Best Toe Running Shoes Reviewed

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Barefoot Toes Running shoes have slowly become a popular choice as an alternative to your run of the mill running shoes that athletes have been used to wearing for decades. However, these five fingered toe wearing barefoot runners are better on your feet than you think.  These babies are a top winner when it comes to preventing injuries and friction to muscles in both your feet and legs.

Vibram FiveFingers TrekSport
  • Vibram FiveFingers TrekSport
  • 4.8 out of 5
  • Seamless 2mm Footbed Insole
  • Price: See Here
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Vibram KSO Evo
  • Vibram KSO Evo
  • 4.7 out of 5
  • Serrated Blade Lug Design
  • Price: See Here
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Fila Skele-Toes Emergence
  • Fila Skele-Toes Emergence
  • 4.5 out of 5
  • Cushioned Footbed + Open Air Mesh
  • Price: See Here
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The Barefoot minimalist shoes are the latest in a shoe to have that natural feel of being,  well, barefoot.  Regular athletic shoes are now considered not a wise choice on the most important extremity of you lower body.  They don’t give you the much needed support which in turn, leaves you highly vulnerable to both injury and possible future issues related to foot health.

With the Five Finger Toe Shoes many athletes are finding wearing these help improve strength, balance without compromising stability and comfort.  If you are a barefoot connoisseur or are thinking about incorporating these into your active lifestyle then read about the ten that we believe will be a good fit for you.

1. Vibram FiveFingers TrekSport

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Vibram FiveFingers TrekSport Multisport shoes are our number one go to shoe when it comes to all the factors that an athlete desires. It is durable, breathable, and odor free. It has stretch proof panel technology that help keep out dirt and rubble.
It has both secure straps and the usual rip and stick closures for both support and a secure fit in any activity. They are light on your bottoms of your feet and have the rubberized grip for traction and slippage and are completely washer friendly. If you're looking for an all around shoes for running, light hiking and beach running then this shoe is a toe runners dream.
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The toe separators in the Vibram Five Fingers are comfortable and have an incredible breathability. The upper portion of the shoe is made of both synthetic and natural coconut fibers and can be used for both trail and road running, hiking, walking and even traveling.

When it comes to odor and dampness the Vibram shoe has a patented AEGIS Microbe Shield that will keep your feet both clean and free from outdoor environmental damage and is a odor stopper in the most intense sports out there.

Cost and Value:
Best overall value for what you get.
Pros
  • Uppers Durability.
  • Rubber Enhanced Vibram TC1 Performance.
  • Breathable.
  • Secure Strap.
  • Supportive Fit.
  • Fast Air Dry.
  • Odor Protected.
  • Lightly Cleated.
  • Light Cushioning.
  • Size Accurately (Refer to Size Chart on the Company Website).
Cons
  • Good for Short Hikes
  • Sizes can be Tricky.
  • Use for Initial Short Treks and work your way up to gain Maximum Results.

2. Vibram KSO Evo (Women's)

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The Vibram Women’s KSO Evo is another great five fingered shoe to come from the Vibram, a company that was created in 1937 and evolved into one of the leading industries in Sole Technology. The KSO Evo was created under the umbrella of the original KSO shoe. It has an enhanced synthetic sole for grip and is both stable on your toes and legs giving you the comfort support and durability for those longer treks.
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The Vibram KSO sole has give you the grip that you need to take on the road as well as sand dirt and those rocks that you have been wanting to climb. They can even be used for indoor play as well due to their non-marking bottom.

The 5 millimeter sole along with the lightly padded tongue and lacing system make these an easy put on with five fingered socks for those colder weather climates. They are machine washable, lightweight and stay odor free. Plus, did I mention they come in six very cool colors.

Cost and Value:
On the higher end but worth the value.
Pros
  • Great Cross Trainer
  • Comfortable
  • Durable
  • Washable
  • Odor Free
  • Six Colors Choice Selection Size Up for perfect fit.  (Visit the Vibram Website for more information)
  • Easily Packable
Cons
  • Size accordingly for toe length (Fit Chart on Website)
  • Sole May Be to Thin for Some

3. Vibram KSO Evo (Men's)

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The KSO EVO Men’s is a must for runners looking for the grip, comfort and flexibility. The 5 millimeter sole is thin and hugs to your foot and toes. If you enjoy walking barefoot at every given moment then these shoes are what you have been looking for.
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The weight and size on the KSO EVO Cross Trainer are considered one of the lightest on the market..Weighing in at 4.9 oz, these are exactly the shoe that is needed for running or just lounging around the house.

