It’s winter, which means it’s time to switch out your barefoot shoes for warm, waterproof, zero-drop boots. Check out this round-up of the best barefoot winter boots.
It’s easy to opt for barefoot shoes during the warmer months, but once you start dealing with cold weather, rain, or snow, it can be tough to find a shoe that’s fits the criteria for being both a barefoot boot and warm and weatherproof enough for winter.
I’ve already shared the best barefoot and minimalist hiking shoes here. And just to give a quick definition of barefoot, I mean shoes that have thin, flexible soles, a wide toe box, and a zero-drop platform.
Now that we’re almost to winter, I wanted to share the best barefoot boots that will keep your feet warm and dry. I looked for three w’s when I was trying to find the best barefoot boots – waterproof, warmth, and weight.
If the boots you love are not waterproof, or you just want to make extra certain that they are, use this waterproof spray for canvas and this wax for leather. I also recommend pairing your boots with merino wool hiking socks, like these ones here.
1 Lems Boulder Boot
The Lem’s Boulder Boot is an all-around awesome barefoot hiking boot, and since they’re so comfortable and lightweight, they’re great for everything else too. Lem’s dubs them as the world’s most packable boot, so they’ll likely be the first pair of boots you reach for wherever you’re traveling.
These are zero drop boots. The 9mm sole is created using air-injection rubber which makes it lightweight and flexible. Light soles means an overall light weight – just 9.9 oz per boot.
While most boots tend to narrow in and squish your toes, the Boulder Boots have a wide toe box, so no worries about crammed feet here.
The original Boulder Boots are NOT waterproof. However, Lems recently released a waterproof version that was so popular that they sold out super quickly (people have been waiting for these for awhile). The next stock of fully waterproof Boulder Boots will be back on the Lem’s website in February 2020. If you don’t want to wait that long, then I recommend ordering the original Boulder Boots and using a waterproof spray like this one.
The waterproof Boulder Boots have oiled, water-repellant leather uppers and a gusseted tongue to keep the water out. To extend the extend the water-repellant finish on the leather, Lems recommends using Otter Wax.
The Lems Boulder Boots range in prices from $125 to $165.
2 Xero Shoes Denver Boot
The Xero Shoes Denver is a unisex barefoot boot that ticks all the boxes for a great everyday winter boot. Starting with the barefoot basics, they’re zero drop, flexible, and have a wide-toe box. Plus, these have a flannel lining to add extra warmth, and the canvas exterior is water repellant.
If you’re new to barefoot shoes and hesitant to make the switch because you’re worried about thin soles, then you can rely on Xero Shoes 5000 miles sole warranty. They guarantee their soles, but if you do manage to wear through the outsole, Xero Shoes will replace them for a nominal cost.
These Denver boots retail for $110.
➳ Shop Now: Xero Shoes Denver
3 Xero Shoes Xcursion Boot
If your focus is on a barefoot hiking boot for winter, then the rugged Xero Shoes Xcursion Boots are a great option.
The Xcursion is a high-top, winterized version of Xero Shoe’s best-selling hiking and running shoe, the TerraFlex. I wore these for a week in the snow — sledding, snowmobiling, and lots of tromping in the snow. The waterproof membrane works great. These are high-top, but if you’re going to be walking through deep snow, just make sure you have gaiters or pants that cover the top to keep the snow out. While these are super lightweight at just 9.60z per boot, my feet were warm enough for the most part with a part of good wool socks.
The Xcursion boots retail at $160.
4 Vivobarefoot Tracker FG
Vivobarefoot also makes a fully waterproof hiking boot. The Vivobarefoot Tracker FG boots are zero drop boots made with full leather uppers, a waterproof lining, and thermal protection in the insole for extra warmth. The outer soles are super flexible (these can fold over into a ball), but grippy enough for that extra traction in wet or slippery conditions. I would note that while the toe box is wider than a typical boot, it’s not as wide as the boots by Lems or Xero Shoes.
Vivobarefoot is one of the pricier brands of barefoot shoes. The Trackers are $240. If this is your first time ordering from Vivobarefoot, use this link here and get $30 off your purchase. All of Vivobarefoot’s shoes come with a 100-day-trial. That means if you don’t love them after wearing them for 100 days, send them back for a full refund.
5 Vivobarefoot Fulham
The Fulham is Vivobarefoot’s take on the classic Chelsea boot. The leather uppers are water resistant, and the shoes include a removable thermal insert for the soles.
➳ Shop Now: Womens
5 Wildling Wool Shoes
Wildling is a small company out of Germany that makes some of the most lightweight and flexible barefoot shoes on the market. The Wildling winter line up features barefoot shoes made of wool, so they’re warm and naturally water-resistant. These are more on the delicate end of shoes on this list, so they work well as an everyday shoe, not for heavy duty trekking through mud and snow. These wool shoes are available in baby, kids, and adult sizes.
6 Vivobarefoot Ryder Womens Boot
Vivobarefoot’s winter boots range from hikers to riding boots for women. The Ryder Womens boots look like a classic riding boot, but with the comfort you can expect from a barefoot shoe. These womens boots are made of leather, waterproofed uppers with a stretchy neoprene back panel and the thin, flexible sole is insulated with a removable thermal insert.
The Ryder Boots cost $250. You can use the $30 off link I mentioned above for these Vivobarefoot boots as well.
➳ Shop Now: Womens
7 Xero Shoes Mika Womens Boots
Xero Shoes takes it to the next level with the Mika, a women’s winter barefoot boot that laces up to the mid-calf.
These boots are ready to take to help you take on the worst winter weather, with water-repellant canvas uppers, flannel lining, and heat-reflecting warming insoles. Even with the extra warmth, these winter boots only weigh 12 oz.
These boots have similar styling and features to the rest of the Xero Shoes range, including a zero-drop platform, flexible soles, and a wide toe box. The Mika boots retail for $140.
➳ Shop Now: Womens
There are a few European companies that make warm barefoot and minimalist winter boots, but they can be harder to track down online and often have high shipping fees if you’re in the US. For more barefoot winter boot options, check out the Kuuva 5 boots by Feelmax, and the Transition Vario 3 boots by Sole Runner.
READ MORE WINTER GEAR RECOMMENDATIONS
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