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Top 10 Best Yoga Shoes Compared & Reviewed

last updated Jul 25, 2019
If you want to take your yoga practice up a notch or to the great outdoors, then you need to check out the best yoga shoes below. While yoga is known to be done barefoot, it’s always good to have a great pair of yoga shoes—especially if you’re a serious Yogi!

Yoga shoes are designed to be comfortable, flexible, well-cushioned, and breathable. They’ll help you push yourself further in your Vinyasa and get the grip and traction you need in the studio, at the beach, or on your favorite trail or hike.

Whether you’re an avid Yogi or new to the practice, we’ve made sure there’s a pair of yoga shoes for everyone. Take a close look at our carefully crafted, reviewed, and recently updated top 10 picks to find the right pair for you.

We hope you enjoy reading through our choices, Namaste!

In a Hurry? The test winner after 11 hrs of research

icon
Skechers Meditation-Studio Kicks
99/100 our score
Traction
99
Flexibility
99
Comfort
99
Breathability
99
Style
99
Skechers Meditation-Studio Kicks
Why is it better?

Really flexible

Breathable

Lots of color options to choose from

Comfortable

Great traction

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Skechers Meditation-Studio Kicks
Test Winner: Skechers Meditation-Studio Kicks
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
6
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1.1K
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
11
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
18
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
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By Giselle Killebrew:

Our most recent update brings three new yoga shoes to the table—the Skechers Meditation-Studio Kicks, the Barerun yoga shoes, and the Sanuk Duet yoga sandals. All of these are excellent yoga shoes that will ensure you get the most of your practice and the second selection, specifically, is a great versatile option. This time around we have also added a ton of more information throughout our buying guide and other sections of our page, so make sure to take a close look!

Sorting Options
Traction Flexibility Comfort Breathability Style By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
99
Traction
99 %
Flexibility
99 %
Comfort
99 %
Breathability
99 %
Style
99 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.11.19)
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.8
Traction
97 %
Flexibility
98 %
Comfort
98 %
Breathability
98 %
Style
98 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.11.19)
Amazon Link
$14.99
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
Traction
95 %
Flexibility
95 %
Comfort
95 %
Breathability
95 %
Style
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.11.19)
Amazon Link
$64.00
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.2
Traction
94 %
Flexibility
94 %
Comfort
94 %
Breathability
95 %
Style
94 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.11.19)
Amazon Link
$37.95
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92
Traction
92 %
Flexibility
92 %
Comfort
92 %
Breathability
92 %
Style
92 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.11.19)
Amazon Link
$19.99
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.8
Traction
91 %
Flexibility
91 %
Comfort
90 %
Breathability
91 %
Style
91 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.11.19)
Amazon Link
$13.44
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Traction
90 %
Flexibility
90 %
Comfort
90 %
Breathability
90 %
Style
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.11.19)
Amazon Link
$39.95
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.6
Traction
87 %
Flexibility
88 %
Comfort
88 %
Breathability
88 %
Style
87 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.11.19)
Amazon Link
$12.99
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85
Traction
85 %
Flexibility
85 %
Comfort
85 %
Breathability
85 %
Style
85 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.11.19)
Amazon Link
$52.99
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.2
Traction
83 %
Flexibility
84 %
Comfort
82 %
Breathability
83 %
Style
84 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.11.19)
Amazon Link
$17.99

10 Best Yoga Shoes

1. Skechers Meditation-Studio Kicks

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
99
Skechers Meditation-Studio Kicks
Amazon Link
Traction
99
Flexibility
99
Comfort
99
Breathability
99
Style
99
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$17.39
Pros:

Really flexible

Breathable

Lots of color options to choose from

Comfortable

Great traction

Cons:

Not durable enough or everyday use

The Skechers Meditation-Studio sandals are not only at the top of our list, but they are also at the top of countless yoga shoe buying guides. They come highly recommended by countless of real-world users and are available at a cost-effective price.

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Traction

These Yoga sandals feature an outsole that provides a great bit of traction. This outsole will, which is made of rubber, is not only durable but will ensure you get the grip you need through each and every pose.

Flexibility

As far as flexibility goes, the Skechers Meditation sandals have a really flexible outsole—which, as we just mentioned, also provides a lot of traction. They feature stretchy heathered jersey in their construction which allows them to provide you with a full range of motion when you practice.

Comfort

When it comes to comfort, we found that these sandals hold up to their comfort level claims as we read through countless of user reviews. They also have a toe post that has some padding and the fabric is soft, so you don’t have to worry about any chafing or blisters.

