Top 10 Best Yoga Shoes Compared & Reviewed

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In every sport, the right equipment enhances the athletic experience and performance. Yoga is no different. The philosophy of yoga centers on meditative movement meant to relax and also strengthen. The concept of simplifying thought and even motion to gain both calm and flexibility is part of the yoga focus. To this end, yogis keep their clothing and equipment to a minimum: comfortable leggings or shorts, easy tee’s or tanks and mats. Often, Yoga practice is done barefoot. But not always – nor should it be. One tool of the trade that should not be overlooked is the essential yoga shoe. With the beautiful summer season approaching, and with it the opportunity to take asanas outdoors, proper foot wear is especially vital.

With literally hundreds of yoga shoes on the market, finding the right design can be a bit overwhelming.  After much research, we narrowed down the key features necessary to a great yoga shoe. First, comfort matters – finding proper cushion, the right toe-to-heel, and breathable fabrics will bring new vitality to any Vinyasa. Add the right flex, toe protection and support and feel your body respond to poses with a better stance and even balance. Of course grip is critical – the right, no-slip yoga shoe will help you achieve your perfect Half Moon or other difficult move with more sure-footedness and security. Finally, who doesn’t want an aesthetically appealing shoe? Yoga is a beautiful practice. A little bit of beauty in your yoga shoe can only increase your bliss!

Our top ten best yoga shoes offer something for everyone. We have a perfect fit for any type of yoga – whether you love to take your practice to the park, the beach, the gym or keep it at home, we have the yoga shoe that’s just right for you!

Fitkicks Active Footwear
  • Fitkicks Active Footwear
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Reinforce toe
  • Price: See Here
Vibram Alitza
  • Vibram Alitza
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • DriLex wicking
  • Price: See Here
Vibram VI-B
  • Vibram VI-B
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Mesh upper
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Yoga Shoes

1. Fitkicks Active Footwear

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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Grip/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.

Cushion and Aesthetic

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

Overall Support and Flexibility

The ergonomic design contours to the foot creating a supportive yet breathable second skin. With 100% Spandex upper material there’s plenty of stretch to accommodate high impact movement. We love that this shoe transitions from home to everyday to gym to yoga, but we love it best for yoga! Namaste!

Cost/Value

A very affordable price for an all-around wonderful shoe!
Pros
  • FlexForm sole for movement and support
  • Reinforced toe
  • Breathable
Cons
  • No size past Women’s XL (women’s size 10-11)

2. Vibram Women’s Alitza Loop Fitness Yoga Shoe

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.
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Grip/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.

Cushion and Aesthetic

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 - all of this built into an aesthetic that’s shaped beautifully and comes in hues of black, red and our personal fave, magenta.

Overall Support and 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! 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.

Cost/Value

Quality meets the higher price point.
Pros
  • Stretch Polyamide for flexible fit
  • Drilex wicking
Cons
  • Possibly a half size up for toe comfort

3. Vibram Women's VI-B Fitness Yoga Shoe

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.
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Grip/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.

Cushion and Aesthetic

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. 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!

Overall Support and Flexibility

Truly the VI-B feels like a second skin. It hugs the foot while providing optimum flexibility simultaneously. The upper part is comprised of a 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.

Cost/Value

Higher end, but for the multi-use factor and workout benefits it’s a great buy.
Pros
  • Serrated blade lug design
  • Zero Drop
  • Mesh Upper
Cons

 

  • High priced

4. Freely Skin Shoe

Uber light and extra comfortable, the Freely Skin Shoe is an excellent yoga companion. You’ll love practicing your Ashtanga on the beach, in the backyard or camping with these insulators that protect while still feeling barely-there. Perfection!
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Grip/Traction

An upgraded 100% neoprene anti-slip outsole means perfect traction. We love that no chemicals are used - not only are you safer from slips but safe from toxins, too, making the Freely Skin Shoe a great option for foot health and health in general! All the benefits of feeling barefoot and all the benefits of a safer outdoor asana! Yes, please!

Cushion and Aesthetic

Who doesn’t love a yoga shoe that’s affordable and offered in dozens of colors? Whatever your mood, Freely has a color to match it (a gentle pink, a meditative sky blue, a fun neon green, an elegant champagne and more) in a shoe that feels comfortable and snug to help you achieve your better Zen! Love the feel of a cozy sock built into a shoe with enough muscle for surf, yoga, trail rides and workouts - and weighs in at a mere 43 GRAMS! This gives new meaning to the definition of an ultra-lightweight comfort design.

Overall Support and Flexibility

92% polyester and 8% spandex translate to breathability with flexibility. Your feet are supported within a design that allows for lots of motion and even expansion following intense workouts. After use throw in the washing machine for a quick rinse and store in the transparent zipper bag included with purchase. With summer upon us and the opportunity to take your practice outdoors, it’s great to have a shoe that’s barely-there yet keeps you safe from some of the less friendly aspects of nature. Stickers are a quick way to distract from an otherwise relaxed meditation. Freely has you covered!

