TL;DR: VIVAIA shoes are my top choice for the best barefoot dress shoes for women. I’ve chosen them based on several criteria:
- Style – VIVAIA’s wide selection of shoes that don’t sacrifice style for comfort!
- Comfort – Speaking of comfort, VIVAIAs have a breathable knit outer made from recycled plastic bottles for utmost sustainability. They are true to size straight out of the box.
- Quality – These durable shoes hold their shape, stand the test of time, and are machine washable when you need a refresh.
I recently started a new office job, and work attire has been on my mind.
Aside from outfit planning, my mind goes to my daily walking commute…and, therefore, the shoes that I’m wearing.
I want my shoes to simultaneously be comfortable, cute, and good for my feet.
Enter: women’s barefoot dress shoes.
Admittedly, I’ve been misled in the past into believing that flat shoes lead to discomfort. As I’ve learned, choosing the right quality flat shoe does the opposite.
These quality flat shoes are called ‘barefoot shoes.’ Intended to capture the experience of walking barefoot, this type of shoe can help your foot health, balance, and posture.
Luckily, many brands are adapting to their growing demand and releasing high-quality, comfortable women’s barefoot dress shoes.
I’m always looking for low-to-the-ground or zero-drop options. Xero Shoes was the first company recommended to me, but their styles are a bit ‘sporty’ for the office. I researched a little further to find dressier options.
I am not one for high heels, no matter the occasion. That’s what makes barefoot shoes appealing.
From barefoot loafers to oxfords, ballet flats to sandals, and even custom shoes– this list of barefoot women’s shoes for work or day-to-day life will give you an overview of what’s out there!
Note: this article contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.
Here’s a Quick Look at Our Recommendations
- Most Versatile: VIVAIA Square-Toe V-Cut Flats
- Best Budget Option: KBZone Women’s Ballet Flat
- Best Vegan Option: Rothys The Point
- Best Barefoot Oxfords: Softstar Hamilton Oxford
- Best for Wide Feet: Barefoot Shapen Poppy
- Best for Narrow Feet: Custom Rubyworkshop Barefoot Shoes
- Most Comfortable Barefoot Dress Shoes: Vivobarefoot Chelsea Boots
- Most Stylish Barefoot Dress Shoes: Carets D’Orsay Mary Jane
- Best Business Casual Barefoot Dress Shoes: Orgio The New Derby
- Top Barefoot Ballet Flats: Tieks Ballet Flats
- Top Barefoot Boots: Groundies Mila Boots
Materials: Plastic Bottles, Rubber
Sizes: US 5 – 11
Color Options: Neutrals, Colors, Patterns
If you’re looking for comfortable barefoot dress shoes for women, VIVAIA Square-Toe V-Cut Flats are a great place to start.
This pair stood out because of the slight heel and square toe (keyword slight: we’re talking 1cm).
Besides creating extra space for your big toe, these shoes look rather elegant. I could picture myself wearing these in the office.
The SquareTo V-Cut is only one style out of many. From barefoot Mary Janes to pointed or square-toe box women’s dress shoes, VIVAIA has many women’s barefoot dress shoes to explore. And, while the price certainly isn’t low, it also isn’t astronomical.
One great thing about VIVAIA is that their shoes come in neutrals, bright colors, and tons of patterns.
My favorite is the ‘functional’ designs tab option. Here, you’ll find the shoes in various finishes, like water-repellent and breathable mesh.
Those mesh shoes would make an excellent option for walking in the summer.
Want to know more about this brand? Check out our full VIVAIA shoes review!
Rothys The Point
Best Vegan Option
Materials: Plastic Water Bottles
Sizes: US 5 – 13
Color Options: Neutrals & Colors
Rothy’s The Point has the look of classic women’s dress shoes, but with modern-day twists. These flats use entirely vegan materials and are fully machine washable.
Looking for barefoot loafers or barefoot sandals? Rothys offers many styles besides ballet flats.
From sneakers to mules, slides, and slippers…I feel like I could spend all day browsing their site!
Top Barefoot Ballet Flats
Materials: Full-grain Leather
Sizes: US 5 – 13
Color Options: Neutrals, Colors, Patterns
Tiek’s signature product is their barefoot ballet flats. They’ve earned their reputation for a combination of portability and quality materials like Italian leather.
As you’ll see on their website, Tieks are entirely flexible– able to be rolled up or folded in half.
Though the shoes come in one standard style, there are many colors and finishes to choose from– including metallics to textured fabrics similar to lace.
