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:

 

Terra Plana
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.

Terra Plana MensTerra Plana Womens

 

VIVOBAREFOOT
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.

Vivobarefoot MensVivobarefoot Womens

 

Leming Footwear
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!

 Leming Footwear Mens

 

Invisible Shoes
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.

Invisible Shoes

 

 

4 Responses to Minimalist Shoes

  1. Dennis Dwyer says:

    Hi ! I’m a fan of your blog so I thought I would see if you would have interest in mentioning a new sports shoe I created which is minimalist and has targeted forefoot cushioning

    The name of my company is Ropix. It is the first shoe of its kind as it is
    designed specifically for jump rope and multiple uses as a forefoot trainer.

    We are the first and so far only shoe for this category.

    As you may know sports specific shoes are a growing trend. What you may not
    be familiar with is the size of jump rope market itself. Jump rope is a
    sport with international competitions and championships. In fact it is on
    the list of the potential new Olympic sports. Aside from this,boxers are
    well know practitioners as well as other endurance trained
    athletes,children, weight loss, and many other recreational jump rope
    enthusiasts.

    I personally searched for a shoe specifically for this purpose and
    discovered it did not exist, hence Ropix!

    The benefits of our shoe is its lightweight, flexible and sleek sole design
    for easy rope underpass and forefoot outsole cushioning as well as an
    insert in the “ball of the foot” area providing both cushion and rebound
    characteristics.

    please take a look at the website http://www.ropixshoe.com

    I look forward to your reply.

    Sincerely,

    Dennis Dwyer

    • Hi Dennis,

      Interesting comment and thanks for leaving some information about the shoe. I like the idea of customizing a shoe for a specific audience in order to fall in line with their interests. Ropix looks like a novel idea and I’ll be sure to alert any of my jump roping friends!

  2. Jason says:

    Can someone please explain to me why minimalist shoes are so dang expensive. Many of them are simply shoes with less materials than normal shoes. I can buy a pair of adidas for $50. Yeah, I can buy a much more expensive shoes with 12 types of comfort in them but I can get a solid pair of shoes for $50. Why are almost all minimalist shoes that don’t look like socks or feet $100? Is it the volume of sales? Less sales means a higher price or maybe that’s simply what the market will bear so you can charge it? Just wondering. I would love a nice pair of shoes that look a lot like the Ropix that I can simply wear around and wear to work that won’t cost me twice what other casual work shoes will cost me.

    Any thoughts on this? Not trying to start a fight. Just want to understand.

    • Hi Jason,

      I’m not a manufacturer so I can’t give you a complete answer, but to the best of my knowledge minimalist and barefoot shoes are more expensive because the technology is newer. In the same way a television is expensive when it’s brand new, it tends to become much cheaper as time goes by. Barefoot shoes are new, they are trendy and some companies can get away with over charging. That being said, many of the companies we promote on this blog produce high quality products, and that’s reason we recommend them. You can find barefoot and minimalist shoes for cheaper prices, but they often aren’t suitable for environments in which you actually want to wear them.

      Hopefully this gives some insight.

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