barefoot hiking boots

13 Barefoot Hiking Boots That Are Super Comfy In 2022!

Are you here to figure out if barefoot hiking boots are for you?

Picture this, you love going on an adventure, hiking through the woods, and feeling the fresh breeze on your cheeks. I do, too, but you know what I do not love? I have to wear those heavy, chunky hiking boots on my hikes. 

It’s great if you are just going out for a hike in your neighbourhood jungle.

It is NOT GREAT if you travel abroad and plan on multi-day hiking trips. It isn’t just the luggage issue, but heavy hiking boots on multi-day hikes usually mean blisters, sore feet, and toes (not to mention body ache/pain for me).

The solution to that, my fellow hikers, is to get yourself a pair of barefoot hiking boots. This pair of hiking boots is lightweight, durable, great for multi-day hikes, and perfect as a minimalist hiking boot. It is also healthier for your feet!

So, where do we start? 

Look no further; we gather the 13 best barefoot hiking boots to choose from. 

We will let you know what we think are its best features and not. At the same time, we list down the features to consider when you purchase your first barefoot hiking boots.

DISCLOSURE

Some of the links on here are affiliate links and I may earn if you click on them, AT NO EXTRA cost to you. Hope you find the information here useful! Thanks.

Top 3 Barefoot Hiking Boots We Recommend

The top 3 best barefoot hiking boots we would recommend for you based on the price range is:-

Best Quality: Vivobarefoot Tracker Forest ESC 

The ESC stands for Extreme Survival Condition, which means this pair of boots is worth the investment. It is an outdoor-ready hiking boot that lets you feel the terrain you are on and protects your feet wonderfully. 

The traction is securely provided by the Michelin outsole and the wild hide leather allows protection against elements. This is a pair that forces your feet to work harder and get in touch with the trails you are on. It feels like barefoot trekking, but not!

Most Affordable: Xero Shoes Daylite Hiker Fusion 

If you are a newbie to barefoot boots, this is the best investment.

Its design allows it to be versatile enough for city walks, hikes in the mountains, or formal wear. It has one of the best grips without sacrificing any features of barefoot boots.

The natural fit and feel make it great for any purpose. The wider, foot-shaped toe box allows your toes to spread and relax with a non-elevated “zero drop” heel. This is a barefoot boots feature that is affordable.

Mid Range Compromise: Xero Shoes Xcursion Fusion

We recommend Xero Shoes Xcursion Fusion if you are looking for something in between. 

This is a pair that looks rugged, feels lightweight, and is ready for any terrain you want to conquer. The toe box is wide enough for your feet to spread out naturally.

It’s also a minimalist pair of boots, that is made of vegan-friendly materials. The instant comfort that you get once you try it, makes it a great purchase. 

13 Best Barefoot Hiking Boots

1.Vivobarefoot Tracker Forest ESC

barefoot hiking boots Vivobarefoot Tracker Forest ESC

Vivobarefoot is a brand that focuses on creating barefoot shoes and boots for barefoot enthusiasts. This particular boot is as close as you can get to being barefoot while having your feet protected. 

Its modern design allows you to fully roll it into a ball, yet look rugged, like a hiker’s boot. The outside sole stitch feature makes it easier to repair.

What We Like :

  • Traction pattern performs well and provides protection and security for your feet
  • Wide toe box – ample space for feet to move well during your walks/hikes
  • Mesh lining offers airflow enough to keep moisture away from the foot

What We Don’t Like :

  • If it’s your first pair of barefoot boots, you will need some time to break them and get used to the feel of your movement
  • It’s not waterproof, so it isn’t great for unpredictable weather.
  • The wide toe box may feel weird for you at first.
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2. Altra Lone Peak

barefoot hiking boots altra lone peak

This pair of boots has a slightly thicker sole compared to most barefoot boots; however, some users appreciate the extra cushion. This is great, especially if you are a barefoot boot newbie. It is excellent on muddy trails with its waterproof feature, perfect for unpredictable weather.

What We Like : 

  • Great for wet weather hikes especially and keeps your feet cool on moderately warm days (hello to hikes in a tropical climate!)
  • Roomy and wide toe box, which means easier for your toes to wiggle and spread naturally during your hikes
  • Another great design that stops debris and water from going inside your boots

What We Don’t Like : 

  • The fit can be too roomy, so you may have a sloppy kind of hike with this pair
  • Durability is not its best feature – some users even commented that degradation happens even after the first hike with it.
  • It is not great for rocky and rough trails.

