If I could go back in time, I would change a handful of things. First, I would change my diet and how I nourished my body. Secondly, I would start doing more activity from an early age. Lastly, I would change my footwear. But hindsight is 20/20 and all you can do is work with the knowledge you have now. And what I know now is that our normal shoes that most people wear are ruining our feet. I mean, think about the shape of a foot and then think about the shape of a high heel or pointed toe bootie and peep toe wedge. Our feet weren’t meant to be put into shoes that change the shape of our foot and you can see this from the many people who have bunions or calluses or hammertoes or simply just constant foot pain. And most of those people are given orthotics or even have surgery to fix these issues…but rarely are they told to change their shoes. This was my experience, similar to my experience with modern medicine. Instead of looking at the root cause, the issue covered up with a bandaid that may alleviate the symptom for a short time, but to never fix the actual issue at hand.

I shared my recent experience with a gait analyst in this blog post and my hope to improve my feet with time through physical therapy, mobility, AND footwear, but I wanted to elaborate on the footwear more, since I’ve purchased a handful. A good way to figure out if your toes have enough room in your current shoes is by taking out the insole, placing your foot on top of it, and spreading out your toes. If your toes don’t fit on the insole, that means you need a shoe with a wider toe bed. And that’s exactly what I’ve been on the hunt for. I’m hoping that me spending a good amount on shoes helps you nail down the right pair instead of having to purchase many and return many (like I did). These days I spend most of my time barefoot. Since I work from home, I keep my shoes and socks off as much as possible so I can wake up the nerves and get my feet a bit more grounded. But when I leave the house, shoes go on. I try to wear barefoot style shoes as much as possible, meaning shoes without much padding on the bottom, but I still like the pillowy, cushion shoes, as well. Below are some of my favorites I’ve tried so far. Whenever I try more, I’ll add more to the list!

Xero Shoes Dillon – These white sneakers are my favorite of all the sneakers I’ll share today. They are so incredibly comfortable, but they are also just really cute! They are barefoot style so there isn’t much cushion in them, the toe bed is wide so you toes have plenty of room to spread out, AND they are easily cleaned in the washing machine. I’m not a big of most of the styles that Xero has to offer, but I do love the Dillon AND I love that they were started out of Boulder, CO!

PaleOMG - My Favorite Wide Toe Bed Sneakers

Feel Grounds Courtside Gum White – I really love the shoes this company makes, which is great since they ship all the way from Germany. Feel Grounds has a ton of different sneakers and sandals to choose from, and they even have kids shoes! You can tell that they are really trying to make barefoot shoes stylish AND functional. I found their sizing pretty TTS and these gum bottom shoes are made from a vegan leather, they are water repellant, and they have a really soft cushion around the ankle. They sneakers come in a bunch of different colors, including ones that have a similar look to Nike.

PaleOMG - My Favorite Wide Toe Bed Sneakers

Feel Grounds Original Mesh – These sneakers are similar to my white Xero sneakers, but they aren’t quite as cushioned around the ankle. When I wore these on a long walk, they started to rub the back of my ankle, so that was a bummer. BUT I really love them and wear them all the time, just not for my long walks anymore. These come in fun colors like pink or blue or you can even get them with a red bottom.

PaleOMG - My Favorite Wide Toe Bed Sneakers

Altra Solstice – Now these aren’t specifically barefoot because they have a cushiony sole, but they still have a wide toe bed so your toes aren’t squished together. I love these for a cute sporty white sneaker look that I can pair with lighter color leggings, especially in spring.

PaleOMG - My Favorite Wide Toe Bed Sneakers

Altra Escalante – I’ve shared these before and I still love them so much. I wear these sneakers pretty often on my long walks. They have a good amount of cushion so they aren’t barefoot style, but the wide toe bed lets your toes stretch out and then the cushioning around the foot ensures that you don’t get any blisters. These also come in a handful of colors.

