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10 Best Barefoot Running Shoes: The Naturalist’s Guide

last updated Sep 19, 2019
The best barefoot running shoes can be difficult to pinpoint given all of the options available—which is why we’ve taken the time to put together a list of the best selection out there, so you know what to look for.

If you love the natural barefoot feeling when you run, then you’ll love our list of the barefoot running shoes below. These shoes will encourage you to use your natural running stride—no matter where you run. These shoes fit securely without constricting your toes or any part of your feet. If you have converted to barefoot running shoes, then you know they are a total game changer.

Check out our list of the best barefoot running shoes below!

In a Hurry? The best barefoot shoes after 12 hrs of research

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Vibram FiveFingers KSO
95/100 our score
Comfort
98
Breathability
93
Flexibility
99
Responsiveness
93
Value
92
Vibram FiveFingers KSO
Why is it better?

Breathable upper

Great ground feel

Highly flexible for natural running feel

Easy-on quick lacing system

XS TREK tech for combined stability, traction, and comfort that remains lightweight

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Vibram FiveFingers KSO
Test Winner: Vibram FiveFingers KSO
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
2
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1.2K
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
12
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
16
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
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By Giselle Killebrew:

Our most recent update introduces the Merrell Trail Glove 4 to our list. This is a true minimalistic shoe that is perfect for shorter distances and is perfect for that barefoot feel you are looking for. Take a look at the rest of our page as well to check out the what else we added to our list.

Sorting Options
Comfort Breathability Flexibility Responsiveness Value 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.
95
Comfort
98 %
Breathability
93 %
Flexibility
99 %
Responsiveness
93 %
Value
92 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.19)
Amazon Link
$59.98
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.2
Comfort
96 %
Breathability
94 %
Flexibility
97 %
Responsiveness
87 %
Value
92 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.19)
Amazon Link
$79.95
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.8
Comfort
95 %
Breathability
90 %
Flexibility
93 %
Responsiveness
91 %
Value
85 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.19)
Amazon Link
$104.09
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88
Comfort
94 %
Breathability
89 %
Flexibility
83 %
Responsiveness
85 %
Value
89 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.19)
Amazon Link
$147.99
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.4
Comfort
90 %
Breathability
85 %
Flexibility
87 %
Responsiveness
90 %
Value
80 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.19)
Amazon Link
$94.99
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.6
Comfort
93 %
Breathability
85 %
Flexibility
84 %
Responsiveness
87 %
Value
74 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.19)
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83
Comfort
90 %
Breathability
83 %
Flexibility
82 %
Responsiveness
90 %
Value
70 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.19)
Amazon Link
$109.95
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81.8
Comfort
89 %
Breathability
85 %
Flexibility
84 %
Responsiveness
86 %
Value
65 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.19)
Amazon Link
$59.90
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79.2
Comfort
80 %
Breathability
70 %
Flexibility
85 %
Responsiveness
81 %
Value
80 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.19)
Amazon Link
$89.95
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
77
Comfort
90 %
Breathability
80 %
Flexibility
80 %
Responsiveness
75 %
Value
60 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.19)
Amazon Link
$139.99

10 Best Barefoot Running Shoes

1. Vibram FiveFingers KSO

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
Vibram FiveFingers KSO
Amazon Link
Comfort
98
Breathability
93
Flexibility
99
Responsiveness
93
Value
92
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$59.98
Pros:

Breathable upper

Great ground feel

Highly flexible for natural running feel

Easy-on quick lacing system

XS TREK tech for combined stability, traction, and comfort that remains lightweight

Cons:

Toe feel is strange for some new to the brand

This list would not be complete without some barefoot shoes from FiveFingers, the brand most frequently associated with the best barefoot running shoes. These babies are zero-drop and 3.5 oz. (W) and 4.1 (M). They’ve got a unique look and they slide on like an extra layer to the foot rather than a shoe.