Cost/Value

Super great price!

Pros
  • Ultra lightweight
  • Non toxic materials
  • Snug but barely-there fit
Cons

 

  • Not adjustable

5. NBERA 2econdskin

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

Cushion and Aesthetic

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.

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

Overall Support and 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!

Cost/Value

Excellent value
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)

 


6. Women’s VI-S Fitness and Yoga Shoe

A hybrid design creates an encounter between elegant walking shoe and cross trainer. Love the unique mesh of elegance with durability and most of all love the impact on your Vinyasa.
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Grip/Traction

A serrated blade lug design and rubber sole work in tandem to keep the foot slip-free and surefooted for a safer practice. With summer weather feel free to take your practice outdoors for a solid-traction workout!

Cushion and Aesthetic

Don’t be deceived by the delicate lace fabric - it’s actually host to a well-designed, rugged polyester blend. Great fit wrapped into a lovely, open-sandal aesthetic make it the perfect go-to and go-anywhere shoe (right after yoga, that is!). Choose from statement-making hot pink, subtle black or elegant beige with purple accents.

Overall Support and Flexibility

Zero drop means the feel of barefoot yoga with the benefits of a well-insulated and fitted support shoe. Add a stretch adjustable closure design for convenient side release - and good looks. Easy machine wash and air dry. Time to introduce your hardcore yoga workout to your favorite new accessory!

Cost/Value

Medium price point, excellent value
Pros
  • Lace accents envelop strong materials for pretty but tough support
  • Serrated blade lug design

 

Cons

 

  • May run large, refer to sizing chart

7. NuFoot Flexible Flats

Flattering and functional, the NuFoot Flexible Flats are lovely to look at and sturdy enough to meet your stance at the mat with absolute grip for a safer (and cuter) practice!
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Grip/Traction

A no-skid rubber sole transitions an otherwise slipper like design into your go-to shoe for any type of yoga practice. Feet stay firmly planted and challenging positions are easily attained with this no-slip wonder.

Cushion

We love this pretty shoe, and its seamless design which means extra comfort, smoothness and less irritation against the foot. Available in pretty colors including a lovely flowered purple design. Stylish, sleek and perfect for most occasions - we think especially for yoga!

Overall Support and Flexibility

Soft neoprene construction means excellent water resistance for your outdoor yoga practice. Infused with modern sports technology, the fabric is germ and odor resistant and anti-microbial. Take your practice anywhere and feel confident the NuFoot flat will help your feet stay healthy and happy. When you’re finally ready to take them off (so comfy it may be awhile), fold the flex shoe for easy storage after a quick machine wash and quicker air dry.

Cost/Value

Excellent price point for a well versed design.
Pros
  • No-skid
  • Excellent sports technology keep feet odor and germ free
Cons
  • Run small

8. Ahnu Karma Latitude Leather Ballet Flat

The Ahnu Karma Latitude Leather Ballet Flat is the perfect, on-trend fashion shoe that duals as your comfortable and durable yoga shoe. Wear it during practice and then, simply wear it everywhere. Perfection.
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Grip/Traction

Confidently practice on any surface with the Ahnu rubber sole design. The non marking carbon rubber sole is uber no-slip making your Wheel Pose more stable and secure. The Karma Latitude Leather Shoe has excellent traction, perfect for yoga and just about anything else.

Cushion and Aesthetic

Let’s begin this conversation about aesthetics with a word: CHIC! We adore how urban-cool this yoga shoe is. Certainly the microfiber suede lining with Aegis and contoured EVA midsole make for a cozy, comfortable design, but the wear-anywhere awesome aesthetic is swoon worthy. Exquisite comfort meets exquisite design.

Overall Support and Flexibility

A full grain upper provides lovely flex and smoothness while the patented Aegis antimicrobial footbed resists odor and bacteria. Pretty hook and loop straps dual as adjustable support that hugs the foot almost tenderly. All of this plus a one year warranty. Namaste!

Cost/Value

Higher price point
Pros
  • Microfiber suede lining
  • Aegis antimicrobial treatment
  • EVA cushion
Cons
  • Priced high

9. Vibram Furoshiki Yoga Shoe

Derived from the Japanese custom of wrapping cloth fabric around packages, the Furoshiki has taken an evolved version of the concept and created a “wrap around sole” featuring the most innovative design imaginable! Born of the latest revolutionary technology, the Furoshiki Yoga Shoe is Vibram’s newest megastar.
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Grip/Traction

The anatomic shaping and illustrious Vibram grip with a stretch upper make this your surefooted yoga shoe. The low density Vibram outsole translates to weight reduction making it a perfect shoe for Warrior III, Half Moon and other high leg focused poses. Your stance is ultra stable with this high traction, high tech design.

