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Best Barefoot Winter Boots (2023)

Updated: Feb 27, 2023



This article has been a long time coming. Our last winter boot round up was in 2021!

Since then, numerous more models, barefoot shoe companies, and of course more exploration in many climates have happened, leading us all to this new best per category moment. Our winters in Israel are not as cold or as snowy as some. but there are still moments that have us cuddled under our blankets drinking hot cocoa and wearing our warmest barefoot slippers. We have also been the first to hike to one of the peaks in Borovets, Bulgaria in barefoot boots, are seasonal snowboarders, and love a good wintry rainy-day adventure!


The following list will summarize our top 10 Best Barefoot Shoes for Winter (through the eyes of Sean & Sara) ... We've also summarized our results according to the criteria below.


Our Overall Picks

Top Overall for Hiking: Freet Ibex

Top Overall for Vegan boots: Wildlings Robinia

Top Overall for Wide Feet: Softstar Switchback

Top Overall for Harsh Conditions: Xero alpine

Top Overall for Being the Most Minimalist Barefoot: Wildlings Yew

Top Overall for Fashion: Belenka Polaris & Entice

Top Overall for Barefoot Transitioning: Lems Chelsea, Bolder, Outlander

Top Overall for Highest Quality: Bearfoot Bruins

Top Overall for Daily Year-round Wear or Dressier Occasions: Feelgrounds Chelsea

Top Overall for Warmth: Softstar Phoenix


Disclaimer: This page uses affiliate links and codes. We will earn a small commission if a purchase is made, however this will not cost the customer anything.

 

1. Lems Boulder Summit


 

With the Boulder Boot being a fan favorite, Lems took the beloved boulder and added rugged, grippy 4mm lugs to make it the ultimate durable boot for every terrain and all-around winter wear. It does have a whopping 16 mm stack height and is not quite as flexible as other boots, but has a really nice aesthetic, gorgeous full-grain oiled leather upper with gusseted tongue and is completely waterproof.

This is best for people who are transitioning to barefoot and are die-hard fans of the Boulder boot.

We have the full review here along with the other new Lem's releases.

Some other notable Lems mentions here are the new Lems Chelseas as well.


Price: $185

Size Range: 5 - 15 US with some half sizes.

Stack Height: 16mm


Pros:

  • Generous width throughout and volume

  • Available in a large range of sizes

  • Is waterproo.

  • Rugged/Solid

  • Stylish aesthetic

  • Very grippy

  • Gusseted tongue

Cons:

  • Not super minimal or flexible

  • Stiff - can take time some time to break in

  • 2mm drop

  • Can slightly restrict ankle mobility


The Lems website is accessible here.

European readers can purchase here.

Australian readers can purchase here.

Israeli readers can purchase here.

 

 

2. Xero Alpine


 

Despite being an older model, the alpine has withstood the test of time as a boot of extremely capable and rugged conditions. I consider the Xero Alpine to be the most capable boots I've tested, which would be better suited for harsher conditions. Click here to see the test. Packed with a 200g insulation, the fleece lined Alpine is capable of withstanding temperatures up to -32 degrees Celsius, is completely waterproof, yet with only a 8-9 mm (approx.) stack height and weighing only 14.9 oz for a men's size 9 - it retains all the qualities you'd expect from a barefoot boot and is completely vegan!.


The Alpine is available in both Men's and Women's sizes and is our go-to for snowboarding trips and snow adventures.


Price: $159.99

Size Range: US 5-11 (Women's) US 6.5-15 (Men's).

Stack Height: Approx. 8-9 mm.


Pros:

  • Exceptional waterproof and heat insulation capabilities

  • Large range of sizes available

  • Vegan materials

  • Durable, yet retains minimalist properties.

  • Sole has good amount of grip.

  • Looks identical to other Alpine boots on the market.

Cons:

  • Average width through the toe-box

  • A bit stiff - takes a little time to break in

  • Customers may prefer leather boots.

  • Sara has found them a bit slippery on wet stone surfaces, however I (Sean) has not had that experience


Click here to access the Xero website.

European readers can find them here

Australian readers can find them here

Israeli readers can find them here.


 
 

3. Freet Ibex


 

The Ibex is a true hiking boot, sits higher up on the ankle, has deep lugs with Freet's hill grip outsole and is completely waterproof.


We've hiked 100s of kilometers with these beautiful boots and they have withstood everything we threw at them. Being that they are leather, we do recommend treating them, as well as cleaning them after each adventure.


You can also read our full review here.


Price: $180

Size Range: EU 37-48

Stack Height: 6.5/7 (4mm without insole)


Pros:

  • Exceptional waterproof capabilities

  • Stylish aesthetic

  • Super comfortable

  • Generous width and volume

  • Natural foot shape

  • Light and flexible

  • All year-round hiking boot

  • Sole is very grippy

  • Gusseted tongue

  • Doesn't restrict ankle mobility

Cons:

  • On the pricier end of boots.

  • A teeny bit stiff until broken in.

  • Customers may prefer Vegan boots.


Use the code TBSR10 for 10% off Freet products on the Freet website. Click here.

