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. Because barefoot shoes by definition have a thin and flexible sole, there is a tradeoff with warmth. A thick bottom means more insulation from cold ground and snow. Some barefoot boots have a thicker sole than you’d find on a traditional barefoot shoe, and several companies (like Vivobarefoot) offer thermal insoles to add another layer of warmth to the bottom of your feet.
Tips for getting the most out of your barefoot winter boots
Waterproofing: If the boots you love are not waterproof, or you just want to make extra certain that they are, you can add your own waterproofing treatment. Use this waterproof spray for canvas. For leather, use Otter Wax or NikWax.
Add thermal or sheepskin insoles: Like I mentioned above, if you’re going to be trekking over freezing cold ground or snow, you may want to trade off some ground feel for a more insulated sole. Vivobarefoot has thermal insoles you can add to their winter boots. Or, for a lot of warmth, try sheepskin insoles by Softstar, Manitobah, or UGG. There are also a lot of options for sheepskin insoles on Amazon, though it can be hard to know what you’re getting from an off-brand. Brands like Wildling offer wool insoles (check out their US or International website) as does Feelgrounds.
Check out a more extensive list of warm insoles here.
Wear Merino Wool Socks: If your barefoot boots are lacking a warm and cozy lining, pair them with a quality pair of merino wool socks. Since you want to be taking advantage of all that room in the toe box of your barefoot shoes, make sure you socks aren’t squeezing your toes. I find many merino wool socks have a bit more room in the toe box. My go-to wool sock brands are Wildly Good, Bombas, and Smartwool. You could also opt for toe socks from brands like Injinji or Knitido+.
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Barefoot Winter Boots
This table lists a quick summary of the best everyday barefoot winter boots included in this post. For more information on each of these barefoot brands and shoes, like sizing tips and discount codes, read the detailed section below the table. At the end of the post, there are two additional sections that include barefoot snow boots and tall barefoot boots.
|BeLenka Winter Barefoot Boots||
||$120 – $165||Shop Now|
|Vivobarefoot Winter Boots||
|Wildling Winter Shoes||
||$119 – $159||Shop Now|
|Feelgrounds Winter Boots||
|Xero Shoes Xcursion Fusion Boots||
||$125 – $160||Shop Now|
Everyday Barefoot Winter Boots and Shoes
1 Be Lenka Winter Barefoot Boots
Most shoes are leather | Many lined and waterproof options | $159-$209 | Sizes 33-47 | KELLY5 for 5% off
I’ve included BeLenka first on this list because they have a pretty extensive line of barefoot winter boots that are super warm with a wide, roomy toe box, so they’re a great fit for most people. Be Lenka started with several styles of barefoot winter boots, and now has over nine different styles of barefoot winter boots for the 2022 fall/winter season.
BeLenka updated its sole shape in 2021 for winter boots, so it is slightly wider with a straighter toe shape. Their boots typically go on presale near the end of August, and sometimes they’ll have a 10% off presale for new models.
Like all Be Lenka barefoot shoes, these boots have a flexible and zero-drop sole with no toe spring.
- Winter Boots 2.0 – These boots have clean, simple styling and come in leather and nubuck leather uppers and they’re updated for 2022. They feel like wearing cozy slippers outdoors, but look a lot more put together. The winter boots are crafted with water-resistant leather and feature a protective membrane to keep your feet dry. These boots also have a merino wool lining for extra warmth. Because of the wool lining, you may want to consider going up a size. These boots use Be Lenka’s new sole shape, and also feature an anti slip lug outsole. Retail is $199 and these boots are unisex. I have these in EU38, but I would consider sizing up given the overall lining plus the wool insole. For me, these are comfortable with thinner wool socks and if I remove the insole, so I probably should’ve sized up to an EU39.
- Entice Boots – Be Lenka’s Chelsea boots are made with Nappa leather uppers and side elastic panels. Lined with fleece for extra warmth. These boots feature the same grippy outsoles as the Winter Boots. Retail is $179.
- Olympus – Made with leather and nubuck leather, these have more of a casual feel and a side zipper. Retail is $159.
- Nevada – classic casual boot with styling similar to Timberlands. Retail is $179. I have these in an EU38, and that seems to be the right fit for me. These do not have additional lining.
