Ultimate Guide to Fashionable - Minimalist Shoes

Table of Contents

  1. Barefoot Shoes Overview
  2. Are They Right For Me?
  3. How Do I Get Started?
  4. Changing More Than Your Shoes
  5. Shoe Care and Fit Hacks
  6. Minimalist Shoes for All Occasions

1. Barefoot Shoes Overview

What Are Barefoot Shoes?

Minimalist shoes are shoes that are intended to better facilitate barefoot walking conditions in contrast to the irregular strides and stances produced by traditional shoes. According to Charles Sturt University, minimalist footwear is used to create, "minimal interference with the natural movement of the foot, because of its high flexibility, low heel to toe drop, weight and stack height, and the absence of motion control and stability devices."

Why Should I Wear Barefoot Shoes?

As Doctor Dan Lieberman, a professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard,  puts it in the podcast, “These Shoes are Killing me”, “People have been wearing shoes probably for thousands and thousands of years. But the kind of fancy, modern shoes that we wear today are really quite unusual and haven’t been around for very long…When you walk around and see people, most of the day, you see people just walking…But it turns out that running played a really important role in our evolutionary history.”

Modern shoes affect our stance, our stride, our flexibility, our mobility, our foot shape, and even our overall physical health. By using minimalist barefoot shoes, individuals can revert back to a more natural and healthy human stance while still protecting themselves from the harsh conditions of the environment around them.

Will My Feet Change If I Wear Barefoot Shoes?

Just as a shark can only grow to fit in the environment that is available to it, so your feet will grow and change according to the environment they are forced into. The most common visible changes are for the toes to spread out and the entire foot to widen and even lengthen. Very flat feet might actually shorten as the arch muscles become more active, and some people find they have a visible arch where none was before. Typically these changes happen slowly over time and in relation to how often you’re barefoot, in barefoot shoes, and/or doing foot exercises.

How Do Barefoot Shoes Affect My Alignment?

Conventionally designed shoes are restrictive and contort your feet into unnatural shapes. When you aren’t able to walk or stand completely naturally, everything in your body is thrown out of alignment from your neck to your spine, hips, knees, and ankles. Minimalist shoes allow your feet and joints to move freely to keep your body healthy and pain-free.

Do Barefoot Shoes Have Arch Support?

Arch support in shoes is a form of unnatural restriction on your feet. Barefoot minimalist shoes' intention is to replicate barefoot walking and running. When you remove arch support from a shoe, the foot is forced to support itself, causing it to use muscles that have been neglected or even destroyed by arch supports. 

What Does Zero Drop Mean?

Shoe drop refers to the difference in elevation between the toe and the heel. A zero drop shoe has no difference, the entire foot is the same distance from the ground – in other words it’s completely flat. 

2. Are They Right For Me?

Are Barefoot Shoes Right for Me?

Minimalist shoes are for everyone! Whether you are searching for a solution to foot, ankle, knee, hip, or back pain, or you are simply looking for a simpler, more grounding solution for your everyday life, barefoot minimalist shoes are the only way to ensure you walk the way you were born to.

Can I Wear Barefoot Shoes If I Have Pronation or Supination?

When the muscles in the feet aren’t strong enough, your feet could become over pronated or supinated. Pronation of the foot is when you use the inner edge of your foot for support when walking or running. Similarly, supination of the foot is when you use the outer edge of your foot for support when walking or running. In a healthy stride, your weight will be evenly distributed each time you have your heel and toes on the ground. Minimalist shoes will help retrain your body to walk as naturally as possible.

View this article for more information on how to fix over pronation and supination in the feet.

Will Barefoot Shoes Help With My Injury/Pain?

Wearing barefoot zero-drop shoes is the first step in ensuring a healthy lifestyle which will heal injuries and reduce pain. From helping strengthen foot muscles for individuals with Plantar fasciosis, to removing bunions, to correcting diastasis recti ab separation, these shoes correct your posture so your body can help itself. However, it is important to remember that posture correction is just the beginning. A healthy diet, consistent exercise, and active stretching are all important factors in alleviating bodily pain and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Are Barefoot Shoes Good If You Have To Stand On Your Feet All Day?