Breathability

If you want to make sure your yoga shoes are breathable, you can’t go wrong with these Skechers sandals. They feature an opened toe design and their lightweight and breathable fabric will ensure that you stay cool and dry even in the sweltering heat.

Style

These sandals are one of the most—if not the most—stylish selection on our list of yoga shoes reviews. They come in several color and pattern options to choose from, so you can get more than one pair of sandals and always look great.

2. Barerun

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.8
Barerun
Amazon Link
Traction
97
Flexibility
98
Comfort
98
Breathability
98
Style
98
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$14.99
Pros:

Versatile

Really flexible

Seamless construction

Breathable

Dry quickly

Lots of colors and patterns to choose from

Great Price

Cons:

Not durable enough for some activities

If you are on the hunt for a pair of versatile yoga shoes that you can use for more than just your practices, then you need to check these out. These shoes are not only available at a great price, but they are a great pair of shoes for yoga, the beach or pool, swimming, cycling, surfing, walking, and so much more.

Read more

Traction

These yoga shoes feature a rubber sole that is really durable and provides great traction. Not only will the thick soles on these shoes give you the grip you need, but they will also protect you from any elements or debris you may encounter when you practice outdoors—especially if you are in the water.

Flexibility

These yoga shoes provide an excellent range of motion, in fact, they are so flexible you will feel like you are in a pair of great socks. With these shoes, you will be able to commit to your pose and focus on holding it—with no mobility restrictions.

Comfort

Because these shoes have a seamless design, you can count on them to prevent any blisters, chafing, or hot spots from occurring. According to real-life users, these shoes are really comfortable and provide a “barely there” feel.

Breathability

Thanks to their well-designed upper, these yoga shoes are incredibly breathable. They will ensure your feet stay cool and dry—and since they are fast drying, you can take them in the water without having to worry about getting stuck with heavy, wet feet afterward.

Style

Available in lots of colors, patterns, and different color schemes, you will definitely have a lot of options with these yoga shoes. They are sleek and stylish in design, so you won’t have to worry about them clashing with your out foot or looking overly bulky and out of place when you wear them.

3. Vibram VI-B

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
Vibram VI-B
Amazon Link
Traction
95
Flexibility
95
Comfort
95
Breathability
95
Style
95
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$64.00
Pros:
  • Serrated blade lug design
  • Zero Drop
  • Mesh Upper
Cons:
  • High priced

The minimal design is striking and workout worthy. A perfect shoe for yoga practice and then some. You’ll love the comfortable fit and wear-anywhere aesthetic. But most of all you’ll love your asana when you practice it wearing the Vibram B Fitness Yoga Shoe.

Read more

Traction

The VI-B is the perfect traction shoe for all types of workouts including yoga. With a sole made of the patented XS Trek, a thin layer of rubber and serrated lug design keep your stance doubly secure resulting in a more satisfying practice and optimum health benefits.

Flexibility

Truly the VI-B feels like a second skin. It hugs the foot while providing optimum flexibility simultaneously.

Comfort

While the shoe is the ultimate in minimalism, feet are still well-protected within the ergonomic fit, creating healthy benefits for the body more generally. The perfect yoga companion!

Breathability

The upper part is comprised of lightweight, synthetic polyester fabric with PU printing reinforcement that lets the foot breathe. Feel free to practice hard - this yoga shoe will keep your stride with its excellent ventilation and support.

Style

The VI-B yoga shoe is refined, elegant and subtle making it the perfect match for your yoga practice and overall lifestyle. A zero drop means an authentic barefoot feel, presented in a featherlight, slim-fitting feel-good design.

4. Sanuk Yoga Sling 2

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.2
Sanuk Yoga Sling 2
Amazon Link
Traction
94
Flexibility
94
Comfort
94
Breathability
95
Style
94
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$37.95
Pros:
  • Several color and pattern options 
  • Lightweight 
  • Breathable 
  • Stretch upper fabric for increased flexibility 
  • Padded footbed for optimal comfort 
  • Durable 
Cons:
  • Expensive
  • No half sizes available 

This sandal is not only beautiful, but also perfect for your yoga practice. Whether you are on the go, practicing outside, or just prefer to wear a shoe during your practice--this sandal is a perfect option for everyone!

Read more

Traction

These sandals are not the best for indoor, slippery floors (like tile and wood flooring) but they do provide excellent grip and traction for outdoor use!

