Barefoot, minimalist, or zero-drop shoes as they are popularly known are becoming increasingly popular among weight lifters and runners.

These shoes are designed to give maximum protection to your feet while ensuring that your feet enjoy some desirable aspects of barefoot walking or running.

They are less cushioned, lower to the ground and lighter than traditional shoes or boots.

According to podiatrists, zero-drop boots should be a consideration because they position your heel and toes in a level position just like you would when barefooted. As such, this leads to better posture and fewer health problems.

They also promote mid-foot landing, reduce knee loading and are more comfortable and natural.

11 Best Zero Drop Work Boots – The Best Barefoot and Minimalist Safety Shoes on the Market

In this article, we have reviewed the best zero drop women’s boots barefoot that will keep your feet and sensory nerves engaged. Read on.

1. UGG Women’s Reid Winter Boot

The UGG Women’s Reid winter boot is one of the best zero drop winter boots for women.

UGG Women's Reid Winter Boot, Black, 9 M US
1,204 Reviews
UGG Women's Reid Winter Boot, Black, 9 M US


  • 100-percent suede.
  • Rubber sole.
  • Metal zipper.

Made by UGG, a global lifestyle brand founded in 1978, this iconic classic boot is designed to keep your feet warm and dry. These boots are 100-percent suede and have leather-lined insole for added comfort.

They are lightweight and have a flexible molded rubber sole for protection and natural movement.

What’s more, the boots have a faux leather braid sidewall for added durability and a non-functional sued lace for added detail.

There is also a side metal-zipper for easy on-off. One thing about these boots is that you can wear them with any clothing hence perfect for all occasions.

  • Great overall quality
  • Can pair with overalls, floral dress, or any other apparel
  • Cushioned for an easy barefoot feel
  • The comfort level is top-notch
  • Available in different colors
  • Narrow and tight at the toe area
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2. Dr. Martens Men’s Tobias Boot

If you are looking for a perfect winter boot that will keep your feet warm and dry without making you look incongruous, these boots are worth a try.

Dr. Martens Men's Tobias Boot,Black Greasy Lamper
2,854 Reviews
Dr. Martens Men's Tobias Boot,Black Greasy Lamper


  • 100% Premium Leather.
  • Waffle Sole.
  • Metal Eyelets.

Made by Dr. Martens, the Tobias boots are a classic and instantly recognizable pair of zero drop winter boots. They feature the brand’s signature heel loops and their uppers are made from 100-percent premium leather to match your contemporary style.

They have an air-cushioned sole for enhanced comfort and a grippy sole to prevent slips as well as boost your balance.

The idea to construct air-trapped soles was first introduced in 1945 by Dr. Martens after he got a foot injury while skiing to enhance his healing process.

The boots are also lightweight and come with a secure lace-up closure system with metal eyelets. They are also available in different sizes.

However, the sizes of this boot are offered in men’s sizes. So, you’ll need to refer to the size chart before making a purchase.

For instance, a size 7.5 woman should order a size 6 in men’s. Typically, the conversion is a size and half less for ladies.

  • Premium quality
  • Perfect zero drop boots for any casual occasion
  • air-cushioned to give you for extra comfort and a barefoot feel
  • They are lightweight
  • Affordable and available in different sizes
  • Takes some time to break-in and they are not breathable
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3. New Balance Women’s 10v1 Minimus Trail Running Shoe

New Balance is well-known for being a trendsetter when it comes to offering some of the best trail-running shoes – and the 10v1 Minimus is not an exception.

Made from synthetic, this minimalist cross-training shoes for women has a breathable meshed upper to ensure that your feet stay fresh and dry.

The material is also treated with anti-microbial to ensure that it remains odor-free even after a long trail run.

To ensure that you enjoy a steady drop barefoot feel, these shoes features strategically located flex grooves and vibram outsole for added durability. Along with that, the shoe has extra memory foam near the midsole for extra comfort.

