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How do you determine the right size for barefoot shoes?

Buying Barefoot shoes online is not always easy. Just choosing your classic shoe size is usually not a good idea. That's why we list some tips and tricks here.

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    Barefoot shoe fitting:

    • Barefoot or minimalist shoes are wider than classic shoes. This is because barefoot shoes follow the anatomical foot shape. When you go up a size in classic shoes because of width, this is often not necessary with barefoot shoes.
    • Natural materials such as leather and canvas can become slightly more supple with wearing. However, if a shoe pinches when trying on, the shoe will never sit easily (even after expanding). Basically, a leather shoe will also only "set" when under tension. In other words, if a shoe fits well, it does not need to set.
    • Men with narrow feet may consider opting for a women's model. Women with wide feet may be more comfortable in men's shoes.
    • According to scientific research, a shoe (i.e. not just barefoot shoes!) should have a minimum of 8 to 12mm excess larger than your foot. Here, 8mm is the absolute minimum, but 12mm is actually better. We even have customers who go up to 20 mm. For a first barefoot shoe, however, it is not advisable to go much above 12 mm.
    • Is it your first time trying on shoes like these? Then they probably feel very roomy. But that's just normal! 90% of people wear their shoes only 5 to 6 mm bigger than their foot. This is barely half of what your feet actually need to have healthy foot function! So most feet are used to being continuously trapped in shoes that are too narrow and too small. When your shoe first gets the space it actually needs, it feels strange indeed. Your brain compares with what it knows (too small shoes!) and thus needs an adjustment period. Because of this, the most common mistake is to buy your barefoot shoes too small too! After about three weeks, you get used to this extra space. If you were to return to classic shoes after a year, you won't even understand how you could ever put your feet in such a small shoe.

    How do I determine the right size barefoot shoes?

    For this there is only one answer: measure your feet! Even within the same brand, different models are not always the same length. That's why there is a conversion table for each shoe on our website. So never choose your 'classic' size. Depending on the brand, this can differ up to 2 sizes!

    • lay a sheet of paper on the floor, with the edge against the wall
    • now stand with your bare feet on this sheet, heels against the wall
    • have someone mark off the furthest point of both feet.
    • Measure the distance from this point to the edge of the sheet. This is the length of your foot
    • the largest foot determines your shoe length
    • ideal shoe length = foot length + 12 mm
    • Attention: this can vary from brand to brand, but even within the same brand from model to model!

    An even easier way to measure your feet? Use the Plus12

    Note: Vibram Fivefingers differ slightly from the above method. There, the length listed on the website is the minimum and maximum foot length for that particular size.


    1. Don't just pick your 'classic' size, but measure your feet
    2. Take into account a minimum of 8 to 12 mm surplus
    3. Doesn't your shoe sit easily when trying it on? Then it probably never will!
    4. All shoes are measured in our store. The length we mention with the shoe size is therefore the length measured by us.

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