Skip to content
Barefoot walking with barefoot shoes - experience with Vivobarefoot

Walking barefoot with barefoot shoes is healthy

Are barefoot shoes healthy? And what are barefoot shoes actually and how do they differ from toe shoes? How are barefoot shoes constructed? Can you use barefoot shoes as healthy slippers? What exactly are the advantages of barefoot shoes? Why barefoot shoes affect your posture and Barefoot walking is healthier than running with conventional shoes and the barefoot shoe experiences I have had, you can now find out in this article.

What are barefoot shoes?

Difference between barefoot shoes vs. toe shoes

With barefoot shoes, a general distinction is made between toe shoes and normal barefoot shoes. Toe shoes have a separate "cavity" for each toe and therefore guarantee ultimate toe freedom.

Normal barefoot shoes are wider in the forefoot area than conventional shoes, but do not have separate cavities for the toes. They are therefore somewhat less conspicuous, but still offer plenty of toe room thanks to the wide cut.

In this article I present barefoot shoes and show why barefoot shoes are healthy.

Characteristics of barefoot shoes

Barefoot shoes are characterized by barefoot-like conditions. These include

  • no footbed
  • ultra-thin sole
  • Toe clearance
  • minimum blast
  • soft design
  • breathable
  • flat shoe

Barefoot shoes as healthy slippers

Barefoot shoes are an excellent alternative as healthy slippers. Their high toe clearance and soft construction make them very comfortable. Most models are also breathable, which makes them more comfortable to wear.

You can also optimize your walking technique at home with barefoot shoes and use barefoot shoes as healthy slippers.

There are models designed specifically as healthy slippers or, for example, the Primus Lite from Vivobarefoot (I present the shoe below). You can slip into the Primus Lite very quickly, making it ideal for use at home. The same applies to the Ultra Bloom 3 (I'll write more about this shoe later), I've had good barefoot shoe experiences with both shoes when using them as slippers.

Barefoot shoes in the gym

Barefoot shoes can also be worn in the gym. Especially for leg exercises such as squats or lounges, but also deadlifts, barefoot shoes offer a very high level of control and close contact with the floor. At the same time, they also promote flexibility as they do not restrict mobility.

One disadvantage of barefoot shoes in the gym can be that you will lack the stabilizing effect of the shoes, especially at the beginning. However, as soon as your foot muscles have strengthened and become accustomed to the new load, your muscles will take over the stabilization.

Improving your sensorimotor skills (more on this below) is a real advantage in the gym, especially when doing leg exercises, as you simply perceive and feel more in the area of your feet.

In the gym, barefoot shoes are healthy for your feet. I can recommend the Primus Lite or the Ultra 3 Bloom. I have worn both pairs in the gym and have had positive barefoot shoe experiences here too. I find that squats in particular give you a completely new experience of what stabilization from the foot means.

Why barefoot shoes are healthy - the advantages

Are barefoot shoes healthy? What advantages do they offer? Do barefoot shoes reduce the strain on joints? What makes barefoot shoes healthy? How do barefoot shoes affect the foot muscles and blood circulation? How do perception and walking technique change when wearing barefoot shoes?

Let's get to the bottom of these questions and I'll show you what benefits wearing barefoot shoes can have for you.

Reduction of strain on hip and knee joints

Less strain on the knee and hip joint than when you step with your heel, as is usual with (running) shoes. A research report on barefoot running was published in the "Journal of Injury, Function and Rehabilitation". The report compares the strain on the knee and hip joints when running barefoot and jogging.

The load on the hips is 54 % lower when walking barefoot. The load on the knees is reduced by around 37 %. The main advantage of walking barefoot is the lower load on the hip and knee joints. Barefoot shoes can therefore effectively reduce the strain on the hip and knee joints.

The reason for the reduction in stress on the joints is the different tread. When walking barefoot, you first step with the ball of the foot or the midfoot. This causes a natural spring mechanism of the foot to act, which significantly reduces the impact of the heel. Only then does the heel hit the ground and pass on the reduced impact to the hip and knee joints.

Barefoot shoes are therefore healthy and beneficial for your hip and knee joints. The slightly different appearance has been one of my personal barefoot shoe experiences, especially when jogging.

Strengthening the foot muscles

The different load and reduction of strain on joints and bones puts more strain on muscles, tendons and ligaments. This means that the foot muscles, as well as the lower leg muscles through to the pomus muscles, are trained.

Strengthening your foot and leg muscles will improve your overall posture, as your lower limbs are the foundation of your posture. Here, too, you can say that barefoot shoes are healthy.

