5

votes

Best barefoot like everyday shoe?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 18, 2012 at 4:34 AM

Yes I been googling hardcore this one I promise, so many choices and the ones that keep coming up are the VFF shoes. Now personally I don't really like the aesthetics of the shoe, and my wallet doesn't like the price tag attached. So between me and my wallet it kind of gets dismissed. What shoe is inexpensive and has an ultra thin sole and is comfortable?

Basically I want to ease myself into being barefoot, which for some reason I can't stand being barefoot, I can't even walk barefoot outside, one tiny rock 1/10 of the size of a grain of sand feels like needles. I also have a high arch and sometimes it gets a little tender. I been reading and it seems that people with foot/posture problems were helped by going barefoot.

by the way I love my paleohacks community!

06ca9c524c28bc3fba95d4d90f8f43c6

on February 01, 2013
at 07:25 AM

You might want to check out some of "trail" offerings from Merrell, they might hold up a little better. http://www.merrell.com/US/en/Barefoot -Matt

34f00c7b4e5738cf04ead1a012a14ed1

(996)

on February 01, 2013
at 02:41 AM

I work in a bar, and therefore I'm on my feet all day almost everyday. I wasn't allowed to wear VFFs to work, so I opted for the New Balance Minimus. Mine started getting holes in the top fabric the month after I bought them. They're super comfortable shoes, but not at ALL durable.

34f00c7b4e5738cf04ead1a012a14ed1

(996)

on February 01, 2013
at 02:40 AM

I work in a bar, and therefore are on my feet all day almost everyday. I wasn't allowed to wear VFFs to work, so I opted for the New Balance Minimus. Mine started getting holes in the top fabric the month after I bought them. They're super comfortable shoes, but not at ALL durable.

7c8e227dd8d5bdd77febfdebaa78dc13

(185)

on February 01, 2013
at 01:01 AM

I bought my pair of vivo's at LeftLaneSports.com, they still have them available for pretty cheep.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 01, 2013
at 12:23 AM

A nice pair of driving mocs is my go-to. Tom's if you feel like slumming it under the pretense that you're being "hipster." Uggs if it's the winter time and you mind the occasional "you must be gay" comment. Flip flops in the summer time for very casual wear. Barefoot in the summer time when you just don't give a f***.

Medium avatar

(3213)

on January 31, 2013
at 10:09 PM

What's the address?

7c8e227dd8d5bdd77febfdebaa78dc13

(185)

on January 25, 2013
at 08:36 PM

find a website that's selling vivo on clearance. I got my current pair for 65% off, I only paid $50.

47fbd704c0392c2f38e86a72f1a06c6c

(346)

on September 20, 2012
at 12:52 PM

No I don't feel a strain. But I have preferred being barefoot for many years (I'm at home a lot, so often I don't wear any shoes unless I'm going out) before making the transition to barefoot shoes, so my arches may have adjusted gradually. I have heard people say that they need to ease their feet into it.

Medium avatar

(3213)

on September 19, 2012
at 01:37 AM

*Soles, f*cking auto-correct!

32d059a467e99a4fc83201407a4a238d

on September 19, 2012
at 12:34 AM

^ Definitely not New England! Or anywhere with a brutal winter...

Efd28623add25421afa2884b466163c4

(163)

on September 18, 2012
at 10:33 PM

I would get some work boots and have them outfitted with something like a Vibram Cristy sole and cork insole. Of course you're going to lose flexibilty and groundfeel, but you can't expect sneakers to hold up to that kind of abuse.

8425f2fefc608f58a8cc0f2dcaa93341

(381)

on September 18, 2012
at 10:21 PM

Where do you live gibby?

05de181d71c1df6304a03566fe821d4b

(795)

on September 18, 2012
at 09:05 PM

i have high arches too, do you feel any strain on your arches when barefoot?

Medium avatar

(3213)

on September 18, 2012
at 08:33 PM

I've owned a pair of VFF trek sport a year now, I know they are not safe as work shoes, but they are extremely durable, I wear them 4-5 days a week, on pavement, rocks, dirt, concrete, you name it, there is no sign of wear or tear on the souls or uppers.

