Barefoot Shoes Kids Gear

Warm Winter Shoes for Kids: 15 Kids’ Barefoot Boots for Everyday, Rain and Snow

October 12, 2020
Winter Shoes for Kids - Barefoot Boots for Everyday, Rain, and Snow

Get ready for cold weather with these comfortable and warm winters shoes for kids. We’ve rounded up the best kids’ barefoot boots for everyday, rain and snow.

Finding healthy shoes for kids can be a bit of a challenge. And by healthy shoes, I mean ones that have flat, flexible soles that are foot-shaped. Shoes like this are often called barefoot or minimalist shoes because they provide protection while still allowing a child to walk naturally as if they were barefoot. Barefoot shoes help children develop strong muscles in their feet, promote good posture, and don’t squish their toes or feet with a toe-box that is too narrow.  

While options are limited for everyday barefoot shoes, it can be even harder to find kids barefoot boots that are robust enough for cold and wet winter days. You shouldn’t have to compromise on healthy feet when the weather turns cold, wet or snowy, so we’ve rounded up the best minimalist winter shoes and barefoot boots for kids to keep their little toes warm all season long. This list is broken out into three sections: kids’ barefoot winter boots for everyday wear, minimalist rain boots and snow boots.

➳ If you have children that fit into larger sizes, then check out this post on the best barefoot winter boots for adults.

Child Snowshoeing in the snow

Get ready for winter!

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What to look for in barefoot winter shoes for kids

Wide toe box – A wide-toe box is important all year-round, and especially during the winter months when you don’t want to worry about bad circulation in your toes. Toes should have plenty of room to properly splay and move around, which means a toe-box should be wide, not narrow.

Zero-drop platform – Winter boot, galoshes, and snow boots tend to come with thick, chunky rubber heels. While a thicker sole can help a lot, you can still get a warm boot without a raised heel. A raised heel results in a longer, heavier stride, with initial contact on the overly cushioned heel. A zero-drop boot will help a child keep their natural stride.

Flexible Soles – During the summer, it’s easy to opt for a barefoot shoe with a very thin, flexible sole. However, as you start needing more warmth and protection from the cold ground during winter months, you’re going to need a thicker outer sole and a warmer lining. The tradeoff for the warmth of a thicker sole and lining is less flexibility. However, less flexibility does not mean almost no flexibility or thick, chunky heels and stiff uppers. The winter shoes on this list do an excellent job of finding a happy medium of warmth and protection with comfortable and flexible soles.

Best Barefoot Shoes for Kids and Toddlers

And don’t forget the wool socks!

A great winter boot goes a long way, but they’re even better when you pair them with wool socks. Merino wool is not itchy, it’s an incredible insulator to keep feet warm, and it’s moisture wicking and quick-drying (which can be really important if some rain or snow does end up getting in). Not only that, but merino wool is odor-resistant and naturally antimicrobial. Basically, it’s exactly what you want in a pair of winter socks. Here are our favorite merino wool socks for kids:

  • Bombas Merino Wool Calf Sock – I never thought I’d be super passionate about socks, but I really love Bombas Socks. They’re the most comfortable socks I’ve ever owned, and they donate a pair of socks for every sock purchased.
  • Smartwool Hike Kids’ Crew Socks – These socks have been a great option for everyday wear. They add a bit of extra warmth plus that natural odor-resistance that really comes in handy. You can get these at REI or Backcountry.

Kids’ Winter Shoes and Boots for Everyday Wear


1 Wildling Winter Shoes

Wildling is a small company out of Cologne, Germany that only makes barefoot shoes, both for children and adults. Wildling shoes are one of the most minimalist shoes out of all the barefoot shoe brands I’ve tried – the zero-drop soles are only 2.5mm and feature cut outs in the outer sole around the instep that increase flexibility. The toe box is wide, so little toes have lots of room to wiggle. If you’re looking for maximum freedom of movement, then Wildlings are the way to go.

The 2020 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. This is enough if you’ll be using them in occasional and light rain or snow, but I’d opt for something more heavy duty if you have particularly wet or snowy winters.

For this winter, my son has the Nessie, a mid-cut bootie made with dark blue felted wool. The tops around the ankle are like a thick and cozy sweater, which make your ankles extra warm and these shoes easy to slip on. They tighten with a quick pull on the elastic laces. The elastic laces makes them really easy to open fully to slide on, even with thick socks. 

Wildling has a super helpful printable fitting guide on their website, as well as detailed information on how to improve the waterproofing of your shoes. Wildling shoes start at size US Baby 2 (EU 18) and go through adult sizes.

➳ Pricing: The Cubs (Baby) line starts at $66, and the Wildling (Toddler to Youth) line starts around $76.

