The 20 Best Barefoot Running Shoes for Women in 2023
Barefoot running shoes are taking over the women’s athletic footwear market.
2023 saw an unprecedented number of new models – many of which came from popular footwear brands that are new to the craze.
So, if you’re looking for women’s barefoot running shoes, there’s never been a better time to consider all of your numerous options.
The 20 Best Barefoot Running Shoes for Women in 2023
Of course, unless you won’t need them for a couple years, you probably don’t want to spend a lot of time considering each and every barefoot shoe out there.
That’s why we put together a list of the best barefoot running shoes for women in 2023.
Whether you’re just learning how to run barefoot or it’s time to upgrade your current pair to something better, here are all the best options for women.
(And we recently put together a list of the best toe socks for barefoot runners, so be sure to check that out, too)
1. Vibram FiveFingers KSO EVO - $90
If you're looking for the best barefoot running shoes but don't know where to start, the Vibram FiveFingers KSO EVO running shoes may be a good place to begin.
At around $90, these particular shoes have all sorts of benefits that you won't often see in an ordinary pair of running shoes.
The first thing you will notice about these barefoot running shoes for women is that there is not a single toe box.
Instead, the shoe has space for each individual toe. That gives these “finger shoes” an extra layer of gripping power and flexibility.
It is easy to feel the ground under your feet with these shoes, but at the same time, they’re very comfortable due to their durable soles.
The upper part of the shoe is also very light and breathable, so your feet shouldn't overheat even if you're on an intense hike or a long walk.
2. Xero Shoes HFS - $124
If you don't want barefoot running shoes that have individual spaces for your toes, then you might want to opt for Xero Shoes HFS. Around $124, these women’s shoes are very high quality, but you won't need to break the bank to get a pair, either.
These shoes are famous for being extremely lightweight and breathable, which are both very important features when going barefoot in any kind of shoe.
Besides that, these shoes are very comfortable and follow the natural shape of your foot. The great thing about these shoes in particular is that the toe box is very spacious.
This is important for ensuring that your toes don't feel cramped or rub against the inside of the shoe creating blisters or rashes.
The shoe itself is quite minimalistic in both its design and structure, which is why many women actually forget that they’re wearing these shoes when walking around in them.
3. Tadeevo Bliss - $120
At $120, Tadeevo Bliss running shoes may look like a lot of other athletic shoes for women, but when you put them on, you will find that they are specifically formulated for those who enjoy the barefoot feel.
The number one benefit of these shoes is that they are extremely flexible – much more so than the conventional running shoes that most women wear.
When wearing these shoes, they should be able to flex along with your every foot movement whether you're running on flat ground or climbing craggy rocks. You might think that such flexible shoes might not be very durable, but you would be wrong.
These shoes are made of very high-quality materials, so it's no surprise that these shoes, especially the soles, can easily last many miles before they ever start to sustain damage or need to be replaced.
4. Merrell Vapor Glove 5 - $90
The Merrell Vapor Glove 5 shoes are perhaps one of the most comfortable shoes on this entire list, which says a lot considering they’re also just $90.
Many people find that these shoes feel more like comfortable running socks than actual shoes.
But does that mean that these shoes are not durable or are not good for rougher terrain?
Not at all!
Even though these shoes are very soft, comfortable, and flexible, they’re actually just as durable as even the most hardcore running shoes. Besides that, the soles on these shoes are particularly thick and durable and they won't wear down even if you run for many miles every day.
These shoes constantly show up on many different lists for the best women's barefoot running shoes – not just this one – for good reason.
The only downside of this shoe is that it is not very versatile when it comes to changes in the weather such as rain.
5. Xero Shoes Oswego - $100
Around $100, if you want to get a shoe that is as light as it can possibly be, then it will be in your best interest to try out the Xero Shoes Oswego.
These shoes are designed to be very light, perhaps lighter than any other shoe on this list. The reason for this reduction in weight has to do with the knitted upper part of these shoes.