Read more

Comfort and Stability

As far as comfort, these barefoot running shoes have it in spades. They are lightweight and breathable updated lace-up system allows for a secure and comfortable fit as well. For most people it takes a little while to get used to the unique "toe glove" style where each toe is individually wrapped just like in a pair of gloves, but once they do they often say they can't imagine going back to a traditional style running shoe.

Quality and Durability

These are pretty durable but aren't one of the most durable on our list. Their toe box and upper portion are flimsier than other models on our list and they are definitely not to be taken out on rocky terrain or trails.

2. Merrell Vapor Glove 3

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.2
Merrell Vapor Glove 3
Amazon Link
Comfort
96
Breathability
94
Flexibility
97
Responsiveness
87
Value
92
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$79.95
Pros:

Vegan-friendly construction

Combined footbed and outsole for lightweight construction

Mesh and TPU uppers for secure yet breathable coverage

Very durable outsole

Vibram layer

Zero-drop

Cons:

Sizing runs a bit large

Merrell shoes regularly score high for the best barefoot running shoes, and these made the number two spot on our list for a number of reasons. They’re attractive in design and they have so much technology packed into them, while somehow remaining lightweight and affordable.

Read more

Comfort and Stability

These barefoot shoes are extremely lightweight and highly comfortable. They utilize M-Select Fresh technology for optimal breathability and antimicrobial coating to prevent odor and bacteria from forming. They provide adequate cushioning and offer a secure fit.

Quality and Durability

These are really durable and made of high-quality materials. They are made to last up to 200 miles, which is really good for a barefoot style running shoe which typically doesn't last as long as traditional running shoes because of the lightness and thinness of the materials used.

3. Vibram FiveFingers V-Run

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.8
Vibram FiveFingers V-Run
Amazon Link
Comfort
95
Breathability
90
Flexibility
93
Responsiveness
91
Value
85
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$104.09
Pros:

Lightweight design

Breathable mesh upper

Easy on and off

Clever lacing system

Terrific grip

Cons:

May be too breathable for cold weather runs

Inconsistent sizing with a looser fit

The V-run shoes are actually one of the best barefoot running shoes Vibram has to offer so it's no surprise they have made this list as well. They are breathable, lightweight, comfortable, and a perfect option for those of you who love that barefoot feel.

Read more

Comfort and Stability

These shoes are really breathable, comfortable, and flexible. They are some of the most comfortable options out there but are definitely not meant for trails or offroad running because debris will get in.

Quality and Durability

These are pretty durable and built to last, but not meant for trails.

4. Merrell Bare Access 4

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88
Merrell Bare Access 4
Amazon Link
Comfort
94
Breathability
89
Flexibility
83
Responsiveness
85
Value
89
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$147.99
Pros:

Affordable

Bare Access Outsole with Vibram pods for increased traction

Highly responsive

M Select FRESH keeps away odorous bacteria for a clean and healthy shoe

MBound cushioning tech for strong ground-to-foot feedback, as if the runner is barefoot

Mesh lining and upper are breathable and non-irritating

Cons:

A couple of reviews suggest some durability issues with the outsole, but the majority are positive

Merrell Bare Access are one of the best value running shoes and come in various colors that are attractive but not too flashy or overbearing. They’re lightweight with zero heel-to-toe drop, weighing in at 4.5 oz. (W) and 6.4 oz. (M). What really sets these barefoot shoes above all others, though, is the technology behind them. Check it out:

Read more

Comfort and Stability

These shoes are really comfortable and stable. They are also breathable, flexible, and lightweight.

Quality Durability

These shoes are made of high quality and durable material, with solid construction that will last for longer than the average for barefoot running shoes.

5. Xero Shoes Prio

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.4
Xero Shoes Prio
Amazon Link
Comfort
90
Breathability
85
Flexibility
87
Responsiveness
90
Value
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$94.99
Pros:

Lightweight

Durable

Comfortable

Flexibility

Cons:

Break in period

These barefoot running shoes are comfortable, adjustable, and offer a secure fit. They allow for a full range of motion and help you push through even the longest runs.