Be aware that these benefits come at a price. They do cost a pretty penny at just about $200 for a pair of ballet flats.
Check out our Tieks review for our full thoughts!
Orgio The New Derby
Best Business Casual Barefoot Dress Shoes
Materials: Leather, Rubber
Sizes: US 6 – 11
Color Options: Neutrals
I love the simplicity of Orgio The New Derby. These flat leather shoes are a toned-down version of classic oxfords that are comfortable and fully flexible.
These shoes are big-toe friendly: they have a wide-toe box.
The shoes have laces, so even if you have a narrow foot, you may be able to adjust the main section of the shoe to fit the contours of your feet.
This shoe does have a rubber sole instead of a leather sole, but you’ll still notice the effect of the leather on your feet because it’s buttery soft. They come in standard leather colors like black and a few shades of brown.
Check out Orgio’s website for other leather barefoot shoes, including quality leather barefoot sneakers and some beautifully crafted dressy sandals at a fair price!
Rubyworkshop Barefoot Shoes
Best for Narrow Feet
Materials: Leather, Natural Rubber, EVA (Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate)
Sizes: Custom, US 5.5 – 11
Color Options: Neutral & Basic Colors
The Rubyworkshop Barefoot Shoes are the top barefoot shoes for narrow feet, medium-width feet, or wide feet. That’s because they are custom-made to your order, with direct measurement suggestions for your foot size and foot type!
Rubyworkshop has become a popular Etsy seller for their handmade shoes. They advertise a narrow heel and wide toe box, but as the description states, you can send in custom notes to adjust your feet.
Regardless, they take the anatomical shape of your foot into consideration.
These barefoot loafers would make a nice pair of barefoot dress shoes for women. They come in black, brown, or other simple colors.
Aside from these loafers, the Rubyworkshop store offers a few different shoe types and sandals. They are all in minimalist styles and are made of leather.
Vivobarefoot Chelsea Boots
Most Comfortable Barefoot Dress Shoes
Materials: Leather, Cork & Recycled PU Insole
Sizes: US 5.5 – 11.5
Color Options: Black, Tan
For two reasons, the Vivobarefoot Chelsea Boots get my vote as the most comfortable dress shoes for women.
First of all, I am a massive fan of the Chelsea boot– so I was excited to see even this style has been made into women’s barefoot dress shoes.
Secondly, I love that these boots keep your foot fully enclosed and protected without overtaking your leg.
I love barefoot sandals, but for my daily commute walking across an old European city with uneven pavement,I feel much more comfortable and confident wearing a pair of boots like these.
These Chelsea boots have a brown or black leather outer which emulate an iconic style while offering the benefits of barefoot shoes.
SoftStar Hamilton Oxfords
Best Oxford-style Barefoot Shoes
Materials: Full Grain Leather
Sizes: 5.5 – 13, Regular & Wide
Color Options: Black
Softstar calls their Hamilton Oxford the foot-friendly version of a classic Oxford.
Softstar is a company USA-based that designs and handcrafts their shoes in Oregon. On the website page of each shoe, you can watch a video of their workshop.
These leather shoes are flexible, zero drop, and have a tuxedo cap toe box. They’re a good choice for anyone with wide feet, as they come in regular and wide-width unisex styles.
So far, these styles are only available in brown or black.
If oxfords aren’t your style, but you like the looks of Soft Star, I’m happy to report that they also offer barefoot sandals and barefoot Mary Janes.
Groundies Mila Women Boot
Top Barefoot Boots
Materials: Cowhide Leather, Microfleece
Sizes: EU 36 – 43
Color Options: Black
The Groundies Mila Women Boot has a zero drop and neutral footbed. They’re made of supple black leather and topped with a rounded design well-suited for your calf.
I always find this boot style quite dressy, making it an excellent choice for women to wear to work.
These boots will suit anyone with medium-width feet, and their anatomical toe box leaves extra space for your toes.
Groundies also offers many other styles, so if you’re looking for other boots or more flat styles like sandals, check out the complete list of barefoot options on their website.
Note: Groundies is based out of and ships from the EU (but offers free returns from the US).
Best for Wide Feet
Materials: Vegan Leather
Sizes: EU 35 – 44 Regular & Wide
Color Options: Black, White, Red, Pink
Anyone looking for wide barefoot dress shoes for women will be pleased to find the Barefoot Shapen Poppy style.
The vegan leather outer surrounds a foam molded insole. They come in black, white, rose pink, and cherry red.
