Ultimate Buying Guide of the Best Barefoot Running Shoes

More and more people are looking for the new technology of shoes in the modern world of running. In the past few years, barefoot running shoes have become a trendy and most wanted item to create the move away from heavy shoes towards a more natural experience of running. Barefoot running shoes have taken the lead in a new level of technology of both lightweight and foot protection.

Remaining ultra-lightweight, at the same time barefoot running shoes can ensure to keep feet dry and healthy while protecting from injury. With excellent styles, new technology, and the lightweight feeling to users, barefoot running shoes are becoming more and more selected by runners. And bellows are the best barefoot running shoes that you might be looking for.

And this article may give you the answers to some common questions about them:

  • Understanding what barefoot running shoes are
  • Why should you buy
  • How to choose
  • Types of Barefoot/Minimalist Shoes

1. Understanding what barefoot running shoes are

Barefoot running shoes are created based on the fact that people want to get as close to the shoe-free running experience and protect their feet properly in the meantime. And now they have become one of the hottest topics to discuss among runners and taken a large proportion of running shoes sold on the market.

The idea behind barefoot running shoes is to let your feet touch the ground as the feeling when you run barefoot but ensure enough protection at the same time. The barefoot running shoes come in a variety of designs with different purposes to runners. For examples, some barefoot running shoes are designed to transit slowly from heel-first running to barefoot-style running while others are to just to provide a thin slither of rubber under your sole, making your feet feel free.

Barefoot running shoes are developed based on the basis of a zero drop to make the heel and forefoot on the same level. Therefore, your toes can be allowed to spread balanced and provide you better feedback from the ground.

2. Why should you buy barefoot running shoes?

So with these advantages, does it mean all runners should use barefoot running shoes? The answer will depend on different factors.

Your previous shoes experience

Be cautious to switch to barefoot running shoes while keep running as previously when you are with a supportive shoe. Taking slowly in the best barefoot running shoes’ world means you should gradually make yourself change by earning the strength to support your body to run.

Your willingness

Ask yourself if you are willing to commit to strengthening your feet and ankles (and core) and seriously spending time on learning different running techniques. It will surely take time, efforts and patience. The importance is you should know how to strengthen your lower legs and develop the solid foundation for steps such as lowering body strength first then lowering impact activity in less shoe.

Your running routine

What are your purposes of running? Is it for a marathon training, for recreation or simply for weight loss? If you are in your training or running, please be considerate to switch to the best barefoot running shoe because your body is now under a high street from miles. Ideally, you should wait untill the training session is over or in the lower mile weeks of your season because during this time it is great to strengthen your feet, ankles, and core.

Your interests

Some people like running with protective shoes and socks while the others prefer to put on less shoe and without socks. You should listen to your real hobby before making your own decision of switching to barefoot running shoes. Do not make the decision because they are now trendy in the market.

10 best barefoot running shoes 2018

1. Merrell Trail Glove 3 – Editor’s Choice

The Merrell Trail Glove 3, a great shoe of a strong combination of several technologies will provide you the best comfortable running experience and surely become your new favorite pal. Outstanding technologies of this minimal running shoe include the TrailProtect for foot protection, the M-Select FRESH for anti-odor and so on. Also, it offers a lighter weight the previous model without affecting the original performance.

In the meantime, the Vibram outsoles provide Merrell Trail Glove 3 with maximum support and traction to bring runners safety and comfort. It is also ideal for people who like the speed and enjoy the feeling of the tough and difficult trail. By highly appreciating the excellent proprioception of the shoe, you can comment on its sufficient cushioning for minimalist runners to use for half marathons.

Its long-lasting select fresh can prevent moisture and sweat from affecting your shoes’ freshness. Its antimicrobial agents can disrupt and penetrate the odor reproduction, which causes microbes in the shoes. Furthermore, the Lug patterns which provide the stability in different conditions, without placed lugs under your arch. So, the foot flexes naturally for the greater comfort.

