minimalist hiking boots

10 Best MINIMALIST BAREFOOT Hiking Shoes & Boots to Have in 2021

Hiking Outdoors Just Got Easier! In this informative piece, we are going to be exploring nine of the best minimalist hiking boots on the market.

When you’re going to cross a new terrain, you don’t want to be weighed down by cheap, cumbersome footwear. This is why we’ve composed our top choices for hiking boots from the most reputable brands such as XERO or Vivo barefoot hiking boots.

After spending years hiking your favorite trails, you’ve likely come to expect a lot out of a new pair of hiking boots. A good pair of shoes provide traction and support; they should be made of durable materials.

10 Best Minimalist Barefoot Hiking Boots & Shoes 2021

In no particular order, the best minimalist hiking boots that we’re reviewing are the following:


We’re going to examine the advantages of each of the boots on this list, and we’ll answer some popular questions people have been asking about each product.

The Only Boots You’ll Need to Get Across Any Terrain

When you’re running around in rough terrain, you don’t want to trip over your own feet. This list is all about the hiking boots that minimalists crave. These boots are light and durable; they’ll get you where you need to go while providing maximum comfort.

Before we get into the details of our review, let’s take a quick look at the list we’ve assembled.

Best Minimalist Barefoot Hiking Shoes for Backpackers in 2021

1. Xcursion Minimalist Boot – 1.5 lb (0.7 kg) – Absolute n.1

Xcursion Fusion – Original
Xcursion Fusion – 2021 Model

Available for: Men & Women

About this product:

Xcursion is an excellent product! It’s an ultra-lightweight, fully waterproof hiking boot that’s built to let your feet do what’s natural. Letting your toes splay and spread and letting your feet bend, flex, move, and get feedback from the ground.

Xero Shoes is one of the best manufacturers of hiking footwear, barefoot-inspired shoes, boots, and sandals. 

Features of this hiking boot:

  • Fully Waterproof — Xcursion has a seam-sealed inner bootie, a gusseted tongue, and a water-resistant membrane in the upper.
  • Comfortable Anatomical Design — Wide toe box, non-elevated (“zero-drop”) heel for proper posture, low-to-the-ground for balance and agility, highly flexible sole for natural movement.
  • High Traction and Durability – 4mm lugs on the FeelTrue® rubber sole, which is backed with a 5,000-mile sole warranty. Tough-Tek toe guard for protection.
  • Adjustable Fit — the “inverted V” midfoot straps and huarache sandal-inspired heel strap let you adjust the Xcursion for a secure fit.
  • Lightweight — A men’s 9 weighs only 12 ounces each.

2. DayLite Hiker EV – 0.7 lb (0.3 kg) – Light & Stylish!

DayLite Hiker 2021


Available for: Men & Women

About this product:

Most hikes don’t need a super technical boot, that’s why Xero Shoes developed the DayLite Hiker.

It’s everything you need for most of your treks, with the comfort and benefits that come from letting your feet do what’s natural.

Features of this hiking boot:

  • The wide toe box lets your toes splay; the zero-drop (non-elevated) heel gives you proper posture, the FeelTrue® rubber sole is low to the ground for balance and agility, and the dual-chevron lugs give you great traction.
  • Super light: At just 11.2 ounces in a men’s 9, you won’t be weighed down.
  • Warranty: The Tough-tek toe bumper, aggressive-but-breathable upper and 5,000-mile sole warranty means that the DayLite Hiker EV is made to last.

3. Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Vented – BEST rated – 2 lb (0.91 kg)

Best Minimalist Hiking Boots

Best Boot From a Sustainable Company 

Available: WorldWide

About This Product:

If you haven’t heard of Merrell Moab before, you should know that this company is dedicated to providing products that match the comfort, fit, and performance expectations of their customers. They’re also concerned with sustainability and community involvement efforts.

Features and Benefits:

Get ready to find out why hiking enthusiasts around the world are choosing Merrell Moab boots when they hit the trails.

  • Stability – This minimalist trail shoe incorporates phenomenal side to side traction and stability.
  • Tough Soles – The soles are made of a rubber that comes from Vibram. This company is dedicated to providing high-quality materials that last a long time.
  • Breathable Materials – Even though these shoes are made of durable materials, they are still breathable. The air cushion in the sole provides more comfort on long trails.
  • Specs: Moab 2 hiking boots weigh under 2 lb (.91 kg). These shoes come in 10 colorful styles, including walnut, gold, and dusty olive.

