The Feet-Friendlier Footwear List
Feet are the friendliest footwear for feet...
and the rest of your body and, in our humble opinion, perhaps even world peace
and the fate of humankind.
But back to the list. Below we focus on those that offer close-toed footwear in adult sizes. For open-toed sandal options see our related article: No Flip. No Flop. The Sandal List for People on the Move. For those focused on smaller kids' sizes please see our related article: Feet-Friendlier Footwear for Kids.
THE GOAL: Maintain or rebuild full natural function of one's feet for whole body health and well being for life.
HOW: When footwear is necessary or desired, using options that allow MAXIMAL use and MINIMAL interference of the feet's fantastic functions.
SOLUTION ONE: DIY OR HAVE THEM HANDCRAFTED
First we'd like to drive home the point that like many mass produced things these days, food for example, it may be best to look into making or sourcing footwear closer to home, handcrafted and perhaps customized.
For this we have a whole section of the FEET FREEX website dedicated to MAKERS. Whether you want to learn how to DIY or would like to connect with someone who can, check out our lengthy list of resources to ready and willing to get you on your way. Click HERE to check it out!
SOLUTION TWO: SOURCE FEET-FRIENDLIER FOOTWEAR OPTIONS
Here is our current list of companies we've come across that offer feet-friendlier footwear options. We are thankful these are currently available as we continue to drive the demand for even more and ever better options.
Please note: Not all models of a particular brand of footwear are created equal. Because a brand is listed here means that we appreciate at least one of their models and the effort they are putting forth to offer foot-friendlier option(s). We are happy to pass along their mojo and recommend you then use your best judgement to determine what options suit your needs.
The list includes different styles, price points and customizeability. To be included in this list the footwear must have at least most of the following features. None have all. It's true, we still have a long way to go and we WILL continue to raise the bar.
ALLOW NATURAL (MAXIMAL) TOE SPLAY
whether by shape or by stretch, especially when walking, running, skipping, jumping
FLAT + THIN + FLEXIBLE SOLES
that minimally inhibit toe flexion and extension and sensory reception
stretchy, flexy, opposite-of-stiff; allowing for maximal movement of the foot's 33 joints
able to be re-soled for as long as the rest of the shoe holds up
Below we have listed direct links to our current top choices as of January 2023.
For a more comprehensive list of options, please check out Anya's Reviews.
Also check out the handcrafted options and ideas on the following sites listed below.
Both are linked to searches for "barefoot sandals." A good place to start. Enjoy!
Stay tuned for more! We'll keep you updated and please feel free to pass along any options you may come across in your search as well!