Flexibility

These sandals provide great support and adequate flexibility. Their padded footbed allows for additional stability and their stretch fabric allow for foot flexibility during your poses.

Comfort

These sandals come with built-in padding, which means you don't have to worry about bringing a mat with you! They are comfortable, cushioned and stable--the perfect combination when looking for a yoga shoe.

Breathability

As sandals, the Sanuk Yoga Sling 2 yoga shoes are incredibly breathable thanks to their open toe design. Their fabric is lightweight and moisture-wicking, so it will help keep your feet cool and dry when you were them

Style

They are also available in different color and pattern options!

5. Fitkicks Active

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92
Fitkicks Active
Amazon Link
Traction
92
Flexibility
92
Comfort
92
Breathability
92
Style
92
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$19.99
Pros:
  • FlexForm sole for movement and support
  • Reinforced toe
  • Breathable
Cons:
  • No size past Women’s XL (women’s size 10-11)

Fitkicks are the perfect fit to kick off summer yoga. Get your “om” on at the beach and worry not about stickers, rocks or other potential harm to the foot. Quick dry and super cute, too!

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Traction

The patented FlexForm sole means excellent comfort and motion range while providing all the stability and support you’ll need. As comfortable and almost “slipper-like” as these shoes feel, the grip is optimum for hardcore workouts and balance work.

Flexibility

With 100% Spandex upper material there’s plenty of stretches to accommodate high impact movement. We love that this shoe transitions from home, to every day, to the gym, to yoga, but we love it best for yoga! Namaste!

Comfort

A comfortable and protective microfiber/PU reinforcing toe guard prohibits dragging and over-wear tearing or fabric thinning, while also keeping the foot more comfortable. Your toes will love you when you get into positions that require toe support (think Chaturanga Dandasana)!

Breathability

The ergonomic design contours to the foot creating a supportive yet breathable second skin.

Style

Add that it’s available in so many fun, vibrant colors, both solid and contrasting. Feel good and look adorable? No problem!

6. VIFUUR

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.8
VIFUUR
Amazon Link
Traction
91
Flexibility
91
Comfort
90
Breathability
91
Style
91
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$13.44
Pros:
  • Protective
  • Great traction
  • Lots of color options
Cons:
  • Not cushioned

The VIFUUR yoga shoes are actually aqua yoga shoes that are an excellent option for you beach yogis out there! They are comfortable, breathable, and come at a great price--what's not to love!

Read more

Traction

These shoes offer excellent grip and traction. They have a rubber sole for added protection against outdoor elements and their grippers prevent slippage and ensure you can maintain firm and stable poses during your practice.

Flexibility

These are highly breathable shoes that are flexible enough to feel like socks!

Comfort

These are not highly cushioned given that they are designed to be used in water, however, they are padded, comfortable, and provide the right amount of support.

Breathability

Thanks to their lightweight design and breathable materials, these yoga shoes offer optimal ventilation and dry quickly--so they will definitely keep your feet cool and dry.

Style

Available in lots of colors and patterns to choose from, these shoes are minimalistic, sleek, and stylish--and will look great with whatever you wear.

7. Sanuk Duet

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Sanuk Duet
Amazon Link
Traction
90
Flexibility
90
Comfort
90
Breathability
90
Style
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$39.95
Pros:

Lightweight

Flexible

Comfortable

Secure fit

Breathable

Cons:

A little pricey

Not for wet surfaces

Few color options available

Here we have another pair of Sanuk yoga shoes—the Yoga Duet sandal. These sandals, comfortable, and built with the yogi in mind, so check them out if you are serious about your yoga practice.

Read more

Traction

Thanks to the rubber sole on these sandals, they are durable and provide excellent grip. However, it is important to note that these are best for dry terrain and do not provide the grip and traction you need on wet surfaces.

Flexibility

Made of Cotton and Polyester, the fabric on these sandals allows for a full range of motion. The spongey outsole also ensures that you can have the movement you need for each and every pose, so you won’t have to worry about not being able to get through your practice.

Comfort

These sandals, by Sanuk, are designed to be really comfortable and provide you with a secure and comfortable fit. They feature the brand’s yoga sling design for additional comfort. The footbed of the sandal is also has a footbed that is sealed for comfort and a sponge outsole for optimal plushiness.

Breathability

Thanks to these sandal’s open design, they are really breathable. Their fabric is lightweight and moisture-wicking, so you don’t have to worry about it weighing you down or getting soaked with sweat when you practice in these sandals.