Question: Do these shoes have good traction?

Answer: Yes, the grips on Merrell’s Moab 2 provide phenomenal traction on all hard surfaces.

4. Men’s TerraFlex Trail Running and Hiking Shoes – 0.6 LB (0.27 KG)

About this product:

TerraFlex products, which are made by Colorado-based Xero Shoes, have been designed to allow your feet to flex and move how they were naturally designed to, and these shoes live up to that.

Features and Benefits:

  • Reflective straps – These ensure that you are not only comfortable but also safe as you make your way through the woods and near any roads.
  • Barefoot-friendly – If you would rather not wear socks and feel an even closer connection with the earth short of simply not wearing shoes either, this is the footwear for you. You can also remove their insoles to enhance that feeling.
  • Vegan-friendly – If you are vegan or aim to be as animal-friendly as possible, note that no animal products are used in the creation of these shoes.
  • Travel-friendly – If these will be your second pair of shoes while traveling, rest assured that they can be rolled up and take up little room in your bag.

Question: Does Xero Shoes offer a return policy?

Answer: Yes. However, they must be returned within 45 days and not been worn outside or experience a manufacturing issue within 24 months of the purchase.

5. Softstar’s Megagrip Primal RunAmoc – 0.23 lb (0.10 kg)

Softstar’s Megagrip Primal RunAmoc is a barefoot hiker’s dream. It is made from premium full grain leather uppers, Vibram’s rugged zero-drop Megagrip soles and features the widest toe box on the market. 

Softstar designs and handcrafts all of their shoes at a workshop in Oregon, USA and has received several awards for their ethical and sustainable business practices.

Features and Benefits:

  • Simple Design —The Primal RunAmoc strips a shoe down to its basic essentials: lightweight premium leather draped over your foot and attached to a durable sole. This keeps the shoe light and flexible.
  • Durable and Grippy Soles —This shoe uses Vibram’s Megagrip Zegama soles, which are designed specifically to endure the demand of extreme hiking and trail running while providing superior grip in wet and muddy conditions.
  • Foot Friendly — not only is the Primal RunAmoc already designed to allow toes to spread out naturally, but the leather uppers of the shoe will stretch to adapt to the shape of your foot as you break them in. This is the opposite of more rigid footwear that forces your foot to adapt to the shape of the shoe.
  • Breathable — the simple design and natural leathers of the Primal RunAmoc allow more breathability than most shoes, which also significantly reduces foot odor.

6. VivoBarefoot Men’s Tracker – 1 lb (0.45 kg)

barefoot hiking shoes - vivo

Best Durable Minimalist Boot

About This Product:

This company sells the perfect minimalist hiking boots. After all, the founder (Tim Brennan) started VivoBarefoot as a minimalist running shoe company. This company is part of a large British shoe conglomerate, known as Terra Plana.

Features and Benefits:

The unique features of these leather hiking shoes are worth a closer inspection.

  • Premium materials – are you looking for shoes that will last? You’re going to love these shoes from VivoBarefoot. They’re made of premium leather that will provide a long life on the trails. The soles are made of a durable rubber material that will cushion every step you take.
  • Warm Lining – These boots will be comfortable in most weather conditions. However, they’re specifically designed for cool weather; the heat regulator technology will keep your feet warm, and the hydro guard will keep them from getting too moist.
  • Comfortable – These boots can be broken in without much difficulty.
  • Specs: These boots weigh around 1 lb (.45 kg). They come in three colors: dark brown, cement, and brown.

Question: Which seasons are these boots designed for?

Answer: These barefoot hiking shoes are great for fall, spring, and winter. Your feet might get sweaty wearing these boots in the hot months of the summer.

7. Salomon Men’s Speedcross 4 Trail Running – 0.7 lb (0.30 kg)

Best Synthetic Hiking Boots

About This Product:

This company has been around since 1947. They started as a French ski company. Over the years, Salomon has had plenty of time to test and develop new gear for backpacking enthusiasts throughout the world.

