you were born in Go barefoot, and the evidence is mounting that you should keep it that way. The technology and padding of modern shoes can protect your feet, but protection isn’t always what you want. Feet can stretch, bend, roll, and bend, and letting them do what they evolved to do reduces impact injuries and provides many other benefits.
That said, please don’t buy a pair of these barely-there shoes and start walking or running as usual. That won’t work and will lead to injury. You need to handle everything barefoot with ease, and at some point you need to relearn how to walk and run. In this guide, we offer advice on transitioning from padded shoes to “barefoot shoes” (also known as minimalist or zero-drop shoes), and we’ve rounded up our favorites. They’re as close to the barefoot feel as possible without conflicting with the “no shirt, no shoes, no service” signs.
Be sure to check out our other buying guides, including our roundup of the best running gear and the best snow gear.
Update June 2022: We’ve added the Xero Aqua Cloud water sandal and updated prices and links throughout.
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