The barefoot style of shoe keeps your feet close to the ground rather than propping them up. Also, it often has a zero drop design that keeps your feet at the same level from toe to heel. This style puts your feet and body in a natural position that can strengthen the feet, help your balance and offer other health benefits.
You can even find the low to the ground, slim sole style in barefoot sandals, which skip the cushioning and higher heel features and instead opt for flatness. The list below gives you a great selection of barefoot styles that have added features for the best support and movement you can find in a sandal.
What Features to Look for in Barefoot Sandals
Sandals may seem simpler than other types of shoes, but they still have plenty of features to consider. With barefoot sandals, they all tend to have similar zero drop and slim sole styles, so it’s important to consider other factors.
If you’re not sure where to start, we have some tips for you below.
Think about the looks you like, how you prefer a sandal to feel and the settings where you’re likely to wear your sandals. The answers can help inform the type of material you might prefer in a sandal.
Some on our list are made with fabric, which has the bonus of offering a vegan style if that’s important to you. Fabric is also preferable if you’ll wear your shoes in water or in athletic ways.
On the other hand, some of the styles we listed are made of leather, which gives them strength and a classy style. These sandals can be used to dress up, while many of them are also great for outdoor wear.
We recommend looking at the style and straps to figure out how each type of sandal will feel for you. Some have the thong style, which tends to be a personal preference, while others avoid that.
The sandals on our list include heel straps for added support in barefoot shoes. To compare one shoe to another, take a look at whether those straps are cushioned, what they are made of and how they adjust.
Another factor related to comfort is the materials used for the insole and lining.
We included a range of price points in our list to make it easier to find a selection that works for you. While some of the choices may cost significantly more than the average sandal, keep in mind the quality, durability, materials and well-crafted design.
A sandal that costs more in the beginning but is well made is likely to last longer than a budget sandal. It can also support your body better to provide health benefits and potentially save money there.
Some of the sandals we chose are made for being active. For instance, you might wear them for hiking or while walking across rocks in a stream. Others are sturdy and durable for rugged outdoor times. Then, there are some that are more suited to low-key activities.
The great thing is that there's something for everyone and different settings. You can always choose more than one style to fit each shoe to different outfits and purposes.
Top Barefoot Sandals for Men in 2024
We created a list of eight barefoot sandals that are either unisex or made for men. Each one has a barefoot and zero drop design, while you’ll find a range of features and styles.
Keep scrolling for our top choices for 2024.
These sandals put you extra close to the ground as you walk, as they have a barely there sole. They also feature a zero drop design to keep your feet flat. Straps go around the top of your feet and heel to keep the shoes in place, so they move with you every step of the way. The top and slingback straps are easily adjustable.
These sandals are made of leather for a timeless and classy look that can go with a variety of outfits. While many sandals run on the small side, this selection features a wide toe box to hold your feet completely and comfortably. This pair is great for everyday wear or social outings.
This option gives you the thong style sandal with extra support from a strap around the heel, which is completely adjustable. This design helps prevent the flapping of a flip flop, so you can maintain the better body position of a barefoot shoe. These sandals also have elastic on the instep for the best fit possible.
The sole on this pair is very slim to provide a barefoot feel, and it features a zero drop design. The top of the sole is made of natural cork that helps maintain freshness. Also, these sandals have a vegan cotton upper that comes in numerous colors to switch from classic to bold. This design is great for everyday wear.
This option is ideal for someone who wants to be active in their sandals. It's a vegan option with a strappy design that keeps your foot fully held and supported. The straps are adjustable to ensure you get the right fit.
The soles have plenty of grip on the bottom, while the insole provides foot stimulation as you move. A middle layer helps with force absorption as you move on trails or other outdoor environments.
Despite the three layers, these sandals still put you remarkably close to the ground. They also give the zero drop design, so you can feel as barefoot and natural as possible as you spend time in natural areas.
This sandal takes the barefoot design to the next level as it has an incredibly slim sole and also leaves most of the foot bare with a minimal strap design. One slim strap goes around the heel, which you tie on the front to a slim strap that starts like a thong and goes across the top of your foot.
This is a more natural choice. It’s made with full-grain leather, some of which is salvaged. Even the outsole is made of leather.
These sandals give you a great outdoor shoe for hiking or other adventures, while you could just as easily wear them around town. They have a strong, well-designed grip on the bottom to keep you secure on various types of terrain.
These sandals put you very close to the ground, wrapping around your foot in a water shoe way while still showing a lot of skin through an open, strappy design. This style gives you the best of support with a simple, barefoot style that is zero drop. They’re also very lightweight and move with your feet as you move. You can pick the microfiber upper in different colors.
A combination of clogs and sandals, these shoes are a good fit for outdoor activities. They feature an open back like a sandal with a closed front like a clog, and they give an upgrade to a traditional clog with a strap that goes around the heel to give complete support.
The adjustable straps, slim sole and zero drop design all help these shoes move with you for that barefoot feel. The upper is made from leather for strength and style, and it’s oiled to make it water resistant. A special outsole has a sticky grip to keep you in place.
This is an ideal barefoot shoe as it keeps your foot mostly bare, with a style that features simple straps that go around your foot to provide support. These shoes have no thong and instead go around the toe base, the top of the foot and the heel. The straps are adjustable for perfect fit, and the sole is flat and slim to finish the barefoot style.
You could wear these simple sandals for a variety of outdoor activities, as they have an active design and strong grip on the bottom. They’re lightweight and can fold easily to go in a pack.
These sandals have a sophisticated style with their leather upper, yet they’re also rugged to wear for outdoor adventures. The insole and outsole are made with water buffalo leather, while the shoes are lined with goat skin.
These shoes have a hiking sandal style with adjustable straps going across the top and around the heel, providing full support to move with you. They are completely flat and low to the ground for that barefoot feel as you hike or walk around town.
The Bottom Line
A lot of sandals lack support and can even harm the feet and posture. Barefoot sandals help solve this problem, as they offer better body mechanics than the average style.
Plus, the ones on our list are specially designed for extra support and function with strategic straps, zero drop soles and wide toe boxes for shoes that move seamlessly with your feet.
We included a mixture of classy sandals and outdoorsy styles in our list, so you can find the right one for your activities.
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.