The Best Barefoot Running Shoes (Guide) – 2017 Reviews

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Barefoot Running Shoes Review GuideRunning has long been a popular choice for physical fitness or even just to release some stress. Running is so popular because its easy, it can be done almost anywhere, and it doesn’t require a lot of expensive equipment. The only thing that is required is comfortable clothes and a great pair of running shoes. However, one issue that many runners have is the potential for injury. Running incorrectly results in strains, sprains, and other pains that may take days, months, or even years to fully heal.

You shouldn’t avoid running just because of the risk of injury, though. The health benefits are just too great when done properly. One way that many runners are helping avoid injury is by switching their traditional cross-trainers and running shoes with barefoot running shoes.

Compare: The 10 Best Barefoot Running Shoes of 2017

Vibram FiveFingers Seeya LS Running ShoesVibram FiveFingers Seeya LS
Vibram Bikila Ls Running ShoesVibram Bikila LS
Merrell Bare Access Trail Running ShoeMerrell Bare Access
Nike Men's Free 5.0+ Running ShoeNike Men's Free 5.0+Nike$$4.7
New Balance Mens MT10v2 Minimus Trail Running ShoesNew Balance Mens MT10v2 MinimusNew Balance$$4.5
Merrell Trail Glove Barefoot Running ShoeMerrell Trail GloveMerrell$$4.5
Inov-8 Bare-XF™ 210 Cross-Training ShoeInov-8 Bare-XF 210Inov-8$$4.5
Vibram FiveFingers KSO EVO Running ShoesVibram FiveFingers KSO EVOVibram$$4.5
ZEMGEAR Womens 360 RoundZEMGEAR Womens 360 RoundZEMGEAR$4.3

What Are Barefoot Running Shoes?

Barefoot running shoes are thin, lightweight shoes that are used while running. They are designed to mimic the feeling and positioning used when running barefoot while still protecting your feet. These shoes help runners use a forefoot strike, which leads to less injuries than runners who strike each step with their heel first.

What are the different types?

When shopping for running shoes, you’ll encounter two different types of barefoot running shoes. The type that you select depends mainly upon the type of terrain you plan to run on.

Trail running shoes

These shoes are designed for use on trails where you may encounter rocks, roots, and other obstacles that can lead to injury. Trail barefoot running shoes have a thicker soul than the other barefoot shoes, road running shoes.

Road running shoes

These shoes have a thinner sole than trail running shoes, and they’re best used for running on tracks, roads, or other smooth terrain.

What are the Advantages of Running in Barefoot Shoes?

No runner wants to risk injury, which is why barefoot running shoes are growing in popularity. An injury not only affects a person’s ability to keep up his or her fitness routine, but it can also hinder everyday life. Many experts and runners believe that barefoot running shoes help retrain a runner to move using the correct foot positioning and stance, leading to less injuries.

This means you can potentially avoid injuring yourself, as well as costly doctors’ bills in the event of an injury.

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Who are the Contenders for Best Barefoot Running Shoes Overall?

Vibram Bikila Ls Running Shoes – These shoes are designed to offer you comfort and protection where you need it the most while fitting the contours of your feet like a second skin, all without breaking the bank.

New Balance Men’s MT10v2 Minimus Trail Running Shoes – If you don’t like the styling of typical barefoot running shoes, consider this pair from New Balance that resemble traditional running shoes and come with a mid-range price tag that’s competitive with other high-quality running shoes.

Vibram FiveFingers Seeya LS Running Shoes – Vibram has become well-known for its barefoot running shoes that use quality materials and innovative designs for comfort and function, and the Seeya running shoes are no exception. If you’re looking for comfort, stylish design, and a variety of colors, these have what you need.

Features to Think About

If you want to enjoy the freedom of running barefoot and potentially lower your risk for injury, barefoot running shoes should be something you should consider adding to your closet. If you’re new to the barefoot running trend and don’t know which shoes will best fit your needs, consider these key points while you shop.


When you run, comfort is of the utmost importance. It’s hard to meet your goals if you’re feeling pain in your feet, and this also increases your risk for injury. When looking for a new pair of barefoot running shoes, look for protection on key points of the foot, soft materials, and a perfect fit.


Because barefoot running shoes are so thin, it’s important to choose a pair made with the best materials. You don’t want low-quality materials that will easily rip or tear. It’s also important to make sure that you select the right type of shoes for your terrain. For example, using shoes made for roads and tracks will not be suitable for trail running.


Another feature to keep an eye out for is sizing, particularly if you have wider feet or require a larger than normal size. You want to make sure that your barefoot running shoes fit snugly but not too tight. Purchasing an ill-fitting pair of shoes results in blisters, pain, and can even cause injuries.


Barefoot running shoes might cost anywhere from around $50 up to well over $100. Price, along with the other considerations mentioned, should always play a factor in your purchasing decision.


Vibram Bikila Ls

You won’t have to worry about comfort with these quality shoes. The 3mm Polyurethane Footbed with Dri-Lex Sockliner makes this pair comfortable while adding protection in all of the right places.