05de181d71c1df6304a03566fe821d4b

(795)

on September 18, 2012
at 07:01 PM

what about the aesthetics of your feed won't they look all beat up? as well what about things like glass, or nails (that you didn't see)

Cfe88f41d0f90c6355a58eddbe78c9f8

(868)

on September 18, 2012
at 06:40 PM

Love my Merrels. They've lasted a long time, too.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on September 18, 2012
at 05:48 PM

I know the vivo's are supposed to have a pretty resiliant rubber in the sole. I am not punishing mine or anything, but ive lost no tread. The soles seem to be more resilant than any standard shoe ive worn. In practive tho, if your really punishing them, youd have to see.

B85a65f644cb1d07df650c429facdab8

(105)

on September 18, 2012
at 04:51 PM

Second this on both counts. VFFs took care of my knee, hip and lower back pain, which has made the $80 I paid a pair (I grab them when they're on sale at REI or when I get member specials) more than worth it. And they're definitely a conversation starter, so if you're single and/or an extrovert, I really do suggest them!

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on September 18, 2012
at 02:00 PM

My BF wore his barefoot runners (the new Newbalance ones I think? Or the livestrong...) while he was doing some light construction/deck work/boat maintenance, and it completely wore them out. Like after a month they were pretty much destroyed. So don't go for those ones, is the lesson...

37f026ae463501697b0b465af49e4e06

(125)

on September 18, 2012
at 01:08 PM

toms are not close to barefoot. really thick, stiff soles on them and the toe box is confining.

4303a65967884e68bfae59817c227351

(1881)

on September 18, 2012
at 10:06 AM

I'd probably try the vivobarefoot or the Merrell roadglove or something. I can't do the VFF's at my job. They are most definitely not professional enough looking for my work as a greenskeeper. I just figured I can't be the only person out there who wants to wear them to work and such.

06ca9c524c28bc3fba95d4d90f8f43c6

on September 18, 2012
at 06:08 AM

I would imagine the wear and tear would be similar to what you are experiencing now (maybe a month give or take) on a pair of standard VFF's. There is a trail version made as well as some more "robust" models for more varies terrain. I would try a pair out for a cycle and see what happens, that's the only way to know! - Matt

4303a65967884e68bfae59817c227351

(1881)

on September 18, 2012
at 05:46 AM

Awesome question. I kinda tagged my own in the comments as well. Hopefully we can get them all answered.

Medium avatar

(3213)

on September 18, 2012
at 05:32 AM

Second that ⬆..

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on September 18, 2012
at 05:29 AM

They are not cheap though, but about as solid quality as one can get, and if one wants both barefoot and good looks, I dont think there are really any other options.

Medium avatar

(3213)

on September 18, 2012
at 05:29 AM

Those are not B.S.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on September 18, 2012
at 05:28 AM

I guess maybe the heel is "pretend" like some barefoot shoes. But it really doesnt look much like a barefoot shoe to me at all.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on September 18, 2012
at 05:27 AM

^ Those dont look like barefoot shoes to me. They have a heel, seem quite thick soled and they have no toe spread room (ie wide front).

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on September 18, 2012
at 05:20 AM

^ This. Love my vivo barefoots (Ive got neos). And they actually look good, unlike alot of the other barefoot shoes, especially VFF.

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17 Answers

7
Medium avatar

(3213)

on September 18, 2012
at 05:06 AM

Checkout Vivo barefoot brand

Medium avatar

(3213)

on September 18, 2012
at 05:32 AM

Second that ⬆..

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on September 18, 2012
at 05:20 AM

^ This. Love my vivo barefoots (Ive got neos). And they actually look good, unlike alot of the other barefoot shoes, especially VFF.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on September 18, 2012
at 05:29 AM

They are not cheap though, but about as solid quality as one can get, and if one wants both barefoot and good looks, I dont think there are really any other options.

7c8e227dd8d5bdd77febfdebaa78dc13

(185)

on January 25, 2013
at 08:36 PM

find a website that's selling vivo on clearance. I got my current pair for 65% off, I only paid $50.

Medium avatar

(3213)

on January 31, 2013
at 10:09 PM

What's the address?