Style

If you like minimalistic and functional shoes, then you will love the style of these sandals. Although they are available in 3 different color options, you will find that they are not

8. L-Run

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.6
L-Run
Amazon Link
Traction
87
Flexibility
88
Comfort
88
Breathability
88
Style
87
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$12.99
Pros:
  • Excellent sole contour
  • Breathable
  • Fold and go, easy on/off
Cons:
  • Runs large - refer to chart for optimum fit

A unisex yoga shoe that fits snug and offers excellent breathability. Quick dry and fuzzy when wet. Did someone say "water yoga?" Now that's some summer fun!

Read more

Traction

An antiwear rubber design provides durable no-slip traction, keeping your foot well-gripped to the mat, gym floor or most other surfaces. Add that it’s a chemical-free zone meaning great health for feet and body.

Flexibility

The sole forms to the fit and provides a durable contour with dual-range of motion. We love the protective toe guard built into this simplistic design. An unexpected but appreciated feature! Easy on and off and a fold and go design translate to think less, yoga more!

Comfort

Comprised of featherlight fabric with a soft lining for a smooth fit, the L-Run is the perfect go-to yoga shoe. Quick-dry makes a sweaty workout cooler faster and practice by the beach dryer, without moisture build-up trapped within the shoe.

Breathability

The stretchy and soft upper is ventilated for a breathable fit perfect for high impact asana or taking your practice lakeside.

Style

11 colors and modern patterns including a cool black-and-green or feminine light blue-with-pink means something for everyone.

9. Vibram Alitza Loop

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85
Vibram Alitza Loop
Amazon Link
Traction
85
Flexibility
85
Comfort
85
Breathability
85
Style
85
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$52.99
Pros:
  • Stretch Polyamide for flexible fit
  • Drilex wicking
Cons:
  • Possibly a half size up for toe comfort

A barefoot experience with the traction of your favorite running shoe, the Vibram Alitza Loop Fitness Yoga Shoe brings a natural feel coupled with extreme support to your practice.

Read more

Traction

Comprised of the trademarked SX Trek, the Alitza Loop sole is engineered with the best traction and durability in mind. Balance and stability are literally woven into this shoe’s design, providing wearers with sure-footedness during optimum workouts.

Flexibility

This no-fuss yoga shoe is perfect for any girl on the run who wants to stop, pause, breathe and do yoga! Go from errands, school or work and then to your “happy place” (your yoga mat) without worrying about transitioning from shoe to shoe - this one does it all in absolute comfort and with absolute support!

Comfort

A Microbial Drilex Sockliner keeps the foot moisture-free and more comfy during hardcore practice and an EVA foam Midsole means extra cushion and support.

Breathability

Stretch Polyamide is used in the Upper material which means the Alitza Loop accommodates foot expansion during a sweaty workout. So go ahead and get Downward Dog and dirty.

Style

Comes in hues of black, red and our personal fave, magenta.

10. NBERA 2econdskin

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.2
NBERA 2econdskin
Amazon Link
Traction
83
Flexibility
84
Comfort
82
Breathability
83
Style
84
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$17.99
Pros:
  • Upgraded, durable materials including Liquid PU Foaming
  • Removable cushioned insole
Cons:
  • Runs small purchase a size up if you’re a half size (a 2X women’s = size 8-9)

An adorable aesthetic available in 12 color options, this second skin means little interference with natural feel or body motion while keeping feet healthier at the gym or the beach. Enjoy a safer practice without feeling the pull of a weightier shoe.

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Traction

A Neoprene outsole provides excellent grip on the mat. The no-slip traction is so strong that yoga poolside even on a slippery surface won’t have you losing your grip during your Half Moon.

Flexibility

The specially engineered silicon foam treatment ensures resilience and a solid shape. The Liquid PU foaming method keeps the shoes more durable and resistant to damage - enjoy Water Yoga in these rockstars and feel confident they won’t stretch or loosen with activity - or even with a few encounters with seaweed or rocks!

Comfort

The NBERA comes with a removable cushioned insole. Wearers can decide just how “barefoot” they want their practice to feel. The 2016 upgrades to the shoe mean a thinner fabric with enhanced durability. Wearers love the ergonomic feel built into 1.7 ounces of featherlight fabric.

Breathability

Breathe easy and worry not about chemicals: NBERA Secondskin yoga shoes are non-toxic, too!

Style

All of this in 12 lovely colors and fun patterns and it’s quick to dry. Feel the bliss!

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Traction

Your yoga shoes should provide you with optimal grip and traction through each and every pose in your Vinyasa flow.

