Best barefoot shoes Thrifter 2021

Don't let the term "barefoot shoes" confuse you. While some styles feature noticeable spaces for your toes, others look closer to a traditional sneaker — and no, you don't have to go barefoot while you wear them. Barefoot shoes are designed to help your feet gain a better sense of the ground beneath them. They create a more natural feel while you're walking around with thin soles, extreme lightness and flexibility, a wide toe box that doesn't squeeze your toes together, and zero drop from your heel to your toe. These shoes deliberately offer minimal support so that your feet can grow stronger and learn to support themselves more over time.

Merrell Vapor Glove 4 Sneaker Mens

Best for men: Merrell Men's Vapor Glove 4 Sneaker

Staff Pick

Merrell's Vapor Glove 4 is equipped with a rubber Vibram sole that's slip-resistant, long lasting, and waterproof. It has a mesh upper which allows air to flow through the fabric more easily, while its M-Select Fresh technology utilizes antimicrobial agents to reduce shoe odors. It also features a Hyperlock TPU FIlm Heel Counter to keep your foot gripped inside once you put it on.

from $77 at Amazon
Merrell Womens Vapor Glove 4 Sneaker

Best for Women: Merrell Women's Vapor Glove 4 Sneaker

With its Vibram TC5+ sole and barefoot shape, this sneaker offers a glove-like fit for natural comfort. It has zero drop from heel to toe so you walk with a natural stride when you're wearing them. Their construction allows for enhanced proprioception and stability while you're exercising or even for casual use.

from $70 at Amazon
New Balance Fuel Core Nergize V1 Sneaker Womens

Find your balance: New Balance Women's FuelCore Nergize V1 Sneaker

The FuelCore Nergize V1 sneaker by New Balance has a rubber sole with midsole cushioning that will keep you comfortable in them all day long. They're constructed with a mix of mesh and synthetic materials that creates an ultra-lightweight feel that won't get in the way of your cross-training or daily activities.

from $42 at Amazon
New Balance Minimus 10 V1 Shoe Mens

Stop the stench: New Balance Men's Minimus 10 V1 Trail Running Shoe

New Balance designed the Minimus 10 V1 Trail Running Shoe with an antimicrobial treatment that helps to resist odors, along with a rubber sole, an Acteva midsole, and a Vibram outsole. Whether you're hitting the trails or stepping out for some errands, these lightweight shoes are an excellent pick if you're looking to find a more natural feel under your feet.

$115 at Amazon
L Run Unisex Barefoot Shoes

Stay secure: L-RUN Athletic Barefoot Shoes for Men or Women

These lightweight barefoot shoes are suitable for men or women. The thick outsole offers strong traction to keep you from slipping around, while the durable rubber soles inside help to protect your feet from getting hurt from uneven terrain. There's even an adjustable band that helps provide a more secure fit and adjusts the shoe to your foot.

from $20 at Amazon
Whitin Mens Minimalist Trail Runner Shoe

More contact: Whitin Men's Minimalist Trail Runner

This minimalist trailrunner shoe by Whitin has a rubber sole and a wide toe box that won't squeeze your toes together once you put it on. It features a sockliner (insole) that you can remove if you're looking for an even "more barefoot" feeling.

from $13 at Amazon
L Run Unisex Barefoot Shoes

Water wear: Body Glove Men's 3T Barefoot Cinch Water Shoe

The Body Glove Cinch Shoes are built for use in water making them a perfect choice whether you're planning to go kayaking, fishing, swimming, or just walking near the beach. They're made with a quick-dry material and have an Integrated Drainage System that helps water and air move freely through the fabric. Plus, the low-profile ultra-grip outsole offers maximum traction while you're on the run.

from $36 at Amazon
Inov-8 Barefeet Bare Xf 210 Cross Training Shoe

Lace up: Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 Cross-Training Shoe

Inov-8's Bare-XF is a versatile pick that's excellent to use for weight training, exercising, or just running your daily errands. It has all the must-have essentials of a barefoot shoe, from a wide toe box and zero drop from heel to toe, as well as minimal cushioning so you can feel more connected to the ground and discover more stability while traveling.

from $79 at Amazon
Centipede Demon Water Shoes

Wet's no worry: Centipede Demon Barefoot Water Shoes

These barefoot shoes are designed for use in the water, with features like fast-draining fabric and cross ventilation. They offer non-slip protection, elastic straps that let you adjust the width of the shoe quickly, and come in a variety of styles and colorways.

from $22 at Amazon

One step away...

There are a few key features you should be looking for in any barefoot shoe, though you really can't go wrong with any of the options above as long as you're paying attention to the size and fit to ensure they're right for your feet. The most important features of a barefoot shoe include zero drop from heel to toe, a wide toe box, thin sole, and extreme lightness and flexibility. Other barefoot shoes may include additional features like odor-resistance and quick water drainage.

While all of the shoes in our list above are worth considering, Merrell's Vapor Glove 4 Shoe rose to the top of our list for its dedication to implementing premium materials for its construction, from its rubber Vibram sole to M-Select Fresh technology that works to reduce odors and the Hyperlock TPU FIlm Heel Counter that keeps you locked in place once you lace up. This shoe is available in men's and women's sizes.

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