Barefoot shoes are actually very helpful if you are on your feet all day because they strengthen your muscles allowing you to stand for longer periods of time and correct your posture so you have less knee, hip, and spin pain after a long day. However, minimalist shoes take some time to adjust to as the muscles in your feet learn to support themselves. Your feet adapt to the type of shoe that you wear the most often. Switching to a completely different style of shoe suddenly could be too shocking to your body and lead to injury! Which is exactly what you’re trying to avoid by wearing minimalist shoes. Easing your feet into minimalist shoes will help relax your overworked muscles, strengthen weak muscles, and give your feet ample time to readjust to a new way of moving.

Who Shouldn't Wear Barefoot Shoes?

It is suggested that individuals who are affected by Ehlers Danlos/severe hypermobility, rigid musculoskeletal deformities or any pre-existing foot condition, and peripheral neuropathy consult a professional prior to investing in barefoot minimalist footwear. For the remainder of society, it is merely a matter of will rather than capability. The process starts off slow, but anyone can correct their posture and stance using minimalist barefoot shoes as long as they are willing to stick with the process.

3. How Do I Get Started?

How Do I Pick My First Pair of Barefoot Shoes?

Step 1: Find the style that you need in our fashionable business professional minimalist shoe collections - including sandals, slip-ons, and boots!

Step 2: Find the size that fits you! Barefoot shoes are measured in centimeters. Use the following size chart if you are unsure what size to order.

Lisbeth Joe Size Chart

Step 3: Order Today! Don’t wait to ground yourself. Make a healthy choice for your future self and order your fashionable minimalist shoes today.

How Do You Transition To Barefoot Shoes?

Minimalist shoes are very different from the traditional shoes we have become so accustomed to wearing – if you’re thinking about switching to a minimalist shoe, it’s very important that you do so carefully so your feet have time to get accustomed to the change and you avoid injury.

View this article on transitioning to minimalist shoes for more information and instructions 

My Feet Are Hurting in Barefoot Shoes, What Do I Do?

For some people, jumping right to a minimalist shoe might just be too much for their feet to bear. This is especially true for people who work on their feet, run often, or wear high heels every day. When you wear a minimalist shoe, you’re as close to walking barefoot as possible – while still keeping your feet safe from harm. If your body is not adapted to walking barefoot, you will likely find that minimalist shoes are a bit uncomfortable at first.

To make the switch easier for yourself, use “transitional footwear.” These shoes will still have a thicker sole to provide comfort, but they won’t have any “drop,” or heel elevation. They do a better job of making it feel like you’re walking on a flat surface (like the ground), but they are helpful in providing some of the elements that your feet are used to with traditional shoes.

For more information and instructions on transitioning to minimalist shoes view this article:

    Do I Need to Switch All My Shoes Over to Barefoot Options?

    It’s not necessary to switch ALL of your shoes to minimalist zero-drop shoes, but the more often you wear minimalist shoes, the faster you will see results. Lisbeth Joe recognized that minimalist barefoot shoes were an essential part of work and everyday healthiness, but there is an extreme lack of business professional or even downright presentable zero-drop shoes on the market. That’s why our founder created the collections we have today. 

    “There were several sport-focused brands that offered casual designs. But then I went back to work [as an accountant]! Before DR my shoe wardrobe was brimming with fun, uniqueness and intrigue. Now I had to compromise to get the   health benefits I needed - I was wearing running shoes to work!” Said Leontyne Ashmore. “So I decided to leave my job and make my own shoes."

    View our wide array of fashionable and practical minimalist shoes here.

    How Do I Interpret A Size Chart?

    Finding the right size shoe is very important to ensure your feet have enough freedom to expand and change as they need to in order to support your body. Barefoot shoes are measured in centimeters based on the longest part of your foot (either from the back of the heel to the tip of the big toe or from the back of the heel to the tip of the second toe). Use the following size chart if you are unsure what size to order.