Improved circulation through healthy barefoot shoes

The increased strain on your muscles also improves blood flow to your feet and legs. This is particularly interesting for people with circulatory disorders. But even if you do a lot of sport, good blood circulation is an advantage.

Improvement of the running technique

Regular running in barefoot shoes automatically improves your running technique. Over time, this will also have an increasing effect on your running technique in other shoes. Of course, your running technique also has a major influence on your posture and you can reduce the strain on your joints.

Improved perception

The thin and flexible soles allow you to perceive the ground much better with your feet. With normal shoes, you hardly notice what surface you are walking on. This is completely different with barefoot shoes, which protect you on the one hand, but are still so thin that you can consciously perceive the ground.

This improves sensorimotor function, i.e. the interaction between nerves and muscles. In this way, you gradually create a new feeling for your feet, their movements and sensations.

This is particularly beneficial for people who are close to nature, as it allows you to perceive more of nature and your immediate surroundings. My personal barefoot shoe experience is also that you perceive the ground in a completely new way.

Advantages compared to "real" barefoot running

Now of course you could say that you can simply walk barefoot without wearing shoes, but in some situations it is better to wear shoes.

On some occasions, it is appropriate or expected to wear shoes. There are now lots of really good barefoot shoes that you can also wear for formal occasions.

In addition, the barefoot shoes protect against sharp objects and stitches and thus offer an advantage, especially off-road.

In winter, of course, it is often too cold to leave the house without shoes. Lined and thicker barefoot shoes are particularly suitable for cold weather.

If you're already convinced, you can here to the Vivobarefoot Onlineshop*.

Tip: If you still Reasons for regular walks then be sure to check out the linked post as well!

What should you bear in mind when running with barefoot shoes?

I would first like to give you a few tips based on my own experience.

Start slowly

You shouldn't overdo it at the beginning, as it will be an unfamiliar strain on your feet and legs. It is therefore a good idea to start with barefoot shoes on soft surfaces such as grass, sand or forest paths. These surfaces give a little and reduce the new strain on your muscles and tendons.

If you run long distances with barefoot shoes right from the start, for example when jogging, this can lead to overuse injuries. My personal barefoot shoe experience was that I had severe muscle soreness in the back of my foot and lower part of my calf after the first time jogging with barefoot shoes. So you should take it slowly at first.

Observe running technique

It is also important that you pay attention to your running technique when wearing barefoot shoes. You should walk in the same way as when you run barefoot. This means that you step with the ball of your foot and midfoot instead of your heel.

In my barefoot shoe experience, you already subconsciously tread correctly when jogging if you wear barefoot shoes. When walking normally, I had to concentrate more on stepping correctly.

Keep moving

To begin with, it is also particularly important to wear the shoe when you are on the move. The thin sole is far less soft when standing than with conventional shoes. It can therefore be uncomfortable if you stand a lot in barefoot shoes.

Increase cautiously

By carefully increasing the amount of time you wear your barefoot shoes and switching to other surfaces, you will make the transition easier for your feet. The more you get used to barefoot running and the new running technique, the more you can "really" run barefoot or wear barefoot shoes.

Seek advice if unsure

However, if you are unsure whether barefoot shoes are suitable for you and your feet, you can visit an orthopaedic specialist and ask for advice. They will then give you comprehensive advice on the subject and may also be able to carry out a running analysis on you.

Various barefoot shoe models

Barefoot shoes Vivobarefoot Primus Lite

I have two pairs of barefoot shoes myself. The Primus Lite Men in all black from Vivobarefoot and the Ultra 3 Bloom from Vivobarefoot.

The Primus Lite is a casual shoe that can also be worn for running. In all black, it is rather inconspicuous and therefore a good everyday companion. You can also wear the Primus Lite at home as healthy slippers, as you can slip into the shoe very quickly. The Primus Lite is pleasantly light and airy. It is therefore particularly suitable for the warmer months or indoors as healthy slippers or, for example, in the gym. The Primus Lite is vegan and available for men and women.

Sustainable barefoot shoes from Vivobarefoot Ultra 3 Bloom

I would like to pay special attention to the Ultra 3 Bloom, which is made from an algae-based material. The material saves petroleum and carbon dioxide emissions, making it one of the best sustainable barefoot shoes. It can be worn for running as well as in the water or outdoors. The Ultra 3 Bloom is particularly suitable for water sports. The shoe is also vegan and available for men and women.

