Best Barefoot Vegan Breathable Running Shoes For Women
We round up the best barefoot/minimalist vegan breathable running shoes on the market
Barefoot shoes shouldn't be complicated. The approach is, the less the better.
Although there should be fewer features to a barefoot shoe, choosing the best one can be challenging because there are many options in the market today. There are so many manufacturers and models to choose from. Each has its interpretation of what is a barefoot shoe/ sandal, how to make the best shoes for our life, and challenges.
If you wish to read how to evaluate barefoot footwear, check out this article, barefoot footwear guide.
With careful evaluation of different barefoot shoes, we will try to help narrow down your choices.
We search the web for real reviews, seek out experts who have tried the shoes themselves, and we spend hundreds of hours examining and evaluating models and statistics.
In the following article, you can find the best barefoot vegan breathable running shoes for women. These models have received the highest scores by multiple users on multiple websites. We only gather all data and summarize it for readers as a tool to help you purchase your next best footwear.
Hope you enjoy and benefit from it (:
Based on 510 reviews
Brand: Xero Shoes
The all-new 360º is a lightweight cross-training shoe designed to handle court sports, parkour, CrossFit, and just about anything else that requires quick lateral movement.
Xeroshoes 360 is a cross-training shoe designed to handle the demands of CrossFit, court sports, and other activities that involve quick lateral movement. With enough room in the toe box, the upper has been reinforced in key areas to tackle the demands of the activities mentioned. It’s considered by many as a good companion to the gym and in an everyday setting.
- Acclimation period
- Not ideal for concrete
Based on 405 reviews
The Primus Lite is Vivobarefoot's lightest and most flexible creation, promising to deliver maximum ground feeling.
Felt true to size: 82%
Based on 17 user reviews
Felt true to size: 100%
Based on 7 user reviews
The Primus Lite is one of the lightest shoes ever created by Vivobarefoot. All of the components are made up of light, breathable and flexible materials. According to the website, each shoe only weighs about 150g. Sporting a 3mm thin sole and a highly breathable upper, the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite may just deliver the truly barefoot experience many are looking for.
- Extremely lightweight
- Best breathability
- Good ground feedback
- Stylish and modern despite the limited colorways
- Some durability issues
Based on 560 reviews
With improvements made on the quality, the Primus Lite II is a nimble shoe designed to allow wearers to move uninhibitedly.
Felt true to size: 83%
Based on 6 user reviews
Felt true to size: 74%
Based on 31 user reviews
The Primus Lite II is a vegan-friendly barefoot shoe that’s mainly made up of bio-materials – Vivobarefoot’s effort to reduce the mark each shoe makes on the planet. True to the series, this second iteration of the Primus Lite still feels very lightweight, allowing wearers to move freely and quickly. Despite some reports of sizing, durability, and pricing concerns, the Primus Lite II is a pair most reach for when looking for that close-to-barefoot experience.
- Extremely lightweight
- Made with recycled materials
- Sizing issues
- Takes some getting used to (for beginner barefoot-shoe users)
Based on 1007 reviews
Brand: Xero Shoes
The Xero HFS is a lightweight running shoe suitable for running and working out. It's made of vegan-friendly materials with a Huarache-inspired design.
Felt true to size: 79%
Based on 163 user reviews
Felt true to size: 69%
Based on 134 user reviews
The Xero HFS is a lightweight running shoe for men and women. These shoes are meant for runs and workouts on roads or gyms, but not for the rough trails. While they don’t have much sole grip, they make up for it in flexibility to help your feet grip the surface you run or workout on. With its minimal support and thin soles, the shoe can encourage natural movement on your feet.
- It offers great lightweight breathability and comfort
- Zero drop and provides the adequate ground feel
- Versatile design that you can use for walks, runs, weightlifting, or even casual use
- Dons a Huarache-inspired design for style
- Superb traction made for roads and tracks
- The Xero HFS comes with a removable insole for extra cushioning if needed
- The shoes’ mesh uppers aren’t as durable as other parts of the shoes, tearing them apart from intense use.
- The Xero HFS is not meant for long trail runs, as it can do numbers on the outsole.