3. Xero Shoes Xcursion Fusion

barefoot hiking boots xero shoes xcursion fusion

If you want more ankle support, this is the pair you should invest in.

They are known to have maximum cushion and toe room. It is also fully waterproof built with reinforced toe caps. Simply put, your toes won’t hurt if you accidentally kick rocks during your hike.

What We Like : 

  • The great ankle lockdown, in spite of being a pair of lightweight boots
  • Truly waterproof – which makes our feet happy when we walk through puddles and mud.
  • Price-wise it is comparable to most hiking boots with the features it offers

What We Don’t Like :

  • Sizes are slightly smaller, so even with a recommendation of going a size up, it may still be a little bit too tight.
  • Lack of arch support may take a while to get used to. Or you may need to get after-market insoles to avoid soreness after your hike.

4. Xero Shoes Daylite Hiker Fusion 

barefoot hiking boots Xero Shoes Daylite Hiker Fusion

This is a very good-looking pair of boots and is great for the outdoors and hiking or walks. It is made of vegan-friendly material which is another plus point for our Mother Earth. 

As much as it looks rugged, it is actually quite lightweight for a hiking boot.

What We Like :

  • It’s a pair of hiking boots for all trail types – perfect for multi-day hikes in different terrains
  • Excellent foot grip with zero drop soles
  • It is designed for sockless barefoot use, for those who may not like to wear socks with their boots.

What We Don’t Like :

  • What makes it sturdy and water repellant is also why it can be hot to use this on warm days
  • The midfoot area of the outsole isn’t as flexible compared to most Xero Shoes models.

5. Vivobarefoot Magna Trail Hiking Boots 

barefoot hiking boots vivobarefoot magna trail hiking

We like to include this particular pair of Vivobarefoot hiking boots that looks like a pair of barefoot walking shoes but works well as hiking boots. 

It’s highly water-resistant, and like all Vivobarefoot models, it is eco-friendly. 

The pair is ultra-lightweight, making it very well suited for all terrains and for everyday use.

What We Like :

  • Highly water-resistant and very close to fully waterproof, and very durable
  • Super grippy on dry rocks, which means it’s great for dry, rocky terrains.
  • Rubber toe protector makes your feet feel more comfortable and protected

What We Don’t Like :

  • They are not the best for muddy, wet trails and can be slippery
  • Fairly thin soles which, if you are a barefoot newbie, might cause you to tread carefully during your hikes – great for safety, but you might not enjoy your hike because you are too busy to figure out where to step on next.
  • The sock-fit feature makes it a little harder to get them on and off, a small detail but can be irritating after a long day of hikes.

6. Freet Mudee 

barefoot hiking boots freet mudee

The Mudee is known to be an all-year-round pair of boots. It is famously known to be designed for wear and tear for any type of weather or terrain. You may need to go a size larger than your normal size, but all the information is in the shoe’s description. The toe box is spacious and great for your toes.

What We Like :

  • Great for muddy environments, which means a better bet for varied terrains and weather.
  • Water-resistant with minimal grippy soles making it is easier for you to break into these pair
  • Very easy to clean – just wipe the boots with a damp cloth.

What We Don’t Like :

  • It doesn’t look that pretty, as it is built to be practical
  • It isn’t as warm as you want it to be, so you need to buy insoles and socks to accommodate this (for hikes in winter)
  • Some reviews mentioned the curved soles could cause their feet to roll inwards, which may cause more pain than comfort.

7. Be Lenka Ranger Boots

barefoot hiking boots be lenka ranger

Be Lenka’s Ranger is a pair of unisex boots that comes with a wide toe box, is lightweight, and looks incredibly well made. 

It is built to withstand cold weather, hikes, trail walks, and even day-to-day wear. 

They are also known to be waterproof, which also means, you can forget to look at the weather forecast before your hike and not worry!

What We Like :

  • No heel, which means the better position of your spine and better posture during your walk/hikes
  • It can be used for urban wear, so it is multi-purpose (great for multi-day hikes and discovering a new city )
  • It keeps your feet warm and protected from water – which means perfect for winter or autumn weather.