Vivobarefoot Ultra Bloom sustainable barefoot shoes

I myself use the Ultra 3 Bloom as a slipper, a shoe at the gym and will be wearing them next summer, especially for walking the dog. My experience with the Ultra 3 Bloom so far has been consistently positive and I also like the eye-catching design.

There are also barefoot shoes for formal occasions. For example, the Vivobarefoot Lisbon for men, which unfortunately is not vegan. For women, there are elegant ballerinas from Vivobarefoot, which unfortunately are also not vegan.

Even outdoors, for example when hiking, you don't have to do without barefoot shoes. There are various models, from low shoes to boots.

The Gobi II is an elegant winter shoe that is also vegan. Especially in the cold season, it is important to protect the foot from the cold. The Gobi II is available as a hi-top for women.

And where to buy the barefoot shoes?

Convinced? Do you want to try barefoot running? Then go ahead here to the Vivobarefoot Onlineshop. There are also many Vivobarefoot stores in many large cities where you can try on the shoes!

Ultra 3 Bloom Update - May 2019

I've had the Vivobarefoot Ultra 3 Bloom for 1.5 years now (as of May 2019). When I bought them, it was particularly important to me that they were sustainable shoes that were environmentally friendly and vegan. As I have a relatively wide foot and a high instep, many shoes are too tight for me. Not so with the Vivobarefoot Ultra 3 Bloom. The barefoot shoes are designed so that you have plenty of room in the shoe and your toes are not squeezed together.

Last summer, as previously announced, I went for a walk with my sustainable shoes and my dog particularly often. Especially in summer, when it's warm, I always go for a walk by a river so that my furry friend can cool off and have a good swim. The Vivobarefoot Ultra 3 Bloom is a real amphibious shoe that is perfect for getting your feet into the river. Even the dog is happy when you suddenly get into the water with them. The advantage is, of course, that your feet are still protected.

The shoes are super comfortable even when they get wet. The material of the shoe doesn't change when it gets wet, it can just happen that a little water collects in the shoe, but you can simply pour it out again. The wearing comfort remains the same, even when the shoes are wet. It only happened to me once that the wet shoe rubbed a little.

More Advantages at a glance:

  • Breathable
  • You can easily slip in
  • Innovative lacing system
  • Very light
  • Environmentally friendly and vegan
  • Eye-catching design

Update September 2021

I actually still have the Ultra Bloom 3 and I'm still happy with it. The sole is slowly disintegrating, but that's perfectly okay as I've worn the shoe a lot. In the end, I even wore it hiking in Slovenia and Croatia. The sole of the shoe is actually a bit too slippery for this, which is why Vivobarefoot now also offers proper trail barefoot shoes.

Barefoot shoes are healthy

Barefoot shoes are a great and healthy addition to "real" barefoot running and other shoes. They take the strain off your joints and improve your running technique. Barefoot shoes also offer great opportunities in the area of perception like no other shoe.

In answer to the question "How healthy are barefoot shoes really?", I would say that they are very healthy and, with a salutogenetic lifestyle are helpful. However, barefoot shoes are not a panacea that can solve all foot problems. Barefoot shoes are therefore healthy, but are no substitute for a visit to the orthopaedist if you have serious problems.

There are now barefoot shoes for formal occasions, hiking shoes, amphibious shoes or as healthy slippers, so that everyone can find the right shoe for them. So nothing stands in the way of barefoot walking with barefoot shoes.

All the best,

Julian from CareElite

P.S.: Do you already have experience with barefoot shoes? Then let me know in the comments! You might also be interested in the topics Intermittent fasting, Sleep better or Zero Waste Lifestyle.

Coffee box Suggestions for improvement Newsletter

* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Julian Hölzer

Julian Hölzer

Hi, my name is Julian and I am a trained vegan nutritionist. In 2016 I started to get involved with veganism and quickly learned how big an impact our diet has on the environment and how diverse plant-based diets can be. That's why I want to inspire you to get involved with veganism too.

4 thoughts on “Barfußlaufen mit Barfußschuhen ist gesund”

    1. Hey!
      Had seen a post of yours, however it looked so much like spam (very strange characters) that I deleted it. Just try again okay? 🙂
      Many greetings

  1. Hey, great post. I was considering whether or not to get barefoot shoes and follow the trend. Your detailed post has provided an answer to my most important questions and I have now decided to give me a jolt and just give it a try.

    1. Hi Anna! Thank you for your comment. Great that you want to give it a try. I don't think you'll regret it 🙂
      Many greetings,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *