Author: Michael Plater
Barefoot shoes--which put your feet closer to the ground and remove the drop from the heel to the toes that regular shoes tend to have--aren’t only made for exercise. Brands have expanded the concept to different types of shoes, including barefoot men's boots.
So, you can get the features you’re looking for in a work or winter boot combined with moving in a more natural way. This is great, as you’re likely to wear boots for long periods of time, and you may want or need the barefoot style for the most comfort.
Aspects to Consider When Buying Zero Drop Boots
You'll have certain settings and uses in mind when wearing boots, so think about that when ordering them. Here are a few factors to keep in mind when considering barefoot men's boots.
You can have different reasons for wearing boots. You might need snow boots to keep your feet warm and dry, you might be looking for durable work boots or you might want something a bit versatile for a range of everyday situations.
Some barefoot men's boots are waterproof with a padded inner lining to keep your feet extra warm, while others are more functional for walking the streets in the winter. Match up the features of each boot to your intention for wearing them.
Take a look at the materials used and consider what matters to you. Do you prefer classic leather boots, or would you prefer vegan materials that avoid animal products altogether? When looking at leather, there are differences in how natural the processes are and whether the leather has been waterproofed.
Don’t stop at the upper material. If it makes a difference to you, take a look at the materials used for the inner lining and the soles. Keep in mind that the inner materials play a role in whether a boot is good for snow, work or a range of everyday activities.
The look of the shoes is another factor to consider when buying men’s barefoot boots. The style often goes hand in hand with the purpose, as you want to fit the look to the occasion for wearing the boots.
Fortunately, there is a range of styles in the boot category of barefoot shoes. For example, you can find the Chelsea style that’s great for dressing up or everyday wear, a classic work boot style or a snow boot look complete with the furry inner lining peeking out.
Zero Drop Aspects
Not all barefoot boots are alike. Each brand and shoe style sits differently. It’s important to take a look at the size of the outer sole, as some boots will put you closer to the ground than others. The drop from heel to toe may vary from boot to boot as well. You may want to look at the thickness of the inner sole and whether it’s removable or not.
Beyond the size of the barefoot aspects, consider the weight of the shoe. Will it feel weightless as you walk, or does it have a bit more heft to carry around? If you’re new to barefoot shoes, you may actually want a pair with a bit more weight, so you can get used to making the switch from regular shoes.
Tread is an essential factor for boots. Take a look at the size and features of the tread of each boot you’re thinking about getting. Keep in mind where you’ll be wearing the boots and whether you might encounter snow and ice or risky work conditions.
If you simply plan to wear your winter boots while walking on sidewalks and into businesses, you likely don’t need to think as much about heavy-duty tread and could go with a more versatile and everyday boot option.
How the boots will feel is important, as you’ll likely be on your feet for long periods of time while wearing winter boots. Think about aspects like how much padding they have in the inner sole and whether they are wider in the toe area.
Make sure the brand you want has the right sizing for you, and think about whether you need extra warmth for snowy and cold conditions or whether a more breathable option would better suit your needs.
Which Barefoot Boots for Men Are Best in 2024?
No matter the type of boots you’re seeking in a barefoot style, you can find a great option available. To make your search easier for you, here is our list of top men’s barefoot boots you can find today.
These lightweight boots give the best snow boot option on the list. They have good tread on the bottom to help you grip on snow and ice, and they’re made to keep your feet warm and dry in cold weather conditions. They have a seam-sealed inner bootie, include insulation and are waterproof to achieve these goals.
Also, those boots have a zero drop sole that helps you move naturally while trudging through snow. You have the choice of removing the insole to make yourself flatter to the ground or to keep it for added comfort and warmth. Plus, this is a vegan-friendly option.
This option works perfectly as work boots or walking boots for the fall or winter. Made of strong leather, these boots are made to wear on dry land rather than in snow conditions. Nonetheless, they’re water-resistant, which helps keep your feet warm along with the thermal insole. What’s ideal is that the thermal technology can cool your feet when the heat builds, and the insole is removable.
