Besides going completely barefoot, barefoot-inspired shoes are the next best thing. To help you find the perfect minimalist shoe, I’ve compiled my list of the best minimalist and barefoot shoes brands.
Have you always wanted to know which barefoot shoe brands there are and what makes them? My compilation gives you an insight and hopefully also helps you select the right barefoot shoes.
I explain how each manufacturer differs and what makes them unique. That way, you can make an informed buying decision. In addition, I give you interesting background knowledge here and there.
This list of minimal shoe manufacturers below is in no way comprehensive but is my selection. I present the following brands, in alphabetical order:
Let’s get into the details.
Groundies is a brand from Germany, where you get from leather to vegan chic barefoot shoes for leisure, work, and everyday life. Not only do the shoes have an abrasion-resistant sole made of thermoplastic, but they can also be rolled up and tucked into your bag.
Even their boots are wearable this way. I like the urban look, and the support is very comfortable!
- Interesting: For each order, the company plants a tree.
Joe Nimble is a German manufacturer that focuses on toe freedom in its sports and everyday shoes even more than other manufacturers. As a result, the toes can move freely, which is why Joe Nimble’s is one of the top brands in terms of comfort and quality.
- Interesting: Joe Nimble developed the first woolen shoe with a lotus effect. For this, the brand got the prestigious designer award.
Leguano is justifiably one of the cult brands when it comes to barefoot shoes. The unique, often colorful design in conjunction with the very flexible and at the same time robust materials convinced many.
The range extends from sports shoes to leisure shoes, summer and winter, to barefoot shoes for children. Leguano is a German brand, and many customers characterize the shoes as a highly accurate fit with natural materials like cotton and wool.
German Leguano shoes are made with antibacterial materials to ensure the longevity of barefoot shoes. With moisture-wicking and quick-drying properties, your boots won’t stay soaked even if you work up a sweat or trudge through a puddle.
- Interesting: The name for the brand Leguano comes from the German word of iguana, whose walking movements are reminiscent of walking in Leguano barefoot shoes!
Not quite as minimalist but still challenging for every foot and leg muscle are the barefoot shoes from Lems. This American manufacturer is specializing mainly in the recreational sector.
If you want a more structured minimalist shoe that will run for any mileage on any road, no matter how tough, then these vegan running shoes are for you. Despite the underfoot protection, Lem’s shoes still allow you to feel the road, so you can maintain a good forefoot running form, but they are protective enough to handle the bumps in the road well.
Aside from the new, chic-looking running shoes, Lems also offers an excellent selection of stylish hiking, walking, and casual shoes that are pleasing to the eye.
The American manufacturer Merrell is also a significant player in the sports barefoot shoe segment with its barefoot line.
The focus is on barefoot running shoes for the road and trail running. Merrell barefoot shoes are comparatively inexpensive yet of very high quality.
Senmotic made barefoot shoes in a factory in Germany. The founders are fascia therapists, so they know a thing about foot health and care. There is something for everyone from medical barefoot shoes to sports, running, business, winter, hiking, and everyday styles.
The manufacturer has deliberately chosen the natural product leather for the shafts and the lining of the shoes. As a result, it adapts to the feet and is breathable.
This brand made natural rubber and thermoplastic soles, free of plasticizers, kind to the skin, and recyclable. The adhesive used is solvent-free, and the laces are of synthetic material.
- Interesting: Senmotic offers the resole of barefoot shoes.
“Socks as shoes” that’s the concept behind the Skinners brand. Thanks to an ultra abrasion-resistant sole, Skinners are a logical alternative to shoes. In Skinners, you walk barefoot and yet very well protected.
The socks are ideal for yoga, camping, working out at the gym, running, or even long business or leisure trips. The technology found in each pair of Skinner’s sock shoes gives these shoes incredible durability and flexibility.
Sole Runners are recommendable shoes for everyday life, sports, and leisure for all who value a lot of barefoot feeling. Because the 1.5 mm soles are among the thinnest soles on the market, making Sole Runner very comfortable barefoot shoes.