1 Merrell Trail Glove 3

Also, it owns the firm traction on dry and wet surfaces, especially in the extreme temperatures. This product which indeed provides you 100% style and comfort proves itself to be one of the best barefoot running shoes so far. The Merrell Trail Glove 3 Barefoot running shoes cater to your needs if you are a minimalist runner or someone who are search for a shoe that is truly close to the barefoot running type. From my own opinion, the Merrell Trail Glove 3 has a great appearance for your daily use.

As a matter of fact, this shoe can be your great option if you love to enjoy and feel the difficult and tough trail while using a shoe which has been built for the speed. The upper and sole of the 3rd iteration of the Merrell Trail series were changed completely to improve your running experience. After such updates, this shoe weighs about 10% lighter compared to its previous version.

Besides, its new sole comes directly with the enhanced grip, making the shoe ideal for doing exercises and running on a variety of surfaces. Also, the shoe has closer ground contact and offers much more flexibility when compared to its predecessors. The shoe upper was redesigned entirely to deliver you a more comfortable and breathable feel. In addition to such feature is its new look which is much like sneakers.


  • This one fits like a glove with a tad more room in the toe box for toe splaying.
  • The Vibram outsole has quite a high durability and dependable performance, so it is very impressive in a multitude of trail surfaces.
  • The mesh upper in the Trail Glove 3 is great for keeping the foot cool and dry.
  • You can be appealed to the vibrant designs and different schemes of colors of this shoe.
  • It is quite light and fast with the reasonable price


  • Some people complained about its mid-sole, which should be improved with a tad cushion needed for better underfoot comfort.
  • Some comments are that they got the blistering and the inner construction isn’t optimized.

Rating: 9.6/10

The Trail Glove 3 is recommended to those with substantial needs of minimalist runners or those looking for an option extremely close to barefoot running.

2. Vibram Fivefingers Spyridon LS – Best Rated

The Vibram FiveFingers Spyridon LS barefoot running shoes are constructed with the minimalist structure with trail-specific performance. They are fantastically lightweight bringing runners a natural feeling of running experience when they can really feel the ground when their feet land.

Vibram Fivefingers Spyridon LS are super lightweight, and the heel-to-toe drop hits zero so that runners can feel their feet naturally. Also, with the mid-sole armor plating, the shoes can effectively protect the foot from rough terrains as well as fairly significant impacts. It can offer you the Comfort and cushion underfoot due to the nylon with the moisture-wicking characteristic covering polyurethane insoles of 3mm.

Despite being simple and sleek-looking, Spyridon LS owns its cool look with special technology creating increasing flexibility, breathability, and support for your feet. With the outsole design and square-shaped cleats, this shoe makes itself apart from other premieres barefoot running brands in the market.

2 Vibram Fivefingers Spyridon LS

It is also ideal for lovers of trail hiking in and out of streams as well as trail-running. To adapt the feet to the Spyridon LS, you should start using the shoes gradually before increasing over the time. To select your suitable size, stand your foot against the wall and start measuring from a wall to your longest toe. Then, you should use the two lengths with its size chart.

With the Minimalist rubber sole of 3.5mm, this shoe provides the impact protection right from debris and stones, while allowing the proper dynamics of your barefoot. Its Aggressive design of the tread delivers the wonderful grip in many directions. Also, the Molded mesh made of nylon in its midsole adds the effect like "rock block", dispersing the impact over the wider area

Last but not least, we should not miss out its Stitched-in insole made of polyurethane, which protects foot and skin tissue during your longer runs. What’s more? Its dedicated Coconut Active upper made of Carbon can offer you the natural breathability you are looking for.


  • It is Highly flexible.
  • Protective to the feet properly due to the stretchy polyester, polyamide and nylon mesh uppers
  • Balance of stability and protection to bring trail running a completely different experience
  • Bring the feeling of running barefoot and the ground beneath the feet
  • Individual toe slots strengthen the dexterity, control, and stability to enable a natural foot motion and enhance protection
  • Polyester and nylon mesh linings to quickly wick moisture away to enhance comfort
  • Odor development is controlled thanks to AEGIS Microbe Shield® antimicrobial treatment


  • This shoe is a bit less breathable than some of the others from this brand and not ideal for winter use.
  • Only washable in cold water; air dry only, away from sun or heat source

Rating: 9.4/10

Vibram Fivefingers Spyridon LS is an awesome choice for those interested in exciting mountain treks, and even parkour in the city.