    Lisbeth Joe Size Chart

    4.  Changing More Than Your Shoes

    Can I Wear Socks With Barefoot Shoes?

    Tight socks can often restrict foot movement and growth so many people prefer to go barefoot in their barefoot shoes. However, if you are like many people who feel dirt without socks on, it is best to just wear stretchy socks that do not compress your feet. 

    An excellent alternative to buying oversized socks is to simply use Toe Separator Socks instead. Toe separator socks are, in essence, exactly what they sound like: socks that separate your toes. However, even though the term is wonderfully self-explanatory, the reasons why they are excellent for you and your health may need a little more explaining.

    Where Can I Find Foot-Friendly Socks?

    Lisbeth Joe Toe Separator socks are Great for toe alignment, foot alignment, bunions, hammer toes and overall foot pain. Your toes fit snug through the holes, or "separators," and stretch for much-needed stress relief on your feet.

    Toe Separator Socks

      Do I Need To Do Foot Exercises?

      We curl our biceps, bench press our chests, squat our legs, and all kinds of sit up for our core.  But most people hardly ever consider the importance of strengthening our feet, all the while we are standing, walking, running, balancing and tip-toeing around. 

      This article describes multiple way to build foot strength and get more from your  foot exercises

        5. Shoe Care and Fit Hacks

        How Do I Take Care of My Barefoot Shoes?

        Here at Lisbeth Joe we love the luxury and style that suede and nubuck bring to a shoe so we are prepared to accept they will need a little maintenance.  Here are some suggestions on how to keep your shoes looking professional.

        • Use leather conditioner to keep the leather from drying out and cracking
        • Spray your shoes with protector aerosol to protect from water and other stains.
        • Clean your shoes and don’t let mud sit on them for extended periods of time. 
        • Consider using Scent balls in your shoes to remove moisture and odors.

        For more in depth instruction you can view this article: 

          How Do I Waterproof My Shoes?

          Waterproof your barefoot shoes the same way you would waterproof a leather jacket, hiking boots, etc. We use a protective aerosol spray which you can purchase at any leather store and most shoe stores. 

          For more in depth instruction on how to protect and care for your shoes you can view this article: 

          Do Barefoot Shoes Wear Out Quickly?

          The durability of a barefoot shoe depends on the materials it is made out of - just like any other shoe you would purchase. While it stands to reason that because they have thinner soles and every part of the sole touches the ground, therefore the tread on the bottom is likely to wear out slightly quicker than most shoes, this is the extent of the disadvantages in owning minimalist shoes. At Lisbeth Joe, we use animal leather rather than vegan leather to design our shoes. This is because animal leather is more durable than vegan leather but is biodegradable when it does break down.

          6. Minimalist Shoes for All Occasions

          Are There Vegan Barefoot Shoe Options?

          There are vegan barefoot shoes options but they bring up many concerns. First, vegan leather is a petroleum-based plastic product which is far more harmful to the environment than other leather counterparts because the petroleum must be extracted and the plastic base for the product is non biodegradable. 

          See our page on Sustainability for more information. 

          The Process of Sustainability at Lisbeth Joe

          Are There Non-Slip Barefoot Shoes for Nursing?

          All Lisbeth Joe London and Paris collection shoes are designed with rough tread on the bottom to avoid slippage. 

          See our collections here 


          Lisbeth Joe London Collection
          Lisbeth Joe Paris Collection

            Are There Barefoot Dress Shoes I can Wear to Work or A Wedding?

            At Lisbeth Joe we pride ourselves on the professionalism and fashion we provide through our shoes. Our newest collection of sandals are a great option to wear during the summer months. If you want closed toe options for work or the cooler months all of our other products are designed with a professional environment in mind. 

            Still have Questions? 

            Do you have any questions that we haven’t answered here? Send us a message through our contact form and we would be happy to answer your questions!

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