- Ranger – nubuck leather with rugged styling. Retail is $179.
- Polaris – super cozy slip-on boots with sheepskin lining. Retail is $179.
- Bliss – Nubuck leather, fleece lined and water-resistant membrane. Retail is $179.
- Snowfox Snow Boots – These are serious snow boots, with a combination of insulation to keep your feet warm even on the coldest of days. These have synthetic & natural wool, a removable wool insole and insulating aluminium layer. Plus, these boots have over two-hundred five star reviews with plenty of others testing them in temperatures well below freezing.
Fit & Sizing: The fit and sizing for BeLenka’s barefoot winter boots usually depends on how much insulation the style has, and how thick of socks you’re planning to wear. If you plan to wear really thick socks, I would measure your feet with the socks on and consider sizing up. I have a 23.3cm foot measurement, and included my sizing notes for the particular styles above. Most boots are unisex, though there are a few women’s only styles.
You can order these barefoot winter boots from the Be Lenka website and pay shipping from Europe. If you’re based in the US, the online barefoot shoe retailer PedTerra carries several Be Lenka winter boot models. The retail price is slightly more compared to Be Lenka’s website, but they offer free shipping and free returns in the US. Use code KELLY for 10% off at PedTerra or KELLY5 for 5% off at BeLenka.
2 Lems Boulder Boots and Chelsea Boots
Leather and vegan uppers | Waterproof options | Rugged outsole options for hiking | $135 – $185
I often recommend Lems to those that are new to barefoot shoes because they have great style, a wide comfy toe box, and a little bit thicker soles and cushion.
The Boulder Boots have long been one of Lems’ most popular styles, and in 2022 they’re now adding the Boulder Summit with a more rugged and grippier tread made for hiking. They’re also releasing a Chelsea Boot (which look like the perfect replacement for those narrow, heeled Blundstones).
Lems’ boots are all-around awesome minimalist winter boots. They’re zero-drop boots that are comfortable and lightweight. 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 Lems’ boots have a wide toe box, so no worries about crammed feet here.
Lems has expanded the line up in the last few years, so you’ve got a lot of options when it comes to materials and boot height.
- Boulder Boots Waterproof Grip – If you’re going to get one pair of Lem’s boots, this is my top pick. There are several variations of the Boulder Boot, and this one is waterproof and (as of fall 2023) comes with a slip-resistant sole. These minimalist 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, periodically reapply Otter Wax. If you plan on using your boots in a lot of rain and snow, then I definitely recommend getting the waterproof version. There is no extra lining for warmth, so you’ll need to pair these with some warm wool socks. You can watch a video review of these Lems Boulder Boot Waterproof Grip here.
- Chelsea Boots – For a waterproof, slip-on minimalist boot with a very roomy toe box, check out the Lems Chelsea Boots. After slipping them on, you’ll be ready to toss your Blundstone boots!
- Leather Boulder Boots – these full-grain leather boots are the originals. The come in a reddish brown or black.
- Vegan Boulder Boots – these come in full nylon, or nylon with vegan leather accents. The nylon are the most lightweight and flexible, so they’re really versatile and especially great if you’re looking for a boot to carry you through most of the year.
- Boulder Boot Mid – If you are looking for a mid-cut boot, then you’re in luck! In late 2020, Lems released the Boulder Boot Mid in both leather and nylon. Just note that neither are waterproof.
- Boulder Boot Summit – These are the hiking version of the Boulder Boot with the most rugged tread. These are also waterproof.
- Telluride Boots: The Telluride Boot is dropped in late 2023, with oat-colored soft suede uppers and faux fur lining around the collar.
Fit & Sizing: The sizing of Lems’ shoes varies based on the style, and if you’ve ordered from them over the last few years, it can make you go a little crazy trying to get the right size for each style. But rest assured, they are working on making their sizing more uniform and it has gotten better. The Lems website typically has a sizing recommendation note on each style, and I usually find this to be accurate. You can review the sizing chart for the specific style you want before ordering. The sizing chart gives you a recommended size based on foot length instead of providing the actual insole measurement. As a point of reference, my longest foot measurement is 23.3cm and my typical size is Women’s US7.5 or EU38. Here are my women’s sizes for the following styles: Primal 2s (US 7.5); Primal Pursuit (US8); Waterproof Boulder Boots (US8.5); Chelsea Boots (US8); Waterproof Boulder Boot Grip (these are different than than just the regular waterproof) (US8); Telluride (8).
