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The Best Barefoot Shoe

Last updated on October 30, 2019

We looked at the top 10 Barefoot Shoes and dug through the reviews from 92 of the most popular review sites including Wiki EZ Vid, Shoe Advisor, Best Play Gear, Sports Send, The Shoes for Me, Running Gear Lab and more. The result is a ranking of the best Barefoot Shoes.

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Our Picks For The Top Barefoot Shoes

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

Mishansha

Mens/Womens Quick Dry Barefoot Shoes

Overall Take

Fully Laced ShoesFull laces and a secure fit give users confidence that this Mishansha Mens/Womens Quick Dry Barefoot Shoe will not let them down.

Experts Included
DWYM Fashion Experts plus New York Mag, Travel Gear Zone, Women’s Guide, In Stash, Adventure Genesis, Top Shoes Review and 2 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" No concrete is too slick, no water too deep, no sand too coarse and no coral too sharp to slow you down in all your summer time water frolicking or mock naval water adventures while sporting a pair of these..."
Cons
"Somehow slick on plaster surface hence one can even fall down."

PENGCHENG

Mens/Womens Water Sports Shoes

Overall Take

Stylish and Durable The PENGCHENG Mens/Womens Water Sports Shoes is a breathable and secure barefoot shoe that will allow you to go anywhere.

Experts Included
DWYM Fashion Experts plus BestReviews, Tech Buyers Review, No Place Called Home. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Offers a lot of colors and styles, in sizes for both men and women. Upper is a breathable and quick drying Lycra, while the bottom is a good gripping rubber sole. Holes let out water, but do not let in..."

TSLA

Men's Minimalist Barefoot Trail Shoe

Overall Take

Comfortable Minimalist ShoeThis TSLA Men's Minimalist Barefoot Trail Show will slip on easily and protect your feet while letting your arch and lower body perform naturally.

Experts Included
DWYM Fashion Experts plus No Place Called Home, Wiki EZ Vid, Shoe Advisor, Run Forefoot, Best Play Gear, Sports Send and 4 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon and BestOneHour.
Pros
" "
Cons
"Sizing seems a bit off and expensive."
  The Best Value

VIFUUR

Barefoot Quick-Dry Shoe

Overall Take

Quick-Dry Slip-OnThis minimalist slip-on VIFUUR Barefoot Quick-Dry Shoe provides great value.

Experts Included
DWYM Fashion Experts plus Rainy Adventures, Globo Turf, Wiki EZ Vid, Runner Click, Arbor Explorer, No Place Called Home and 4 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" This is easy to wear and take off. It has a clean and simple design which makes it wearable for any occasion."
Cons
"These are not highly cushioned given that they are designed to be used in water."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
17

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the barefoot shoes available to purchase.
10

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

92

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Wiki EZ Vid, Shoe Advisor, Best Play Gear, Sports Send, The Shoes for Me.

21,967

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, BestOneHour and 3 others.

Our experts reviewed the top 10 Barefoot Shoes and also dug through the reviews from 92 of the most popular review sites including Wiki EZ Vid, Shoe Advisor, Best Play Gear, Sports Send, The Shoes for Me, Running Gear Lab and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Barefoot Shoes.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Mishansha Mens Womens Water Shoes Quick Dry Barefoot

Our Expert Score
9.0
8 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.8
2,067 user reviews
Our Take

The Mishansha Mens/Womens Quick Dry Barefoot Shoes look almost like a traditional pair of shoes with laces and a handy loop to help pull them onto your feet. The rubber sole is tough, and the shoe provides just enough padding to protect your foot from scrapes and bruises.

