The 15 Best Men’s Barefoot Running Shoes of 2023
About a decade ago, barefoot shoes were considered little more than a trend in the world of men’s footwear.
Today, they're everywhere you look.
Men who once swore by bulkier, more "comfortable", and, yes, heavier running shoes have switched to pairs that feel like they're hardly even there.
This level of popularity has made it easier than ever to find barefoot running shoes wherever you look, but which option is your best choice in 2023?
Let's take a look.
Why Do Men Love Barefoot Running Shoes So Much?
But first - real quick - what's the deal with barefoot running shoes?
With so many other shoes offering all kinds of cushions, padding, and support, why would guys pay to feel like they’re not wearing anything at all?
The short answer is that many men believe that barefoot shoes are better for their foot health, protecting against injuries and ensuring they can enjoy long runs until old age.
Take a look and, once you're sold, let's jump into the best barefoot shoes for men in 2023.
The 15 Best Barefoot Running Shoes for Men in 2023
Fortunately, you’re not lacking for options.
The men’s footwear market is always growing, but 2023 was an especially good one for barefoot running shoes that offer minimal material between your feet and the ground.
So, whether you’ve long-since ditched traditional running shoes or you’re ready to finally take the plunge into minimal footwear, here are the best options for men currently on the market:
1. Xero Prio All-Day Running Shoes - $129
Finding a good pair of men's barefoot running shoes can be difficult, but Prio All-Daybarefoot running shoes for men certainly make the choice a whole lot easier.
These shoes have all sorts of benefits that your average pair of running shoes won't have. For example, they are extremely soft and versatile.
You can easily wear these shoes out for a long run, or you can wear them all day for walking around town or even going to the gym.
You can do virtually anything in these barefoot shoes, and they won't have a problem keeping up. Some men might find that the price is a bit expensive, but keep in mind that you are paying for a very high-quality product, and it's hard to find such good shoes for much cheaper.
2. Xero Crosstraining Shoes 360 - $124
If you're on the hunt for the best men's barefoot running shoes and don't know where to look, Xero Crosstraining Shoes 360 is another very good choice.
As with the previous shoes, Xero’s Cross Training 360 shoes are also very versatile, and you can accomplish all sorts of things with them.
Since these barefoot shoes are especially sturdy, they are great not only for running long distances but also for training at the gym, playing sports, and more.
But the biggest benefit of these shoes is probably that they are so light.
In fact, you’ll have a hard time finding a pair of shoes that are lighter than these. Because these minimalist shoes don't weigh very much, you don't have to worry about the weight of your shoes ever dragging you down while you're out and about.
3. F-LITE 245 Running Shoes - $176
Speaking of which, for a truly minimalist type of men’s running shoe, the F-LITE 245 is certainly one of the best options on the market.
Just by looking at them, you can immediately tell how sleek and minimal they are. And yet, although they lack the designs that many other shoes have, this footwear still remains very stylish.
Instead of focusing on design, these shoes are all about functionality.
For that reason, these shoes won't have any trouble carrying you to wherever you need to go. These shoes are very durable and are especially good for running long distances.
While the shoe doesn't look like much, you will find that the soles and the uppers won't wear down in the slightest even if you run for miles.
4. Primus Lite Running Shoes - $160
The Primus Lite is a very flexible men’s shoe. You can easily twist and bend this running shoe into any shape you want, and it will spring right back into its original shape. The added flexibility of this shoe is especially important for running.
After all, with every footfall, your foot will need to flex and stretch a certain amount.
If your shoe isn't able to bend along with your foot, it will only end up rubbing against your foot, which could create blisters and other problems that could bring a halt to your run. Fortunately, you won't have this problem with Primus Lite since it moves perfectly along with your foot.
These shoes are also very light, so you won't have to worry about them ever dragging you down during your runs.
5. Vibram V-RUN - $169
In the world of running gear, the Vibram V-RUN running shoes are unique because they have individual spaces for your toes. Some guys don't like this kind of design while others love it. The benefit of having a design for separate toes is that it gives the shoe far more flexibility and grip.