For those who like the barefoot style but want to still feel like they are wearing shoes the KSO has just that. You get laces for a tighter that comes with a padded tongue for comfort.

Cost or Value
On the Higher Affordable End.
Pros
  • Personal Trainer Recommended
  • Shock Absorbing
  • Padded for Comfort
  • Barefoot Feel
  • Great Traction
  • Man Made (Polyester Fabric)
  • Antimicrobial Drilex
  • Sockliner
  • Machine Washable
  • 2 shades of Contrasting
  • Black and Blue
Cons
  • Tight Fit for some

4. Vibram Bikila Evo

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Ladies, if you're looking for a shoe that has that barefoot feel but would like to have a bit more cushion than the Vibram Women’s Bikila Evo Road Running Shoe is your best bet. Vibram has redesigned the Bikila to provide maximum cushioning for minimal runs.

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Vibram has made the adjustment from regular shoe running to natural barefoot running a cinche. The newly redesigned Bikila had a slightly thicker sole but without all the weight that creates drag and soreness to the lower legs and calves.

Traction is important on both road and dirt terrain and on the Bikilas’ they have placed a mega grip pod system to provide in those times when you need that piece of mind from injuries.

Cost or Value:
Moderate to Expensive.
Pros
  • Synthetic
  • Extra Cushion
  • Durable Traction
  • Light and Airy
  • Firm Rubber Sole
  • Lace Ups
  • Eye Popping Color Selection
  • EVA Foam Midsole
  • Inner Drilex Sock liner
  • Anti Microbial

 

Cons

Size up for a More Comfortable Fit

  • Not Designed for Long Distance Running
  • Fits a More Narrow Foot

5. Vibram Spyridon MR

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The Vibram Spyridon MR Trail Running Shoe was created and designed with a Foot Sensory Impact Mechanism to prevent injury while walking or running on rugged surfaces. With a 3.5mm rubber sole you are provided the protection to the feet that is needed in natural running.

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The Spyridon MR Trail shoe has a Vibram 3D Cocoon technology implemented into the sole that give you a prime grip for those strenuous sports and activities.

The durability of the Spyridon will by far outlast some of the other shoes sold by Vibram. They are made of heavy duty rubber but still feel light on the feet and they do very well in for water activities, although they are not waterproof they dry fairly quickly due to the in liner mesh.

Cost and Value:
Range from Reasonable to Expensive depending on Color
Pros
  • Durable Rubber Sole
  • Bungee Lacing
  • Multi Directional Design for Traction
  • Wave Grip Out sole
  • Three Contrasting Muted Tones
  • Quick Air Dry
Cons
  • Fit is Tight due to Thicker Rubber Material

6. Vibram Spyridon MR Elite

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The Spyridon MR Elite Running Shoe is a in your face grip action toe wonder. So much so, Vibram was named the 2015 Warrior Dash official footwear sponsor under the Elite name. This shoe gives you the desired stability needed in extreme running for all elements. It includes an in step brace and is completely washable for those times when you just can’t stay out of the mud.

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These shoes are so light and airy one fan of the Vibram shoe line said that they were like walking on soft fluffy pillows. The durable mega grip system hugs the bottom of your foot through every step.

Vibram has introduced a higher hugging ankle style with a higher hook and loop system to act as an ankle stabilizer. It also manages to keep the dirt and road debris out of the shoe while mud running or sand sprinting.

Cost or Value:
Moderately Reasonable
Pros
  • Durable
  • Comfortable
  • Washable
  • Water Resistant
  • Comes in Women's Sizes (Refer to Vibram Website)
  • Ankle Hugging Support
  • Hook and Loop System
  • Durable Mega Grip System

 

Cons
  • Only Two Colors
  •  Some May Have to Size Up

7. Vibram FiveFingers Lontra

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If you're looking for a Five Finger Shoe that can hold up to colder weather the Vibram Lontra Athletic Shoe does its duty to keep your foot and your toes warm and toasty. It has a multi layer upper durable mesh and micro plush fleece surround the entire foot for maximum warm coverage. It sports reflective straps for safer runs in the chilly evening and the grip on the sole is pure Vibram.
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With the Lontra you can run in the coldest of surfaces. It has a 4mm EVA midsole that provides the insulation needed to the bottom of the feet, It has an internal water resistant membrane and a quick wick air dry. It is also washer friendly.