What other experts liked
No concrete is too slick, no water too deep, no sand too coarse and no coral too sharp to slow you down in all your summer time water frolicking or mock naval water adventures while sporting a pair of these...
- New York Mag
May 8, 2019 | Full review
This will help ensure that your feet remain safe, warm, dry and comfortable all through your hiking trip.
- Travel Gear Zone
Ideally, this is a perfect shoe brand for boating, beach volleyball, swimming, windsurfing, long airline flight, sailing boat, yoga, and even kayaking. The elastic lock and strap lace not only makes it easy to on slip and to take off...
- Women's Guide
May 10, 2019 | Full review
They are ultra-lightweight and fast draining ensuring you won't have to deal with heavy, waterlogged shoes.
- In Stash
February 4, 2019 | Full review
The upper fabric of the Mishansha Water Shoes doesn’t just look stylish – it’s also salt-resistant and wear-resistant. It’s ultra-light and it’s made of spandex so it can stretch to fit your foot like a glove.
- Adventure Genesis
Fabric and spandex uppers that dry fast and are super lightweight. Additionally, this is available in a large variety of colors and patterns for men and women.
- Top Shoes Review
July 9, 2019 | Full review
The price, considering what you get for it, is a great bargain. The quick dry drainage holes and elastic straps add to its overall convenience.
- Swimbait Zone
June 11, 2019 | Full review
They almost look like socks on your feet. The right size shoe for you will fit snuggly around the feet. And there is a huge range of colors to choose from with pink, purple, blue and khaki green on the...
- Smart Sports Shoes
What other experts didn't like
Somehow slick on plaster surface hence one can even fall down.
- Women's Guide
May 10, 2019 | Full review
Some users say that these shoes aren’t suitable for wide feet. On some surfaces, the grip isn’t as strong as water shoes from water brands.
- Adventure Genesis
This product doesn’t have any advanced technology.
- Swimbait Zone
June 11, 2019 | Full review
This is too tight for wide feet and insole is not very comfortable.
- Smart Sports Shoes

The Best Bang For Your Buck

VIFUUR Water Sports Shoes Barefoot Quick-Dry Aqua Yoga Socks Slip-on for Men Women Kids

Expert Summarized Score
9.3
10 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
7.8
4,165 user reviews
Our Take

The VIFUUR Barefoot Quick-Dry Shoe lets you go anywhere, wet or dry, and rest easy knowing that your feet won't stay wet for long. The thicker rubber sole pads the bottoms of your feet just enough to let you comfortably traverse any terrain. It also features a simplistic design that's easy to take on and off.

What other experts liked
This is easy to wear and take off. It has a clean and simple design which makes it wearable for any occasion.
- Rainy Adventures
The soft design of the mesh sits comfortably against your foot and conforms to the shape of your foot with ease making them a great option for those with a wider foot. These shoes feature a rubber sole which adds cushion to the shoe. This flexible sole has a...
- Globo Turf
May 19, 2019 | Full review
The Vifuur Quick-Dry are just the solution that's priced to fit into any budget. They're fine for light or occasional use.
- Wiki EZ Vid
June 8, 2019 | Full review
These shoes offer excellent grip and traction. The have a rubber sole for added protection against outdoor elements and their grippers prevent slippage and ensure you can maintain firm and stable poses during your practice.
- Runner Click
November 28, 2018 | Full review
The soles are built with high-quality rubber and have thick foam arches inside of them. The polyester material has elasticity meaning that they are comfortable in most terrain.
- Arbor Explorer
The design features a colorful pattern which blends well with the aqua ecosystem. Also, it has stylish upper and fine stretch allowing you to engage in watersports. Due to flexibility and comfort, they are just like socks.
- All Top Ratings
January 1, 2019 | Full review
During intense activity, the VIFUUR water shoes offered excellent performance, no matter what the event. They are flexible, allowing for easy, free movement in water and on the beach. They have good grip, meaning you won’t slip on treacherous wet surfaces, such as the deck of a boat. On a...
- Snorkels and Fins
Vast range of sizes: they even differentiate between big and little kids. It also has good blend of flexibility and sturdiness.
- Swimbait Zone
July 16, 2019 | Full review
These water shoes have a smooth neck design which prevents chaffing when running on water. It has a very comfortable fit and the fabric used is very breathable for your comfort. The shoes come in different sizes and you can, therefore, be sure to get your perfect size. It is...
- The Best A-Z
What other experts didn't like
Sizing problems are still existent.
- Rainy Adventures
These are not highly cushioned given that they are designed to be used in water.
- Runner Click
November 28, 2018 | Full review
The biggest drawback is the fact that they are not super breathable, however, they are designed for constant use in water.
- Arbor Explorer
Only recommended for beach life
- All Top Ratings
January 1, 2019 | Full review
Soles can shift a bit when moving from water to land.
- Snorkels and Fins
Sizing chart requires the user to measure the length of the bottom of their foot; standard shoe sizes won’t be sufficient.
- Swimbait Zone
July 16, 2019 | Full review
Users say that the shoes are too large
- The Best A-Z

