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Summer 2014

Bare(foot) Necessities

If you like to let your feet breathe easy, plane rides and road trips might make you want to throw your shoes out the nearest window. But with sharp objects, dirty floors, and the passenger next to you, going barefoot may not be the greatest idea.

So how do you compromise? You might try minimalist shoes. Thanks to the craze over this “barefoot” footwear, you can have the best of both worlds. Here’s an overview of a few different types of minimalist shoes.

Chilling Out

Perfect for the beach, a casual party, an outdoor wedding, or anywhere where you’re not too worried about the bottom of your feet being injured, these crocheted barefoot sandals give the appearance of a shoe but actually have no sole. When you order them from Olga Barmine, you can even request these handmade accessories in custom colors, sizes, or designs.

Crochet Barefoot Sandals by Barmine, $15–$17.

Going Casual

If you’re looking for something for daily wear, don’t worry—there are minimalist shoes for that, too. With thin but protective soles, this type of shoe claims to improve your posture and strengthen your feet. Wear them at work, around the house, to the grocery store, or to the dentist—these shoes are designed for everyday use.

Ladies Jing Jing by VIVOBAREFOOT, $70.

Men's Gobi II Suede by VIVOBAREFOOT, $

Women's Ballet Slippers by Nufoot, $12.99–$16.99.

Working Out

Those toe-sock-looking things you’ve seen around? Yep, those are barefoot running shoes. Minimalist running shoes can look like toe socks, regular shoes, or even sandals. Why do people wear these? Many authorities say that the forefoot-strike facilitated by minimalist shoes is better for our feet. Run a bit in the shoes before you buy them; and once you make the purchase, ease into them to avoid injury!

Men's New Balance Minimus, $80–$

Vibram Five Fingers KSO, $52–$

Do It Yourself Xero Shoes Kit, $20–$30.

—McKenna Johnson

Photo Credits (from top): BarmineVIVOBAREFOOTNufoot, Matt Pearson, Brandon Davidson, Xero Shoes