the only shoes that have ever inspired me to write 1, words.
The best barefoot shoes for walking or running
They are really that good. Think of these as the barefoot answer to Chacos. Except where Chacos are like putting tractors on your feet, the Z-Trails still flex and bend as you walk, giving your feet the freedom of movement you expect from a barefoot shoe. Despite being sandals, these have 10 millimeters of cushion, which is more padding than most of the shoes you see here.
That makes the Z-Trail a good option for newcomers. WIRED readers have also reached out to tell me how much they love Luna sandalswhich I plan to test for the next update. The Vapor Glove 3 was the first barefoot shoe I ever tried. They're still fairly shoe-like, with a wide toe box and tight heel cup. But they have zero drop the heel is the same height as the forefoot and minimal padding, putting them firmly in the barefoot shoe camp. It's a solid, comfortable shoe that will fit a wide range of feet.
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My only problem is that Merrell feels the need to update the Vapor Glove constantly. Those of us wearing them don't like change. That's not to say there's anything wrong with the Vapor Glove 5 I haven't best it yetbut it is a warning that if this version is your favorite shoe ever, you might want to buy a few pairs. The Vapor Glove 6 will inevitably be slightly different. You'll use those pairs if you like them. The one thing I foot like about these shoes is that they only last me about six months I run about miles a day.
I got quite a few s suggesting Mens try these, and I'm glad I did, because the Tangas are my new favorite around-the-house shoes. The single-piece mesh upper is made of recycled coffee grounds, so they lean on the positive side of the sliding scale that is environmental friendliness. They're also very comfortable, and the mesh fabric is nicely breathable for warm days. The Tangas sport a thicker 6. This makes them a good way to start your barefoot journey, as you can reduce the amount of padding as you go.
I've tried several of Xero's various running shoes, but the HFS is my favorite for running on human-made surfaces like concrete and asphalt. That said, they work great on trails too. I went backpacking in mine with a pound pack and had no problems. Barefoot purists yes, there are those, see the barefoot running subreddit would argue that these are pushing the definition of barefoot, but why let semantics get in the way of a great shoe?
These are comfortable and durable, and they offer about 7 millimeters of padding to soften the impact of running on hard surfaces. Unfortunately, the SG version I recommend is only looking for women. Sorry guys—no muddy trails for you.
These shoes are a bit like mud tires for your bare feet. If you do any trail running, you'll appreciate the heavier tread and the way the SG gets you through muddy, boggy spots without slipping.
Last winter was one of the wettest on record in my part of the country, and I ran muddy trails in these every day without ever slipping or sliding. My one gripe is that the heel stitching rubbed me the wrong way. They remain my go-to choice for trail running. Whenever I told someone I was testing barefoot shoes, if they had any response at all it was usually, "Oh, like those five-finger things?
Barefoot shoes aren't for everyone, and these FiveFingers especially are not for everyone. I do not like them, but one of the people who introduced me to barefoot shoes has been wearing nothing but these for well over a decade and swears by them. I find the separation of toes annoying, and I don't feel like I gain anything in the way of balance by having my toes separated. But people love their FiveFingers, and maybe it's worth trying if you're curious. Head to your local running shoe store and spend some time in them so you can decide for yourself.
The Addis is Vivobarefoot's take on a barefoot casual dress shoe. The leather is sourced from independent Ethiopian cattle farmers—that's why they're named after Ethiopia's highland capital—and it makes them some of the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn. If you're looking for a shoe for around town, this is one of the best-looking barefoot shoes you'll find. The leather is soft, I had no issues with chaffing.
That said, they're definitely the warmest shoes on thisso keep that in mind if you live someplace that gets hot. Another thing to note is that they run wide—especially in the toe box.
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Try these on in person if you can. Modeled somewhat on the running sandal of the famous Tarahumara runnersthe Genesis sandal was my first exposure to Xero Shoes. You buy either a DIY kit to make your own sandals or opt for the pre-made Genesis. These are fast becoming my favorite shoes, but beginners shouldn't start here.
These are a mere 4-millimeter sole with some shock cord to hold them to your feet. Despite their apparent flimsiness, they're wonderful to run in and great for just lounging around the house. Buyer beware: they will take some getting used to, and having a cord running between your toes is not for everyone. You've probably been wearing padded shoes most of your life. Don't expect to toss them and be able to do the same mileage—whether walking or running—in barefoot shoes. To a certain degree, you must relearn how to run and walk. It's looking to take a conscious effort on your part, and it can be best difficult.
You're not just learning, you're also unlearning some ingrained habits. The key is to go slow. Very, very, absurdly slow. How you approach barefoot shoes depends on what you're looking to do. I happened to be getting into running, which worked out nicely because I had to take it slow I sucked. If you're currently an ultra-marathoner and want to try barefoot shoes, you'll have a hard time holding yourself back. If you're somewhere between those poles, it'll still be hard not to overdo it. Focus the mens you usually use for distance into not doing distance.
It's also worth saying that barefoot shoes are not a zero-sum game.
For over a year I wore barefoot shoes running, regular shoes for other tasks, and sandals the rest of the time. It's not all or nothing. If you go on a barefoot run and then slap on your favorite Converse right after, that's OK. It's equally important to know that everyone is different. It took me six months to fully transition to barefoot shoes.
But that's just me. It might take you two months or two years.