If you’re looking for a pair of casual minimalist shoes you’ve come to the right place. Minimalist shoes have quickly been gaining ground (pardon the pun) and have become increasingly popular in the recent years. Fitting or standing out is no problem, there’s a wide selection of footwear available to suit everyone’s needs. Minimalist running shoes or minimalist shoes for work are also available if you want to move beyond the typical day to day needs. Our minimalist shoe reviews section provides a more complete picture of what is available in terms of footwear.
Some of the most reputed makers of shoes for every day use are VIVOBAREFOOT and Terra Plana. VIVOBAREFOOT offers the largest range of barefoot shoes on the market, all featuring ultra-thin, puncture-resistant sole for maximum proprioception with protection; a key element for barefoot shoe quality. VIVOBAREFOOT was originally part of Terra Plana a sustainable fashion shoe line but the two lines diversified in order to focus on their independent brands and deliver the highest quality product.
As most of the barefoot movement has been focused on the running aspect, quite often walking and working get left behind. While it is true that much of the harm that can come to our foot arises from the heel thud of running shoes, we likely don’t spend the majority of our day running. These normal looking minimalist shoes can easily blend into everyday scenarios and are designed to be comfortable and provide that barefoot feel with an urban exterior.
If you’re looking for casual minimalist shoes we recommend:
The creation of Terra Plana was born out of the realization that conventional footwear was bad for both the feet and posture. Seeing the opportunity to improve human well being the company began producing a variety of minimalist shoes that could be worn each day that would allow the wearer to experience the barefoot freedom originally intended for our feet.
By combining new technology with family-inherited shoe making techniques the company is able to produce a wide array of comfortable barefoot shoes for a variety of purposes. The shoes range from subtle to noticeable and have both mens, ladies and kids sections with an increasing amount of choice. The shoes are also very eco-friendly and the website actually shares the “eco-matrix” of each shoe.
Known among the pioneers of the barefoot movement, VIVOBAREFOOT was launched in 2004 offering extremely thin, puncture-resistant soles that combined the freedom of barefeet with the protection of traditional shoes. The company used podiatrists and movement specialists to help design shoes for maximum sensory feedback as well as foot protection. In the past, VIVOBAREFOOT has had a focus on sports and athletic minimalist shoes but with the growing success of the company, the website now provides many casual shoes that minimalist shoe fans love as well as the most comprehensive range of minimalist footwear available on the market.
As with Terra Plana, the shoes are made with sustainability as a high priority, thus the shoe production is very ethical and eco-friendly. If you’re looking to incoporate barefoot movement into every area of your life, VIVOBAREFOOT provides all sorts of shoes from sandals to trail runners with an active online community and a website providing barefoot education.
A relatively new company, Leming Footwear is on a mission to mend “our missing experience”. The company produces high quality shoes and toe socks for very reasonable prices, many that look like modern day trail runners. Andrew Rademacher, the CEO & Product Developer created the company after suffering from many running injuries as a high school track athlete including plantar fascitis, shin-splints, knee pain and lower back pain. He started by firs deconstructing his shoes, and then reconstructing them to eventually build high quality products that have started to populate stores around the world. The Leming Footwear website features videos, stories and products for barefoot enthusiasts — they even ship worldwide!
Here’s a company that takes a slightly different tact on barefoot running; they actually teach their readers and customers how to make their own shoes! The creator of Invisible Shoes created what he dubbed huaraches by using a hi-tech rubber sole material from the Vibram and including some cording. Steve Sashen started out by making shoes for his local barefoot running group in Boulder Colorado, but when other runners saw the huaraches, they wanted their own which led to some sort of barefoot shoe making party on the sidewalk of the University of Colorado
Similar to the roman sandals, the huaraches are extremely lightweight and don’t leave much to the imagination in terms of covering. The company’s website has a forum and FAQ site dedicated to supporting their users as well as an up to date blog which details current barefoot running information. The shoes are rather unique in the minimalst footwear world and worth checking out, especially as the shoes can be customized to your preference.