If you are looking for a pair of yoga shoes, then it's probably because you are in need of more grip and traction. Regardless of where you practice or where you are on your yoga journey, in order to get better, you need to truly be able to focus each and every pose. The most important features a yoga shoe has to offer is the amount of effective grip and traction it will provide you with.

As you have seen from our list, yoga shoes vary and some will offer more grip and traction than others. If you are strictly practicing at home or in your studio, then you can get away with a pair that offers less traction than someone who likes to practice on the beach or in the great outdoors. Regardless of where you practice, you need to find a pair of shoes that will give you the surefootedness you require.

You may have noticed that our list of reviews does not contain any yoga socks. This is because although yoga socks are a great addition to most indoor practices, they won't provide you with the protection you will get from a pair of yoga shoes. So, if you are in need of optimal grip and traction, a pair of yoga shoes on our list is definitely the way to go.

Flexibility

Yoga shoes are some of the most flexible shoes out there, as they should be!

Flexibility is another key factor we took into consideration in each and every pair of yoga shoes that we decided to feature on our page. To improve your yoga practice you need to wear attire that will allow for your full range of motion so you aren't restricted and can push as far as you can into each and every pose.

So, when we evaluated each pair of yoga shoes, we took a look at whether or not they would allow for your full range of motion in every yoga pose. We specifically took a look at countless took at countless user reviews to see what real-life users had to say about each pair of shoes. We found our selections were truly the most flexible, "second-skin" yoga shoes currently available on the market.

What sets the yoga shoes apart on our list from other selections, however, is that they do not have to sacrifice anything to provide you with the right amount of flexibility. Other models often have to sacrifice durability, comfort, and even traction to provide you with a shoe that will move with you, but our selections provide you with all of that plus a full range of motion.

Comfort

Prioritize your own comfort preferences needs and you will find a pair of yoga shoes you absolutely love!

We rated each of the shoes on our list based on comfort but, it is important to note here, that the level of comfort you will receive from any given pair of shoes will depend greatly on your own personal preferences and the specific needs of your foot type. Here are the factors we took into consideration when er evaluate each of our final picks:

Materials and construction

Yoga shoes need to be flexible and comfortable, so they need to be made of a material that is soft, durable and breathable. You need to be able to move freely and ensure you have a full range of motion in your yoga shoes. More importantly, you need to make sure you invest in yoga shoes that won't irritate your feet or cause chafing, blisters, or hot spots.

As far as construction, you will find that most of our top picks feature a seamless design. This means that they are made of a single piece of material--or minimal pieces--so they won't rub you raw anywhere. Overall, seamless yoga shoes are the best way to go if you want to make sure you get a pair of shoes that causes zero irritation.

Cushioning and Support

Although yoga shoes are made to provide you with a barefoot feel so you can focus and feel each of your poses, that does not mean that you won't have any cushioning or support shoes to choose from. If you know you will need these features, look for shoes that fit your arch type and that don't provide too much or too little support.

Breathability

A breathable pair of yoga shoes will allow you to focus on your asanas and not worry about your hot sweaty feet.

Since we know a lot of our readers are looking for a good pair of yoga shoes because they want to take their practice outdoors, we wanted to make sure we offered you breathable and moisture-wicking yoga shoes that will keep your feet cool and dry. In fact, a lot of the selections on our list are also water-resistant--some even waterproof.

If you plan on taking your shoes out at the beach, your favorite lake, or even on trails or technical terrain where you will encounter any body of water, then you will want to go for the water-resistant or waterproof options. These are also typically more versatile and fast-drying on top of being breathable as well.

All in all, you want to look at the type of material the yoga shoes are made of, what users have to say about their overall breathability, and whether or not they have additional features. More importantly, you will want to check and see if they are also moisture-wicking and fast-drying to ensure that they will actually keep your feet cool and dry.

Style

We all want to look great in what we wear, and yoga shoes aren't the exception!

Although the style is not the most important factor to consider, we certainly understand that it is an important factor to many of our readers--and there is nothing wrong with that! First and foremost, you need to make sure you cover all of your other basis--comfort, flexibility, breathability, and traction--and then you can focus on the style.

A lot of the yoga shoes on our list are functional and not super stylish, however, none of them are bulky or not stylish. In fact, most are compact and resemble either a minimalistic pair of training shoes or your average sandal for daily wear. Many are only available in neutral colors, however, there are some selections on our list that are available in multiple colors.