Read more

Comfort and Stability

These barefoot shoes are supportive without sacrificing flexibility and offer high levels of comfort during all of your runs. They provide excellent traction and are highly protective so you can take them on some of the easier trail runs you love.

Quality and Durability

These are highly durable and built to last. They have excellent traction and grip, making them one of the few high-quality barefoot-style running shoes available.

6. Merrell Trail Glove 4

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.6
Merrell Trail Glove 4
Amazon Link
Comfort
93
Breathability
85
Flexibility
84
Responsiveness
87
Value
74
best offer for today
more shops
Pros:

Lightweight

Flexible

Protective

Great for short distances and trails

Snug fit that adjusts to your foots anatomy

Cons:

Not great for runners who need more arch support

Not a great fit for long distance runs

These zero drop Merrell shoes are some of the best barefoot running shoes out there. They are sleek and minimalistic in design, lightweight, and protective. If you want a comfortable pair of barefoot shoes that are built to last, then these are definitely among the best of the best.

Read more

Comfort

While these shoes don't have tons of cushioning, they are definitely comfortable and perfect for shorter runs. Not only do they fit snuggly and securely, but they will fit your foot perfectly if you get the right fit.

Breathability

While these shoes don't have tons of ventilating features, they do have a breathable upper mesh. Since they don't have a ton of extra cushioning, padding, or material you will find that these shoes will effectively keep your feet cool and dry.

Flexibility

These shoes are so flexible that you will barely feel them while you run. They are perfect for those of you who want to maintain a natural stride while you run without sacrificing protection against the outdoor elements.

Responsiveness

This model allows you to feel absolutely every step of the way thanks to the Vibram TC5+ outsole. Not only does that allow them to provide you with the responsiveness that you need, but it also means that they will allow you to achieve your natural stride during each and every run.

Value

These shoes are available at a pretty average price, and they are perfect if you want a true barefoot feel, minimalistic shoe.

7. Saucony Kinvara 9

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83
Saucony Kinvara 9
Amazon Link
Comfort
90
Breathability
83
Flexibility
82
Responsiveness
90
Value
70
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$109.95
Pros:

Lightweight construction

Very comfortable

Excellent mix of cushioning and flexibility

Supportive

Cons:

Narrow fit

One of the more traditional designs on this list, the Saucony Kinvara 9 is still an exceptional option for a natural running enthusiast. While maintaining an exceptionally lightweight build the Kinvara 9 still emphasizes a well cushioned and supportive design. Saucony also knows that the Kinvara 9 needs to be as flexible as possible to properly bend with a naturally inclined runner. These shoes are a moderately priced option available from a long-standing and reliable brand.

Read more

Comfort and Stability

These are perfect for barefoot runners because they encourage your natural stride and allow for full range of motion. They are lightweight and supportive as well as stabilizing. They are highly flexible and breathable as well.

Quality and Durability

These barefoot shoes are made of high-quality material and are built to last.

8. Mizuno Wave Universe 5

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81.8
Mizuno Wave Universe 5
Amazon Link
Comfort
89
Breathability
85
Flexibility
84
Responsiveness
86
Value
65
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$59.90
Pros:

As lightweight as they come at 2.3 oz. (W) and 2.9 oz. (M)

G3 SOLE tech for ground feel and strong traction

U4ic tech for midsole support

Very flexible for natural running motion

Cons:

Expensive

Barefoot running shoes are really cool because they allow us to run like our ancestors, but they put together the best of modern technology and style to protect the foot along the way. The Mizuno brand has this lightweight yet high-tech and ultra-modern style down to a tee. Even the laces, with brindle patterning, are stylish and unique. Not to mention the colorful, dancing numbers pattern or shoes-on-fire flame details to choose from.

Read more

Comfort and Stability

These barefoot shoes utilize an AirMesh upper that allows for optimal breathability and ventilation. As far as comfort, these have very little padding and cushioning but high levels of flexibility and comfort due to its advanced design.

Quality and Durability

These are pretty durable for natural running shoes and are built to last with Mizuno's typical high quality.