3. Adidas Performance Adipure 360.3 Training Shoe – Best for price

This next generation 360 shoe continues to reinforce the power of Adidas’s training shoe series. Indeed, it is specifically made to have more flexibility, comfort, lateral stability and support your feet while training. Though it is slightly heavy, this one of the best barefoot running shoes is much lighter than other same range of shoe. And rest assured as there is a sufficient amount of cushioning placed in the shoe to provide your feet resting on this incredible softness.

As for its flexibility, this shoe with a feature of flexibility would allow a free range of motion while running. It means the shoe is able to enhance your foot’s natural movement. As it is applied the deep flex groove architecture, you are not only able to bend the sole easily but also granted a smooth ride. Likewise, its four-way stretchy mesh uppers are capable of adapting to all movement without forcing pressure on your feet.

3 Adidas Performance Adipure 360.3 Training Shoe

Besides, its upper are made from the synthetic polyurethane to enhance the shoe's longevity, while the outsole is made from non-marking rubber with flex grooves carved on. Altogether, your shoes are guaranteed to provide reliable traction. Indeed, when running in wet conditions, your shoe can firmly grip the surface and avoid you from slippage risk. Moreover, there is a pair of extra eyelets in the collar sections that help you tighten the shoe and hide the laces inside at ease.

Additionally, the Adidas Performance Adipure 360.3 would grant your feet comfortable support. Specifically, it's integrated lace, and a floating midfoot cage combine that fit around your arches would help to secure your feet in place. As well as, they are adjustable, and thus you can adjust them to enhance your foot’s motion. Likewise, its soft and mesh collar would wrap your ankles gently to provide more natural stability and comfort.

Regarding the breathability, its thin mesh upper is not only stretchable but also offered with an incredibly soft mesh lining inside. So, you hardly feel the shoe underfoot and comfortably make foot’s quick movement. As a result, your feet are granted would extra comfort, and plus a fresh interior for resting.


  • The Adidas Performance Adipure 360.3 Training Shoe provides forefoot flexibility and is true to size.
  • This shoe may be able to provide reliable traction on many types of surfaces thanks to its flex groove on the outsole.
  • Many people appreciate its lightweight cushioning that add to the shoe’s foot comfort feature.
  • Its stretchable mesh upper and a float medial cage allow you to custom and enhance your foot motion.
  • Its lacing system is another reason why many people prefer the shoe.
  • The shoe offers the wide range of color options and stylish sleek profile.
  • Its plush and snug mesh collar hugs the ankles to give your feet more comfort and natural stability.
  • Its flexible upper adds more traction and support the ankle to stay in place in the shoe.
  • There is midfoot panel to enhance the shoe’s durability during multidirectional movement.


  • Most of the complaint regards it’s bit larger size than an average size standard.
  • A few users suggest adding cushioning.

Rating 9.4/10

To sum up, the Adidas Performance Adipure 360.3 is a reasonable option fir a productive workout. It is able to mimic the natural stability, a rapid reaction time of the barefoot and enhances efficiency.

4. Nike Free RN Motion Flyknit – The most comfortable one

The Nike Free RN Motion Flyknit takes our natural principle of running from Free to a new level in its stylish form of the new outsole/midsole design. This shoe is very flexible, light as well as offers the adequate comfort. It is well built to keep lasting for ultra-long runs or speed training. Nike indeed comes up directly with a revolutionary and an innovative design in its outsole which does not limit you in the free.

As a matter of fact, the new technology having the auxetic properties which allow it to move medially and laterally with your foot. This technology may deliver the support with the custom-like function as well as the structure to all parts of this shoe. Another advanced technology of the Nike Free RN Motion Flyknit in its offing is the new set-up midsole foam.

4 Nike Free RN Motion Flyknit

Its two foam layers were molded closely together to provide you responsive cushioning along with the on-demand element of stability. Also, the upper of the shoe features the new Flyknit which hugs your skin with all stride. Its Strobel can afford added comfort and cushion without removing the natural principle of running and ground feedback for the Nike Free Motion series.

