People all around the world, and for much of human history have used “barefoot sandals” for almost any activity:
- Walking — casually, around town, or on trails
- Hiking / Camping — or as a camp shoe
- Running — even long distances, like ultra marathons
- Active Recovery — from when you ran in something other than sandals
- Travel — because they’re so lightweight and packable
- Beach, spa, or gym use
- Yoga — it’s like having a yoga mat under your feet at all times
While “barefoot” and “sandals” sound mutually exclusive — you’re either barefoot or you’re not — the term is used for minimalist sandals that let your feet bend, flex, and move as if you were in bare feet, plus give you a layer of protection, and are lightweight.
You can find ready-to-wear styles with both thong and “sport” webbing, or do-it-yourself “DIY” sandal making kits.
Here are the best-selling sandals that will help you Live Life Feet First:
We take your feet and our footwear seriously… but that doesn’t mean we don’t laugh at ourselves. Enjoy some barefoot humour, below.
More entertaining and informative videos on YouTube
Why barefoot sandals are NOT flip flops
Flip flops can be horrible for your feet.
To hold them on your foot, requires an unnatural motion of your toes, and having to “grip” the thong, causing pressure or pain.
A natural movement, barefoot sandal, uses a lacing system that holds the sole onto your foot without needing to grip.
This can eliminate the pressure of the thong. We have thousands of customers who “don’t like things between my toes” who have no issues with our thong style sandals.
Many have even run ultra marathons in their thin, lightweight, flexible sandals.
We’re not saying you HAVE to do this, of course, but it’s nice to know that you can.
And we also make sandals with other lacing styles if you don’t want anything between your toes, as well as sandals with a “toe loop,” and even sandals with an entirely novel lacing system (the Veracruz).
Are these like the sandals in the book "Born To Run"?
Chris McDougall’s wonderful book, Born To Run, introduced many people to the Tarahumara Indians of the Copper Canyon in Mexico.
This tribe — also called the Raramuri, which means “running people” — are known for running ultra long distances in sandals made with used tire scraps for soles, and leather straps to secure them to their feet.
The Tarahumara famously won the highest ultra marathon in the world, the Leadville 100, wearing these sandals, called “huaraches.”
Huarache sandals typically refer to a woven leather sandal from Mexico, but in the running community “huaraches” = “running sandals.”
Xero Shoes’ original DIY sandals were inspired by the Tarahumara. This is one reason we donate a percentage of our sales to support them.
Our sandals are lighter, more flexible, and have different lacing systems that Tarahumara huaraches.
You're helping us create a "MOVEMENT Movement"
Xero Shoes is on a mission: Making natural movement the better, obvious, healthy choice… the way natural food is now.
Have you forgotten the fun you had as a kid on a warm summer day when you’d run outside, kick off your shoes and feel the grass, or the sand, or the water between your toes?
I hope not.
Did you know you can have that feeling NOW, at any age?
If you don’t want to go barefoot, put on some sandals that let your feet do what’s natural and Live Life Feet First!