Barefoot shoes in winter: 5 top models for cold days


Cool Runnings
Barefoot in winter: what can minimal shoes do on cold days?

Barefoot in winter: red minimal shoes in the snow

Barefoot shoes in winter? That sounds weird, but it’s healthy. In this article you will find out why the minimal shoes can strengthen your feet even in the cold.

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Walking through the world on bare feet is healthy. Only in everyday life it is often very impractical and sometimes painful. Barefoot shoes give our feet the freedom they need. But do they keep you warm in winter? 5 models for cold days at a glance.

“Barefoot or patent leather shoes, all or nothing?” asked the legendary and unforgettable Harald Juhnke more than three decades ago in one of his songs. Juhnke, the older ones among us will remember, was anything but a gentleman. But this is another story. So-called barefoot or minimal shoes have written a real success story in recent years. The idea behind the minimalist kicks is as simple as it is ingenious. Because everyone is born barefoot, barefoot walking is the most natural (and healthiest) of all modes of transportation. And exactly this simple idea was used by the developers of barefoot shoes. The decisive feature and the most important difference to ordinary sneakers, patent-leather shoes or hiking shoes: the flexible sole. And if you’re getting cold feet, both literally and mentally, you should read on. Because both are unfounded.

Five barefoot shoes for every occasion

1. The sporty one

Leguano is one of the pioneers among the manufacturers of minimal shoes. It goes without saying that special models for cold days are also made in the manufactory in Buchholz, Rhineland-Palatinate. The winter version from the active range comes in four color combinations. The usual flexible and non-slip Lifolit sole should ensure a perfect barefoot feeling. The active winter is lined with 100 percent wool. Cold feet are therefore almost impossible. The mesh upper makes these sporty barefoot lace-up slippers a chic everyday companion. This shoe is also suitable for moderately profiled hikes. No matter where it is used, the wearers train and strengthen their foot muscles and prevent back problems. Here it is Iguano active winter.

Tip: Light on very cold days Merino wool socks put on your shoes.

The key data

  • Sole: 8 mm (incl. nubs)
  • Upper material: mesh (polyester)
  • Lining: 100% wool (no merino)
  • Weight per shoe: approx. 240 g

2. The elegant (leather stocking)

At first glance, you could easily think that the Gobi II by Vivobarefoot is an ordinary half-height lace-up shoe made of leather. It comes across as slim and elegant. If you take a closer look at the sole, it quickly becomes clear that this must also be a barefoot shoe. The nubbed casual sole is just three millimeters thick. The leather (according to the manufacturer from wild animals living in Africa) and a three millimeter thick and removable cork sole ensure warm feet and a pleasant climate in the shoe. The shoe goes with casual jeans as well as with a suit or another business look. The Vivobarefoot Gobi II is available here.

The key data

  • Sole: 3 mm (plus 3 mm insole)
  • Upper: Pittard leather
  • Inner material: leather
  • Weight per shoe: 292 g (size 42)

3. The toe flatterer

Let’s get to the only real toe shoe in this little overview. Especially trekking fans should have come across Vibram more often. And that literally. Because Vibram is one of the leading sole manufacturers specializing in trekking, climbing and outdoor sports in general. To be more precise, on the shoes that are worn. And even more precisely on what should provide grip under the shoes. Vibram produces rubber soles. In addition to the core business, the Italians also took on the topic of barefoot shoes a few years ago. The models from the FiveFingers series, which, strictly speaking, should be called the FiveToes series, are particularly popular. In contrast to many other barefoot shoes, each toe gets its own box, which makes the barefoot feeling even more tangible and realistic. He likes the look Vibram Five Fingers Trek Ascent It may take some getting used to, but it is a real challenge for the often neglected tendons, muscles and ligaments in the foot. Anyone who wears the shoes regularly has a good chance of permanently correcting misalignments and thus the posture of the entire body.

Tip: Those who tend to have cold feet are better off slipping into barefoot shoes with socks, especially on cooler days. Important: It has to be toe socks, of course.

The key data

  • Insole: 4 mm (PVC/wool)
  • Upper: Cordura nylon
  • Inner material: wool
  • Weight per shoe: 175 g

4. The hybrid

Barefoot shoes are a bit like car tires. There are the perfect slippers for the summer. From October to Easter put on a set of winter tires. If you don’t feel like it, you can get all-season tires straight away. Kind of a hybrid. With which we Sole Runner Transition Vario 3 would be. Because these barefoot shoes should accompany their wearers safely and healthily through all four seasons. For this purpose, it was equipped with a removable thermal fleece (viscose and polyester). Depending on how cold you feel, the individual elements can be placed in a small pocket in the shaft and removed again. The mesh is supposed to be water-repellent (not waterproof), which also makes the shoe attractive for winter hikes. Nevertheless, the manufacturer recommends waterproof socks like this one for longer tours in the wet or snow Sealskinz model.

The key data

  • Sole: 6 mm (plus removable insole)
  • Upper material: mesh
  • Lining: synthetic fiber
  • Weight per shoe: 230 g (size 41)

5. The one for the little ones

Children’s and adolescent feet take a long time to develop. This only works if you give your small (and later larger) feet space and freedom. This is the only way bone structure, tendons and nerve endings can be perfectly coordinated and harmonized. 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 tendons, muscles and ligaments need to be brought into harmony. A real challenge. Children’s barefoot shoes are very generous, especially in the toe area. Only in this way can the little toes be moved freely when walking and running. And because puddles magically attract even the very youngest, barefoot shoes for children should definitely be waterproof or at least water-repellent. the Froddo Barefoot ankle boots have a high shaft, which ensures that the children are even more stable and secure in the shoe. The little ones should feel the structure of the ground through the thin and flexible rubber sole.

The key data

  • Sole: natural rubber
  • surface material: leather
  • Inner material: wool
  • Weight per shoe: –

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