Usually, the upper part of shoes is made of heavy materials like leather or something similar, but not these shoes. The thin but durable fabric of these shoes ensures that your feet won't have to deal with any unnecessary weight as you run.
The way the upper part is knitted also makes the shoes very durable even if you run through brambles and branches.
This is not to mention that these shoes are very water-resistant, so your feet should stay dry even on wet days.
6. Xero Shoes Speed Force - $114
Yet another pair of shoes from Xero Shoes at $114, these Xero Shoes Speed Force shoes are a bit different than the last. The upper part of the shoe is not made of knit materials, but the upper part is still very lightweight and durable. In particular, there are many little holes in the upper part of the shoe which allows this model to be extra breathable.
This is very important if you happen to have feet that tend to overheat.
At the same time, since these shoes have small holes in them, they won't be best for wet terrain.
Another great thing about these barefoot shoes is that they feel very natural.
When running in a pair of shoes like this, a natural feel is very important. The last thing you want to deal with is scratchy fabric rubbing against your feet while you're on a run.
Instead, these shoes should feel very smooth while you run.
7. Vivobarefoot Primus Lite - $160
If your toes are large or are spaced widely apart, then you know the struggles of finding shoes that won't suffocate and cramp your toes.
Fortunately, the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite shoes at $160 are perfect for feet like that. These shoes are naturally designed with very large and spacious toe boxes.
So, even if your toes are spaced widely apart, these shoes should still be very comfortable for you. At the same time, these shoes are very good at gripping your heels so that they don't slide out of the back of the shoe as you run. This, of course, could be a big problem and could easily create blisters on your heels if you're not careful.
These barefoot shoes are also very flexible without being too floppy or unsupportive. You should be able to run in these for many miles without any trouble and your shoes should last a long time too.
8. Topo Athletic ST-4 - $108
While these Topo Athletic ST-4 shoes may look like an average pair of women’s sneakers, upon closer inspection, you will find that they’re actually designed with barefoot runners in mind.
At $108, these are arguably one of the best barefoot running shoes currently on the marekt for women for a variety of reasons.
The main benefit has to do with how these shoes fit. These shoes are designed to fit a number of different kinds of feet without any problems.
This is due to the fact that these shoes have very spacious toe boxes, so your toes won't be cramped or smashed while on a long run.
At the same time, the rest of the shoe is designed to firmly grasp the rest of your foot, so that it’s able to stay securely in place within the shoe.
These shoes also have thick soles with plenty of cushioning to keep your feet as comfortable as possible while you run.
9. Merrell Women's Bare Access Arc 3 - $44
If you find that most barefoot running shoes don't have enough cushioning to keep your feet comfortable, then you should opt for Merrell Women's Bare Access Arc 3 running shoes.
At $44, these shoes are designed to have more cushioning than just about any other barefoot running shoe. This will solve the problem of achy feet, especially after running for many miles or several hours.
The cushioning is both inside the shoe and in the sole of the shoe. The thicker layer of cushioning also makes it so you won't feel every bump in the road as you run.
At the same time, the design of the extra cushioning won't make the shoe much heavier than your average barefoot running shoe.
This is still a very lightweight shoe that you can run in all day and still feel very natural and effortless. Of course, that’s especially important for very long runs.
10. Merrell Trail Glove 6 Eco Barefoot Shoes - $110
Yet another pair of shoes from Merrell, these $110 shoes are similar to the Bare Access Arc 3 but there are a few important differences with this option.
In particular, the Merrell Trail Glove 6 Eco Barefoot Shoes have thick soles and more cushioning than usual, but they are not quite as well-cushioned as the Bare Access Arc 3.
Even so, these shoes are still very comfortable and do very well at absorbing the majority of shocks you might come across when running on hard or soft terrain.