Overall Product Rankings

1. Mishansha Mens Womens Water Shoes Quick Dry Barefoot

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 9

2. PENGCHENG Mens Womens Water Sports Shoes

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 4

3. Mens Womens Water Shoes

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 12

4. Merrell Men’s Trail Glove 4 Runner

Overall Score: 8.7
Reviews Included: 13

6. TSLA Men’s Trail Running Minimalist Barefoot Shoe

Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 8

7. Vibram Men’s KSO EVO Cross Training Shoe

Overall Score: 8.3
Reviews Included: 13

8. Barerun Barefoot Quick-Dry Water Sports Shoes

Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 12

10. Merrell Men’s Vapor Glove 2 Trail Running Shoe

Overall Score: 8.0
Reviews Included: 22

Our Findings

Mishansha Mens Womens Water Shoes Quick Dry Barefoot

What We Liked: The Mishansha Mens/Womens Quick Dry Barefoot Shoes look almost like a traditional pair of shoes with laces and a handy loop to help pull them onto your feet. The rubber sole is tough, and the shoe provides just enough padding to protect your foot from scrapes and bruises.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

VIFUUR Water Sports Shoes Barefoot Quick-Dry Aqua Yoga Socks Slip-on for Men Women Kids

What We Liked: The VIFUUR Barefoot Quick-Dry Shoe lets you go anywhere, wet or dry, and rest easy knowing that your feet won’t stay wet for long. The thicker rubber sole pads the bottoms of your feet just enough to let you comfortably traverse any terrain. It also features a simplistic design that’s easy to take on and off.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

PENGCHENG Mens Womens Water Sports Shoes

What We Liked: For a stylish looking barefoot shoe, the PENGCHENG Mens/Womens Water Sports Shoes definitely performs at the highest level. The full laces allow them to stay strapped firmly in place on your foot. Meanwhile, the fast-drying upper keeps your feet feeling fresh, even in the wettest conditions.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Mens Womens Water Shoes

What We Liked: The TSLA Men’s Minimalist Barefoot Trail Shoe is a beautiful and simplistic option that provides protection for the soles of your feet when on the trail. Think of this as an outdoor sock that adds a protective rubber sole to the bottom of your foot, allowing your feet and body to perform as they would barefoot.

Our Expert Consultant

Stephanie Mansour   
Certified Personal Trainer, Health and Wellness Expert

Stephanie Mansour, host of “Step It Up with Steph” on public broadcasting, has been coaching women for over a decade on how to lose weight and make it last. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications with an emphasis on women’s studies and psychology from the University of Michigan. She holds certifications in life coaching, personal training, yoga and Pilates.

Our Barefoot Shoe Buying Guide

Barefoot shoes are a product catered to meet the needs of a certain type of person who likes to feel connected to the earth and to let their feet perform in a more natural way.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

“Barefoot shoes allow for your foot and body to run naturally as if you aren’t wearing a shoe at all,” says health and fitness expert Stephanie Mansour, personal trainer and host of “Step It Up with Steph” on public television. “It allows for your body mechanics to kick in without relying on arches, comfort, or support from shoes.”

A barefoot running shoe will provide a durable and fairly thick rubber sole under your foot to protect you from uneven or sharp surfaces that you might find. This small cushion provided by the sole, as seen in the TSLA Men’s Minimalist Barefoot Trail Shoe, allows you to wear these shoes anywhere that you could wear normal shoes, so you are not limited to smooth concrete surfaces or treadmills.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Beyond the cushioning and protection that the soles of these barefoot running shoes provide, they are also often made with a highly resilient and grippy material that provides slip-resistance to the user. The Mishansha Mens Womens Water Shoes Quick Dry Barefoot for Swim Diving Surf Aqua Sports Pool Beach Walking Yoga is a good example of this slip-resistant sole, and it makes an ideal shoe for wet conditions.