What We Don’t Like :

  • The fleece lining is excellent for warmth; however, this causes the size to be different than your standard shoe size – so size up, always before getting a pair
  • They don’t accept returns/exchanges outside the EU; hence, best to get your sizes correct.
  • It might be too warm for a summer/hot climate as it is built mainly for colder temperatures.

8. Lems Boulder Boots 

barefoot hiking boots Lems Boulder Boots 

This is another waterproof pair of zero drop hiking boots and comes in nylon, leather, and vegan materials. 

It’s one of the lightest barefoot boots on the market. 

This may fool you into feeling like you are genuinely walking barefoot when in fact, your feet are truly covered.

What We Like :

  • It’s great for daily use and trail walking, which is perfect if you want to purchase an all-rounder pair of boots
  • Incredibly comfortable, and reviews mention that the pair has helped some users to heal from bunions
  • Clean them up, and they are good to go from hikes to formal wear!

What We Don’t Like :

  • It wears quickly, and some reviews mentioned that the waterproof feature lasts only up to 6 months of wear
  • Tends to shrink to multiple sizes after a couple of months of wear – not great for your toes
  • Fall short in wet/winter weather – tends to be slippery and the seams do leak

9. Zaqq EXPEQ Bash Waterproof 

barefoot hiking boots Zaqq EXPEQ Bash Waterproof

The EXPEQ is made of premium waxed Nappa leather with waterproof and breathable lining. 

The wide toe box allows plenty of room for the toes and the ball of the foot. It can be worn as a hiking boot or as a pair of everyday boots. 

It is designed with robustness and durability in mind.

What We Like :

  • It looks great with jeans for your everyday wear – I am all for a pair that looks good anytime, anywhere
  • Zero drop, thin, and flexible with rubber outsoles that are perfectly sewn to the shoe upper.
  • Very sturdy quality leather – it looks great with age.

What We Don’t Like :

  • The toe space is quite narrow compared to the rest, which is not great for wide toes (like yours truly)
  • They are not the most durable barefoot boots compared to the rest.

10. Softstart Switchback 

barefoot hiking boots softstart switchback

They look rugged and make you feel they are ready for whatever terrain you plan on using them for. 

It is designed as a hiking boot hence the look and feel of the pair. 

Don’t let that stop you from wearing it for fashion, though. You don’t need to break in these pairs of boots, which means you can wear them to your next hike once you receive them.

What We Like :

  • Boots are instantly warm, so; it’s great for cold/winter/autumn weather
  • Very wide toe box, so yay for wide feet people!
  • No break-ins – what more can I say – good to go as soon as you get it

What We Don’t Like:

  • The leather needs extra care so you need to be an extra gentle user ( I know I am not)
  • Water can noticeably seep in because of the tongue opening
  • The upper is not stretchable, so over time, it can feel stiff and restrictive for some

11. Joe Nimble Wandertoes 2.0 

barefoot hiking boots Joe Nimble Wandertoes 2.0

This pair of boots combines practical features with an attractive design.

It is water-resistant and has one of the best traction for a barefoot hiking boot. The pair takes off easily because of how the laces move through the eyelet grommets. 

What We Like : 

  • It is great for feet that are wide at the toes and narrower through the heels.
  • The tongue keeps water and debris out of the boots
  • Highly water repellent and comes with an extra pair of laces 

What We Don’t Like :

  • The sole is quite thick and stiff so it may leave your heels feeling sore
  • It does not feel like quite a pair of barefoot boots because the insole has a 3mm heel rise.

12. Feelmax Kuuva Trek 

If you are new to barefoot footwear, this is also another suitable pair for you. 

It has a great level of water resistance and has a good grip over challenging terrains. They are great to look at and very durable.

What We Like :

  • Flexible and flat soles mean great for rocky trails and general outdoor condition
  • The soft leather around the ankle gets softer with age
  • Made of excellent quality and craft.

What We Don’t Like : 

  • Apparently great for spring and autumn but too hot for summer and too cold for winter
  • Water-resistant, not waterproof – so do avoid stream crossing when you wear this pair

13. Sole Runner Surtur

barefoot hiking boots Sole Runner Surtur

This is the boot for every season which is made of water repellant and pleasantly soft leather. 

If you are thinking of getting this pair, consider approximately 3-5mm in your foot length measurement. It is not just great for hiking but super cool to wear with a pair of jeans.