- Interesting: The shoes can be resolved.
Vibram has developed the first barefoot shoe with a toe box. Visually, these toe shoes take some getting used to, but there is no better way to build more strength and vitality than with a shoe that looks like the human foot.
In addition, the individual toe chambers are an essential benefit of the shoe as they promote optimal toe splay and give you more leverage for your balance. Finally, Vibram makes an incredibly thin, flexible outsole that gives you optimal sensory feedback as the world leader in insoles.
If you want to learn more about toe shoes, check out my in-depth article about them: Barefoot Shoes with Toes. Easily Explained.
- Interesting: The brand name Vibram is composed of the first letters of the first name (Vitale) and the founder’s last name (Bramani).
Vivobarefoot is one of the best-known manufacturers in the barefoot shoe scene. The British manufacturer offers barefoot shoes for sports, hiking, leisure, and business, which visually hardly differ from regular shoes. In addition, Vivobarefoot is known for having a vast toe box not to restrict toe room.
Some models use vegetable-tanned leather, and some of the barefoot shoe models are vegan. In addition, Vivobarefoot is a leader in sustainability and says it uses materials made from recycled plastic, such as water bottles.
The brand’s insole is derived from biomass algae, and other shoes contain plastics made from corn. In addition, the brand glues the boots with a water-based adhesive.
Wildling Shoes uses natural materials such as organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, wool, and even paper to produce barefoot shoes. In addition, the brand uses wax to make the upper of the barefoot shoe water repellent.
Wildling also made the soles of the barefoot shoes of recycled rubber and cork scraps. They are glued with water-based glue and additionally sewn. Again, Wildling tries to avoid materials of non-animal origin altogether.
Wildling draws inspiration for the design of its barefoot shoes from the anatomical fit of the foot. Thus, the shoes fit both customers with broader and narrower feet.
- Interesting: The soles of the shoes with the distinctive fox paw shape borrow from Japanese ninja boots, allowing movement and flexibility without sacrificing protection.
Xero Shoes is an American manufacturer whose quality is becoming more and more known in Europe. They convince with wearing comfort and an excellent price-performance ratio.
Xero Shoes is a brand of lightweight and minimalist shoes. The shoes are designed for running and athletics and have thin and flexible soles that adapt to the shape of the human foot.
You can get everything from boots to sandals to everyday shoes at Xero Shoes.
If you’re looking for a durable, minimalist sandal for all running distances, multi-terrain walking and hiking, and casual wear, look no further than XeroShoes.
- Interesting: Each pair of Xero shoes gets a 5,000-mile warranty on the soles.
Whether leather or vegan, for leisure or business. The German manufacturer ZAQQ focuses on fashionable barefoot shoes with noble materials. Those who value elegance, sportiness, and a comfortable feel will find what they are looking for here.
ZAQQ attaches great importance to quality and sustainable production. In doing so, the barefoot shoe manufacturer tries to produce as little waste as possible, use renewable raw materials, and do without harmful chemicals to the environment and health.
The sole is made entirely of rubber, which adheres well to the ground, ensuring optimal slip-resistance on various surfaces. In addition, the leather shoes are water-repellent, and the breathable material ensures a comfortable foot climate even in warm temperatures.
In addition, they equip their boots for cold seasons with a delicate lambskin lining, which warms the feet even in freezing temperatures.
They have ballerina, business, winter boots, and sneakers, but the wide selection of elegant leather shoes is noteworthy. Many ZAQQ shoes go wonderfully with business outfits or evening wear.
- Interesting: ZAQQ makes the shoes only after your purchase.
Do you have any other brands that you think are among the best barefoot or minimal shoe manufacturers? Let’s share and write me in the comments.
*If you buy a product through one of these links, I will receive a small commission from the seller. There are no additional costs for you, and you support my work on this site. To learn more read here. Thank you and Feel Grounded. Dirk