Barefoot Guide: “Barefoot” Shoe Options

You probably won’t be running completely barefoot every time, especially when it comes to long distance runs, rough terrain, and winter weather. (Heck, I love to go barefoot, but I still only go barefoot in grass fields and indoors.)

So I’m going to list some barefoot-style shoes that will allow you to run more naturally but provide some protection.

Minimalist shoes

The most conventional way to approach barefoot running is with some minimalist shoes. You can choose between the newer shoes designed for the barefoot running movement and the old-school minimalist shoes.

Old-school minimalist shoes are typically track shoes and XC racing flats (spikeless ones.) The Saucony Bullet, Puma H Street, and Mizuno Wave Universe belong to this category.

Newer models of minimalist shoes include the New Balance M101, Merrell Trail Glove, Keen A86, and Inov-8 F-lite.

Barefoot shoes

Barefoot style shoes include Vibram FiveFingers, Soft Star Runamocs, and huaraches (aka invisible shoes.) These shoes have virtually no padding. They consist of a thin rubber sole and a thin upper to hold everything in place.

Those are good, basic options for new barefoot runners. To see a more detailed list of options, check out The Complete Guide to Barefoot Running Shoes.


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