7c8e227dd8d5bdd77febfdebaa78dc13

(185)

on February 01, 2013
at 01:01 AM

I bought my pair of vivo's at LeftLaneSports.com, they still have them available for pretty cheep.

3
Efd28623add25421afa2884b466163c4

(163)

on September 18, 2012
at 10:10 PM

  • Sandals: Luna originals with ATS+MGT. They're not too floppy and will fit securely. The 6mm sole isn't the toughest or thinnest but molds to your foot and feels great.
  • Shoes: Soft Star Moc3. My grail shoes. You'll have to baby them and they're no good in humid weather, but what you get is the perfect running/everyday shoe. Also keep in mind the toe box isn't wide.
  • Cheap shoes: Feiyue. These would probably be good for kids. The sole is very gummy and a little thick, but they're cheap and flat.
  • Thin insoles: Cork. If you already have flat shoes you can replace the factory molded insole with a flat cork one.
  • Honorable mention: Soft Star Runamoc Dash For the ultimate in groundfeel you can try these leather soled versions. I haven't tried them but I do have a pair of the Street sole version. The pair I have is from before you could specify a width and look like clown shoes. I had to stop wearing them after getting too many negative comments. But if you need a wide toebox these are the ones to get.

As for VFF, I personally like wearing socks and I don't want people stopping me to ask about my footwear.

3
0a819d945f30ae46a104d7a14e50e739

on September 18, 2012
at 09:27 PM

Merrel Trail Glove. Still wearing them 16 months later. I don't run in them, but I can. They look good I think. Not dorky.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/larsonfamily/5753231004/

2
F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

on September 18, 2012
at 10:51 AM

I am sure you will find this post on Gnolls most informative. It is a guide to cheap, minimal shoes.

1
1e9164a5a54003ac247d49c574dc7bfc

on September 18, 2012
at 05:01 PM

Patagonia's Camp Moc is pretty awesome, and looks good. There's not much to it, real light.

Also, Merrel's Barefoot shoes are pretty rad.

Cfe88f41d0f90c6355a58eddbe78c9f8

(868)

on September 18, 2012
at 06:40 PM

Love my Merrels. They've lasted a long time, too.

1
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 18, 2012
at 09:26 AM

Cheap ass water shoes are my go to fave. And if it turns out you don't like it you are only out $10.

Luna makes some cool sandals too.

1
82bb170311fb29951fd50a3cb236b8ff

on September 18, 2012
at 06:47 AM

VFF are my favorite but they are a little expensive, how about toms?

37f026ae463501697b0b465af49e4e06

(125)

on September 18, 2012
at 01:08 PM

toms are not close to barefoot. really thick, stiff soles on them and the toe box is confining.

1
06ca9c524c28bc3fba95d4d90f8f43c6

on September 18, 2012
at 04:56 AM

The New Balance Minimus looks like a normal shoe, but it still has zero heel rise. I am a huge fan of the VFF's. A little anecdote, my wife said I would never catch her in a pair of those. She was also very anti-barefoot. Once she finally got a pair, a few things happened. One, her chronic hip pain went away. Two, she started to wear them EVERYWHERE. As to the aesthetics, they are a definite conversation starter. It's a great ice breaker for any social interaction and I have yet to get a negative comment on them! Don't be scared of the VFF's!

P.S. Check out the Bikilia model of the VFFs, I've had several pairs and it has been my favorite.

-Matt
PhysiqueRescue.com

B85a65f644cb1d07df650c429facdab8

(105)

on September 18, 2012
at 04:51 PM

Second this on both counts. VFFs took care of my knee, hip and lower back pain, which has made the $80 I paid a pair (I grab them when they're on sale at REI or when I get member specials) more than worth it. And they're definitely a conversation starter, so if you're single and/or an extrovert, I really do suggest them!

34f00c7b4e5738cf04ead1a012a14ed1

(996)

on February 01, 2013
at 02:41 AM

I work in a bar, and therefore I'm on my feet all day almost everyday. I wasn't allowed to wear VFFs to work, so I opted for the New Balance Minimus. Mine started getting holes in the top fabric the month after I bought them. They're super comfortable shoes, but not at ALL durable.