New Balance Men’s MT10v2 Minimus Trail

A lightweight, flexible design, as well as support for natural foot positioning provides you plenty of comfort through your longest trail runs.

Vibram FiveFingers Seeya LS

This shoe combines a microsuede overlay, padded tongue, and lightweight design for ultimate comfort.


Vibram Bikila Ls

These shoes consist of quality materials, including a polyurethane footbed, and a Conconut Active Fiber Optic upper construction for durability.

New Balance Men’s MT10v2 Minimus Trail

These shoes offer a combination of a Vibram sole, mesh upper, and flexible overlays, as well as ACREVA midsole foam for performance you can count on.

Vibram FiveFingers Seeya LS

Features like Vibram TC-1 Dura rubber, Vibram’s signature sole, and other quality materials contribute to this durable pair of barefoot running shoes.


Vibram Bikila Ls Running Shoes

These Vibram shoes fit true to size, and they have a single hook and loop closure that provides the perfect fit. They also have a wide tongue opening so they’re easy to slip off and on.

New Balance Men’s MT10v2 Minimus Trail Running Shoes

These shoes fit true to size, and sizing is easy because unlike many other barefoot running shoes, U.S. Wide sizes are also available.

Vibram FiveFingers Seeya LS Running Shoes

These shoes are true to size, although they do require a period of breaking them in before they are fully comfortable.


Vibram Bikila Ls

Priced competitively, these are some of the most affordable barefoot running shoes currently available on the market.

New Balance Men’s MT10v2 Minimus Trail

These shoes are priced about average when compared to other barefoot running shoes.

Vibram FiveFingers Seeya LS

These shoes are some of the more expensive barefoot runners available on the market.

Conclusion: Our Barefoot Running Shoe Reviews

Vibram Bikila Ls Running Shoes – Best Cheap

Vibram Bikila Ls Running ShoesIf you want to try out the barefoot running craze without spending a fortune on new shoes, these fit the bill perfectly. Priced under $100, these shoes are low in price but big in comfort and style. You’ll have your choice from three different color combinations, including Grey, Green, and Black, Green and Black, and Black and Grey.

These shoes offer a comfortable, thin sole that have protection where you need it the most, especially at the ball of the foot. They can even get wet without becoming heavy, so you can wear them while running near water or even while kayaking or participating in other water sports.


  • They are an affordable option.
  • They fit true to size and the wider opening makes them easy to wear.
  • Quality materials that protect the feet.


  • The laces are short.
  • They do not provide as much ventilation as other types of barefoot running shoes.

New Balance Men’s MT10v2 Minimus Trail Running Shoes – Best for the Money

New Balance Mens MT10v2 Minimus Trail Running ShoesIf you don’t like the look of barefoot running shoes with individual toes, you’ll want to check out this trail running pair from New Balance. New Balance combines their rugged outdoor style with Vibram’s barefoot sole to create a high-quality pair of barefoot running shoes that look like traditional trail runners, and they also function in the same way, providing you with the traction you need for any terrain.

You’ll have your choice from two color combinations, Black and Silver and Orange and Blue. These shoes are designed with anti-microbial materials and are odor-resistant, so you can wear them without socks for a true barefoot feel.


  • They are affordable.
  • They are durable enough for running the toughest trails.
  • Wide sizes are available.
  • They are very comfortable.
  • The style is different from typical barefoot running shoes.
  • They offer great traction.


  • With extended use, the glue may begin to loosen around the toe.
  • The strap is not adjustable. It may rub and become uncomfortable until the shoes are properly broken in.

Vibram FiveFingers Seeya LS Running Shoes – Best Overall

Vibram FiveFingers Seeya LS Running ShoesIf you’re looking for great features like comfortable microsuede, a thin yet durable sole, and excellent ventilation, this pair is just right for you. Choose from eight different color combinations, including Blue, Blue Violet and Grey, and Blacks. There are plenty of colors to choose from for both men and women. These shoes also feature the individual toe style that Vibram has become known for, as well as the Vibram sole.

These shoes are lightweight and airy, perfect for your barefoot run around the track or around the neighborhood. Owners of these shoes report them being comfortable and significantly helping with walking, running, and posture issues that may lead to injuries. The anti-microbial materials are resistant to odor and bacteria, so your shoes are always clean and sanitary. You can wear them in water without being weighed down, as well. Did your shoes get dirty? Not to worry; you can simply toss them in the washing machine and allow them to air dry.


  • They are made with anti-microbial materials.
  • They are odor-resistant.
  • Easy to machine washed and air dry.
  • Use them in and around water.
  • Available in many stylish colors.
  • They offer protection to the feet while assisting in changing how a runner moves.


  • They are some of the most expensive barefoot running shoes.
  • The mesh upper may tear after extensive daily use.

Final Thoughts

Who wants to suffer from a potentially life-changing injury just by trying to stay healthy? If you’re a runner and you’d like to see what all of the hype is about when it comes to barefoot running, you can’t go wrong with the Vibram FiveFingers Seeya LS Running Shoes. With these shoes, you can correct your running stance while protecting your feet with comfortable, high-quality materials. With so many color choices and a unique design, you can also maintain your own personal style while hitting the track.