  • Durable minimalist barefoot running shoes
  • Breathable and comfortable shoes
  • Excellent toe box construction
  • They are lightweight and the minimalist sole helps prevent you from twisting your ankles
  • Affordable and offered in various sizes and colors
  • The toe-box is slightly small if you have wide feet
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4. Inov-8 Women’s Bare-XF 210 V2 Sneaker

The Bare-XF 210 V2 women’s sneaker from Inov-8 is one of the most innovative minimalist barefoot shoes. It’s ideal for weight lifting, agility, training, weight lifting, rope climbing, and more.

Flexible in design, these shoes feature Inov-8’s proprietary sticky and grooved rubber sole that allows natural flexing of the forefoot as well as offer some traction on dusty or wet surfaces.

While they do not exactly give the impression of your classic minimalist shoe, they are well disguised.

Firstly, they are supremely light and the zero drop sole is very thin giving you a barefoot feel. It also has a midsole which helps improve shock absorption.

Furthermore, they have a wide toe box that allows your toes to spread naturally when training. They are also breathable in the area around the upper foot allowing your feet to stay dry.

  • Flexible in all necessary spots
  • Excellent arch support
  • Very comfortable
  • They are lightweight and the thin sole gives a natural barefoot feel
  • They have a wide toe box allowing you to spread your toes.
  • Sizing is based on men’s so be careful when ordering
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5. Reebok Women’s Nano 9 Cross Trainer

Reebok has been in the front-line when it comes to making of serious performance shoes and the Nano 9 Cross Trainer is no exception.

Reebok Women's Nano 9 Cross Trainer, Black/Grey
3,350 Reviews
Reebok Women's Nano 9 Cross Trainer, Black/Grey


  • 100% Textile.
  • Rubber sole.
  • Flexible.

Made from 100-percent textile, this minimalist cross-fit shoe is re-engineered to take your training to the next level.  

For starters, this shoe comes with a new Flexweave outer construction that’s designed to offer breathability as well as a little more “give and stretch.”

Along with that, the Flexweave wraps perfectly on this shoe to create a bootie-like construction. It also has an extra layer towards the toe region that helps prevent wear as well as enhance durability.

Unlike the previous Nano 9’s, this particular model features a single density midsole for comfort and a firmer forefront for added flexibility. The heel has also been reworked to offer more reactivity and stability.

  • Flexible
  • New flexweave outer construction
  • Very comfortable
  • Flexweave upper provides breathability
  • Wide toe box.
  • Sole prone to coming apart
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6. Merrell Women’s Trail Glove 5 Sneaker

The Trail Glove 5 by Merrell offers a great option for individuals looking for lightweight zero drop shoes.

Merrell Women's Trail Glove 5 Sneaker, Aqua
2,826 Reviews
Merrell Women's Trail Glove 5 Sneaker, Aqua


  • Textile & Synthetic.
  • Vibram Sole.
  • Merrell Barefoot 2 Construction.

Made from a textile and synthetic upper, these shoes are engineered to ensure that your feet can maintain their natural ability to stabilize even when there are rapid changes in movement.

It’s also versatile and features a new Barefoot 2 construction with a glove-like fit to offer a barefoot-like experience both on trial and road.

Along with that, it has a Vibram outsole that offers unmatched performance, traction and durability.

What’s more, the Merrell Trail Glove 5 has a widened forefoot that allows your toes to splay.

The shoe is also breathable thanks to the probiotic mesh that bonds beneficial live microbes to help in eradicating odor.

  • The new Barefoot 2 design anchors the kicks on a zero-drop platform
  • It has adaptive and grippy outsoles
  • Very comfy thanks to the cushioned insole
  • The probiotic mesh offers natural and non-toxic odor control
  • Machine washable mesh.
  • Difficult to size
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7. Merrell Women’s Vapor Glove 3 Trail Runner

The Vapor Glove 3 trail runner is another great choice by Merrell. This uniquely designed shoe is ideal for women looking for comfortable minimalist shoes that offer superb performance.

