Buying Guide of Best barefoot shoes for everyday

Buying Guide of Best barefoot shoes for everyday - OAKA

If you cannot wait to get home and remove your shoes, you may benefit from the best barefoot shoes for everyday use. Instead of cramming your feet into tight, unforgiving, and potentially injury-causing shoes that your feet are begging to escape, consider wearing a shoe that mimics your bare feet. The best barefoot shoes for everyday wear are now being designed to be worn to the office. You have barefoot shoe options that your feet will crave and leave you feeling stronger at the end of the day. 

What Are Barefoot Shoes?

Barefoot shoes are also known as minimal shoes. Some of the first designs of barefoot shoes had visible toes with separation between the toes, and minimal material. These barefoot shoes resemble gloves for your feet. Barefoot shoes aim to reduce the pressure on your feet, so your walk is more natural and comfortable. If your goal is to increase mobility and be more productive throughout the day, barefoot shoes may be the answer.

Compared with women's shoes that often have a high heel, or men's casual shoes that also elevate one's heel, barefoot shoes keep one's foot in a similar position as when one is barefoot. This means that the toes are not scrunched together. It also means the heel and ball of the foot are both in contact with the ground. The benefits of this equate to a more normal gait and less foot pain. In addition, since your foot has more contact with the ground, you are able to identify foot and leg position faster, which may help reduce your risk of falling. Once you slip your feet into barefoot shoes, you immediately understand the limitations of traditional shoes.

What to Look for in a Barefoot Shoe

Barefoot shoes can be found for all your daily activities. For instance, barefoot running shoes are designed to provide protection from various ground surfaces while at the same time allowing a more natural foot position. The best barefoot shoes for everyday casual wear are also designed to protect the soles of your feet and reduce fatigue that results from standing, sitting and walking at work or home. Check with your doctor if you have existing foot pain to determine which shoes are best for you. If you are new to purchasing a barefoot shoe, be mindful of the following tips:

  • Consider barefoot shoes that maintain a heel and toe height alignment that lets both your heels and toes connect with the ground at the same time.
  • Look for a barefoot shoe that uses minimal, sustainable, and environmentally friendly materials.
  • Select a barefoot shoe that has a wider toe box, so your toes are not scrunched together.
  • Choose a barefoot shoe you can slip on and off with ease to reduce the strain on your feet.
  • Purchase a pair of barefoot shoes that feel comfortable the first time you put them on and do not rely on breaking in a shoe for it to not pinch your feet.

How to Wear Barefoot Shoes

Barefoot shoes can be worn in many of the same ways you wear your traditional shoes. For instance, barefoot shoes can be used for exercise, hiking, walking, housework and can be worn at the office. However, your feet and legs may need time to adjust to the minimal shoe if you are not used to spending your days in bare feet. In addition, keep in mind the following when you begin to wear barefoot shoes:

  • Measure your foot. Instead of relying on your traditional shoe size when selecting your barefoot shoes, measure your foot prior to making a purchase. Compare the measurements to the shoe companies' sizes so you have a comfortable, lasting fit for your casual barefoot shoes. Plus, your foot size may change depending on factors such as your age, growth cycle, and phase of life. 
  • Ease into wearing your barefoot shoes. While the thought of wearing barefoot shoes all day long may be appealing, give your body time to adjust to the new muscles used when wearing barefoot shoes. Before you wear your barefoot shoes for eight, ten or twelve hours, listen to what your body is telling you. If you are feeling leg fatigue, pain, or discomfort, start wearing your barefoot shoes for one or two hours and gradually increase the duration. 
  • If you are using barefoot shoes for exercise, monitor the surface upon which you are walking or running. In other words, practice wearing your barefoot shoes on a soft track instead of hard pavement at first until your feet become used to the feel and performance of your barefoot shoes. Also, gradually increase the duration of wear to allow your muscles time to adapt to the barefoot exercise style.
  • Examine the shoe for ease of use. A slip-on barefoot shoe reduces time and can also decrease strain on your feet. A slip-on barefoot shoe is also ideal for those suffering from hand pain due to conditions such as arthritis or fibromyalgia. Instead of purchasing a shoe that has to be tied, see if you can find one that easily slips on and off. 
  • Consider purchasing two pairs of barefoot shoes so you have one for home and one for the office or workplace. You may also want to purchase two different styles of barefoot shoes to strengthen the muscles of your feet and lower legs. Having two pairs of barefoot shoes helps to reduce bacteria and sweat buildup in your footwear, which helps them last longer. 