9. Topo Athletic ST-2

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79.2
Topo Athletic ST-2
Amazon Link
Comfort
80
Breathability
70
Flexibility
85
Responsiveness
81
Value
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$89.95
Pros:

Extremely light weight

Wide toe box

Durable construction

Perfect amount of cushioning

Breaths well

Cons:

Some may have issues with heel pocket grip

When it comes to running in all the different seasons of the year barefoot running shoes don't usually come to mind, most people think you can only use them in mild climates in the middle of the year. Summers are too hot for running barefoot, and winter? Don’t even get us started. This is where the Vivobarefoot Stealths come in and knocks your perceptions out cold. If you want to run hard and barefoot all year long, these are your kicks.

Read more

Comfort and Stability

The Topo Athletic ST-2 is the good choice for athletes looking for a barefoot running shoe that is both durable and reliable. The wide toe box allows for the wearer to naturally grip their path by giving them room to spread their toes as they run. The ST-2 is lightweight without sacrificing the necessary padding to properly cushion a runner's feet. All of these features combined with the ST-2’s tight sock-like fit and mesh ventilation makes it an excellent choice for runners looking for a barefoot experience.

Quality and Durability

These are pretty durable, but not as much so as other options on our list.

10. On Cloud X

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
77
On Cloud X
Amazon Link
Comfort
90
Breathability
80
Flexibility
80
Responsiveness
75
Value
60
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$139.99
Pros:

Extremely lightweight

Comfortable

Supportive without being confining

Well ventilated

Wide midfoot for stability and comfort

Wide toe box

Pre set laces

Easy on and off

Cons:

Rocks may become lodged in the tracks

Narrow fit

Expensive

The On Cloud is from a lesser-known brand, but its quality speaks for itself. Between the Cloud’s lightweight build and its notable ventilation, these barefoot shoes really live up to their name.

Read more

Comfort and Stability

These barefoot shoes are easy to wear and adjust to their slip-on design and elastic shoelaces. Some runners may be concerned that this sort of easy wear construction will affect the fit but the Cloud’s grip on the user's foot is snug and supportive. While the On Cloud has a tendency to acquire smaller bits of gravel in its tracks the advantages of their comfortable lightweight design outweigh the drawbacks. If you are looking for a natural feeling when you run then the On Cloud is a solid choice.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Comfort

These shoes need to allow you to comfortably feel the ground beneath you as well as allow your body to adjust to your natural running form and personal running technique. When looking at comfort we also considered the thickness and firmness of the shoe as well as how much protection it provides.

The comfort factor is definitely something to think about strongly before buying a pair of barefoot/natural-style running shoes. Keep in mind that the first few times you use these type of shoes you may not find them that comfortable no matter how well the shoe is designed and built, simply because your feet and running gait need time to adjust to the new shoes. Especially if you're a long time runner used to wearing more traditional style shoes, at first the shoes might actually seem really uncomfortable and you might start to wonder if trying the whole barefoot-style running thing was a mistake. But stick with it, and we're confident that after a little while your body will start to revert back to its natural form that has evolved to run without shoes over countless millenia.

Breathability

Most barefoot running shoes are extraordinarily breathable thanks to their very basic designs. This means they have excellent ventilation capabilities and ensure your feet remain cool and dry during your runs. It is important to consider breathability because the last thing we want is for blisters and chafing to occur, which are actually often caused by excess moisture in your shoe.

Some of the models on our list are "bulkier" than others, but even these are still designed with features such as mesh panels and ventilated uppers to help keep the breathability factor high. People living in hot climates will especially love barefoot/natural-style running shoes as they inherently keep your feet really cool and dry as you pound that hot pavement in the summer sun. Keep in mind, however, that moisture being able to get out, generally means it will also be able to get in, so watch yourself as you run and try to avoid large puddles etc. that you would normally just charge through if you were wearing a pair of heavier, more protective traditional running shoes.

