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Best barefoot shoes for walking or running

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Best barefoot shoes for walking or running

You were born barefoot, and there is growing evidence to suggest you should have stayed that way. The technology and padding of modern footwear protect your feet, but protection is not always what you want. Feet were created to stretch, flex, roll and bend, allowing them to do what they evolved to do. can reduce impact injuries and provide a host of other benefits.

That being said, don’t buy a pair of these barely there shoes and start walking or running like you always have. That will not work and may cause injury. You need to familiarize yourself with everything related to bare feet and, to some extent, you need to relearn how to walk and run. In this guide, we offer tips on how to transition from cushioned shoes to “barefoot shoes” (also known as minimalist shoes or drop-free shoes) and we’ve rounded up our favorites. They’re as close as you can get to achieving that barefoot feeling without running into the “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service” signs.

Be sure to check out our other buying guides, including our roundups of the best running gear and the best snow gear.

Updated April 2024: We’ve updated our top picks to add the Xero Scrambler Mid boots and the Vivobarefoot Pluma Knit baby shoes. We’ve also updated prices and links throughout.

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