5 of the best barefoot running shoes

Trainers have been trapping our toes for 40 years, we’ve been running barefoot for 200,000 years. Time for a redesign

Vibram Five Fingers Sprint


Running barefoot is ideal but it’s cold, hurts your feet and looks mental. But the whole point of having toes is to balance your body. Information sent from your feet to your brain is 90% greater than that sent back – meaning your brain relies on a lot of sensors for balance. Putting your feet inside trainers is the equivalent of locking them in sensory deprivation chambers – it's just silly.

Vibrams Five Fingers Sprint give you a protective sole, warm top cover and individual toe pockets for the most natural balance. They really are amazing for any sport and make you wonder why you ever locked your poor toes away in the first place.

The Original Luna Sandal


If you’ve read Born To Run you’ll already know some of the best runners in the world come from tribes that lace a bit of old tyre to their feet. Turns out this is actually a really good shoe. Luna has taken it to the next level using comfortable materials (suede leather top) and an advanced lacing system to provide a feeling as close as you can get to having nothing on your feet – without making you cry every time you go over a pebble. Bit open for colder climates though. The best bit is they only cost US$50.

Terra Plana Vivo Barefoot Evo II


Slightly more fashion-friendly than most barefoot shoes, if not a little garish, are the Vivo Barefoot Evos. The lycra lining and nylon upper means a water resistant run, while still letting you feel your surroundings through the minimal 4mm puncture resistant sole. While you're running through the forest you can feel good knowing these are also made with eco-friendly materials.

ZEM Ninja Split Toe


One of the main reasons we run barefoot is to feel super agile like a ninja – ZEM have taken it a step further. The Ninja Split Toes let you fulfill your ninja fantasies with a separate section for your big toe to give better balance, while the lycra tops and rubber bottoms keep you protected and dry. We don’t advise trying to kick away ninja stars with these on, they’re very thin. Running on rooftops is cool though.

Soft Star Shoes RunAmoc Lite


Customise your barefoot shoe with options of a 5mm trail or 2mm street sole, each with your choice of Vibram or Sof-Touch sole. Whichever you go for you’ll be clad in real leather full of breathing holes for a comfortable fit. There’s even extra room in the front to let your toes do their balancing business freely.

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