Flexibility

Flexibility is one of the key features found in barefoot running shoes. It allows for your natural stride and provides you with a full range of motion. Here we looked for shoes that had a very minor break-in period as well as for shoes that allow for all types of foot strikes.

Flexibility is important because it allows us to avoid injuries and ensures we have a full range of motion, barefoot shoes need to allow for our natural movement, which includes our full range of motion. We all strike differently, have a unique gait, and have our own type of arch. Barefoot and natural style running shoes need to be flexible enough to ensure that all of our needs are met while also allowing for different types of runners to be able to use their shoes. So in a nutshell, for these types of shoe's flexibility is hugely important. We analyzed each product on our list for flexibility by looking at the materials it's made of as well as scouring over 1400 customer reviews from real-world buyers who have used the shoe and had something to say about it. Based on these things we then assigned the product a score from 0-100 based on how flexible they are, the higher the number the more flexibility a shoe offers the runner using it. Remember however that for some runners starting out with barefoot-style running an extremely flexible shoe might not be the best fit, and they'd be better off choosing a shoe with a mid-range of flexibility until their feet and stride adjust to the more natural motion.

Responsiveness

Barefoot running shoes allow you to improve your proprioception and balance in a natural and easy way, all while you're doing something you already love, running. Without heavy, constrictive shoes, you can activate the smaller muscles in your feet, legs, ankles, and hips that are responsible for better balance and coordination.

And by having much better ground contact, the vestibular system begins to awaken, remapping and stimulating previously unused neural connections for improved balance. This is particularly important for some older runners, as a single fall or fracture can set in motion a full-on decline in health overall. You know what they say, once you break your hip (as an old person) it's all downhill from there.

In the case of this buying guide, responsiveness refers to how much response and rebound a shoe gives you in return for the kinetic energy you put out with each stride. For barefoot-style running shoes, this is a fine line to walk, er, run. Especially if you run on trails, you'll want something with more responsiveness to interact with the variable terrain and help you negotiate obstacles. Responsiveness, however, comes from additional padding and torsional rigidity, which kind of goes against the whole point of this new type of running shoe technology. In the end, we recommend thinking about what type of running you do most, whether on the trail or road running, and select a shoe that's appropriate for that.

Value

Price is something we always look at but let's all remember that price alone doesn't determine the value to a product. All of you have different budgets and ideas of what you should or want to spend. Here we take into account the best available option for each budget as well as make sure to incorporate options for everyone. While budget is an important factor to consider, make sure to pick something that has the features you need because the last thing you want to do is overpay for something you don't need or to be penny smart and dollar stupid and skimp on a shoe that would have ended up being perfect for you just because you didn't want to spend a few extra dollars. In this case you'll probably end up with a shoe that doesn't really meet your needs and you'll have to spend even more money to buy the pair you really wanted and should have bought in the first place.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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Are your feet ready for barefoot shoes?

If you have any issues like plantar fasciitis, arches in need of serious support, or anything else that would require a more supportive shoe, maybe think about whether or not these are a good idea.

What's the point?

The ground feel and responsiveness is as good as it gets in barefoot running shoes. They also make some trails a lot more enjoyable as well.

Other Factors to Consider

Drop

The popularity and revival of this movement have encouraged shoe companies to introduce thin-soled and flexible shoes which are claimed to be the next best thing to barefoot running. They have reduced or even zero cushioning, and are lighter weight than other running shoes. They also tend to have much thinner soles that provide more sensory contact with the ground. This type of running shoe provides protection from bruises, cuts, minor impacts, and weather.

According to some experts, wearing shoes causes the small muscles in our feet to be weakened and the ligaments, tendons, allowing the natural arches to stop doing their job. They also believe that the result of supportive shoe inserts, extra cushioning and orthotics is poor foot biomechanics and increased risk of foot, leg and knee injuries. Runners wearing shoes with a higher drop often make their landings right onto their heels, basically relying solely on the shoe’s larger amount of padding, while runners wearing zero drop shoes will slowly but surely help their feet and gait to return to a more natural pattern.