Regarding the fit and size, it has the quite snug fit from the forefoot to the heel in an adequate comfortable way. You can feel like sock when wearing this shoe as it is not constricting in any way. By choosing the shoe, you may enjoy enough forefoot space for your toes to start doing splay. The medium can be its available width and its sizes have a wide range of options 6 toward 17 for men version as well as 4 toward 12 for women version.

Furthermore, its outsole looks quite ordinary in the siped configuration that is widely known as the critical feature to add the excellent flexibility. But Nike used the innovative pattern concerning the geometric part to give its outsole almost the flexible movement which works well in accordance with every foot stretch through its gait cycle. By this way, the Nike Free RN Motion Flyknit creates the new process which even its outsole truly moves like your second skin.


  • The fit like socks of its upper as well as its plush interior indeed makes your ride comfortable when wearing the Nike Free RN Motion Flyknit.
  • It owns the plusher cushioning when compared to other Free RN versions.
  • The traction of the shoe is versatile in any place the terrain goes, especially in the wet condition.
  • Its durability can be exceptionally good.
  • You can also like its quick transitions when choosing this very light shoe.
  • Its breathable coverage may ensure a dry and cool run for all of the use.
  • The flexibility of the shoe was incredibly dedicated for the natural running.


  • The upper of the shoe can be more excellent if being used a bit more structure.
  • This shoe is slightly expensive.

Rating: 9.2/10

The Nike Free RN Motion Flyknit can be known as an adaptive and lightweight shoe which has the impressive set with the specific tech of Nike. Although on a pricey side, this product has the comfortable fit which makes it unique compared to other similar shoes.

5. Tesla Trail Running Minimalist Barefoot Shoe – Best for men

The Tesla shoe is widely known for its incredible ability to strengthen your ankle and accelerate the foot’s natural motion. Due to a lack of cushioning and arch support, this minimalist shoe is super lightweight (6 oz.), and thus you would not feel it while wearing for the run.

Besides, it impresses many users at its zero-drop, yes, the shoe is completely flat to ensure you enjoy the maximum experience of barefoot running. Additionally, this zero-drop side would help to stimulate and develop your foot bottom’s muscle. Since then, you are assisted in running more stable.

5 Tesla Trail Running Minimalist Barefoot Shoe

Importantly, its rubber’s thickness is 2mm with trade patterns adds to the shoe's durability. So, you can stably run on variety types of surfaces. In other words, its exceptional outsoles can resist against slip as well as help you boost the tempo effectively. Especially, the Tesla adds more padding at the forefoot section to protect your feet while ensuring no discomfort to your ground-feel.

Though some people find its breathability is not much outstanding, its uppers are specifically made from thin material to keep the shoe free from foul odor. Besides, the uppers have a high ability to remove dust or keep stain away to ensure the fresh air in the shoe’s interior. Moreover, it is advised to wear the Tesla in winter without sock needed as for they are weather-wise shoes.

Importantly, all the rest of the shoe is not only durable but also truly flexible. That's why the Tesla is able to enhance your movements and full mobility. By this way, it would lessen the risk of soft tissue degeneration. Besides, the shoe construction is shaped as a human foot biomechanics to reinforce your barefoot running efficiency.

Noticeably, the shoe is capable of stimulating the rear side of your feet and enhance legs' power and stability. As a result, the shoe would improve your foot health while reducing stress level. For all of the above features, the Tesla Trail Running Minimalist can be one candidate of our best barefoot running shoes.


  • The shoe has a remarkably lightweight which gives no feel under your feet and discomfort during a long-distance run.
  • Its breathable mesh upper gives more way for air and moisture flow from the feet.
  • Many people appreciate its zero drops as it can reduce the pressure on the feet.
  • There is arched footbed in the midsole to support your feet efficiently.
  • Its outsoles give a solid grip that avoids you from slipping in the wet condition.
  • The Tesla Trail Running Minimalist Barefoot Shoe is confirmed to be able to promote the power and sense of your legs.
  • It is an ideal option for daily use for outdoor activities.
  • The shoe provides strong upper material and durable outsoles.


  • Some suggestions regarding its ½ larger size.
  • Few complaints demonstrate that the insole tends to slide back sometime.