I like that these dressy sandals secure your feet with an ankle strap and protective covering for your toes.
They’re an excellent choice for wide feet because they come in both regular and wide-width options.
Shapen calls these the first barefoot pumps. While that might be a slight stretch since these are flat shoes at the end of the day– the designers clearly had women’s barefoot dress shoes in mind!
Note: Shapen is based out of and ships from the EU.
Carets Artemis D’Orsay Mary Jane
Most Stylish Barefoot Dress Shoes
Materials: Leather, Rubber
Sizes: US 5 – 11
Color Options: Black
Mary Janes are one of the most traditional dressy shoes for women, so naturally, I had to include them in this article.
However, if wearing a pair of Mary Janes and lace socks feels a little outdated to you– I’m happy to report stylish updates of these dressy shoes do exist.
The Carets Artemis D’Orsay Mary Jane is a level up from what you may think of as typical Mary Janes. Their elongated, diagonal strap sets them apart.
Carets’ first barefoot shoes were men’s oxfords, but they’ve since expanded.
They explain, “It’s in our DNA to take on the most formal and challenging styles, make them barefoot, and retain as much of the original external aesthetic as possible.”
I think they achieved their goal with this style, and I look forward to seeing what they’ll release next for women!
KBZone Women’s Ballet Flat
Best Budget Option
Materials: Stretchy Knitted Upper, Rubber Out-sole
Sizes: US 6 – 10 & Wide Options
Color Options: Neutrals & Muted Colors
If a brand like VIVAIA is out of your price range, but you still want to try wearing barefoot dress shoes for women, the KBZone Women’s Ballet Flat reminds me of most of the VIVAIA shoes.
These flat shoes are foldable and have a moveable insole, so they’ll follow your foot. They’re a good option for a wide foot, as the toe box is flexible.
They offer an elegant and dressy look with more space for your feet than the traditional constricting ballet flat– all for an affordable price.
FAQs About Barefoot Dress Shoes
What is the difference between barefoot and minimalist shoes?
There are many names for this kind of footwear: from natural footwear to functional footwear, barefoot to minimalist. The line between these terms of shoes is not always clear.
More often than not, minimalist is a term used to refer to the look of the shoe or the amount of materials used. Barefoot shoes refer to a specific style of shoe that aims to mimic the feeling of being barefoot.
Are barefoot shoes better for your feet?
Although research continues to develop, it appears that barefoot shoes suit your overall foot health. Wearing them can help strengthen your foot muscles.
Stronger feet can lead to benefits like enhancing balance or reducing your chances of foot injury or health issues.
Comfort-wise, barefoot shoes are more likely to mold to your feet. Even if they aren’t custom, they’ll begin to feel like it!
To further that point, barefoot shoes may also benefit your psyche on top of the physical benefits.
People feel that wearing shoes that mimic the natural barefoot feeling helps them feel freer throughout their day.
What is the difference between traditional dress shoes versus barefoot dress shoes?
Traditional dress shoes’ reputation is similar to traditional dress clothing. From my experience, that means stiff pieces you can’t wait to take off at the end of a work day or event.
On the other hand, barefoot shoes should feel natural and comfortable, with plenty of space for your toes to spread out.
Technically speaking, the most significant difference you may notice is the signature zero-drop heel of barefoot shoes or sandals. Zero drop means your heel is not lifted off the ground while wearing the shoe.
Quite a stark contrast to the kitten heels and pumps that have come along with the business attire stigma!
Conclusion: Our Pick for the Top Barefoot Dress Shoes
If I had to choose one pair of barefoot dress shoes, I’d highlight the VIVAIA brand.
For a complete list of reasons why I’ve chosen VIVAIA, I’d recommend reading our full VIVAIA Review.
Here, you’ll find further info and tips, like our recommendation to size up if you have wide feet, bunions, high arches, or want more room for your toes.
Ultimately, I love that they are dressy, fashionable, and comfortable. Being machine washable is also a massive plus in terms of finding a pair of dress shoes you can keep continuously fresh and clean.
VIVAIA sells many shoe styles– there will be something for everyone.
You’ll keep your feet happy by wearing a pair from this list of barefoot dress shoes for your next day of work!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Monroe Dziersk is a twenty-something American who has lived in the USA, Italy, and Czechia. A self-proclaimed Europhile, she has a passion for international education, traveling, and becoming a global citizen, having visited more than twenty countries. You can often find her accompanied by a good book and her calico cat.
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