Minimalist & Barefoot Running

Discover your natural potential

Barefoot Shoes and Minimalist Running Shoes

We have a wide selection of top-quality barefoot shoes and minimalist running shoes (AKA: barefoot running shoes) displayed and reviewed on our site. We'll be adding other makes and models as we continue connecting with shoe manufacturers. Enjoy reading our reviews of various products to find the perfect pair. If you decide on a pair of minimalist shoes, do your feet a huge favor and purchase a copy of the running barefoot book that will help you immensely with the transition. (It's better than insurance for your feet!) Don't forget to check out our fun t-shirts & gear as well that help support our wonderful writers! You can see our barefoot shoe FAQs at the bottom of the page and feel free to read about less shoe on our stellar blog.
Enter the name for this tabbed section: Kigo Footwear
Kigo Footwear
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Eco-friendly and practical, Kigo Footwear is leading the market in minimalist design and comfort.

Enter the name for this tabbed section: Kigo Models

Check out the Kigo Footwear homepage or the store to see all models available.

Kigo Drive

The new Drive from Kigo

Available in August 2011

For activity, the kigo drive is the premier release from Kigo. Minimalist shoes designed to increase proprioception and posture, performance should drive you!

Kigo Edge

Kigo Edge Footwear
This unisex Kigo Edge is a top-rated, high-grade minimalist shoe made for minimalist enthusiasts who do not want to sacrifice quality and protection.

Kigo Flit

The Kigo Flit minimalist shoe

Available in August 2011

Super lightweight and good for activity or simply going out, the Kigo Flit is the model of choice for those who want a slim, sleek design.

Kigo Curv

kigo curv female barefoot shoe
For fitness or genearl use, the Kigo Curv is the perfect light, well-designed, flexible, and durable barefoot shoe.

With all Kigo Footwear, be sure to check the sizing chart

Enter the name for this tabbed section: Soft Star Shoes
Soft Star Shoes
Soft Star Shoes Running Mocassins

Hand-made in the USA, Soft Star Shoes are becoming the barefoot shoe of choice. Check out these beauties!

Enter the name for this tabbed section: Soft Star Models

You can visit the Soft Star Shoes homepage, the adult footwear section, and the design your own page to see all models.

Original RunAmoc

The original barefoot running shoe, the RunAmoc
The Original Soft Star RunAmoc started it all! This breathable, lightweight, and premium running shoe will be the envy of all your minimalist friends.

Original RunAmoc Smooth

Design your own smooth Soft Star RunAmoc
The Smooth RunAmoc can be designed to fit your color needs. Combining the lightweight attributes of the Original with the high-quality Soft Star design, this is perfect for work, play, and everything in between.

Original RunAmoc Suede

This smooth chocolate running shoe is a classic edition
The suede-flavored RunAmoc is a top-notch smooth shoe perfect for keeping stuff out and your feet in contact with the ground.

Soft Star Shoes Moc 3

The Moc 3 from Soft Star Shoes
The Soft Star Shoes Moc 3 is unparalleled in design and craftsmanship. Breathable, vibram sole, with exceptional flexibility and ground feel, this Moccasin is at the heart of the minimal movement.

Dash RunAmoc Smooth

A smooth take on the Dash with its smooth leather upper
The Dash RunAmoc Smooth is truly a gem in the minimalist running or lifestyle market. Good for going to the office or heading out the door on a run, this shoe fits any need.

Dash RunAmoc Lite

The Dash RunAmoc is a newly released design
The Dash RunAmoc Lite (Black/Silver) is a new edition to the Soft Star family. Style with laces, breathability, comfort, ground feel; it's got it all!

Grippy Viley (Chocolate)

Grippy Viley by Soft Star
The Chocolate colored Grippy Viley is the perfect indoor and dry-use outdoor moccasin with its easy slip-on, slip-off and comfy sheepskin sole.

Original Rambler

Original black model soft star rambler
The Original Rambler is a durable, breathable moccasin is water resistant and perfect for both indoor and outdoor use.

Rambler Caramel & Chocolate

Soft Star Caramel and Chocolate colored mocassin
The Rambler Caramel and Chocolate moccasin is a great outdoor, water-resistant shoe with a genuine sheepskin innersole.
Enter the name for this tabbed section: Invisible Shoes
Invisible Shoes
barefoot running sandals, invisible shoes

Invisible Shoes are indigenous sandals inspired by the Tarahumara of Mexico noted for the flexibility and durability.

Enter the name for this tabbed section: Invisible Shoes Models

Feel free to visit the InvisibleShoes homepage, the store, and the accessories page.

Invisible Shoe Sandals

Hand made invisible shoes
Huarache barefoot running sandals are truly the next best thing to being purely barefoot. These sandals are inspired from the Tarahumara of Mexico.

Extra Accessories

Beads and extras for your Huarache sandals
Deck out your barefoot running sandals with Huarache extras. Check out beads, strings, pendants, and more!