Features and Benefits:

Let’s take a close look at what makes Salomon’s Speedcross shoes outshine other synthetic footwear on the market.

  • Breathable Fibers – The materials that make up these impressive minimalist hiking shoes are 100 percent synthetic. Unlike thick leather, synthetic fibers are more breathable, so they’ll feel comfortable in the warm months when your feet tend to sweat.
  • Great Warranty – For products that come from Salomon, you should expect a two or three-year warranty. Check with the manufacturer about exact details, but this warranty should cover basic assembly defects.
  • Phenomenal Gripping Soles – The bottoms of these hiking shoes are lined with a high-quality rubber grip that will give you great traction on any terrain.
  • Specs: Speedcross 4 shoes weigh .70 lb (.30 kg). These shoes come in 10 exciting colors, including yonder blue, metallic black, and sulphur spring.

Question: Are these good running shoes?

Answer: Although these shoes are built for any terrain, the grips might wear out quickly if you run on asphalt.

8. New Balance Men’s 10v1 Minimus – 2 lb (0.91 kg)

Best Anti-Microbial Technology

About This Product:

This company is known for making supercharged athletic shoes. New Balance has been around since 1906, so they’ve had plenty of time to figure out the mechanics behind creating the perfect shoes for minimalist hiking enthusiasts.

Features and Benefits:

Let’s get to the main reasons why we’ve chosen these sleek New Balance Minimus 10v1 shoes.

  • Quality Construction – These shoes are made completely out of synthetic fibers, so you know they’ll be a lot easier to wear in the hot summer months. Synthetic material breaths better when you take long hikes.
  • Keep Away Foot Odor – If you’re looking for a way to reduce the odors that naturally occur from strenuous activities, these hiking shoes offer a practical solution. The manufacturers have treated their materials with an anti-microbial technology that’s designed to minimize odors.
  • Impressive Design – These shoes are designed for comfort and long-lasting performance. The flex grooves on the sides of each shoe will help with maintaining a healthy stride throughout your hike.
  • Specs: These New Balance shoes weigh under 2 lb (.91 kg). They also come in five exciting colors, including varsity yellow, and black.

Question: How are these shoes cut?

Answer: Some consumers recommend buying the next 1/2 size bigger than you normally wear.

9. Oranginer Men’s Barefoot Shoes – 0.23 lb (0.10 kg)

best minimalist boots for hiking

Best Low-Cost Hiking Shoe on the Market

About This Product:

This company makes impressive running shoes that look great, and they perform magnificently under tough conditions.

Features and Benefits:

Let’s take a look at why Oranginer shoes are great for minimalist backpacking enthusiasts.

  • Affordable Price – Do you want to go for a hike without breaking your bank? Oranginer offers high-quality footwear that is available at an affordable price.
  • Lightweight Design – If you’re worried about carrying too much weight in your backpack, Oranginer’s shoes are the lightest pair on the list.
  • Nice Size Toe Box – The wide area of the toe box is more comfortable than some of the more narrow footwear on this list.
  • Specs: These shoes weigh .23 lb (.10 kg). Oranginer’s hiking shoes also come in 12 fun colors, including beige, green, and blue.

Question: Will these shoes be comfortable throughout the year?

Answer: This footwear should be comfortable in most weather conditions, but you might need a thick pair of socks during the winter.

10. Teva Men’s Arrowood 2 – 3 lb (1.36 kg)

Best Thick Sole for a High-Quality Hiking Boots

About This Product:

Teva came from the “shores” of the southwest; this company has been striving to make their products from natural sources since 1984.

Features and Benefits:

Let’s take a close look at why hiking enthusiasts crave the minimalist design of Teva Arrowood sneakers.

  • Soft Fit – The interior of these shoes is soft, resembling a sock, yet they still have a tough, modern look.
  • Float-Lite Sole – The midsole of these shoes is made to withstand rocky trails without causing pain on your heels.
  • Outsole Gripping Technology – The manufacturers have placed pods along the outsole in order to assist with gathering traction on the toughest trails.
  • Specs: Teva Arrowood sneakers weigh under 3 lb (1.36 kg). These shoes come in two colors: walnut, and black.

Question: How are these shoes cut?

Answer: Some consumers have claimed that Teva’s shoes are cut larger than most, so you should buy a half size smaller than you normally purchase.