Cushion and Aesthetic

Available in eight colors including the awesome paint-splatter aesthetic, “Shipibo”, the Furoshiki is hip and fun while maintaining a great lightweight comfort. At first glance it’s hard to visualize where the “comfort” lives with a rubber wrap design. However inside the shoe the upper lining is comprised of a soft and stretchy material. The foot is kept insulated in an irritation-free fabric nestled inside a durable, wraparound, and whimsically hued rubber.

Overall Support and Flexibility

Comprised of 28% Elastane and 72% Polyamide with a patented Vibram sole, the Furoshiki acclimates to the foot emulating the feel of a second skin. Ergonomic bands hold against the ankle for a fit that ensures more flexibility and motion - in absolute comfort. A velcro closure design make for simple adjustment to unique size providing an individualized support and easy on easy off. Wear anywhere, but most certainly wear for yoga!

Cost/Value

High end

Pros
  • Unique wrap around design
  • Velcro closure for adjustable fit
  • Soft fabric lining
Cons
  • Runs small. Refer to Vibram's sizing chart

10. L-Run Unisex Skin Shoe

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!

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Grip/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.

Cushion and Aesthetic

11 colors and modern patterns including a cool black-and-green or feminine light blue-with-pink means something for everyone. 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 a practice by the beach dryer, without moisture build up trapped within the shoe.

Overall Support and Flexibility

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

Cost/Value

Great price point
Pros
  • Excellent sole contour
  • Breathable
  • Fold and go, easy on/off
Cons
  • Runs large - refer to chart for optimum fit

So this wraps up our Ten Best Yoga Shoes review. Whether your yoga practice is meditative in nature or a hybrid meshed with cross training, we’re certain you’ll find the right design for your need! Whether you loved the fashion sandal aesthetic of the Vibram or the NuFoot slipper-like design or something in between, feel confident that each shoe offers the best in comfort, great looks, support and flexibility with awesome traction. Yoga practice means the best of meditation and strengthening available in virtually any type of setting. From water yoga to quiet asanas in your study, yoga transcends all types of lifestyles and personalities and enhances health and joy no matter. Finding the right shoe to protect your foot from injury, germs or muscle soreness means finding your best bliss yet. Enjoy your yoga shoes and enjoy your Kundalini more!

 

The Criterion We Used to Find the Top Ten Best Yoga Shoes Were

 

Comfort and Aesthetic, Support and Flexibility, and Grip/Traction

Having yoga shoes in your arsenal of proper equipment for your asana is essential. Certainly for many there are times when barefoot yoga means perfect bliss. But if your practice wants a little switch up from time to time (like taking it to the beach or the city park), a great shoe means a healthier, happier practice.

After listening to  what the yogi pros and even podiatrists had to say about yoga shoes, we are more convinced than ever that the just right design will definitely mean your just right zen. With so many options out there, it can get a bit confusing to narrow down the key features to look for first in your yoga shoe. After much research, we’ve successfully honed in on what truly matters. First, look for a shoe with traction. You need to feel the grip of your yoga shoe as you work your way into positions that require surefootedness. Socks alone increase the opportunity for injury while rubber soles allow for bold movement with confidence. Second, a shoe that keeps the foot supported with proper fit and flexibility is essential to a great practice. A yoga shoe should feel slightly snug but not tight. Think “second skin”. It should allow enough flex for sweaty even swollen feet – a likely scenario following a hard workout. Finally, your shoe should be comfortable and aesthetically appealing. This means a potentially seamless design for an irritation free, smooth feel against the skin. While some prefer a near-barefoot experience, it’s important that your shoe provides the right amount of cushion to meet your individual need. Your warrior shoe ought to be encapsulated in a pretty aesthetic. Our picks range from bold-hued beauties to subtle classics that transition from yoga time to cafe or movie time.

Keep these factors in mind and we’re certain that your Ashtanga will love the benefits of your new yoga shoes!

Other Factors to Consider When Buying Yoga Shoes include

Foot health, safety, weather, environment

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 amount 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 in soles and mesh mean less injury. Environment also plays a role in the necessity of 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)!

FAQS

1. Can I wear my yoga shoes on the mats provided at my gym?

Usually commercially owned mats distributed at gyms for the purpose of yoga are available to barefoot and shoe wearing yogis. You will be required to wear a no-skid (non sock) shoe to prohibit unnecessary injury.

2. Why are water shoes considered a good yoga shoe?

The second skin fit, rubber soles, flexibility and typically mesh ventilated fabric make an excellent crossover for yoga and other sports activities.

3. Are yoga shoes only meant for hardcore yoga workouts?

No. Yoga shoes are a nice addition to all types of practices. Certainly poses demanding higher levels of balance and more leg work will benefit from yoga shoes providing slip-free soles. Generally, the same asanas practiced barefooted can be done in yoga shoes.

4. Why do yoga shoes strive to emulate a “barefoot” experience?

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.

5. Do I need to preserve my yoga shoes for practice only?

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!

6. Are yoga shoes expensive?

Yoga shoes, like most sports equipment, range in price. However one can find a design featuring comfort, grip and support at a reasonable price, easily! A durable shoe is accessible on any budget!

 

 

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,
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