In particular, it will be much easier for you to feel the ground beneath you and grip certain surfaces like rocks and other terrains.
This also makes this shoe ideal for mild to moderate hikes where you might need to hop from rock to rock to get across a trail. At the same time, the soles are thick enough to remain comfortable while you run, and you won't need to worry about feeling every little bump in the road.
If you do decide that this shoe - or any of the other "toe shoes" on this list - are the right choice, check out our list of barefoot running socks that fit this type fo footwear perfectly.
6. HFS - Lightweight Road Running Shoe - $174
These HFS Lightweight Road Running Shoes are also from the Xero Shoes brand and are known for being incredibly comfortable. At the same time, they are also known for fitting extremely well, too. The fit of a running shoe, of course, is very important.
You might buy the best barefoot running shoes around, but if they don't fit you right, the shoes will only make your feet hurt and may even cause blisters.
Fortunately, in most cases, the shoes on this list run true to size. The HFS Lightweight Road Running Shoe is no exception.
So, as long as you get your usual size, these shoes should fit like a dream and keep your feet comfortable even on the longest runs.
Another potential benefit of these shoes is that they are vegan. This makes them ideal not only for vegans but also for other men who care about animals and the environment.
7. Primus Lite III - $151
Some running shoes are covered in designs that make them heavier and reduce their flexibility and versatility.
Fortunately, you won't have to worry about that when you opt for the Primus Lite III. These are truly minimalist shoes that aren’t weighed down with any unnecessary bells and whistles.
For that reason, this shoe was designed with a focus on functionality rather than useless features. At the same time, the lack of obvious designs actually makes this shoe streamlined and very stylish.
Unsurprisingly, this makes for an extremely light shoe, too.
Because it is so light and made of light materials, these shoes will keep your feet cool even if you run for hours at a time. This is especially important if you tend to have feet that overheat when running.
8. Vibram EL-X - $100
These shoes are yet another pair with individual spaces for the toes. Some guys think that this kind of design makes the shoe less efficient or that it makes one's feet sweat more, but this isn’t necessarily true.
Shoes like the Vibram EL-X are designed to be so light that it’s almost impossible for your feet to overheat inside the shoe, even if you are running for hours. Besides that, there is a lining within these shoes that is anti-microbial. So, even if you do end up sweating into these shoes, the liner will prevent any bacteria from building up on the inside.
This will also prevent the shoes from developing a bad smell. Very few barefoot running shoes have this feature, which is a big plus for the Vibram EL-X.
9. KMD Sport - $125
Here is yet another pair of shoes with individual toe spaces.
Besides that, the main feature of the KMD Sport Shoes is that it has a unique construction for the arch. In particular, the arch is designed to offer more support to the foot than most barefoot running shoes.
This is a very important feature if you have high arches.
Even if you don't, the difference in this design helps take away any unnecessary weight off of your feet. This is very important for long runs since the excess weight on your feet can make them very sore and achy – even for extended periods of time.
These shoes are also very easy to wash since you can just throw them into the washing machine and then into the dryer whenever you feel like it to keep the shoes fresh.
Run far enough for long enough and you’ll know just what a huge advantage that is.
10. V-ALPHA - $145
The first benefit of these V-ALPHA Shoes is that they feature a foam insole. Not many barefoot running shoes have this feature. The foam design helps to completely encase your feet while you're running.
This not only keeps your foot comfortable, but it will also keep your foot in place within the shoe.
That way, your foot won't keep shifting around inside the shoe as you run, which might create rashes and blisters. Besides the foam insole, the upper part of the shoe is designed to be very breathable.
That way, you won't have to worry about your feet overheating, even on hot days. The upper part easily allows air into the shoes to cool down your feet as you run. Even if your feet do happen to sweat, these shoes are very easy to wash.
11. Vibram FiveFingers KSO EVO - $132
The Vibram FiveFingers KSO EVO shoes are designed to be very versatile.
Due to their durable and supportive soles, these shoes can easily keep your feet comfortable, whether you're running on a dirt trail or on a hard asphalt road.