Many people who wear these shoes find that they feel so natural that they often forget that they are wearing them at all.
This, of course, is a clear sign of a good barefoot running shoe. Besides that, the minimalist design and structure of these shoes ensure that the shoes are very lightweight and great for women who want to run for many hours without their feet getting too tired or feeling too heavy.
11. Merrell Trail Glove 6 - $80
We have already explored the Merrell Trail Glove 5, it’s still worth taking a look at the Trail Glove 6.
How is it different from the 5s and the similar Trail Glove 6 Eco shoes?
Naturally, these $80 shoes are a lot like the Trail Glove 5s, but their design and structure have both been updated and improved. The biggest benefit of these shoes is that they are very versatile, perhaps more versatile than the majority of the shoes on this list.
These shoes can tackle just about anything, whether it be a long stretch of flat terrain, jumping from rock to rock, or conquering any kind of tough terrain in general.
The reason why these shoes are so versatile has to do with the fact that the soles have plenty of traction, the upper part of the shoe is very lightweight and breathable, and the entire shoe is very durable.
So, these shoes can easily withstand whatever you throw at them, and you won't need to worry about replacing them for a long time.
12. Vibram Women's V-Trail Runner - $66
These $66 shoes are yet another pair that have a separate-toe design.
Some people may love this design for the Vibram Women's V-Trail Runner shoes while others may not like it at all. This kind of design is best for those who want a very natural feeling when running over a trail or other piece of terrain.
This design is also best for those who want to have more gripping power and flexibility when running or hiking. Each toe, along with the rest of the shoe, is equipped with very high-traction soles. Keep in mind that the sole itself is not very thick.
This is one of many factors that contributes to the natural feel of these shoes and it also makes them very lightweight and flexible. You can easily roll up this shoe and put it in a bag or your pocket. However, due to the thinner sole, it won't give you as much support.
13. Merrell Vapor Glove 4 - $80
While the Merrell Vapor Glove 4 is an older model of the Vapor Glove series, that certainly doesn't mean that these shoes are outdated or ineffective.
On the contrary, these barefoot shoes are a very good choice and offer a variety of unique benefits. For one, these shoes are very soft and flexible yet durable all at the same time.
The Merrell Vapor Glove 4 is so moldable that you can easily pack them away when you're not using them or carry them with you in your pocket if you feel like changing your shoes throughout the day.
Because these shoes are so soft and flexible, they naturally fit your foot no matter what shape it might be.
They are also surprisingly affordable at only around $80.
Once you get a pair of these barefoot shoes, you will find that they are so durable that you won't need to get another pair of for a very long time.
14. Vivobarefoot Primus Lite II - $160
This makes it a great option if you are becoming vegan or if you just want to take a stance to support the environment.
Whatever the case, the fact that these shoes are vegan certainly does not diminish the comfort or versatility of their running capabilities.
Even though the soles of these shoes look relatively smooth, they actually have great grip which will allow you to grip anything from dirt paths to asphalt, and even rocks and stones. At the same time, the soles are just thick enough and have enough cushioning that you won't feel every bump and pebble in the road while you run.
This only adds to the comfort factor of these shoes, especially if you like to run along asphalt roads or on gravel trails.
15. Vivobarefoot Geo Court Knit - $175
At $175, some people might be put off by the high price of these shoes, but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for.
This is especially true if you decide to buy a pair of Vivobarefoot Geo Court Knit shoes for yourself.
These women’s running shoes are very high-quality as well as very versatile. You will find that you can wear these shoes not only out on the trails but also while you're out about town or going to work. These shoes are minimal and stylish enough to wear just about anywhere.
These shoes come in two colors: Limestone and Sea Green.
Both of these colors are very neutral, which makes them ideal even for office environments. Of course, these shoes are great for running as well since that's what they're primarily designed for.