34f00c7b4e5738cf04ead1a012a14ed1

(996)

on February 01, 2013
at 02:40 AM

I work in a bar, and therefore are on my feet all day almost everyday. I wasn't allowed to wear VFFs to work, so I opted for the New Balance Minimus. Mine started getting holes in the top fabric the month after I bought them. They're super comfortable shoes, but not at ALL durable.

06ca9c524c28bc3fba95d4d90f8f43c6

on February 01, 2013
at 07:25 AM

You might want to check out some of "trail" offerings from Merrell, they might hold up a little better. http://www.merrell.com/US/en/Barefoot -Matt

0
35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on February 01, 2013
at 12:02 AM

I've tried a few options out and I've gotta say, hands down, I'd go with Lems/Stem/Lemmings. They're not super cheap, but they are astonishingly comfortable (the most comfortable shoes I've ever owned including VFFs) and they look "normal". They're far more flexible than the Merrells, and have a little more softness in the sole than the Vivos. I've had a pair that have lasted me about a year and a half and they've held up well. I'd have bought a second pair by now, but I keep waiting and waiting and waiting for them to come out with the new styles they've been promising since fall. :-P

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 25, 2013
at 09:13 AM

Best barefoot like everyday shoe, everyone should own one pair like this http://www.upere.com/upere-wedge-sneakers-suede-red-tongue-p-6.html.

0
8425f2fefc608f58a8cc0f2dcaa93341

(381)

on September 18, 2012
at 10:20 PM

I first eased into barefoot running with a pair of $5.99 water shoes from Walmart. I took the foam soles out, so I just had a super thin sole to protect my feet from rocks and anything else on the road. It worked great to toughen my feet up until I could do it completely barefoot.

0
47fbd704c0392c2f38e86a72f1a06c6c

on September 18, 2012
at 08:42 PM

I have some merrells that I love. I have been noticing some of the "last season" barefoot styles in the Marshalls, TJ Maxx and Ross type stores around here (maryland) for about $45.00 (Womans). That's a really good deal. I have high arches too and really like going barefoot!

05de181d71c1df6304a03566fe821d4b

(795)

on September 18, 2012
at 09:05 PM

i have high arches too, do you feel any strain on your arches when barefoot?

47fbd704c0392c2f38e86a72f1a06c6c

(346)

on September 20, 2012
at 12:52 PM

No I don't feel a strain. But I have preferred being barefoot for many years (I'm at home a lot, so often I don't wear any shoes unless I'm going out) before making the transition to barefoot shoes, so my arches may have adjusted gradually. I have heard people say that they need to ease their feet into it.

0
237d87692f5420cf82b52d1541e8dfb1

on September 18, 2012
at 04:56 PM

i've been barefoot for ten years. you cannot comprehend all the benefits unless you do it. the skin on your feet is potentially the toughest skin on your body. it takes time to build up this toughness, and you must continue to walk several miles over uneven terrain to keep them tough - otherwise, they will get soft. barefootness is a way of life. i walk through a lot of water ( jungle valley ). i used to get foot fungus with shoes. once i went barefoot, i've never had it since. i spend no money on shoes / socks, and play a game to see how many public business's i can go into barefoot (stores, restaurants, offices, etc. (always carry flip-flops just in case ).

05de181d71c1df6304a03566fe821d4b

(795)

on September 18, 2012
at 07:01 PM

what about the aesthetics of your feed won't they look all beat up? as well what about things like glass, or nails (that you didn't see)

8425f2fefc608f58a8cc0f2dcaa93341

(381)

on September 18, 2012
at 10:21 PM

Where do you live gibby?

32d059a467e99a4fc83201407a4a238d

on September 19, 2012
at 12:34 AM

^ Definitely not New England! Or anywhere with a brutal winter...

0
435971b1ca350836634c30a51ae6b088

on September 18, 2012
at 05:51 AM

I bought these Vivo barefoot Ra's and they are awesome. Very very comfortable.

http://www.vivobarefoot.com/us/ra-redbrown-leather.html

0
4303a65967884e68bfae59817c227351

(1881)

on September 18, 2012
at 05:45 AM

Not to hijack the whole thread, but I'd love to elaborate and get some questions answered about minimalist shoes too. . .