These high-cut boots are made for hard work on an everyday basis, so they’re ready for different work sites throughout the year. They keep your feet in a more natural position while you walk and work. Plus, you can feel good about the natural materials used to make these boots, including full grain, metal-free leather and organic cotton.
These men’s barefoot boots serve as outdoor and work boots that give the barefoot style while protecting your feet with strong leather. They have good tread to keep you steady wherever your feet take you. While they’re not snow boots, they’re great for different seasons and work.
One of the best things about Bearfoot’s boots is the sizing. Not only are they great for those who need a wider fit in the toes, but they also come in an impressive range of sizes from men’s five to 16, with many half sizes as well. Plus, you can choose from the Kodiak Brown or Black Bear styles to fit your needs.
These waterproof boots are great for keeping your feet dry and warm in outdoor conditions. The faux fur and knit inner lining add to the warmth in cold weather. Made of leather, these boots provide strength for your day’s activities.
While they have the barefoot design, this style gives you padding on the heel and tongue to keep your feet comfortable through a day outside or at work. One of the great things about barefoot boots like these is that they are lightweight, so they move easily with you rather than weighing you down. Plus, they have strong tread to keep you in place, so you can move with ease wherever you’re going.
While not snow boots, these men’s barefoot boots are made for winter. The leather exterior is water-repellent, and the inside is insulated with wool for warmth on cold days. The brand calls this style urban footwear, so it’s great as an everyday boot you can wear for regular activities.
This style has wide toe space for comfort and is lightweight to move seamlessly with you throughout the day. It has a thin outsole and zero drop from the heel to the toe to give the barefoot feel you want from a boot.
The durable outdoor style of these boots gives warmth and function throughout the cold seasons. While they’re made of stylish and strong leather, these boots are also waterproof to keep the cold and wet conditions from reaching your feet.
They have the zero drop style you’re looking for, as well as a wide toe box to give those toes room to move. The fact that these boots are so lightweight adds to the barefoot feel while you wear them for a range of winter activities. With a combination of a stylish look and great tread, along with the other features, these boots are versatile for indoor and outdoor conditions all winter.
Similar to what Lems has to offer, this is another version of the attractive Chelsea boot style with the addition of the zero drop. It’s perfect for everyday life in fall and winter with its chrome-free leather as the upper and a warm lining of felted wool.
These natural materials are finished by a sole of natural rubber, so this boot is a good option for those who’d prefer to stay away from artificial materials in their boots. These boots are even ecologically dyed and handmade, with each one coming with a bit of unique character and variation.
This option does not come treated for weather conditions. The company recommends using a natural wax or fluorocarbon-free waterproofing spray to make them even stronger and more durable to face various weather conditions.
These barefoot men's boots have a classic look that doesn’t go out of style and suits a variety of situations. The leather look is made with vegan materials to provide a great option for those looking for animal-friendly boots.
In addition to functioning as work boots or everyday boots, these versatile shoes are great snow boots. With a design that’s waterproof on the outside and has inner materials made to keep your feet warm, you can wear these in the snow, ice and overall cold. They also have great traction for slippery areas.
A bonus of this style is that it comes in a variety of colors. You can pick from six options, including classic choices like brown, black or tan.
A Final Thought
It may seem unusual to choose barefoot men's boots, as boots are generally designed to keep your feet away from the elements. However, you’ll find that these boots have features to protect against the cold and wet while also giving the comfort and natural movement of the zero drop style.
To find the perfect pair, we recommend thinking about the purpose of your winter boots first and foremost. Once you find a selection of boots that fit your purpose, from work to snow conditions, it becomes easier to compare the other features.
If you are looking for a barefoot dress shoe be sure to check out our derby, OAKA.
Michael Plater is an authority on barefoot shoes, having spent years reviewing and testing products as well as modifying and ripping out soles to find the healthiest options.