Rating: 9.2/10

In short, if you love the feeling of barefoot running, you would not want to skip this Telsa minimalist shoes as for its incredible performance. Indeed, you would like the comfort brought by its breathable mesh fabric, lightweight construction, and zero heel-to-toe differential while enjoying the ground contact feel to the most.

6. Merrell Bare Access Arc 4 Trail Running Shoe – Best for women

The Merrell Bare Access Arc 4 can be a great running companion which many casual individuals and athletes enjoy. This neutral shoe for running was catered to all minimalist enthusiasts. The durability of the shoe is superb while its underfoot comfort was adequate. However, it does not own the arch supports. In other side, its upper unit features the mesh material which has an open construction which is much better than the Arc 3.

As far as you may know, the visible holes of this shoe can pockmark its upper, ensuring that the air may go in and keep your foot dry and cool throughout every of your runs. Its overlay system has been created using the sturdy material. Being bonded onto its upper fabric, such sections secure your foot in a customizable and snug wrap.

6 Merrell Bare Access Arc 4

Furthermore, its outsole unit has the deeper and more efficient flex grooves located in its forefoot area. Owning this construction encourages the more movement freedom for all of the users. Each toe-off of the shoe is currently more natural as well as empowered due to the flexibility. And its upper coverage is made of the Air Mesh and Synthetic Leather.

Besides, its mesh lining was treated well with the anti-microbial cover which effectively keeps its interior environment healthier and cleaner for you. This type of running companion is indeed vegan-friendly. Its components and materials utilized to craft the product have not been taken from any animal product. However, they still prove the 100% efficacy concerning service and comfort.

This barefoot running shoe is exclusively designed for women so it follows strictly the standard scheme for their sizes. Also, this product comes in the medium width, accommodating people having heels, forefoot, and mid-foot sections in the medium size. Its Bare Access shoe Outsole features the gripping lugs which have the depth of 2 mm. They are not prominent, yet effective when mentioning the road exposed feature and stable tracks off-road.

Its Flex Grooves may offer you the natural movement which starts right at the midfoot’s edge to the area of the truly-bended metatarsals. As a matter of fact, these grooves were considered deeper than those in its’ previous iteration. Therefore, it delivers additional efficiency regarding its purpose.


  • Its minimal cushioning can offer surface control, protection, and comfort for you.
  • The outsole technology named Vibram is indeed the durable option in this market segment. As the shoe is made of a particular material with the high quality, it can work well to offer a durable layer of outer to resist wear and abrasion.
  • This running shoe is effective for a lot of activities, like walking, running, or exercising, etc.
  • You may appreciate the overall unbulky nature and comfortable design of the 4th iteration of the Merrell Bare Access Arc series.
  • The specific durability of its individual parts can be dependable and efficient in traction giving as well.
  • Its lightweight disposition is one of active features you should know.


  • Its upper unit cannot snugly wrap the feet properly.
  • It is slightly narrow for your medium feet and its aesthetic was considered similar to its previous versions.
  • There is no or little support dedicated for your arch, making it not the good option for some over-pronators.

Rating: 9.0/10

By using the Merrell Bare Access Arc 4 Trail Running Shoe, your feet are provided maximum support, nice cushioning, perfect fit and enough protection.

7. New Balance WR10GY Minimus – Best fit

It is an award-winning shoe for its versatility to run on many types of surfaces. Especially, in this lightweight construction, your feet can enjoy the great ground feel and take land off smoothly. Particularly, its heel-to-toe differential is worth admiring (4mm). It contributes greatly to the shoe’s minimalist characteristic. By this way, it would ease your transition from heels to toes landing. Since then, you can make the most of your barefoot running experience.

Additionally, this minimalist shoe would be a reasonable option for road and trail running. It features a synthetic mesh upper which would enhance the shoe’s breathability significantly. So, its need to worry about foul odor. Moreover, it is water-proof which give you a comfortable feel when wearing on rainy days. Besides, the outsole is made from durable blown rubber that can attenuate shock greatly and reduce the impact as well. Likewise, there is a closure lining system which would assist you in tying shoelace without a hassle.

