Best 9 Minimalist and Barefoot Running Shoes in 2021

Since barefoot running or strolling has become more of an ambitious and increasingly desirable approach for people nowadays, it is still not practically reasonable to endeavor it without some support under your feet to protect and shield them from the potential vulnerability of injuries or wounds. Although, barefoot running shoes do not cater to the safety of your feet entirely.

The barefoot running shoes are designed to suit and accommodate the lightweight and breathable qualities while pulling them on. In addition, these shoes have a compressed and flattened sole that feels like a second layer of skin when you hop onto the surface of the ground.

Yet, they ensure the prevention of minor risks like bruising your foot with a small rock lying on the footpath, a fragment of glass, or maybe a needle in your way while you are lounging around your house.

Therefore, here is a list entailing the best 9 minimalist and barefoot running shoes in 2021 that are must-have:

Curious now? Then let’s get started.

green shards-lying-on-the-ground

Merrell Mix Master Move Glide

These barefoot running shoes are widely prevalent in being super lightweight, comfortable, and true to size. In addition, these shoes are highly versatile on different surfaces.

Their design and adaptable nature allow them to maintain an efficient grip and friction on the ground.

a feather is falling-in-a-hand

The Merrell Mix Master Move Glide offers exceptional support and cushioning, as the wearers have stated in their feedback and remarks about the product.

The mesh upper of the shoes fulfills the ventilation concerns preventing the moisture and sweat from building up around your feet.

However, the drawbacks of lower to ground sole must be considered, too. They can cause acute arch pain, and the sole itself does not promise long durability.

Xero Shoes HFS

A significant amount of appreciation is inundated in response to the feedback for Xero Shoes HFS by reviewers. These shoes offer an incredible comfort level and breathability. In addition, their sole serves as excellent cushioning and support.

They are lower to the ground, yet they provide a firm grip and traction. The product is claimed to be super lightweight and accommodates contemporary vogue or fashion wear. The Xero Shoes HFS is designed to function for running and walking.

However, the sole of these shoes may wear off after some time. Overall, the boots are a perfect fit if you are looking to experience barefoot walking at a track or while you run errands.

Merrell Vapor Glove 3

a woman-climbing-on-a-rock-with-good-grip

This pair of shoes have received a good share of positive reviews from the buyers. They have been claimed to serve an excellent grip and flexibility.

The lightweight feature of the shoes makes them accommodate comfortable running and walking without a break-in period. 

Though the shoes are lower to the ground yet, they offer good traction. In addition, the boots are commended for their cost-effectiveness and reasonable price. You can enjoy a new yet exciting experience with the Merrell Vapor Glove 3.

These shoes are an improved version of their former generations and give better support to avoid and prevent sore feet. However, Customers had reported that they could not trust the shoes with their durability.

The boots can feel tight and not true to size unless bought in person. In addition, the foot box can lay pressure on the feet, and due to compression, they will inevitably hurt.

Xero Shoes Speed Force

a white flexible-string in front of a black background

The Xero Shoe Speed Force is designed to suit the lightweight and comfortable layout. These shoes are commended for their true-to-size quality. The sole of the shoes is super flexible and bendable.

They provide a firm platform for running, jogging, and various other activities. The Xero Shoes Speed Force offers an elastic upper, which makes them easier to pull on. However, they do not cause any compression, leading to pain in the feet while you are wearing them.

It is altogether a combination of vogue and comfort. The Speed Force allows significant friction, grip, and traction on various surfaces and terrains. In addition, the top of the shoes renders a source of ventilation and breathability.

However, the boots are reported to have a constricted opening. As a result, they can somewhat feel rough and harsh on your feet.

Merrell Trail Glove 3

This pair of shoes is similar to a glove; comfortable and easy to pull on. The foot box has sufficient room to allow free toe movements. In addition, the platform of the shoes promises to withstand even rough surfaces with lasting durability.

The mesh upper of the boots provides ventilation and breathability, preventing the moisture from accumulating around your feet. In addition, the Merrell Trail Glove 3 comes in a range of dazzling colors that the buyers find captivating.