Huaraches Sandal Kits

Barefoot running Huraches kit
Making your own Huarache sandals can be both rewarding and fun. Plus, they are guaranteed to fit perfectly!
Enter the name for this tabbed section: ZEM Gear
ZEM Gear
Zem Gear minimalist footwear

Take performance to a new level with ZEM Gear, a barefoot shoe good for running, beach sports, yoga, and living.

Enter the name for this tabbed section: ZEM Models

You can visit ZEM Gear, see the full collection, and the online store to see various models.

Ninja Split Toe Lo

ZEM Gear Ninja Split Toe lo shoe
The ZEM Gear split toe low is a classic model that put the company on the minimalist map.

Round Toe Lo

Zem Gear rounded toe lo shoes
If you aren't into Ninja toes, then these stylish round-toe models are for you!

Ninja Split Toe Hi

ZEM Gear Ninja Split Toe Hi
For sand, trail, or even snow, the Ninja split toe hi is the best choice.

Round Toe Hi

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Like the Round Toe Lo, but with a little more rise on the ankle to help keep stuff out.

Traveler Round Toe Lo

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Great for travelers for their lightweight comfort and can be used in gyms when you arrive at your destination.

Wellness Split Toe Lo

Zem Gear Wellness Split Toe Lo
Great for indoor activities with its soft sole, the Wellness Lo is an option for Yoga and Pilates.

Exciting new shoes coming from ZEM Gear (Mid-July 2011)

Barefoot Running Shoes FAQs

What are barefoot running shoes?
Doesn't going barefoot mean to be without shoes? Not in the crazy world of barefoot running! It all may sound a little strange, but it's deep, like a Zen koan. Though it may seem counter-intuitive, you can enjoy the exhilarating freedom of barefoot running while still having protection when you need it most. Minimalist footwear or barefoot running shoes are both interchangeable terms in the current barefooting world.

Whether you call barefoot shoes truly bare or not, the idea itself is simple, but the practice revolutionary. Putting less on your feet allows you to live, walk, or run more freely without the hindrance of more cushioning, weight, and motion control. It is a way that you can still connect, feel, flex, react, and connect naturally to the Earth under toe.
How do I choose a pair of barefoot shoes?
From running sandals to flats, racers, and moccasins, the variety of minimalist shoes on the market is astounding. There are even some models that might be labeled hybrids. The different types of barefoot shoes include minimal, neutral, and those used for walking, working, or casual affairs. The hybrids offer little arch support, motion control, or slight heel raise. They do, however, promote natural running motion, favoring a mid-foot strike. The padding and support offers some stability but preserves most of the barefoot feel, style, flex, and comfort.
When do I use minimalist running shoes?
It is easier to develop good form and running habits by first going purely barefoot. The feedback from your feet can teach you more in a week than any shoe, ever. Once you are ready for minimalist footwear or barefoot shoes, you'll appreciate the freedom your feet and body now possess. Finding the perfect shoe for your running program might take some trial and error, but with the variety on the market, finding footwear to tickle your fancy shouldn't be that difficult. Take a look at our listings and reviews of the specific models we have available. Feel free to contact us about what model might work well for your foot style, goals, and current program.
Characteristics of good minimalist running shoes:
No Arch Support: Barefoot shoes remove the curvy arch support, allowing your foot’s natural arch to take over. Unlike most shoes on the market, barefoot shoes are flat, allowing your heel to drop (called zero drop) all the way to the ground. This is important to maintain a natural gait pattern allowing the calf and Achilles tendon to flex, spring, and respond with each step.

No Cushioning: Traditional running shoes are stuffed with round, bumpy padding to absorb shock. Barefoot shoes do not have the fluffy padding. The absence of cushioning allows your foot to feel the ground when it hits. This is what gives a barefoot shoe it’s distinctive feel.

No Motion Control: The firm side support and other structural attempts to prevent pronation are gone in barefoot shoes. Minimalist shoes allow your foot to roll, flex, and move freely.
Other Factors to Consider:
A Wide Toe Box: Traditional running shoes have a narrow toe box. Barefoot shoes have wider or easily flexible toe boxes, which allow your toes to spread when they land.

Light Upper: Whether made of mesh, a strap, or fabric, it is important that this is light and breathable. It might also stretch, flex, and be pretty to look at.

Adjustability: Whether accomplished with velcro or laces, most shoes need to have an adjustable upper. If it is too tight, it limits circulation. If it is too loose, it will either fly off or cause you to adjust your landing in negative ways.

Insole: If it has an insole, it should be removable and the shoe should still be comfortable. It should not offer any support such as an orthotic might. It is best if an insole is non-existent, but it adds to the life, comfort, and durability of the shoe.

Outsole: This should not be made up of too much EVA foam or anything that controls motion. It should be durable, lightweight, and be able to handle the surface on which you plan to run.

A note about socks (including toe socks for Vibrams):
Socks are not really invited to the barefoot shoe party. Besides adding more layers between you and the ground, socks actually constrict the foot, limiting blood flow, which actually keeps your feet cold.