7 New Balance WR10GY Minimus

Importantly, there is RevLiveArch midsole which supports your heel’s motion. Indeed, if you are the high-arch footed runner, you would find this shoe treat your knee pain or feet pain well. Specifically, one user mentioned while wearing the Minimus for 100+ miles, the pain goes away gradually. Though the barefoot running shoe may give slow break-in period, it can ensure you to have a natural step.

Besides, you can wear this pair of shoe sockless. Moreover, some people realizes that after wearing them several times for work, or daily run, they are no longer suffer intermittent foot, ankle or hip pain. Besides, you are guaranteed to avoid any annoyance of blister or soreness with the Minimus.

Though you may worry this minimalist shoe would fatigue legs quickly, the shoe is ensured to provide consistent energy absorption while running on asphalt. And though it has a lightweight and slender construction, its construction is confirmed to stay sturdy and solid for a whole run. That’s why it is able to enhance your running efficiency. Besides, the Minimus offers you roomy toebox for your toe splay.


  • Most of the people prefer its comfortable lightweight as they can experience great ground feel.
  • It's roomy toe box please many runners.
  • Your feet are protected with its lacing system, sturdy midsole, and durable outsole.
  • This minimalist shoe is an ideal choice for trail or road surfaces.
  • Your feet can enjoy in the shoe’s odor-free interior.
  • It is offered with a relatively reasonable price.


  • Its size may be ½ larger than what you get used to.

Rating: 8.7/10

The New Balance WR10GY Minimus Barefoot running shoe would satisfy your demand for its superior performance. Indeed, the shoe would enhance your efficiency, comfort and protect your feet greatly while granting natural and smooth ride in every strike.

8. Mizuno Wave Universe 5 – Best for athletes

At the first sight, you may amaze with its attractive appearance belonged to one of the best barefoot running shoes. Truly, its design is certainly unique that has a different look from any shoe you have. Then you would be more impressed with its superior features. Specifically, this minimalist footwear would give you the ultralight cushion, minimal sole, and roomy toe box. Indeed, there is extra cushion added in the Mizuno to enhance your efficiency.

This structure would make a considerable improvement for a Running Economy criteria, then you can boost your speed. Besides, it has an incredibly low drop (300) which would give no difference to your foot strike. And though there is a minor issue of the same level of cushioning at both shoe’s ends, it's the amount of cushioning would comfort your feet sufficiently.

8 Mizuno Wave Universe 5

Specifically, its firm foam has a thickness of 9-12 mm to maximize the Running Economy's improvement. Notably, the Mizuno has no plastic plate but two high-density foam to disperse impact and attenuate shock efficiently. Likewise, this pair of foam would work better than multiple densities. Moreover, the Mizuno is impressively flexible as for its slim design. So, your foot motion is supported intensively to freely move or stretch on various types of surfaces.

As for the shape, the Mizuno shoe’s shape is designed according to your foot shape mechanic. And there are wider wiggle rooms for your toes move naturally and engage for toe off. As a result, you are likely to avoid the blister. Besides, you may find its upper design supportive for your feet as it is extremely thin and stretchable. This seamless construction would give you extra comfort.

Additionally, there are a small amount of pad that wrap your ankle gently to improve the heel’s motion. And that is how your foot is kept snugly in the shoe without any annoyance.

Moreover, without tradition padding at the tongue, you would find the shoe more comfortable to put in. And to assist you in tying a shoelace, the Mizuno offers the handy lacing system with thin and flat laces.


  • Its lightweight and flexible construction are two main reasons why the runners favor this shoe.
  • Thanks to the U4ic technology applied for the midsole design, it becomes more resilient to grant a smooth ride.
  • With the G3 SOLE Technology, most of the runner can enjoy the great ground feel.
  • The shoe delivers solid traction to run stably on variety types of surfaces.


  • There are some complaints about it becomes too tight when wearing without socks.
  • The shoe is suggested to enhance its cushioning and support.
  • Its price is relatively expensive.

Rating 8.6/10

The Mizuno Universe is a minimalist trainer that delivers the nice combination of arch support, smooth transition, and flexibility for the whole run. So, if you are in search of the shoe that are durable, and fast speed, this shoe would be the worth considering option.

