Blog, Minimalism

Best minimalist shoes for women: Our Guide

Comfort is essential for any minimalist, so it makes sense that many of us choose to go with a pair of barefoot sneakers for casual use. Though it can be pretty tough to find the right pair, as there’s a variety of different designs and fits to choose from.

I’ve been wearing minimalist footwear for many years now, so I thought I’d put together a short guide of what I consider to be the best barefoot shoes for women.

Vivobarefoot Opanka

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If you want a classic pair of slip ons, you can’t do better than these Vivobarefoot Opanka leather shoes. They have a leather outer material matched with a rubber sole, which combines well to create an attractive

These minimalist shoes for women are perfect if you’re often on the go. They can be misshapen and folded up into next to nothing, making them extremely easy to pack if you’re going on a trip abroad.

They’re made as regular shoes, and can be worn for a variety of different activities. They have pretty thin soles made of rubber, and they feel similar to walking barefoot. With high quality leather covering the foot, they’re definitely a pair of comfortable shoes.

If you’re searching for a pair of barefoot shoes that can be worn by those with flat feet, then this pair would come highly recommended. They have a fairly standard toe box at the front, so they’re perfect if you don’t have narrow feet.

Xero Shoes Women’s Speed Force

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Xero shoes are already popular amongst the minimalist community, and with good reason – most of their models are designed to be worn and feel like having bare feet. A barefoot feel is important, and it can help a lot with both posture and balance.

The Xero Shoes Speed force is a lightweight shoe that is primarily made for barefoot running. However, it’s light enough that it can be worn for pretty much any activity, and it’s perfect fine to wear the rest of the day too.

With a thin 4.5mm sole matched with a 2mm innersole that allows for flexibility with additional grip, the mesh design is extremely comfy. They look a lot more attractive than most other barefoot shoes, which tend to have a penchant for being unattractive.

They can take a little whilst to get used to, but these Xero barefoot running shoes for women are pretty tough to beat. If you’re looking for something extremely lightweight that match the natural shape of your feet, check them out.

New Balance FuelCore Nergize V1

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Though not the first brand you may think of, New Balance have several shoes for women made with a minimalist design. Their FuelCore series may not be ideal for barefoot enthusiasts looking for, but they offer a secure fit.

They have breathable upper mesh design combined with a thinner sole than your standard shoe. Though they have a boot design, which gives more arch support for your feet around the ankle.

They also offer great traction on the soles of the shoe, and they’re offered in a wider size if you need a wider toe box than standard. The wide toe box means that you won’t have to worry about a tight fit.

This may be my favorite shoe if you’re searching for a pair of sneakers, though barefoot purists would probably scoff that they’ve even made a list of minimalist shoes for women.

Xero Aptos Hemp Canvas Slip-on

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People that are searching for slip on shoes that can be worn for any occasion may want to check out the Xero Shoes Aptos range. These canvas shoes have a wide toe box and a grippy sole, with zero drop making them great for your posture.

They’re a good choice if you’re searching for an eco-friendly pair of minimalist shoes, as they’re vegan friendly and made without the use of animal products. This is important if you’re interested in sustainability.

Described as a travel friendly shoe, you can easily roll these shoes up and stuff them in your luggage if you’re always on the go. Wearing them still allows for the natural movement of your foot, though you’ll want to wear socks to avoid friction.

They’re a day to day shoe that can be worn casually, and their plain design means they can be worn with most outfits. With lightweight material used across the whole shoe, they could be suitable if you have wide feet.

Common Questions about Women’s Minimalist Shoes

Are minimalist shoes the same as barefoot shoes?

Barefoot shoes are a form of minimalist shoe, though not all minimalist shoes are barefoot. There are a lot of crossover between the two, though there are some minimalist shoes that are not technically barefoot shoes.

Should a minimalist shoe be tight?

It can take a while to get used to wearing barefoot shoes because they are tighter than actual shoes, especially around the heel. This is normal, as it attempts to give you a more natural barefoot experience with thinner soles and a tighter design.

What are signs that your shoes are too small?

The easiest way to determine whether your shoes are too small is to see whether your toes feel like they’re overlapping. You will know if your shoes are too small as your toes won’t be able to point in a forward direction.

Are women’s minimal shoes more narrow?

Women’s minimalist shoes are not any more narrow than the standard shoes for women that you can buy. They are naturally around half a size narrower than mens shoes.


There are various different options out there, whether you’re looking for the best minimalist running shoes for women or you’re in need of the best barefoot shoes for casual use. A good barefoot shoe should feel like wearing almost nothing, with a thin sole and a flexible design.

Hopefully you’ve found the right pair of minimalist footwear for your needs, whether that’s hiking shoes or something else.