Top 5 Recommendations for The Best Barefoot Shoes for Everyday Use

Your choice to wear barefoot shoes has many factors. Some of these may include improving your personal health, reducing pain, decreasing your foot and leg injury risk, and being environmentally aware. With these benefits and more in mind, when selecting the best barefoot shoes for everyday wear, keep in mind the following 5 tips:

  • Breathable material- your barefoot shoes will become your favorite pair and, most likely, you will get rid of your traditional shoes. Since you will be wearing your barefoot shoes every day, select a pair that is made with breathable materials. For instance, OAKA shoes are made with flyknit fibers which increase air circulation throughout the shoes. As a result, your foot is not trapped within a hot shoe all day, which can decrease your chances of swelling, sweating, and bacteria buildup. OAKA's flyknit fiber production process is aimed at decreasing waste, so it is a positive for those who are environmentally conscious.   
  • Washable- even when you select a barefoot shoe that is made with breathable materials, your shoes run the risk of getting dirty. This can happen from sweat, or from elements such as rain, snow, and mud. In addition, if you work in an area that contains chemicals, paints, or foods, these substances may spill onto your shoes. Since barefoot shoes are an investment in your health and comfort, you want your shoes to last. Selecting barefoot shoes that are washable and easy to clean helps you achieve your goal. OAKA's casual barefoot shoes can be cleaned in a washing machine, so you can feel confident in wearing your new shoes in any and every situation. 
  • Flexible and lightweight- a barefoot shoe should not add a lot of weight to your feet. In contrast with a traditional shoe, which may often be heavy, a barefoot shoe is designed for a minimal feel. In other words, you should recognize you are wearing a shoe since the soles of your feet are covered and you have protection from the ground, but you should not feel the weight of the shoe when you take a step. Instead, a barefoot shoe protects your feet, but is lightweight and flexible. You want to be able to take a natural step, so the shoe should bend near the center as you shift your weight onto the balls of your foot to take a step. A flexible and lightweight shoe is also ideal for traveling, or putting it into your gym bag before or after work. 
  • Anti-slip sole- there is nothing worse than putting on a new pair of shoes and feeling as if you could ice skate across the carpet. A quality barefoot shoe has an anti-slip sole, so you feel confident with every step that you will remain upright. One of the biggest benefits of barefoot shoes is the ability to feel your feet in contact with the ground. This contact decreases your falling risk as you are more aware of when the surface becomes uneven, slippery, or sticky. Barefoot shoes such as OAKA's that have an anti-slip sole are ideal on any surface, so you can feel the ground and make quick adjustments to your foot position and posture. 
  • Zero drop heel- when selecting casual barefoot shoes for use at the office, you may find you want the look of a slight dress heel, but not the feel of one. A zero drop heel combined with a faux heel, such as the one that OAKA makes, is the perfect choice for comfort and style. The zero drop heel means that your heels and toes are an equal distance from the ground. Instead of your heel being slightly elevated, which is a common occurrence in traditional dress shoes, your heel stays in line with the rest of your foot. One way to achieve this and maintain the look of a dress heel, is to make a shoe with a faux heel. Instead of your heel resting on top of the shoe's heel, your heel is nestled inside the faux heel, without decreasing the stylish look of your footwear. 

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