9. Vibram FiveFingers KSO EVO – The most flexible one

The Vibram FiveFingers KSO EVO with Vibram Vi-Lite technology makes your shoes a lightweight. A combination of support, durability and better ground contact help runner absorb shock during landing and releases energy efficiently for a solid rebound. While the upper is not only soft but also breathable.

Thanks to the brand’s XS RUN outsole compound, runner is easy to contact ground because of maximum stable hardness on different surfaces. This improves running experience when you go trekking, mountaineering and motorbike racing and give an impressive grip on soft surfaces. Even you run on different terrain at relatively low temperatures, the shoes always bring you the highest reliability.

9 vibram five fingers kso evo

About the size, you should choose smaller one than the actual size to fit your feet because of large design of the Vibram FiveFingers KSO EVO. Besides, a single-pull lace is designed for the shoe to improve fitting. Otherwise, the outsole is made up of Vibram FiveFingers KSO EVO rubber and equipped with Xs Run technology to allow runner contact ground easily.

Moreover, to absorb shock efficiently and maximum energy release for a more powerful toe-off, the midsole company with its Vi-Lite midsole technology is made of EVA material for excellent cushioning and durability to deliver a lightweight cushioning. While its soft, perforated upper, made up of Polyester Lycra Stretch Mesh and Polyester Microfiber bring comfortable, cool and dry to your foot throughout the run by maximize breathability.


  • Many runners appreciate the lightweight.
  • This shoe is highly breathable.
  • The Vibram FiveFingers KSO EVO has many colors to choose.
  • It has the good design to fit runner’s foot.
  • The shoes always bring you the highest reliability.


  • The sole wears out quickly based on some reviews.
  • This shoe is slightly expensive.

Rating 8.6/10

The Vibram FiveFingers FiveFingers KSO EVO brings you a good feeling with your run, connecting you to the true barefoot running experience. The shoes will be a special friend in your run every day.

10. Vivobarefoot Neo Trail Running Shoe – The most durable product

Sportier and more styled than the Neo, The Vivobarefoot Neo Trail is the best choice for a trail runner looking for a minimalist shoe to run on the ice or snow trails. With their wide lasts and roomy toe boxes like VIVO's other running shoe offerings, the Neo Trail fits like a slipper.

Running in snow and ice gives a fantastic challenge to the Neo Trails. The hydrophobic mesh and microfiber uppers resist wetness from the snow and keep your foot dry. The Neo Trail has excellent grip on ice and does a job above and beyond what you expected.

10 Vivobarefoot Neo Trail Running Shoe

Same to running in rocks and sand, the lugs dig into the earth and form a nice barrier between it and your foot, so that you hardly feeling the sharp rocks beneath the puncture-proof sole. While the flexible sole, simply curves around the uneven ground. It lets you feel the texture of whatever is underfoot.

And, to bring the most wonderful experience, the shoe is made from 100 percent vegan materials with the lock-lacing system and the grippe 5mm lugs on the sole. This feature may be the best thing about this shoe, make a difference with all of VIVO's minimalist running shoe lineup.


  • The Vivobarefoot Neo Trail is the perfect shoe for the icy, snowy trails, rocks, sand and even grass.
  • The shoes with water resistance keep foot dry.
  • They perform well in muddy conditions.
  • The sole is so flexible and soft.
  • The lugs are amazing for traction.
  • They fit perfectly and were comfortable with a wide toe box.


  • The Neo Trail is a little stiffer and heavier than its counterpart.
  • A bit too roomy and feel that they run a half size too big.

Rating 8.6/10

The Vivobarefoot Neo Trail with their protection and ideal design is an excellent all-around trail running shoe for the runners who like to run in all trail situations.

Choose the best barefoot running shoes

Types of Barefoot/Minimalist Shoes

Between wearing traditional shoes when running and going barefoot, you will find the innumerable and impressive nuances of functionality and coverage. What already passes for the best barefoot running shoes may run quite as a gamut. So, we will examine the two major types of barefoot/minimalist shoes which are widely used by many runners. Regarding the similarity, you might notice that these two types share the common thing which no physical foot support.