Australian readers can purchase from the Bprimal website. Click here.

Israeli readers can purchase them here.

 
 

4. Feelgrounds Chelsea


 


The Chelsea is the third boot released by the Feelgrounds crew. It is one of the better Chelsea choices for those who prefer Vegan boots. They have the same outsole as the Feelgrounds Patrol and they come in 3 different colors.


This Chelsea boot can be added to your dressier wardrobe as well. Its sleek faux leather upper and very normal looking toe-box makes it a great dressy shoe which will complement your outfit and not stand out awkwardly. We love this shoe as a transition from summer to winter. I was spending so much time in sandals I was nervous to put on a boot, however being so light weight and flexible, it did not restrict my ankle or foot mobility at all.


You can also read our full review here.


Price: $169

Size Range: US 5-15.

Stack Height: 10mm.


Pros:

  • Water repellent

  • Stylish aesthetic

  • Vegan materials

  • Generous width and volume.

  • Very flexible, does not restrict ankle mobility

  • Very lightweight

  • Daily all year-round boot

  • Good traction

  • Available in 3 colors

Cons:

  • Customers may prefer leather boots.

  • Foot can slide in shoe a bit and cause toe to hit end. I found my normal size felt better when I removed the insole.


Click here to access the Feelgrounds website.

 


 

5. Wildling Yew


 

The Widlings Yew is an impressive innovative shoe. It is super lightweight, practically feels like a slipper, yet still manages to keep the wet and most of the cold out. While I do not think I would hike in Himalayas with it, it is built well enough for a rainy night out in town and warm enough to take you through the winter. It is so thin and so flexible, features a waterproof membrane, and extra secure ring eyelets to really secure the laces to your foot.

You can find our whole review here.


Price: 139 Euro

Size Range: EU 36-48. (Available for kids as well)

Stack Height: 4 mm



Pros:

  • Water resistant

  • Warm wool lining

  • Generous width and volume

  • Super light and flexible/Zero foot or ankle mobility restricitons

  • Most minimal barefoot shoe in this list

  • Tabi sole

  • Unique and stylish aesthetic

  • Sustainable manufacturing and materials

  • Capable of being a daily all around boot

Cons:

  • Only comes in one color

  • Very thin sole, can be hard for beginners


Click here to access the Wildling international website.

Click here to access the Wildling USA website.


 
 

6. Wildling Robinia


 

Wildlings strike again with this perfect shoe creation. With its sock like feel and extremely minimal outsole, you definitely don't feel like you're wearing a boot. The whole boot just feels like a cozy hug especially with the gorgeous ribbed knit cuff.

It is super breathable due to its organic cotton upper, hemp-flax fleece soft lining: featuring all natural materials. It is easily the most minimalist of my barefoot winter collection. The unique tabi sole only adds to an already perfect shoe.


Price: 139 Euro

Size Range: EU 36-48 (Available for kids as well)

Stack Height: 4 mm


You can find our whole review here


Pros:

  • Unique aesthetic

  • Sustainable manufacturing and materials

  • Organic breathable cotton upper and hemp-flax fleece lining

  • Waterproof treated

  • Generous width and volume

  • Vegan

  • Super light and flexible, zero mobility restriction in foot and ankle (In addition to the Yew, the most minimalist in the list)

Cons:

  • Not warm enough for very cold days

  • Only comes in one color



Click here to access the Wildling international website.

Click here to access the Wildling USA website.


 
 

7. Bearfoot Bruins


 


These are one of the more rugged and durable boots on the list. The leather material in the toe box area of the boot is quite stiff, making it a fantastic work boot or great for a long hunting, outdoor trip. They are clearly built to last. The first time trying them will feel a bit stiff, but after just one wear they soften significantly.

Until a true steel toe box barefoot shoe exists, this can definitely fill in that gap.

This is the dream workstyle barefoot boot I always wanted since it's most similar to the Timberland style boots I used to wear before transitioning to barefoot and even exceeded my expectations in both style and durability.


Price: $239

Size Range: US 5-16 (Men's) 6.5-12(Women's)

Stack Height: 15mm


Pros:

  • Very high quality materials and manufacturing

  • Rugged boot & very grippy outsole

  • Beautiful top grain leather upper

  • Waterproof

  • Partly gusseted tongue

  • Stylish aesthetic

  • Durable

  • Great for wide/high volume feet

  • Minimally restricts ankle mobility, but as the leather softens with wear even less so.


Cons:

  • Can be expensive (but worth the investment)

  • On the heavier side

  • Stiff at first, needs some break in time


Click here to access the Bearfoot Website - discount code is TBSR10

 


 

8. Softstar Phoenix


 

This is the warmest on the list and is probably the closest to an Ugg boot you will find. Its sheep skin interior can tolerate extremely low temperatures. It can also be worn without socks.


These run really small so you should size up at least 1 if not 2 from your regular size.

The Phoenix boot's uppers are made of the softest leather. These winter boots for adults are fully-lined with sheepskin to naturally wick away moisture for warm, dry feet. These also feature replaceable 3mm sheepskin insoles for long-term comfort.