My partner’s foot measurement is 26.8cm, and his typical size is Men’s US 10.5. Here are his sizes for the following styles: Vegan Nylon Boulder Boots at US10.5, but these are too tight, would opt for US11.5; Chillums at US11 that fit well; and Trailheads at US10.5 that are slightly tight.
3 Vivobarefoot Winter Boots
Leather uppers | Waterproof options | Rugged outsole options for hiking | $168 – $280 | Code KELLY10 for 10% off | Special code KELLY20 for 20% off thru Dec 31
As one of the original barefoot shoe brands, Vivobarefoot continues to provide several great options for barefoot winter boots. All of Vivobarefoot’s boots are zero drop, with flexible soles and a wide toe box. Most boots feature the signature hex-flex sole, which provides great traction over wet and muddy ground. Many also include a waterproof membrane and a removable thermal insole for extra warmth.
Vivobarefoot Everyday Barefoot Boots
All of these everyday, casual winter boot are naturally water resistant due to the leather uppers, but they do not have a separate waterproof lining. To improve the water resistance, treat with a waterproofing wax.
The difference between men’s and women’s boots is mostly the width, so if you have wider feet, opt for the men’s version.
- Women’s Fulham – This is Vivobarefoot’s take on a woman’s classic Chelsea boot.
- Gobi Boots – These simple, classic lace up boots are an excellent everyday barefoot winter boot. They have super soft leather that makes these uber flexible. They also have a fully lined winter version.
- Men’s Scott Boot – Simple, utilitarian boots made with dark brown leather uppers.
Vivobarefoot Tracker Barefoot Boots
Vivobarefoot’s tracker line are its rugged winter boots, better for hiking or tougher outdoor conditions. There are several different tracker styles; the Tracker II FG and the Tracker Winter SG are two of the most winterized boots at Vivobarefoot. If you’re looking for a barefoot winter boot, both of these Tracker boots have full leather uppers, a waterproof lining, and insulated uppers for extra warmth. The Forest Esc and Decon are amazing for hiking and cooler conditions, but are not fully waterproof and do not include extra insulation.
The outsole on the Tracker II FGs has a 2.5mm base and 4mm lugs featuring Vivobarefoot’s hex flex design. I’ve found this means good ground feel, but the grip isn’t compromised. They’ve performed well in both wet and dry conditions and over various terrain, including rocks and mud. They’re pretty flexible, and the boots can fold over into a ball. The Trackers retail at $240.
Vivobarefoot has a platform called revivo.com that sells gently used and renewed Vivobarefoot shoes. This is a good place to not only get a great deal on a pair of winter boots, but also check for past styles that are no longer offered.
Fit & Sizing: Vivobarefoot shoes do tend to run on the narrower end of barefoot shoe brands, so Vivo’s fit medium width, low volume feet best. I wear a size EU38 in all of my Vivobarefoot boots, including the Tracker II FGs, Tracker Decon and Gobi boots.
➳ Shop Now: Vivobarefoot (Code KELLY10 for 10% off)
4 Wildling Winter Shoes
Wool or Vegan Textile Uppers | $119-$159 | Sizes EU 18-48
Wildling is a small company out of Germany that makes some of the most lightweight and flexible barefoot shoes on the market. You get incredible barefoot feel, all while still keeping your feet impressively warm. They operate an international website as well as one for the US and Canada.
The zero-drop soles are only 2.5mm and feature cut outs in the outer sole around the instep that increase flexibility. If you’re looking for maximum freedom of movement, then Wildlings are the way to go. The winter lineup of Wildling shoes uses warm, natural materials like wool outers and lining, and tightly woven cotton canvas. Wool is a natural insulator and water repellent, but these shoes also feature an integrated membrane that helps protect against moisture.
The North Wolf is high cut wool shoe that is part of Wildling’s permanent collection, so it can be ordered year round. The fall/winter collection for the year is usually released in early September with a second release in early October, so those are the best times to get a pair of Wildling’s barefoot winter shoes with all the sizes in stock.