➳ Shop Now: Cubs | Wildling

Wildling Barefoot Kids Winter Shoes


2 Vivobarefoot Primus Winter Bootie

Vivobarefoot is one of the biggest names in barefoot shoes, and I was excited to see that they winterized their popular Primus Bootie. To make the Primus a great barefoot kids’ winter shoe, the made the uppers water-resistant and added a warm fleece lining and removable thermal insole. The removable insole means that these can easily transition to warmer months.  

All Vivobarefoot shoes come with a 100-day-trial, so you can easily return them if you are unhappy with them for any reason (though this usually isn’t the case!).

➳ Pricing: $85

➳ Shop Now: Vivobarefoot

Vivobarefoot warm kids' winter shoes


3 Be Lenka Winter Barefoot Kids’ Shoes

Be Lenka launched in 2017 with a range of barefoot shoes for adults, and started releasing kids’ barefoot shoes earlier this summer. My son tried out their first kids’ barefoot shoe called the Play, a high top sneaker made of nubuck leather with a 6 mm flexible sole. The winter version of this shoe is currently available for preorder, with delivery set in November 2020.

Be Lenka made a couple of changes from the original version to make these better for winter. They switched out nubuck leather for a smooth leather that is more water resistant when coupled with a regular waterproofing spray. The gusseted tongue helps keep out rain and snow, and the insulated lining adds warmth. These kids’ winter shoes are zero-drop with a wide toe box, and great for everyday wear. Sizes start at EU 25.

➳ Pricing: $96

➳ Shop Now: Be Lenka

BeLenka Barefoot Winter Shoes for Kids


4 ZeaZoo Yeti Boots

The outer leather on these cute winter booties by ZeaZoo does a great job of resisting light rain and snow, though I wouldn’t say they are fully waterproof. With an internal lining of fuzzy wool, feet and toes stay cozy and warm. The soles are foot-shaped with a wide toe box, and made of flexible 6 mm Vibram® Superflex rubber. The double velcro straps help feet stay securely in place.

ZeaZoo is a barefoot shoe company based out of Bulgaria, but you can purchase these from the U.S. online retailer Young Sole Shoes. This company realized how difficult it can be to get some of the amazing barefoot shoe brands based out of Europe here in the U.S. – so Young Sole Shoes simplifies the process of buying comfortable shoes for your children by making it easy to order new barefoot shoe brands with no shipping or return costs.

Use code NOMANBEFORE for 10% off your first purchase at Young Sole Shoes.

➳ Pricing: $109

➳ Shop Now: Young Sole Shoes (use code NOMBEFORE for 10%)

ZeaZoo Yeti Winter Boots for Kids


5 KEEN Kids’ Howser II Boot

KEEN shoes have a reputation for a wider footbed and toe-box, but its shoes aren’t known for being particularly flexible. However, the KEEN Kids’ Howser boots were a pleasant surprise; these kids’ winter boots can easily be folded into a ball, just like most of the kids’ shoes from my favorite barefoot companies.

These boots are good for really cold weather; they’re rated to -4°F/-20°C thanks to the KEEN.Warm insulation, which is a lightweight insulation created from charcoal bamboo. The uppers are made with durable, water-resistant nylon, and the insides have a fluffy microfleece lining.

➳ Pricing: $60-70

➳ Shop Now: KEEN Shoes

KEEN Howser Minimalist winter boots for kids

Kids' KEEN Howser boots are great winter shoes for kids
Flexible Minimalist Winter boot for Kids

6  PaperKrane Chelsea Boots

This small Australian company makes fun and colorful shoes with cute and quirky accents, like these Chelsea boots that come in teal with zebra stripes or black with rainbow soles. All PaperKrane barefoot boots are zero drop with a wide toe box. The gum rubber soles are super flexible, which means kids can run and jump all autumn and winter long.

These are available on Young Sole Shoes, which means you won’t have to worry about paying for shipping, returns, or import issues from Australia.

➳ Pricing: $68

➳ Shop Now: Young Sole Shoes (use code NOMBEFORE for 10%)

Paper Krane Chelsea Barefoot Boots for Kids with fun colors


7 Bobux Boots

Bobux makes shoes with flexible soles, designed to fit the natural shape of their feet. The Bobux Kids Timber Boots make a great everyday winter shoe for kids.  

They’re made with soft leather uppers and a durable but flexible rubber outsole. Bobux boots are zero-drop, and have a medium width toe box.

➳ Pricing: $57-70

➳ Shop Now: Zappos

Bobux Warm Winter Shoes for Kids

Barefoot Rain Boots for Kids


So you need some rain boots for puddle jumping, but you still want a pretty flexible shoe? These are the best barefoot rain boot options for kids.