Bottom Line

At the end of the day, the most important thing for you to look for in a pair of barefoot running shoes is that they are the perfect fit for you. From comfort, breathability, and responsiveness to value, flexibility, and heel drop--the absolute most important thing to keep in mind is that the shoes fit your needs in all of these areas. The shoes on our list among the best of the best, we ranked in order of the factors we considered but that doesn't mean that our number one pick will be the best choice for everyone who visits our page--after all, we all have different needs and different feed.

When looking for your next pair of barefoot running shoes it is important that you sit down and look at everything that you need. Make sure to consider your arch type and whether or not you can even use some of these shoes--barefoot and minimalist shoes are not for everyone, hence why everyone doesn't use these. Set a budget if you need to and make sure to find a pair of shoes that addresses all of your needs. This may mean having a pair of shoes loaded with a lot of extra features or a pair of with the bare minimum. As long as you are investing in a pair of shoes that fits your every need you are on a good path to getting the most out of your shoes and your runs.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: What's the big deal with barefoot style running?

a:

As we go about our day to day lives swathed in comfortable layers of clothes and shoes, it's easy to forget how recent of an invention modern style shoes are, and that for the vast majority of our existence as homo sapiens we went barefoot, occasionally donning thin sandals and thongs. As a result, our feet used to splay wider and have better grip and be much, much stronger and tougher. Experts even say that our ancestors were even able to use their toes to grab things just like we do with our fingers today.

By running in a barefoot or natural style running shoe we harken back to those long-ago days, and slowly but surely help our feet remember what it was like to be strong and capable of things we wouldn't think possible today.

q: Will it be painful to switch from traditional trainers to a barefoot model?

a:

It really depends on your particular feet. The difference will definitely be noticed immediately, as you’ll be able to feel more contact with the ground and all of its imperfections. As far as it being painful, It probably won’t be, unless you happen to have issues with your feet which require more support and cushioning.

If your feet are the type that will do well with these shoes, however, you will find that switching to barefoot running shoes is actually more comfortable then what you have been used to. This is not the case for everyone, however, even if you have a good grasp on exactly what you need in a running shoe. Most of us all have to give these a shot before we commit to them, so we definitely encourage you to go into a store and try some out before ordering a pair (even if they sound like your dream shoe).

q: I have very flat feet, will this type of footwear work for me?

a:

Any runner with flat feet can certainly tell you about the importance of support. There are some barefoot shoe designs that have that type of support available. Admittedly they are generally bulkier than others but tend to still emphasize a lightweight build. It may be tempting to use an insole to compliment a lighter shoe, but that is inadvisable since the effect it would have on the weight and flexibility would undermine the reason for purchasing barefoot running shoe in the first place.

q: I currently wear trail runners, and tend to stick to semi-rough terrain. Are these a no-go for my style of running and preferred terrain?

a:

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a no-go. However, it may be a good idea to pay close attention to how rough the terrain really is. These shoes have little mass and very thin soles by their very design. If you are used to running with a protective pair of trail shoes, these will most likely take some time to get used to.

However, nowadays there are definitely barefoot running shoes designed for trails and more technical terrain. In the past, we would have given you a firm no if it was anything other than an easy trail. If you are already used to barefoot running shoes, then you will definitely love those made for the trail--it's just like running barefoot in nature with the protection you need on your feet while you are out there.

q: Would a lower priced pair of water shoes give me about the same type of performance as the more expensive models?

a:

Some water shoes may appear similar in quality and design to barefoot-style running shoes, but the support that barefoot running shoes provide in their fit and cushioning doesn’t compare to a shoe built for wet use. Furthermore, water shoes are designed for wet environments, which means the materials they are made of are often less breathable. As we mentioned earlier, considering the terrain you will be running in is incredibly important--and you won't need water shoes if there you aren't in the water.

Sources

  1. Alex Hutchinson, Runner's World, Running enthusiast website
  2. Chris McDougall, ChrisMcDougall.com, Website of Runner & Author Christopher McDougall