From our 100+ barefoot running shoes reviews we identified the 10 Best Barefoot Running Shoes for 2016.
Looking for a great barefoot running style or minimalist shoe? There are quite a few on the market right now so I’ve narrowed the list to the top shoes for this year. No shoe will be perfect for every runner so consider what you like in a shoe. Also, as a cautionary note, if you have not worn barefoot or minimalist shoes before, be sure to learn proper running technique and use a muscle build up schedule to avoid injury. So which shoes made the list? (As a side note, these shoes are not arranged in any particular order.)
Inov-8 Bare-X lite 150
Weighing only 6 oz these are the lightest shoes made by Inov-8. They do have a thin layer of cushion so they are not completely barefoot. But they have a light Eva foam sole and mesh upper. The quick lacing system makes getting them in place easy. They are simply designed and comfortable.
Vibram Five Fingers Bikila
The upper of these shoes is polyester mesh, the sole 8.5 mm of rubber sole. They have a bit more cushion than most Vibram shoes. They weigh 5 oz and have a hook and loop closure so there are no laces to bother with. These offer a snug fit and are form fitting to the natural shape of your foot. The bit of cushion means you can take these on longer runs.
Buy Vibram Five Fingers Bikila (Free Amazon Shipping)
New Balance Minimus Zero
These shoes are New Balance’s version of barefoot style running shoes. They have the typical zero drop style and weigh 4.4 oz. The fabric and shape of these shoes make them very comfortable. They are a bit narrower than some of the other options but if your foot isn’t wide, these are great shoes.
Vibram Five Fingers KSO Evo
These shoes feature what Vibram is known for: mesh upper, light rubber sole, zero drop style, and flexibility. These shoes have good grip to help you stay on the road. The drawback is some report places where the rubber causes hot spots but they seem to go away once the shoes are broken in a bit.
Buy Vibram Fivefingers KSO Evo
Made by a specialty shoe company these shoes stand out because they are a racing shoe. They weigh 5.4 oz and do have a 3mm drop but the very snug fit and sole design make them a fast, efficient shoe. They are not great for long distances but if you have a 10k or Half Marathon coming up and want to feel speedy, these shoes will fit the bill.
Buy Newton MV3
Another entry by a small shoe company, the Alta Ones are unique but well made. They are comfortable right out of the box and weigh 8oz. They have zero drop but a bit of cushion for longer wear (great for a longer run). The toe box is a bit on the larger side and the laces are long. Also, they only come in 1 color. But they are a responsive and versatile shoe.
These shoes are great for a wider foot. They have a roomier fit but are comfortable inside. They are very flexible and can be worn with or without the insole. With insole, they weigh 8oz. The sole is quite smooth so they are good road shoes.
Buy Vivobarefoot One
Nike Women’s Revolution 2
The Nike brand is well marketed and they make good products. The Nike Woman Revolution 2 is a comfy, lightweight running shoe that can be worn for training or everyday wear. They are flexible and perform well, as well as are very popular.
Buy Nike Women’s Revolution 2
Merrell Vapor Glove
These shoes are similar to the Vivobarefoot One in their flexibility and comfortable fit and design. However they are slightly lighter at 5 oz and have deeper grooves in the sole. They are also a bit more narrow. They are a good barefoot running shoe with zero drop style and a good grip in the sole.
Buy Merrell Vapor Glove
Zemgear Terra Split Toe
These are probably the most unusual looking shoes on the list. Some note they look like the hoof of an animal because of the split toe design. They are make of a phylon outsole with a soft molded rubber sole. And actually they look and fit more like a sock than a shoe. They are not water friendly. However they weigh only 2.5 oz. making them super light. If you don’t mind the unusual appearance, these are definitely minimalist.
Buy Zemgear Terra Split Toe
Here are the 10 best barefoot running shoes for 2014 – do you have other barefoot running shoes you would like to nominate? Drop us a comment below.