We’ve worn Wildling winter shoes over the last four years, and loved all of the different models. I love the use of wool for its warmth and breathability. Note that these are more on the delicate end of barefoot winter shoes on this list, so they work well as an everyday shoe, not for heavy duty trekking through mud and snow or for super wet weather.
Wildling recently released a new sole style called the Tann Resouled that is meant to be better for wetter conditions. It differs from the classic Wildling sole in that it has a raised outsole with closed sole gap joints.
Fit & Sizing: Some people like to size up on Wildling’s winter shoes likely due to thicker lining or plans to wear them with thick socks, but I ordered the same size as my summer pair of Wildlings (size 38). I still have plenty of room for a warm pair of wool socks. I’ve noticed that Wildling has started to build in extra space in some of their winter shoes, so be sure to check the sizing notes about the specific model you’re looking to purchase. Wildling’s barefoot winter shoes are available in baby, kids, and adult sizes (all shoes are unisex).
➳ Shop Now: US Wildling Website | International Wildling Website
5 Feelgrounds Boots
Vegan Leather Uppers | $149-$169 | Sizes EU 35-49
Feelgrounds make some of my favorite casual barefoot shoes because they’re comfortable and the clean, classic styling goes with almost everything. Feelgrounds also has several different zero-drop winter boots, all made out of vegan leather.
Patrol Winter Boots: These vegan barefoot boots are lined for additional warmth. Feature a waterproof membrane and gusseted tongue to make them fully waterproof.
Patrol Lite Boots: Same styles as the Patrol Winter, but without the waterproof membrane and inner lining. Better for milder winters.
Chelsea Boots: water-repellant, vegan, and easy to slip on. These come in black, sienna, and white. Feature the same outsole as the Patrol boots, but the uppers are more flexible with a softer vegan leather.
These boots have thicker soles compared to their everyday shoes, so there is going to be a trade off in flexibility here to get a thicker sole for warmth. But I still find them reasonably flexible, comfortable and very lightweight. These boots come in sand, dark brown, grey, and all black.
Fit & Sizing: I found these boots true to size. I ordered size EU38, the same size as all of my other Feelgrounds shoes ( and most of my other barefoot shoes). My original mesh shoes fit like a glove and I usually wear them without socks— the boots are a bit bigger, leaving enough room for a pair of thicker wool socks.
➳ Shop Now: Feelgrounds
6 Xero Shoes Barefoot Winter Boots
Vegan and Leather Uppers | $110-$150 | Sizes Women’s 5 – Mens 15
Xero Shoes is another popular barefoot brand based in the US. Their boots tend to be a bit more affordable compared to other barefoot winter boots (which I know is still a lot!). Sometimes they have steep clearance sales when they’re clearing out prior season shoes (one just happened in October 2022).
Xero Shoes tick the boxes for the barefoot basics. They’re zero drop and have a wide toe box. They’re super flexible and from our experience, don’t require any breaking in. Most boots use Xero Shoe’s High-traction FeelTrue® rubber sole and have pretty minimal padding and great ground feel.
Ashland: hemp canvas casual slip-on boot with faux-shearling lining for women. Retail $110
Tari: Chelsea boot with leather uppers. Retail $135
Xcursion Fushion Boot: If your focus is on a barefoot hiking boot for winter, then the rugged Xero Shoes Xcursion Fusion 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 few days in the snow a few years ago — 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 9.6oz per boot, my feet were decently warm with a pair of good wool socks. I’d probably opt for some of the newer, warmer lined options out there now, but I was impressed with how well they performed.
Fit & Sizing: Xero Shoes are one of the narrower brands of barefoot shoes, so they tend to work best with a narrow to medium width foot.
➳ Shop Now: Xero Shoes
7 Shapen Barefoot Boots
Leather Uppers | €129-159 | Sizes EU 35 – 47 | Code BFSHOEGUIDE5 for 5% off
Shapen is well known in the barefoot shoe world for their dressy barefoot shoes for women. As barefoot shoes are first and foremost about function, the style and design can often take a backseat. Shapen’s goal is to make all of their barefoot shoes stylish and beautiful.