It is an affordable product with overwhelming features. They have a lightweight and firm sole with good cushioning underneath. They even encourage faster running and walking.

Though, the shoes have a slightly bit thin platform. As a result, the inside of the shoes can feel harsh on your feet and may cause inflammation and blistering.

Merrell Vapor Glove 4

a broken shoe in sand

This set of shoes is a perfect fit for exceptional support and comfort. In addition, the Merrell Vapor Glove 4 is, by far, one of the most durable shoes that go a long way before tearing apart. As a result, they are a must-have for less rough surfaces.

They have been commended for their lightweight, bendable and flexible qualities. It is a minimalistic pair of shoes that serve the right mix of style and relaxation.

They offer a significant amount of room for the feet to splay in. In addition, these shoes have a platform that accommodates grip and good traction.

However, the shoes can be over spacious and lead to extra free movements and discomfort. In addition, the arch support is not sufficient to prevent cramps or sore feet.

Vibram FiveFingers KSO EVO

a fan with blowing threads on it standing in the open air

These shoes come in various pastel colors and have a smooth structure. The shoe is designed to adapt to smooth terrains like roads. The boots are lower to the ground and super lightweight.

The upper of the shoes is elastic and offers good ventilation. They provide a significant number of attractive features like lasting durability without wearing off after some time and exceptional support and comfort for their price. The boots are resistant to the surface and hold a firm grip and friction. 

However, a few buyers have criticized its thin layout and non-durable fabric. In addition, the narrow foot box can lead up to stiffness in the toes.

Merrell Trail Glove 5


These shoes have received many appreciative and commending remarks from their buyers. This set of shoes is an elite choice for both rough and smooth terrains. It is considered a particular purchase as the high efficiency of the platform prevents you from tripping or falling because of low friction.

They provide a good amount of grip and traction. The top of the shoes can seem slightly tight. However, they are super comfortable and relieving inside.

The inside serves as good support for the arch of the foot, catering to its relaxation. Unfortunately, though, the collar of the boots is elevated to reach up to the ankles which can cause chaffing and rubbing against the skin.

This pair, indeed, holds the eyes of the buyers because of its vibrant colors. The Merrell Trail Glove 5 is designed to feel lightweight while they effortlessly reflect their vogue. In addition, these shoes are very cost-effective for the range of functions and versatility they offer.

Merrell Vapor Glove 4 3D

These shoes have a good amount of positive rating and appreciation. They have been praised and admired for being true to size. In addition, the manufacturer has paid great heed to ensuring that the shoes meet the comfort and relaxation needs of the buyers, both of which Merrell Vapor Glove 4 3D genuinely does.

This pair of shoes is designed to be worn in super adaptable and versatile ways. They can either be worn to showcase style, or they can even empower your enthusiasm and drive while working out. The shoes are deemed to last a long way without replacement, and they promote durability. In addition, your feet are likely to feel well secured and protected inside the big foot box.

The Merrell Vapor Glove has the best elasticity and flexibility. However, the laces are too long and can open up while running or jogging. In addition, the shoes must be your exact size or one unit more oversized because a size smaller can cause inflammation around the feet due to restricted blood flow and stiffness.

The Merrell vapor glove 4 3D has used its vegan-based features as a marketing tool. The customers tend to be attracted to businesses and products that are socially and ethically responsible. A runner, who recently bought this pair of shoes, reported that they could be highly efficient for marathons and races.


a thumbs-up in a jungle

In this article, I’ve hand-picked some of the most fabulous and worthwhile barefoot shoes for you! This review article might be a perfect thing for you if you’re searching for your first barefoot running shoes or you want to upgrade your barefoot shoes.

If you now suddenly have no desire to run, I can inspire you here maybe for hiking: Best 6 Minimalist And Barefoot Hiking Shoes in 2021

If you have your own experiences with barefoot running shoes, I would be pleased to share them with you.

Feel Grounded


PS.: Hard to believe, but do you actually want more additional info on this topic? Then have a look here: Best Minimalist Running Shoes 2021 – Run and Become