“Wearing barefoot shoes may improve proprioception and balance. There are so many nerve endings on the bottom of your feet, so being in tune and feeling these as you take a step or run can help with better balance and coordination,” Mansour notes. “Plus, you’ll be activating the smaller muscles in the legs and feet to help support you, since the shoe provides less support than a traditional walking or running shoe. Wearing a barefoot shoe can also help you feel more connected and grounded to your environment.”

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

When considering which barefoot shoe to buy, think about ease of use. Barefoot running shoes look and behave a lot like a pair of socks on your feet. They shoud be bendable and should flex with the muscles of your foot. Basically, the shoe should mimic your foot’s movements as closely as possible.

They should also be nearly as easy to put on and take off, which is why they generally sport a wide opening at the top for your foot. The ability to slide on a pair of shoes like the PENGCHENG Mens/Womens Water Sports Shoes is an invaluable benefit while on the move.

Your shoes should be comfortable to wear and have a durable enough sole to handle any terrain. But as the name suggests, you wear them with your bare feet, which can sweat and cause a noticeable buildup of moisture inside the shoe. Luckily, there are fast-drying and water-resistant options out there.  The VIFUUR Barefoot Quick-Dry Shoe has an upper made from a quick-drying material. It also allows water to drain right out of the shoe for the times you’re wearing them in the rain or for actual water sports. A secondary benefit to a porous design is that it allows airflow into the shoe to let your feet breathe while wearing them. This breathability is a huge benefit when you don’t have a sock between your foot and the shoe to absorb moisture.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

A notable difference in some of the styles of barefoot running shoes is how they stay on your foot. Some have a velcro strap that makes securing them a breeze. For those who intend on pounding the trail or doing a higher level of athletic maneuvers, there are also barefoot running shoes with a full set of laces. These will match the security of a traditional running shoe in the sense that they will stay put on your foot during vigorous exercise.

Lastly, your shoes should look good. Like any other type of shoe, barefoot shoes come in a slew of fun colors and patterns that can add some flair to your day, or they can be simple and elegant with simple, muted colors. Whether you want to find colors to match your favorite sports team or you have a certain color palette of exercise and outdoorsy clothes to match, you will be able to find a pair of barefoot running shoes to suit your desires.

However, if you’re coming off of injury or just starting a workout routine, note that these shoes might not be for you.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

“I would not recommend getting these barefoot shoes if you are overcoming an injury or imbalance in your body, because there are still things in your body that need to be corrected, and having proper support from a traditional shoe can help with this,” Mansour explains. “I recommend barefoot shoes for runners or athletes who are looking to get their feet more in the game — to activate their foot muscles, the muscles and tendons that help with balance, and feel more grounded to their environment. If a newbie is interested in these shoes, I’d recommend simply walking around in them instead of exercising in them.”

DWYM Fun Fact

The act of running for exercise was not always the well-known practice it is today. It rose in popularity during the latter half of the 20th century in most Western countries, sparking the development and design of running shoes.

The foot strike between a barefoot runner and one wearing traditional running shoes is vastly different. The impact force of landing heel-first, which is the most common way to have your foot land when wearing shoes, can be two or three times what your body weight is. Barefoot or minimalist running causes the middle or front part of your foot to land first on the ground, allowing your arch to absorb the energy and propel you forward more efficiently. Even with this perceived benefit, there has not been enough evidence to show that running with barefoot shoes is better for your feet. It is always recommended to see a podiatrist before you try picking up this activity.

The Barefoot Shoe Tips and Advice

  • Velcro fasteners can be handy for quickly putting on and taking off your barefoot shoes. A full set of laces can make the shoe feel much more secure on your foot, so you know it won’t slide around while in action. Choose which of the features feels right for your needs to help you narrow your search.
  • Drainage holes are more efficient to drain large amounts of water than a shoe that just has a breathable fast-drying upper material. If you think you will be wearing these shoes as water shoes, this drainage feature might be the right choice for you. If you are mostly running in dry scenarios but fear you may have some sweat or rain to deal with, you will be happy with a material that is breathable and dries quickly, even if it has no built-in drainage holes.
  • Be sure to read the sizing guides very thoroughly on these products. Many will have half and full sizes ranging from very small to very large sizes. These shoes should fit your foot like a glove to give you the best results while wearing them. If they’re too loose, you’ll be fighting with potential blisters or hot spots.