A zipper on the outside makes it easy to put on and off and prevents the shaft from stretching. The 4mmVibram sole provides excellent traction in mild to moderate winter conditions.


Price: $265

Size Range: US 5-13 (kid options as well)

Stack Height: 10mm total. 6mm sole, 4mm insole?


Pros:

  • All Leather and Sheepskin

  • Water repellent

  • Stylish aesthetic

  • Lightweight and flexible

  • Thin rubber outsole

  • Replaceable insole

  • Handcrafted in the USA from premium, responsibly sourced leathers.

  • Perfect Ugg Replacement

  • Can be worn without socks

Cons:

  • Can be pricey for some

  • Not completely waterproof, water can seep into the boot shaft

  • Not available in one solid color

Click here to access the Softstar Website

 


 

9. Softstar Switchback


 

The Softstar Switchback looks and has the ruggedness of a combat boot. Featuring a Vibram Megagrip outsole, slash resistant SuperFabric Shell upper, and a leather bottom trim, it is quite minimal and super rugged at the same time. If you have a wide foot this is the one for you. After testing it, it is not exactly waterproof due to its non-gusseted tongue, but it is extremely water resistant, stain resistant and easy to clean.


Price: $240

Size Range: US 5-13

Stack Height: Approx. 4-6mm


Pros:

  • Stylish in a combat boot sort of way

  • Comes in super wide option

  • Nonslip (very grippy)

  • Slash, stain and water resistant

  • Breathable

  • Generous width and volume - One of the widest brands on the market

  • Flexible and light

  • Marino wool lining

  • Ethically sourced and eco friendly

  • Replaceable Marino Wool insoles

  • 100% handmade in the US

Cons:

  • Not fully waterproof

  • Customers might prefer full leather.

Click here to access the Softstar Website

 
 

10. Belenka Polaris


 

While they are marketed towards women, Sean loves them so much that he is constantly stealing them to keep his little piggies warm ;) They are the perfect go to slip on and especially around the house, and because of the grippy sole you can even take it around town.


They are my go-to when I wake up in the winter and take our doggie for his morning walk and they are my go-to when I get back from work. I usually switch out of whatever barefoot shoe I'm wearing that day and slip these on when I get home. I love that I can fold down the cuff for another cute look. Would recommend to size up.


Price: 169, On sale for 135.20 Euro

Size Range: EU 36-43.

Stack Height: 4mm + Lugs


Pros:

  • Rugged sole which is nice for an UGG like boot.

  • Warm sheepskin lining and Nubuck leather upper

  • Cuff can be rolled down

  • Generous width

  • Stylish aesthetic

  • Super warm

  • Can remove insole (wool and recycled PU) for more ground feel and less warmth.

Cons:

  • Sole feels a bit heavy. The upper feels really light and all the weight feels like it sits in the sole making it feel bottom heavy.


Click here to access the Belenka website and use the affiliate code 'thebarefootshoereview' for 5% off.



 


 


Bonus: Our 3 Favorite Winter House Slippers


 

1. Wildlings Lotus (top left)

Named after the Lotus flower, the lotus slipper has a sock like feel with is 100% wool felt upper and is part of wildlings goal of making their shoes completely recyclable. They can stretch so we recommend sizing down. They have a beautiful classy look and can be worn for light outside wear as well. They are warm, breathable and first to feature Wildling's brand new sole.

Price: 89 Euro or $99

Size Range: EU 36-48.

Stack Height: 2 mm


2. Softstar Zen moccasin (bottom center)

Lined with sheepskin and with a neat ankle elastic, the moccasins are the perfect minimal slipper, breathable in the summer and warm enough for the winter. They come in 2 varieties, one is smooth leather and the other is nubuck. It's suitable for indoor and dry outdoor wear due to its leather outsole. Best of all you can custom choose which color you'd like your slipper to be!

Price: $110

Size Range: US 5-16

Stack Height: 2 mm


The fireside slipper is the best companion for those who want the classic warm slipper but completely minimal, flexible, and literally feather light. It's fully lined with genuine sheep skin making it warm and comfy especially without socks. You can also replace the insole when they wear down. The suede leather sole makes it perfect for indoor wear and the cuff can be rolled down for even more slipper like feel. Recommended to size down since they will stretch with wear.

Price: $140

Size Range: US 5-15

Stack Height: 2 mm + sheep fluff.


 


 

Stay warm this winter with any of the boots listed above and as usual always feel free to contact us with questions and tag us with your find @thebarefootshoereview

Sean & Sara ( & Charlie )


2 תגובות


june.white
14 בפבר׳ 2023

Thanks for the review, can you recommend any good brands of barefoot for my little one? There aren't many, I've tried Vivo but for durability it's not the best. I found this site Collinestore, do you know it? do you have any suggestions about it?Thanks in advance

לייק

wamawing
03 בפבר׳ 2023

I so appreciate your thorough reviews and went straight to the Freet webpage, where I found the Ibex on sale for $180. Interrupted by something, I came back to my cart and they were $225, so I tried your TBSR code and it said it doesn't exist. Today is not my day to purchase the Ibex ;) Thank you so much for reviewing so many barefoot shoes!

לייק
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