If you want a yoga shoe that also offers different patterns and fabric options, you will want to check out our yoga sandal options. These are just as comfortable, just more stylish. At the end of the day, we all have our own style preferences and it is important that we feel and look great in the yoga shoes we decide to get.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
Sort criterias acording to:
Experts Opinion Editors Opinion Users Opinion By Default
Click on a to rate the most important criteria:
#1
Comfort
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#2
Flexibility
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#3
Traction
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#4
Breathability
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#5
Style
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Sandals VS. Shoes

Whether you get sandals or shoes solely depends on your preference and the terrain you will be wearing them in!

Everyday Use

A lot of the yoga shoes on our list can be worn for everyday errands--they are that comfortable! However, since they aren't intended for this use you will need to check out our reviews to see if they would hold up for daily use every now and then.

Other Factors to Consider

Safety Hazards

According to patient resource writer’s at the Podiatry Post, wearing yoga shoes to assist with ergonomic health can be essential. This speaks to the foot shape itself, and to the value of wearing a shoe with cushioning or support that aligns with specific issues such as flat-footedness.

Protecting the foot during yoga with an appropriate shoe also means diminishing the number of potential germs passed simply through multiple practitioners’ use of a gym mat. Author Tracey Kelly writes in her article “Yoga Shoe Options” that many people prefer wearing yoga shoe so that they do pick up any germs or bacteria at the yoga gyms they go to.

Foot safety is also a motivator for yoga shoes. Fabrics designed to keep the foot insulated from debris during outdoor workouts with sports technology-infused insoles and mesh mean less injury. The last thing you want to do is get injured--so make sure to take a close look from the beginning to make sure the yoga shoes will work for you and your foot type.

Terrain

The environment also plays a role in the necessity of yoga shoes. Being able to wear a hybrid shoe for yoga that will transition to cross-training, for example, means an enhanced, more dynamic workout for some. This often means taking your practice on the trail, to the beach or the gym.

Wearing a shoe that will cross perform is an excellent way to enmesh in hybrid workouts. Finally, weather plays a role in the “to wear or not to wear?” question. For a cold morning yoga practice inside - or harder yet, outside - having a cozy, soft sock-like shoe with flex and support means a less distracted Vinyasa.

Likewise, a sweaty, hot yoga practice can feel more comfortable in a wicking, sweat, and odor-resistant shoe. Ultimately a yoga shoe is most certainly a personal decision for yogis, but it’s safe to say that having the right equipment for the right situation can only improve your game (or Hatha, depending)!

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Are these shoes only for yoga?

a:

Absolutely not! Unlike traditional ballet slippers which are worn almost exclusively for [that] purpose, yoga shoes are mostly a multi-use design. In a busy and demanding world, a yoga shoe needs to transition from work to home to exercise looking stylish while performing well. Yoga shoes - unlike yoga socks - are usually perfect for your practice and then dinner and a movie after!

q: Why do yoga shoes strive to emulate a “barefoot” experience?

a:

Yoga shoes are meant to feel like a second skin so that the shoe creates little distraction while providing all the benefits of actual footwork during practice. Many appreciate the option of a protective insulator from germs, outdoor issues like rocks or stickers, and toe protection while still enjoying the barefoot feel.

q: Can I wear my yoga shoes on the mats provided at my gym?

a:

Yes. There is no reason why you shouldn't be able to wear your yoga shoes on the provided mat. Remember, the mats at your gym can be quite dirty, as they don't get washed as much as you would think, therefore wearing yoga shoes, can actually be preferable to avoid all those nasty germs.

q: Do I really need yoga shoes?

a:

Although most people prefer to practice barefoot, now that summer is here yoga shoes are the perfect addition to your yoga gear. If you like to practice at the great outdoors, then you will love their flexibility, breathability, and traction so you can focus on each and every pose.

So, to answer your question--it depends on your preferences, but they are definitely worth it and we recommend all yogis get a pair of yoga shoes they love.

Sources

  1. Kelly, Tracey, Yoga Shoe Options, Love To Know
  2. F, Jen, Don't Neglect Your Feet, ogi Times: lifestyle guide for the modern yogi
  3. Patient Resource Writer, Yoga Shoes for Flatfeet Podiatrist Recommended, The Podiatry Post
  4. Mitchell, Tamara, The Ergonomics of Pilates, Yoga, Qi Gong and Tai Chi, Ommm Guard
  5. Barnes, Sarah, Do You Wear Shoes in Yoga? , LiveStrong
  6. Newkirk, Chloe, What Are Some Benefits From Wearing Yoga Toes? , AZCentral