PaleOMG - My Favorite Wide Toe Bed Sneakers

Flux Adapt Runner – Flux kept coming up through my IG ads so I thought I would give them a try. I tried their Adapt Runner and their Adapt Trainer since their ads talk about a wide toe bed – the Runners definitely are, but the Trainers are not. Even though I loved the look of the trainers, they definitely pushed my toes together. But the Runners are great and give your toes plenty of room. I love that they have an Adidas feel to them and they have a handful of colors to choose from, including bright pink. NEED.

PaleOMG - My Favorite Wide Toe Bed Sneakers

I’ve also tried multiple shoes from BeLenkaincluding the BeLenka brand as well as Barebarics, but none of them fit me right so I had to ship them all back, sadly. They have so many different types of barefoot shoes to choose from so I definitely recommend checking them out, as well! There are many other brands out there, but most of them aren’t my style so I’m only sharing the brands and styles that I can get behind. I have a feeling that barefoot and wide toe bed style shoes are going to become more popular with time so hopefully more and more companies come out with shoes that are style AND functional. In the meantime, I’ll be searching for even more shoes to share with you aaaaand I’ll be digging into sandals more! Did you know that it’s super important that sandals have ankle strap so they stay in place as you step? I’m learning new stuff every day. Time to clean out my closet even more.

I hope this post helps you find some cute wide toe bed sneakers that don’t make you feel like the black sheep of your group!


This post contains some affiliate links and I may be compensated, but all opinions are my own. This compensation helps with expenses to keep this blog up and running! Thank you for all your support!

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  1. Kaity says:

    I’m looking forward to trying some of these! I also highly recommend some Lems sneakers and boots and the Vivo Geo Court sneaker. Lems shoes are super comfy but most are zero drop so you want to make sure you work up to wearing them for long periods of time if youre new to barefoot shoes. I get complements on my Boulder boots and black Primals often. Lems is also a US company—also based in CO I believe! The Vivo Geo Court took some breaking in but are awesome now. I don’t work out in the Vivos- i do pair them with leggings, jeans, dresses, etc.

  2. Missy says:

    I appreciate all your posts on this subject! During the same week in 2020 that my work shifted to 100% telework, I also found out that I was pregnant. So I spent 2 years pretty much stuck at home, either barefoot or in Vionic slippers or flip-flops (which work well for my high-arched feet). After years and years of wearing toe-squishing heels, I noticed that my toes spread out to (what is probably) my natural footprint. I’ve had to purchase almost all new shoes to return to work, and if I try to squeeze into my old heels, it rips up my little pinky toe in particular. I have yet to find any cute heels/sandals that work for me, so I’m definitely looking forward to your sandals post. Thanks!

  3. Catie says:

    Thanks for this Juli! I love your suggestions! I still have a corporate 9-5 and i KNOW my flats aren’t doing me any favors. If you come across some cuter shoes/office appropriate shoes in the future, I’d love to see an article on that as well.

    1. Kate Partridge says:

      Anya’s Reviews has a TON of info including work appropriate footwear and flats. Highly recommend! I agree with Juli and hope this will continue to become more mainstream

  4. Becky says:

    There’s a Facebook group about barefoot shoes, there are SO MANY BRANDS I never would have heard of without the group, if you want to check it out. It’s Barefoot Style, the place to geek out about barefoot shoes, or something like that

    1. Jenna says:

      Hi! I live in NYC and walk 5-10 miles a day…wondering if you have a brand you’d recommend for daily wear? Trying to replace my hokas. Thanks!

  5. Danielle says:

    Yay! Thanks for sharing. I have lems which I love but as you’ve eluded to, are not the cutest. However, I’m never going back! Super pumped about the wide toe box runners. Definitely getting the hot pink. Hope you are well and loving mom life!

  6. Asriel Krupp says:

    Hi Juli,

    Are any of these better for a high arch?

    Thank You!

  7. Jess says:

    Just wanted to say I got the amazon shoes today and they’re amazing and $40. Yes please. From my workout, to chasing my nanny kids all day to my walk in the afternoon (5-7 days a week) AMAZING! Thinking about getting the hubs a pair. They were awesome! Wide toe bed for life. Thank you for being persistent in your posts. I finally listened 🤣