If you need extra ankle protection to avoid injury by slipping the Lontra has that too. It has a firmer upper ankle protection support with a large reflective strap closure and a neoprene heel cuff to keep out debris.

Cost or Value:
Middle to Average Affordable Pricing
Pros
  • Great Protection
  • Insulated
  • Fleece Lined
  • Mesh
  • Amazing Grip
  • Support
  • Reflective Straps
  • Water Resistant Membrane
  • Neoprene Heel Cuff
  • Washer Friendly
Cons
  • Only comes in One Color
  • Not Intended for Warm Weather
  • Can be Tight Fitting for Some

8. Vibram V-RUN

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This moderate distance gem in the rough from Vibram gives you the benefit of running almost if you are truly barefooted. It has a mid sole for cushioning where it is needed the most and the popular Vibram XS run out sole giving you the maximum stability for those tougher terrain treks and runs. The mesh on the upper part of the shoe gives you maximum breathing to your feet and the feel is soft and light.

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Keeping your feet nice and dry is important for long runs and treks. The V-Run is designed with a breathable polyester mesh upper and the lace up design hold your foot with comfort and stability.

This all weather terrain shoe will keep its grip to the ground while in movement. It is made with an all durable out sole for all the road terrain you can handle keeping you from injury to the bottoms of your feet

Cost or Value:
Moderate to Expensive Cost

Pros
  • Comes in Four Colors
  • Sizing Down is Highly Important
  • Smoother Run
  • Comfortable
  • Vibram VLite for Softer Shock Absorption
  • Light and feather weight
  • Great for Low Temperature
  • Machine Wash Cold
  • Rapid Air Dry
Cons
  • Not Good for Wider Feet
  •  Tends to be on The Tighter Side

9. Vibram FiveFingers Speed XC

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If you enjoy minimalist or barefoot running and still enjoy the look of a regular running sneaker the Speed XC gives you that. It provides style, comfort and of course the barefoot running feel.
It still obtains the maximum grip and traction, is insulated and it looks pretty stylish and durable as well.
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A special 4mm midsole plating was implemented into the shoe for protection from rocks and debris that may bruise the bottom of the feet. The outer sole is manufactured with a TC=1 dura material to give you the increased traction on a number of surfaces.

The Speed XC has a water resistant mesh system along with a gusseted tongue and laces. Inside there is a polyester lining to keep your feet and toes moisture free insulated and dry.

Cost or Value:
On the Higher End in Price.
Pros
  • Water Resistant
  • Insulated
  • Stylish
  • Mid Sole Plating Protection
  • Cleated
  • Mesh
  • Moisture Free
  • Machine Washable
  • Lace Ups
  • Gusseted Tongue
  • EZ On System
Cons
  • Perfect Fit Comes with Gradual Wear

10. Fila Skele-Toes Emergence

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If you don’t like you barefoot shoes too tight or would like to have a hassle free easy on easy off transition, then you will love the Fila Men’s Skele-Toes Emergence Sneakers. This synthetic made runner has an EZ Slide feature that has both a hook and loop closure system. They are comfortable with the support needed to get you through that walk or run.
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These shoes are great for running on the beach or on a rainy day. Fila has created a EZ Slide Drainage for a quick dry to your feet. The four way stretch fabric makes the overall shoe easier to wear every time you put them on.

Toe Shoes can be tight fitting and uncomfortable at first. Fila has come up with a solution for this problem with their EZ Slide mechanism which combines both of your smallest toes and a hook and loop bungee cord in both the front and back of the shoe for an EZ slip on.

Cost or Value:
Highly Affordable.