1 Bundgaard Rubber Rain Boots

Bundgaard is a Danish company that makes some of the best rubber rain boots for kids. They have a couple of different styles:

Classic Tall Rubber Rain Boots – These are your basic rubber rain boots with a simple cotton lining. However, these have a wide toe box, unlike many boots which tend to narrow and squish the toes. They also have a very flat, flexible sole. This style comes in a large color variety, from classic yellow, pastels like lavender and mint green, or a simple navy.

Flexible and Minimalist Rain Boots for Kids by Bundgaard 

Classic Short Rubber Boots – These Bundgaard boots are zero-drop and ankle-high. You can choose from an unlined version, or one lined with cozy wool if you need  something fully waterproof and extra warm. The lined versions also come with a Wool Thermal Insole that can be removed for added flexibility, or kept in for extra warmth.

Short Rain Boots for Kids by Bundgaard

Bundgaard is available in the US from Young Sole Shoes. Use code NOMANBEFORE to get 10% off your first purchase at Young Sole Shoes.

➳ Pricing: $65 to $83

➳ Shop Now: Young Sole Shoes (use NOMANBEFORE for 10% off)


2 Vivobarefoot Fulham Boots

This is a classic Chelsea boot from Vivobarefoot featuring waterproof (so puddle-proof!) uppers, fleece lining and a removable thermal insole.  

➳ Pricing: $85

➳ Shop Now: Vivobarefoot

Vivobarefoot kids waterproof boots

Barefoot Snow Boots for Kids


These minimalist boots are both waterproof and warm, making them great for snowy winter days.

1 Bundgaard Rubber Warm Rain Boots

Bundgaard builds on their classic rain boots to make a barefoot boot suited for snow. The Sailor Warm Boot is a tall boot lined with wool and Dacron for extra warmth. These winter boots are rated down to 5°F! Plus they cinch at the top to keep out rain and snow.

The toe box is wide like the other Bundgaard boots, but note that these do have slight rise in the sole due to a small heel.

➳ Pricing: $83

➳ Shop Now: Young Sole Shoes (use NOMANBEFORE for 10% off)

Bundgaard Minimalist Warm Rubber winter boots for kids


2 Kiuu Calisto Waterproof Boot

The Kiuu Calisto boot is the best of both worlds when it comes to warmth and barefoot feel. The vegan uppers on this minimalist winter boot are waterproof, yet breathable. The 2mm is so flexible, you can roll this boot up into a ball. This is usually a test we do on regular barefoot shoes, but boots don’t tend to be quite as flexible – but these are! They have a zero-drop, foot-shaped sole that allows toes to wiggle and a healthy walking or running gait.

➳ Pricing: $90

➳ Shop Now: Young Sole Shoes (use NOMANBEFORE for 10% off)

KIUU Calisto Barefoot Snowboots for Kids


3 Vivobarefoot Vivoyeti Boot

Vivobarefoot calls the Vivoyeti their “warmest ever barefoot winter boot.” It looks like an amazing boot, but they sold out incredibly fast. I’m just hoping for a restock soon, which you can check here. The synthetic uppers are waterproof, and the faux fur and lambs’ wool lining provides extra warmth. The footbed also has a thermal lining to provide extra protection from the cold ground.

➳ Shop Now: Vivobarefoot

Vivobarefoot Kids Snow Boots


4 See Kai Run Kids’ Baker Waterproof Winter Boots

Most of the shoes from See Kai Run are flexible with a decently wide toe-box, and this includes their line of kids’ winter shoes. The Baker Waterproof Winter Boots are rated all the way down to -35° F, so if you live in a really cold climate, these are an excellent option. The inside features 3M™ Thinsulate™ thermal linings with faux-shearling cuffs, the toes are capped with rubber for extra durability, and the outsoles are rugged to provide the grip needed in wet and slippery conditions.  

These foot-friendly snow boots also have a seem-sealed, waterproof membrane to keep feet dry. The large velcro upper tab makes these very easy to get on and off. You child will most likely need to size up one full size for these boots. Pricing is typically around $75, though I have seen these on sale for under $40.

➳ Shop Now: Amazon | REI | Backcountry

See Kai Run Minimalist Snow Boots


5 See Kai Run Gilman Waterproof Insulated Boot

This is another great minimalist snow boot from See Kai Run. Similar to the Baker Winter Boots, the Gilman Boots are rated down to -35° F, feature a fleece-line inner, waterproof outers, and rubber soles with great traction.  

➳ Shop Now: Amazon | Backcountry

See Kai Run Minimalist Snow Boots


If you found this post helpful, check out these:

7 Best Barefoot Shoes for Kids (Great for Exploring the Outdoors)

Barefoot Summer Sandals for Kids

 

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