They not only did that, but made them so comfortable, they became one of my most-worn boots last winter.
The Shapen Cozy is a simple, classic and fully-lined barefoot winter boot. The uppers are oiled nubuck with water-resistant properties, and along with the wool lining, my feet have stayed dry and warm in temps down to 20F. Shapen also has a cute Chelsea boot, Ugg-inspired slip-ons, and a lace-up boot with a more urban vibe.
The outsole has a dot pattern to give it some grip, it’s not as grippy as a boot with deep lugs. With that, Shapen are better as casual winter boots, not something for icy conditions.
Fit & sizing: Shapen fit medium to wide feet and medium to high volume best. They tend to run a little large, so I opted for an EU38 in Shapen’s lined winter boots.
➳ Shop Now: Shapen (Code BFSHOEGUIDE5 for 5% off)
8 Mukishoes Barefoot Boots
Vegan and Leather Uppers | $125-$160 | Sizes EU 24 – 48 | Code KELLYMUKI for 10% off
Mukishoes has several styles of barefoot boots for winter. These are zero-drop boots, and feature a very light, flexible sole. Mukishoes have very flexible soles, even compared to other barefoot brands. They place a lot of focus on sustainability, including using vegan leather like cork.
High Top Lace up Boots: The Mukishoes Quercus might have a quirky name, but the look great and are so warm and comfortable! These are the kind of boots that you put on and never want to take off. The boot gets its name from the cork uppers, which are sustainably harvested in Portugal. Cork is incredibly light, durable and water resistant. (Most boots in this post are fully waterproof, but these do not feature an additional membrane, so they are not). Cork is also a excellent insulator, and in combination with the felted wool lining, these keep your feet really warm. This same high top lace up style also comes in black leather, called the Igneous. The full length side zipper makes these boots super easy and quick to pull on and off.
Chelsea boots: Mukishoes has several versions of the classic Chelsea boot. Each style is made with a different upper material, but all feature the same flexible, zero-drop rubber sole. They also have an elastic insert on both sides to make them easier to pull on and off. The Chelsea Caramel and Chelsea Black are leather chelsea boots lined with burel (a tightly woven wool fabric). The Chelsea Black is The Chelsea Cork has a black colored cork upper and cotton flannel lining (pictured above). The
Fit & Sizing: I ordered these in my typical size EU38, and I have enough room for wool socks. Most adult styles are available in EU36-48, but some of the styles are also available for kids (like the Chelsea caramel boot), which comes in sizes EU 24-35, so they’re a great option if you have smaller feet!
➳ Shop Now: Mukishoes (code KELLYMUKI for 10% off)
Barefoot Snow Boots
Xero Shoes Alpine – Waterproof Winter Barefoot Snow Boot
If you’ve been looking for a heavy duty snow boot that still has barefoot features, then Xero Shoes’ new addition might just be the answer. The Alpine barefoot snow boot is a lightweight, warm, and fully waterproof. It also features the barefoot basics, including a zero drop sole and a wide-toe box.
Keep in mind that these are specifically designed for snow, so they aren’t the most minimalist boot out there. The trade off is that you do get the warmth. They have plenty of insulation around the foot and the sole is reasonably flexible, but still much stiffer than the barefoot winter boots listed in the section above. The snow boots come in men’s and women’s.
I love BeLenka’s everyday barefoot winter boots because they’re high-quality and super warm, and the snow boots are too. The Snowfox boots are heavy on the insulation, which includes synthetic & natural wool, a removable wool insole and insulating aluminium layer to give them extra warmth.
Manitobah Mukluks are based on the winter boots designed thousands of years ago by Indigenous people of northern Canada. As Canada is one of the coldest places in the winter, the boots are some of the warmest boots out there. Manitobah places a large focus on its social impact in the local indigenous communities, including incorporating art by Indigenous artists to its designs.
The soles for the Mukluk styles are zero-drop vibram soles. On the Waterproof Snowy Owl, the shafts is made from suede or leather and rabbit fur, and rated down to -32C.
Tall Barefoot Boots
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 code KELLY10 for 10% off!
➳ Shop Now: Womens
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
Additional Barefoot Winter Boot Options
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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