Merrell Women's Vapor Glove 3 Sneaker, Black/Silver
3,599 Reviews
Merrell Women's Vapor Glove 3 Sneaker, Black/Silver


  • 100% Textile & Synthetic.
  • Vibram Sole.
  • Barefoot Technology.

Made from 100 percent textile and fabric, the Vapor Glove 3 employs Merell’s barefoot technology to give you a natural barefoot experience. Shape wise, it mimics the shape of the human foot which is occasionally rare.

It also has an adaptive Vibram outsole with grips that provide great traction and durability.

Along with that, this kick is extremely flexible unlike most of its competitors. It bends with your feet and doesn’t crease.

What we loved most about this shoe is super light and comes with a meshed upper for enhanced breathability.

It also has a cushioned insole, which together with the rubber outsole makes this zero drop shoe quite comfy.

  • The shoe is superbly lightweight
  • It has grippy outsoles for traction
  • Very comfy with sufficient ground sensitivity
  • Breathable thanks to the meshed upper
  • Improves running gait and fit like a glove.
  • Hard to size and the upper fabric scuffs easily
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8. New Balance Women’s 20v7 Minimus Training Shoe

The 20v7 Minimus is another top-of-the-range model by New Balance. The shoe is an incredible alternative for cross-fitters looking for minimalist workout shoes.

New Balance Women's WX20BP7 Minimus Training Shoe, Black
957 Reviews
New Balance Women's WX20BP7 Minimus Training Shoe, Black


  • 100% Textile & Synthetic.
  • Vibram Sole.
  • REVlite Midsole Foam.

For starters, the upper part of the shoe is made from nylon-infused yarn (a blend of textile and synthetic), which makes it feel like a mix of jeans and a woolen sweater.

The material combined with the meshed windows located on the upper side makes this shoe breathable and odor-free.

Below the nylon-infused yarn is the Vibram rubber sole that allows you to maintain traction and stability on tough terrain while maintaining the shoe’s durability.

The sole is incredibly thin to give you a barefoot experience and keep the shoe lighter. One unique feature we noticed with this shoes are the asymmetrical collars or “asym” as New Balance calls them.

These collars frame flawlessly with the shoe top section to add comfort and snugness that lacks most kicks with this feature.

  • The “asym” collar ensures high comfort levels
  • The soles are grooved for better traction
  • Very comfy and stylish
  • The meshed upper and the nylon-infused yarn ensure breathability
  • Incredibly light with great arch support
  • Lacks roominess and is tight at the toe box
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9. Vivobarefoot Women’s Primus Trek Trail Walking Shoe

If you are in the market for zero drop winter boots, then the Primus Trek Trail walking shoe by Vivobarefoot checks all the boxes.  

The shoe is designed to promote natural foot movement just like other shoe models made by Vivobarefoot.

Vivobarefoot Women's Primus Trek Leather - Tan - 40
1 Reviews
Vivobarefoot Women's Primus Trek Leather - Tan - 40


  • 100% Leather.
  • Neoprene ankle sock.
  • Synthetic sole.

It includes a synthetic firm ground sole with lug patterns that inspire confidence when off-roading while still allowing your feet to feel natural.

It’s also leather-made which is a clear testament of its durability and has removable thermal insole for winter-proofing.

The leather is versatile and has splash-proof and quick drain zones that assist in quick drying. The thermal insole, on the other hand, has further been proven to increase the tactile effect.

Furthermore, this shoe has an unnerving fitting effect for those new to barefoot shoes. It has a cavernous forefoot (a feature for the natural movement), which makes you feel like it’s almost impossible to hold your feet in place.

However, thanks to the neoprene sock together with the close fit around the ankle, it very easy to run in these shoes without your feet slipping on the footbed while allowing your toes the needed freedom.

  • Very durable shoe
  • It’s splash proof
  • Sufficient ground sensitivity
  • Very flexible
  • Excellent traction.
  • The neoprene sock is sometimes tight
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10. Xero Shoes Prio – Women’s Minimalist Barefoot Shoes

To begin with, this shoes feature a sensible design and are made with high-quality non-animal materials making them a great choice for vegans.