Pros
  • Comes in 3 Colors
  • Lightweight
  • High Flexibility
  • Great Sole Grip and Traction
  • Comfortable
  • Easy Put On
  • Synthetic
  • Drainage System
  • Also Available in Women’s Sizes
Cons
  • Run a Bit Small, Size Up
  • Need to Wear a Few Times to Gain Comfort

These lightweight toe like lizards are hands down better and faster for all active lifestyles.  They are almost all rubberized for weather and some are waterproof for beach running and running on those days when the weather is not the greatest.  They dry quickly and they are completely washer friendly and odor free.  They even make socks for those who need more warmth on their feet,  What is not to like about these?

You can hike in these, run and walk.  You can wear these in the cold weather and in the water.  They may be just the all around shoe for you have been looking for. They are definitely an all around sports activity shoe for close to barefoot running as you can get with Vibram being the best shoes on the Market. Take a look at how we picked the choices on our list.

 

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Here’s What We Looked For When Choosing The 10 Best Toe Running Shoes:

 

 

Emulation Of The Human Foot

Think back to the first time that you ever noticed someone wearing shoes with the individual toes separated. Did you roll your eyes, stare in confusion, or giggle slightly to yourself? Whatever your reaction, let’s take a moment to go over the simple design elegance that quite intelligently emulates the human foot. Individual toe separation and zero drop is as barefoot as you can get without being barefoot. This minimalist design has gained popularity and spread like wildfire for good reason; there are countless reviews that demonstrate increased performance and comfort. Adding technological advancements to the natural way run will give you a type of instinctive movement that can only be felt with minimalist running. Let’s take a look at the highest rated and most recommended toe running shoes and what they can do for your run, you may just find a new favorite runner!

 

The Incredible Benefits Of Barefoot Running

We went through as much data as possible when it came to researching the benefits of barefoot running. A combination of strong user feedback and clinical recommendations from professionals report enhanced speed, balance, and comfort levels. There is also evidence of better distribution of pressure as the foot flexes the way that nature intended. We came across tons of user feedback that also boasted about the increased development of leg muscles. When all the data is taken into consideration, barefoot running becomes a very tempting option for those who seek a new level to their workouts.

 

Getting To Know Dorsiflexion

Dorsiflexion is the backward bending of the hand or foot. It’s something that even seasoned runners are mostly unaware of. In the last couple of years, however, its importance has come to the forefront of high performance running. Higher levels of dorsiflexion have been shown to be directly attributed to higher speeds and less chances of injury. Toe running shoes, no matter the brand, give the wearer increased dorsiflexion and thereby can lead to a faster, healthier run. Natural range of motion can be significantly stifled by those bulky, heavily cushioned running shoes, which make toe shoes a great choice for those who want more agility from their footwear.

 

How They Work Across Different Terrain

Our readers like to take their running shoes on a wide range of running surfaces, and we enjoy providing options that are ideal for standard road running, gym workouts, and the great outdoors. For our trail runners, our buying guide contains solid options that are tough as nails and can handle anything that Mother Nature throws their way. In fact, user feedback was remarkably high in the ability of toe shoes to give them increased traction and more sensitivity to the terrain beneath their feet. This is because the lower drop and separation of the toes give you a stronger connection with your running surface. The same can be said for our treadmill and road running options. They gave testers incredible comfort and range of motion that helped them with endurance levels and transitioning between surfaces. There is something for everyone on our list.

 

The Latest Looks And Styles

There’s no denying that these are some funky looking running shoes, and that’s a good thing! The best part is that these cool looks and designs are purpose driven for results, not just to make a fashion statement. But you won’t be able to stand out in the crowd of boring running shoes when you’re wearing any of these selections. Get ready to have people asking you about how well they work and much you like them! We’ve included all the latest styles and color ways in our guide, so make sure to look for the different color options once you click through over to Amazon.

 

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Important Things to Consider When Selecting Your Toe Running Shoes.

Without question, these toe running shoes made a real splash when they entered the running shoe market. It’s important to note that they lasted as long as they did because they really work, they are not a passing fad or gimmick. We know that you must be eager to make a selection, however, before you go, take a look at the wide range of feedback and data we went through when compiling our selections. This will help you choose a toe running shoe that’s right for you. It’s important that you make a selection that makes sense for your purposes and what you plan to do with them. Below you will find some personal factors to take into consideration when making your choice.

