Recommend someone with narrow feet some barefoot type shoes
November 20, 2017 1:24 PM   Subscribe

So I've been using various different insoles for the last 13 years or so and they're doing almost nothing. I want to try something new and would like to try some barefoot type shoes (just for general walking rather than running) without any insoles to try and retrain my feet arches (they're almost non-existent). (More inside.)

I've got long narrow feet, so finding shoes has always been a bit tricky. The width of my foot at the ball of my foot is 8.5cm and the total length of my foot is 26.5-27cm (if that helps). I usually have to wear size 11 shoes because most size 10 shoes are too short. I've been looking into barefoot shoes and after a lot of research, found quite a nice pair of shoes that have the right kind of barefoot walking style I'm looking for. Has anyone worn these before or have any similar suggestions as to shoes with thin soles that would fit narrow feet?
posted by sockpim to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (8 answers total)
I love Vivo shoes. I wear the Ra to work, and run in he Stealth. I would recommend them to anybody, but they are definitely not narrow. Vivos are all about the wide toe box. They are perfect shoes for me, but they do look a little bit like clown shoes. Vivo tries to mimimalize that appearance in the images on their website, but if you do a google image search you can see some other less flattering angles. It might not be a dealbreaker for you, but it’s something to consider.

Skora shoes might be perfect for you if you can find a pair, but they are restructuring their business now, and their shoes are not readily available.

In my experience New Balance and Merrell run narrower. I don’t know if NB is still making a true minimalist shoe, and Merrell’s minimalist offerings are dwindling too. The Merrell Vapor Glove might be a great fit for you, but I have read some reviews that say they are building a little bit of arch support into newer models.

That’s what I’ve got to offer. Other brands that have been on my radar, but which I don’t have any direct experience with yet, are Tadeevo, Xero and Lem’s.
posted by mammoth at 1:59 PM on November 20, 2017

NB went back to the original 4mm drop design in the minimus this go around. They're awesome
posted by atomicstone at 2:23 PM on November 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

Softstar is pricy, but the quality is top-notch and they make narrow sizes.
posted by Jaclyn at 3:22 PM on November 20, 2017

26.7 cm corresponds to a women's size 11, which might fit you better.
posted by oceano at 4:54 PM on November 20, 2017

I know you've said shoes, but if sandals are an options, I can recommend Luna Sandals.
posted by maupuia at 8:41 PM on November 20, 2017

I’ve narrow feet as well and for me, nothing has been better than Vibram FiveFingers. I understand if this is a non-starter. As Tina Fey said in a commercial, "creepy gloves for my feet!"

Vibram makes a more casual shoe called Furoshiki that is basically a foot wrap with a sole. Very comfy but while the sole is typical Vibram, the rest of the shoe, with its spandex fabric, doesn’t feel especially durable.
posted by Eikonaut at 10:46 PM on November 20, 2017

I'd second FiveFingers, I have long narrow feet and zero arches and they always fit perfectly. I have not tried the Furoshiki yet.
posted by fiercecupcake at 7:28 AM on November 21, 2017

I have 4 pairs of Vivos (Primus Lite, Ababa, Motus, and Lux). The Ababa are hands down the best shoes I've ever owned. They took a little while to get used to (more so than the others) for some reason but now I love them and choose them over any other unless I am going to run. Next faves would be the Lites, then the Lux then the Motus.

It is no exaggeration to say that Vivobarefoot Shoes changed my life. 10 months ago I thought I was going to be crippled the rest of my life (was wearing custom made orthotics for years and they just stopped working and making more wasn't helping)--I was literally hobbled for much of the day.

I spent an hour with this Movement Coach in Toronto, which was the first step in strengthening my feet, and she recommended exercises (those and others) and barefoot shoes, and Vivos are where I ended up (after trying Xero shoes, which I do NOT recommend). In 5 months I walked 4000km in the Lites and Lux before getting the Ababa.
posted by dobbs at 1:38 PM on April 12, 2018

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