Minimalist Shoes

They are the hybrid of traditional shoes and barefoot running shoes. So, it can be an excellent choice for almost all runners to start easing into the barefoot running. The minimalist shoes features the lightweight construction, with no or little arch support. Its heel drop which is about 4 or 8mm can encourage a forefoot or midfoot strike, but still, offer flex and cushioning.

As a matter of fact, several minimalist styles offer the stability posting which assists many overpronating runners in transiting to the barefoot motion of running. The toebox of the minimalist shoes is considerably roomy to let your toes to be able to splay right inside your shoes, enhancing balance and grip.

Barefoot shoes

This type of running companions offers us the closest and most realistic feel to the truly barefoot running. Soles of the best barefoot running shoes can provide you the minimum protection from all potential hazards happened on different kinds of the ground. In fact, many of them do not have the cushion in their heel pad along with an extremely thin shoe layer of about 3 or 4mm between the ground and your skin. If you do not like them, you can choose other models with much more cushioning.

With the best barefoot running shoe, those having high arches may tend to enjoy the shortest time to break-in with the fewest problems. Some heavy pronators whose feet can be flattened during the exercise to lose weight can struggle a little bit to adjust frequently to the disappearance of the arch support.

Most significantly, the best barefoot running shoe usually feature the zero toe-to-heel drop. Of which, Drop is defined as the variance between the heel height and the toe height. This structure encourages the forefoot or midfoot strike.

How to choose

best barefoot running shoes

As previously stated, barefoot running shoes may help us gain the additional flexibility while hitting the trail or the pavement. The soles of them are indeed to develop the better response whenever you use the minimal structured running companions. Our Achilles tendon’s elasticity is enhanced as well, thereby decreasing the foot fatigue. If you already know the advantages of the best barefoot running shoes, let’s read some basic factors to select the most suitable for you.


Firstly, you should look carefully at the technical part of the shoe’s construction. The lesser advanced features it owns, the more this shoe is to mimic running like your barefoot. By offering you enhanced balance and proprioception, barefoot running shoes provide additional ground contact as well as improves the coordination simply by activating our small muscles located in the feet, heel, and ankle. Also, it allows you to have the wider splay for your toes.


Whether you have been performing as one trail racer or road runner, the shoe’s weight is a critical factor. In fact, the lightweight platforms can be better and preferable since they may not drag you down during your run, even in the short or long period. Also, the lightweight profile adds to your barely-there feel, helping you to facilitate the barefoot running as most comfortable as possible.


Unlike traditional shoes, many runners, including me, do not like the extra space located in our toes. This characteristic is indeed hard to see in barefoot shoes. By using barefoot running shoes, your toes and Heels can fit like wearing your glove. Furthermore, this type of shoes could be worn without or with socks. Of which, the obvious benefits of wearing them include blister protection, extra warmth, and odor deterrence.

Toe-to-heel drop

For an adequate ground contact, the best barefoot running shoes should own the low differential. So, you can pick up the drop from zero toward 4 mm, but it should not more than that. By this way, you can realize that barefoot running shoes can be lighter as well as use less energy than other traditional shoes for running. During the forefoot strike, their natural springs of feet along with calf muscles can be used to discharge and store energy.


While several styles of the best barefoot running shoes features the strap closures, you may see some other types offer the quick-lace running system. Typically, such system provides the better access toward their toe pockets so you can enjoy the easy wear on as well as off. Also, it does the better task accommodating the high arches. When it comes to the Better performance, the best barefoot running shoes encourages the natural foot flexes, foot splay while enhancing the ground contact dedicated for better performance of your running.


Many of barefoot running shoes are indeed machine-washable, that means they own the easy care. Furthermore, you should look for the products which can strengthen the foot and tendons muscle as well. By this way, these shoes will reduce your risk of some common injuries when running.

Conclusion – what actually makes a difference

The best barefoot running shoes are amazing wearables for many different activities. They can truly assist you much in keeping better track of the running routines as well as help you execute at them. Hopefully, our ultimate buying guide on the best barefoot running shoes may help you choose the one that can match your own needs. However, in the case that you indeed want to be stronger than before, buying a pair of barefoot running shoes is only your first step towards the long strenuous running journey.

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