 

Make A Selection Based On Your Running Surface

Most of these toe running shoes will feel the same on your feet because of their barefoot running design, so one of the biggest considerations that you will make is running surface or terrain. We were careful to list the best options for outdoor and trail running and which ones were better for standard road running and gym workouts. This is where you will find the biggest variation like added traction and slightly stiffer rides, so take a moment to consider your surfaces before you add items to your cart. If you plan on mixing it up, it’s a good idea to select two different pairs that suit your needs. Most seasoned runners maintain a solid rotation of running shoes for different purposes.

 

Know The Limitations

There are some things that simply don’t cross over into the world of toe running shoes; one of those things are orthotic insoles. Quite simply, they just don’t work well with this type of footwear. While we have seen some feedback that states that using a heel insole is fine, we wouldn’t recommend it because it interferes with the barefoot running style of the shoes. Additionally, keep in mind that these shoes will not give you high levels of support, stability, or motion control. Barefoot running makes the runner rely primarily on their own leg and foot muscles for those things.

 

Make Sure To Improve Your Foot Strike

One of the biggest advantages of barefoot running is training your foot to properly strike the ground. Most runners are used to a heel strike, which places pressure on your knees and hips. Barefoot running promotes a forefoot strike, which is a great and natural way to run. As you make the transition, start off a little slower and focus on how you are striking the ground. User feedback demonstrates that after a few outings in your new toe shoes, you will start to notice a positive difference in your striking pattern.

 

Use Them For A Lot More Than Just Running

We at Runnerclick are always excited to introduce our readers to new and innovative products that can broaden their horizons, and toe running shoes are a perfect example of a product that can do just that! They are perfect for yoga, trekking and hiking, water sports, and high intensity cardio programs. Their versatile properties can give you more grip, water resistance, and flexibility than most other footwear so they allow you to do more in them. We encourage everyone to get out there and try something new.

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FAQ

We’re confident that by taking some of these factors into consideration when making your choice, you’ll find a toe running shoe that is perfect for you. Before you get out there and run, we’ve also compiled some frequently asked questions that commonly arise when searching for a new barefoot running shoe.

 

Q: Are toe running shoes really that different, or is it just looks?

A: Make no mistake; these shoes are all performance and no hype. Positive user feedback is through the roof on the selected toe running shoes and those who made the transition to barefoot running have never looked back. They are loving the increased strength, speed, and range of motion that these toe shoes have provided them with.

 

Q: What’s the idea behind the barefoot running trend?

A: The theory is that overly supportive and cushioned footwear interferes with the natural way that your feet move and strike the ground. Additionally, all data demonstrates that you incorporate a larger amount of muscles and joints when you’re barefoot running, so people are drawn to the increased muscle engagement. Overall, it’s simply a much more organic way of running, if you haven’t tried it, you should give it a shot.

 

Q: What is the water resistance on these toe running shoes?

A: They are highly water resistant. Don’t confuse that with waterproofed, like trail boots that are designed to keep your feet dry. These toe runners are for activities and people that have no problems getting their feet wet, the shoes themselves will not get damaged in any way from getting wet. In fact, most of them can air dry with very little care needed.

 

Q: What are the biggest considerations to take when switching over to barefoot running?

A: Start slowly and remember that you will engage a lot more muscles and joints that you are used to. It’s a great idea to start at half speed and half distance to give your feet and legs time to adjust to your new footwear. Most testers reported that after a few weeks, they were able to get back to their usual routine, and after a month started noticing gains in muscle growth and endurance levels.

 

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This was our approach when selecting the right pair of toe running shoes. Remember that selecting the right pair of minimalist running shoes is a significant change that can offer you a ton of benefits as long as you do it right. We hope this guide provided you with all the information you need when making you choice and let us know how your barefoot running journey is going for you. Thanks for following along with us. Now make the perfect selection for you and keep running!


 

Here are some sources we used while conducting our research

It’s important to use a wide variety of sources to ensure quality information. We like to utilize trusted running enthusiasts and manufactures when providing our readers with the most up-to-date statistics found in all our buying guides. We are also very interested in taking what everyday users have to say about specific products like toe running shoes, and we perform our due diligence to make sure that quality research goes into every guide. Here are some sources which helped us with this guide:

Sources

  1. Amazon, Amazon, Product Reviews,
  2. NPR, NPR, News Interview,
  3. Ivy Rose, Ive Rose, Clinical Website,
  4. Harvard University, Harvard University, Medical Journal,