They are super comfy thanks to the wide toe box that allows your toes to splay and relax. The rubber sole is highly flexible and makes them bend naturally with your feet’s motion.

Apart from that, the sole is low to the ground which helps give you a barefoot experience as well as enhance balance and agility.

The heel is also non-elevated which helps promote proper gait. Xero promises that this shoe can last up to 5,000 miles. However, that is for you to prove.

  • Superbly comfortable and stylish
  • Conforms to the shape of your feet
  • The in-step strap allows you to fine-tune your fit
  • Flexible and light
  • Very warm for winter.
  • Lacking in durability
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11. Merrell Women’s Vapor Glove 2 Barefoot Trail Running Shoe

The Merrell Vapor Glove 2 is a minimalist winter shoe for individuals looking for a barefoot experience.

Merrell Women's Vapor Glove 2 Trail Running Shoe, Black/Castle Rock
1,555 Reviews
Merrell Women's Vapor Glove 2 Trail Running Shoe, Black/Castle Rock


  • 100% Textile & Synthetic.
  • Rubber Sole.
  • Natural Fit.

Just like you’d expect, the shoe is a zero-drop and is extremely flexible. It has a rubber outsole with a dependable Vibram layer that makes it bend naturally with your feet’s movement.

The sole is also grooved for traction. One thing about this shoe is that it feels like a glove. What this means is that it conforms to the shape of your feet. Along with that, it’s nicely shaped and designed.

The upper part of the shoe is made from a blend of textile and synthetic and has a mesh lining that aids in breathability keeping your feet cool.

What’s more, the shoe comes with a thin-padded traditional tongue held by a tab and traditional flat laces. Lastly, you can wash the shoe in cold water in a gentle cycle then dry it in air.

  • Made from high-quality materials
  • The vibram layer offers a great barefoot feel
  • Excellent arc support
  • Light and flexible
  • The grooves offer great traction and durability.
  • Low volume toe box
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a zero drop shoe?

It’s a shoe where the heel and the toes are on a level position. Most people refer to them as minimalist shoes, which is a misconception. However, if any shoe fulfils the above criteria it is nonetheless a zero drop shoe.

What are the benefits of barefoot boots for women?

These shoes have various benefits such as:
1. They feel more natural
2. They are very light
3. It’s rare to get injured compared to high heels where it’s easy to twist your ankles
Most offer motion control and stability hence increased efficiency

They are flexible than traditional shoes thus allowing you to rotate the toe and the heel.

What features should I look out for when buying a zero drop winter boot?

There are several factors that you should consider, these include:
1. Waterproof capabilities in case of splashes.
2. Soft and supple sole to allow unimpeded foot movement and improve ground contact.
3. Wide toe box to allow your toes to splay.
The grooving on the outsole for better traction

Can anybody wear zero drop shoes?

Yes, this shoes are ideal for anybody who needs natural feet positioning. However, if you have special feet conditions its better you talk with your podiatrist.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, zero-drop boots or shoes come with various designs, shapes, and prices. As such it’s easy to be overwhelmed on which one to choose.

The above 11 are our best picks. We, however, recommend that you do your due diligence and ensure that the shoe you are about to purchase meets your needs.

In our review, we found the UGG Women’s Reid to be the best zero drop winter boot for women because of its overall build quality, comfort, warmth, and affordability.

The Vivobarefoot Primus Trek, on the other hand, proved to be the best minimalistic barefoot shoe because it’s made from high-quality leather, waterproof, highly flexible, has excellent traction, and offers sufficient ground sensitivity.

Also Read:

  1. The best chemical resistant work boots for factories and industrial work.
  2. Check the best snowboard boot dryers and reviews.

Last update on 2024-05-20 at 00:27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

One comment
  1. Thanks for sharing all the product details including pros and cons and “Merrell Women’s Vapor Glove 2 Barefoot Trail Running Shoe” is one of the best products in this blog.

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