These shoes have individual spaces for your toes, which is beneficial for those who want to ensure that their toes have plenty of space to breathe.
In traditional runningshoes, you may often have the problem of your toes getting squished into a narrow toe box.
This can lead to blisters and sometimes even the development of ingrown toenails.
With individual toe spaces inside the Vibram FiveFingers KSO EVO shoes, you should never need to worry about these problems.
So, when wearing these shoes, all you need to do is focus on the road ahead.
12. Merrell Vapor Glove 3 Trail Runner - $80
The Merrell Vapor Glove 3 Trail Runner is a shoe that is ideal for those who are new to the realm of barefoot running shoes.
Making the transition from regular to barefoot running shoes may be difficult, so you shouldn't rush into it. That’s what makes this version such a great choice for beginners.
Instead of jumping right into zero drop shoes (which have completely flat soles), you can work your way there with this pair, which will still feel very minimal when you run.
At the same time, these shoes are very similar to regular running shoes, though they also have some key barefoot running shoe features.
For example, these shoes are very flexible and lightweight, which will ensure that your feet stay as comfortable and cool as possible when out for a run. They are also durable and supportive enough for going to the gym or hiking challenging trails.
They also are more affordable than most other barefoot running shoes, which is always a plus, especially if you’re not completely sure if you want to go full zero-drop yet.
13. Vibram V Trail Runner - $184
The Vibram V Trail Runner shoes are unique because their soles are thicker than other barefoot shoes.
These thicker soles ensure that the shoes have plenty of support and that your feet will be as comfortable as possible, even when you're running on gravel, rocks, or other types of terrain.
Due to the construction of these shoes, namely the thicker soles, they are another great option for men looking to transition from regular running shoes to barefoot running shoes.
These shoes are very light and have a mesh fabric upper. This ensures that if your feet sweat at all, the sweat will soon evaporate out of the shoe.
That way, you won't have to deal with damp, swampy shoes after a long run. Air from outside the shoe should also be able to flow inside it to cool down your feet.
As we covered earlier, getting this kind of air into the shoe to keep your feet cool and dry is a great way to avoid all kinds of uncomfortable afflictions.
14. Vibram Trek Ascent Walking Shoe - $123
If you need a tough shoe that can usher you across equally tough terrain, then you might want to opt for the Vibram Trek Ascent Walking Shoe.
This shoe is designed for more heavy-duty types of runs, especially those that involve a lot of gravel, stones, and other hard types of terrain.
The soles on these shoes are particularly thick and durable.
More than that, these barefoot soles also have plenty of traction on them, which makes them much more efficient at gripping different types of terrain – even the aforementioned types that pose unique challenges.
The toe bumpers also have plenty of traction, which makes it easy to grip the ground under you.
The entire shoe, despite its heavy-duty design, is quite light, which ensures that it will not drag you down when you're out on a long run.
15. Vibram V-Train Cross-Trainer Shoes - $104
The Vibram V-Train Cross-Trainer shoes are the perfect men's barefoot running shoes for those who want to be completely immersed in the act of barefoot running or hiking.
In the realm of barefoot shoes, you can't get more authentic than these. These shoes have individual spaces for your toes and are designed to be worn without any socks.
The soles are designed to offer plenty of traction, so you shouldn't have any trouble running across different types of terrain, even if the ground happens to be slippery or wet.
The upper part of the shoe is solid, so you won't need to worry about any water or pebbles getting into your shoes.
The downside of the upper part of the shoe is that it is not quite efficient at keeping your feet cool as they’re designed with added protection for keeping your feet dry and safe during runs over challenging terrain.
Picking the Best Barefoot Shoes for Men
As you can see, 2023 has seen a large number of impressive barefoot running shoes hit the market that are designed specifically for men.
If you’ve long enjoyed these minimalist shoes, you have plenty of options to switch to no matter what kind of running you enjoy. We also recently added a post about the best barefoot shoes from Nike if you're looking for an option from that very popular brand.
And if you’re completely new to this type of footwear, there are a ton of options to help you safely transition without courting unnecessary problems.