What We Like : 

  • The tongue is sewn to the boots, which means no debris, dust or snow would be able to get in
  • Perfect for cold weather and walking through heavy snow
  • Different width categories make it easier for people of all feet sizes (wide, normal, extra wide )

What We Don’t Like :

  • It may be too warm for tropical weather, so best to keep this for your trips to countries with four seasons.
  • Nice, wide toe box; however, the wiggle room your toes would have is dependent on which insole you wear them with.
  • It is not recommended for extremely wide feet that are widest at the toes.

What Is A Barefoot Hiking Boot?

A barefoot hiking boot is a pair of hiking boots that is flexible and lighter than your normal hiking boots. The feeling that you get when you use these boots is just that; it feels like you are walking/hiking using your bare feet. 

Except, of course, your feet are protected, and your steps are lighter with better space for your toes to move when you walk/hike. It allows your feet to move and flex naturally during your hikes.

Why Barefoot Hiking Boots?

More and more hikers these days go for barefoot hiking boots because they are lighter and easier to pack. The natural movement of the feet while using barefoot hiking boots allows your feet to be stronger and more efficient for your body as a whole. 

It isn’t safe to do barefoot trekking, so barefoot hiking boots are the answer to protect your feet. These boots are amazing because when you walk you can feel the texture/nature of the terrain. 

How To Know If You Need It?

You might be wondering if barefoot hiking boots are for you. If you have wide toes, this may be why you need it. Barefoot hiking boots are designed with a wide toe box and flexible soles. 

The transition to getting used to barefoot hiking boots or shoes will take a while. 

Your feet and calves may feel a little bit sore after a hike in this pair.

However, with gradual practice and transition, they will get used to it. You will be able to feel the terrains more and realize how your posture gets better in time with such change.

If you are concerned if it is what you need, you can consult a doctor. 

It is a great way to get back to using our feet naturally while connecting to the grounds we step on.

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Features To Look For In Barefoot Hiking Boots

  • Traction

Look for a pair that gives you the grip and support that you need. This would mean if you are into simple walks/trails, this feature may not matter much.  The standard is to ensure your toes and feet can feel and grip the ground when you hike/walk.

  • Lightweight

Most barefoot hiking boots are pretty light; however, there can be differences between different brands. These differences can make a huge make or break for your hikes, especially if you are into multi-day hikes. 

  • Breathability

Thin materials on these barefoot boots allow your feet to breathe easily. Do read the reviews on their respective pages to know better. 

Each manufacturer would have a  brief description that would give you an idea. 

Generally, you need to see if your hikes are mainly in hot weather or cold weather and how the weather affects the ventilation. 

  • Toe caps 

Toe caps protection means protection for your toes. As much as barefoot boots go, you still would not want to injure your toes when you accidentally kicked some rocks/stones. 

  • Waterproof

Waterproof features would mean the boots may be slightly heavier but if your choice of terrains would involve water then make this a priority. Otherwise, a water-resistant feature may just suit you well.

Is Hiking Barefoot Good?

perks of hiking barefoot

Barefoot hiking is good for the health of your feet and your body as a whole. Hiking barefoot allows your feet to flex naturally based on the terrain that you are hiking on. This will allow your feet and toes to be strengthened naturally while working out your calves. 

However, there is, of course, worry of the danger that can harm your feet when you walk barefoot. 

Solution: barefoot hiking boots that allow you to feel like you are hiking barefoot while protecting your feet!

 

Are Barefoot Shoes Good For Backpacking?

Barefoot shoes are great for backpacking! If you are like me, enjoying multi-day hikes and walks in new countries, I would definitely pack a pair of barefoot shoes. When you are out there discovering new countries or trails, you would like to pack wisely ie. functional for your hikes or city walks.

What Is A Minimalist Hiking Shoe?

A minimalist hiking shoe is similar to barefoot boots; however, they are lighter and are like your pair of sneakers. It is mainly used for trail running and backpacking trips. No break-ins are usually required. This pair usually dries easily, which is why it is the go-to for backpackers and trail runners. 

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Conclusion

Whether you are a barefoot newbie or have just started, know one thing. It takes time to get used to using it! 

However, with such great design and features out there, barefoot hiking boots are here to stay. Give your feet the care needed to get stronger and experience your hikes/trails like never before! 

Grab a pair, hike out there and feel the terrains under your feet!

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