Based on 214 reviews
The 5th version of our famous barely-there minimalist shoe is designed to mimic the shape of the human foot, keeping it in the position it would be in without shoes. Version 5 features an improved fit and increased abrasion resistance.
Felt true to size: 58%
Based on 26 user reviews
Felt true to width: 100%
Based on 1 user reviews
Felt true to size: 67%
Based on 12 user reviews
Felt true to width 75%
Based on 9.75 user reviews
Keep a connection to the ground underneath your feet while trail running with the Merrell Vapor Glove 5. These shoes will keep you comfortable during your everyday runs, workouts, and cross-training sessions. Even though it is more suited to seasoned barefoot runners than those just making the switch from conventional running shoes, the Vapor Glove 5 is unbeatably priced for top-notch performance.
- Fits like glove
- Barely noticeable sock-like upper
- Easy to put on/take-off
- Not as wide as the previous versions
- Lacks ventilation
- Less barefoot
- Not for trails or evasive terrain
Based on 1608 reviews
The Merrel Bare Access XTR are zero-drop trail running shoes that are made for those looking for affordable barefoot footwear. Made of lightweight mesh and thin TPU overlays, they offer an adequate barefoot experience for the road and light trails.
Felt true to size: 77%
Based on 74 user reviews
Felt true to width: 88%
Based on 23 user reviews
Felt true to size: 75%
Based on 56 user reviews
Felt true to width 81%
Based on 46 user reviews
The Merrell Bare Access XTR trail running shoes are a fine choice for those on a budget. These trail shoes don’t only come at an economical price, but they are sensitive and offer a snug ride with a nice ground connection as you head off-road. While they are not the most durable shoes for extra long distances or the toughest mountain terrains, they feel and perform well in areas that don’t need much foot protection.
- The shoes are breathable with a thin mesh upper.
- You get a more connected ground feel with the low stack height
- It has a zero-drop platform for better stability and proprioception
- It comes at an affordable price and great value
- The shoes are very lightweight with firm padding
- Not the best traction for slippery surfaces
- The shoes aren’t as water repellent as other trail runners
- Some complaints that the mesh absorbs water and doesn’t dry quickly
Based on 560 reviews
The 6th version of our famous minimalist shoe is designed to mimic the shape of the human foot, keeping it in the position it would be in without shoes. Version 6 features an improved fit and increased abrasion resistance.
Felt true to size: 69%
Based on 68 user reviews
Felt true to width: 83%
Based on 13 user reviews
Felt true to size: 53%
Based on 19 user reviews
Felt true to width 80%
Based on 16 user reviews
Built from recycled materials and tailored to mimic your foot shape, the Merrell Trail Glove 6 Eco helps you feel more connected to the trails. Several users, however, have pointed out that the shoe’s arch support and fit could be improved. Although it may not be the most barefoot of shoes, the Merrell Trail Glove 6 is one of the best minimalism running shoes because of how well it holds up on different terrains.
- Great grip
- Secure feel
- Performs well on mixed terrain
- Not an authentic barefoot feel
- Excessive arch support
- Narrow toe box
Based on 46 reviews
The Merrell Rubato is a lightweight minimalist shoe that comes with extra cushioning to protect your feet from tough terrains and trails. It's made for trail runners who want to feel a ground connection but need good grip and traction.
The Merrell Rubato is a zero-drop trail running shoe made for long distances, following the principles of minimalist running. It is lightweight and offers extra cushioning to protect your feet on tough trails and intense runs, also coming with FLEXconnect flex-groove midsoles to improve ground connection. Granted, the shoes don’t give users the most barefoot feel, but you get a good balance between protection and durability with minimalist running.
- Merrell Rubato shoes are very responsive, with soft cushioning.
- The shoes are comfortable as their uppers wrap around the feet smoothly with a soft underfoot.
- It has a wide toe box, which allows the toes to splay naturally
- The soles have a good grip when on wet, muddy, or rocky surfaces
- The toebox may be too spacious if you have narrow feet
- Its stack height is high with thicker cushioning, so it isn’t the best for minimalist or barefoot runners