How long do these things last? I've been looking at getting some for a long time now to wear at work. They all are touted as running shoes. Well, I'm not running like 99% of the time. I'm a greenskeeper, and I'm on my feet A LOT. 40-60 hours a week 9+ months out of the year. On gravel, sand, pavement, a concrete shop floor, mowers and mostly grass. I literally wear through the bottom soles of a pair of Columbia or Merrell hiking boots now about every 6-8 months. And these are obviously a lot more sole than the minimalist shoes. Does anyone have experience with these in a work environment setting? They aren't cheap, and I can't afford to rock through them much faster than I already am.

Also - my feet get wet most mornings from the dew on the ground. I'm sure it doesn't help longevity, but again, any experiences with that I'd love to hear also. Any and all experiences would be awesome.

Medium avatar

(3213)

on September 18, 2012
at 08:33 PM

I've owned a pair of VFF trek sport a year now, I know they are not safe as work shoes, but they are extremely durable, I wear them 4-5 days a week, on pavement, rocks, dirt, concrete, you name it, there is no sign of wear or tear on the souls or uppers.

Efd28623add25421afa2884b466163c4

(163)

on September 18, 2012
at 10:33 PM

I would get some work boots and have them outfitted with something like a Vibram Cristy sole and cork insole. Of course you're going to lose flexibilty and groundfeel, but you can't expect sneakers to hold up to that kind of abuse.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on September 18, 2012
at 02:00 PM

My BF wore his barefoot runners (the new Newbalance ones I think? Or the livestrong...) while he was doing some light construction/deck work/boat maintenance, and it completely wore them out. Like after a month they were pretty much destroyed. So don't go for those ones, is the lesson...

06ca9c524c28bc3fba95d4d90f8f43c6

on September 18, 2012
at 06:08 AM

I would imagine the wear and tear would be similar to what you are experiencing now (maybe a month give or take) on a pair of standard VFF's. There is a trail version made as well as some more "robust" models for more varies terrain. I would try a pair out for a cycle and see what happens, that's the only way to know! - Matt

Medium avatar

(3213)

on September 19, 2012
at 01:37 AM

*Soles, f*cking auto-correct!

4303a65967884e68bfae59817c227351

(1881)

on September 18, 2012
at 10:06 AM

I'd probably try the vivobarefoot or the Merrell roadglove or something. I can't do the VFF's at my job. They are most definitely not professional enough looking for my work as a greenskeeper. I just figured I can't be the only person out there who wants to wear them to work and such.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on September 18, 2012
at 05:48 PM

I know the vivo's are supposed to have a pretty resiliant rubber in the sole. I am not punishing mine or anything, but ive lost no tread. The soles seem to be more resilant than any standard shoe ive worn. In practive tho, if your really punishing them, youd have to see.

0
47edf681280750c3712a3a56f2eae33b

on September 18, 2012
at 04:59 AM

http://www.zappos.com/nike-zoom-streak-xc-3 these are minimalist shoes I use for distance running on both the trail and road. They are less than 5 ounces a pair. I swear by them and have two pairs in rotation and 1 new in the box as a fail safe. And they have great aesthetics if you have a love of neon and day glo tiger stripes... Everyone looks at these when I run.

I'd also say go barefoot around the house and backyard as much as possible and try doing a barefoot martial art like yoga or ju-jitsu. go to the beach and walk barefoot in the sand and just try to be on your naked feet whenever you can to toughen them up.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on September 18, 2012
at 05:28 AM

I guess maybe the heel is "pretend" like some barefoot shoes. But it really doesnt look much like a barefoot shoe to me at all.

Medium avatar

(3213)

on September 18, 2012
at 05:29 AM

Those are not B.S.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on September 18, 2012
at 05:27 AM

^ Those dont look like barefoot shoes to me. They have a heel, seem quite thick soled and they have no toe spread room (ie wide front).

-1
C4ed6ba382aed2eefc18e7877999a5de

(1579)

on January 25, 2013
at 12:41 PM

I love Toms (toms.com). They do have a sole, but it's not thick and it's flat. They're good looking too :)

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