The only downside of these barefoot running shoes is that they are not all that lightweight. That's because there is leather and a few other heavy materials in these shoes. So, if you’re a woman who prefers running shoes on the lighter side, you might want to look elsewhere for a barefoot option.
16. Xero Shoes Mesa Trail - $124
If you need a barefoot shoe that has some serious durability and strength, then you should opt for the Xero Shoes Mesa Trail Shoes.
These running shoes are around $124, but the price may vary depending on where you buy them. Just by looking at them, you can tell that these shoes have some serious power and strength behind them.
This is not to mention that they come in some intriguing colors like rusty red and black. These barefoot shoes are designed to be spacious so that they easily encompass your feet without smashing them or making them feel suffocated.
The Xero Shoes Mesa Trail Shoes are made of lightweight materials, so they should feel very natural as you run with them for long distances.
The soles are particularly thick and have a lot of traction. For that reason, these shoes should easily last you thousands of miles before ever needing to be replaced.
17. Freet Barefoot - $115
If you desperately need barefoot running shoes that have plenty of cushioning, then you should opt for the Freet Barefoot Shoes. These shoes are only $115 but are still known for having thicker cushioning compared to most other barefoot running shoes.
While the soles aren't particularly thick, they are great at absorbing the shocks of your footfalls so that your joints won't get impacted as harshly.
Also, you won't be able to feel every little pebble under your feet as you run either. The structure of these women’s shoes will ensure that your feet are completely supported without ever being crushed or suffocated.
They are also very lightweight.
So, you won't need to drag a pair of heavy shoes with you when going out for a run. This is not to mention that these are yet another pair of barefoot shoes that are both vegan and eco-friendly, which is an added bonus for many women.
18. Whitin Barefoot Minimalist Shoes - $42
If you want shoes that are both functional and stylish at the same time, then you should opt for these Whitin Barefoot minimalist shoes.
These $42 barefoot shoes are the most affordable shoes on this list, but just because they’re cheap doesn't mean that they're low quality.
On the contrary, these women’s shoes are known for being very efficient and functional on all sorts of terrain. They are also very attractive and sleek since Whitin gave them a very particular modern design. You could easily wear the Whitin Barefoot minimalist shoes to work out, as well to run.
These shoes are also very breathable. Even if your feet tend to sweat and overheat when out on a run, you will find that these shoes will keep your feet nice and cool.
19. Xero 360 - $124
As you can guess from the name, the Xero 360 Shoe is very versatile and can do just about anything you can imagine.
You can wear this barefoot shoe anytime, anywhere, without running into any problems. The 360 Zero Shoe is around $124 and while that is a little more on the expensive side, it’s money well spent.
If this shoe was any cheaper, it likely wouldn't be as good as it is.
This shoe is extremely durable and can withstand just about anything you throw at it. Besides that, it is very lightweight and won't make your feet tired even if you decide to go for an extra-long run.
This is not to mention that these shoes are very stylish and look good on everyone who wears them.
20. Altra Running - $130
If you are just transitioning to barefoot running shoes for the first time and don't know where to start, many women would recommend the Altra Running Shoes. These $130 shoes are perfect for those who are not quite ready to take on fully barefoot running shoes yet. They’re the perfect mix between barefoot and regular shoes.
They’re definitely far from the typical zero drop shoes that many women look for when they want a barefoot option for running.
What else could you want from a beginner's barefoot shoe?
Finding the Best Barefoot Running Shoes for Women in 2023
Whether you’re brand new to barefoot running shoes or you’re a veteran of this popular model, you’ll find the perfect pair above. We also just did a post that also covers some great options for women: the best Nike barefoot shoes.
For those of you who have already owned a pair before, the summaries above should provide all the information you need to make the right choice.
If you’re a woman who’s new to barefoot running, the best advice is to probably start somewhere in the middle in terms of price. There are plenty of options between $60-100 that will be very high quality without breaking the bank.
Later on, if you fall in love with barefoot running, you can always spend more on your next pair.