The shoes you work in are likely those you spend the most time wearing, so it’s super important they’re doing the least possible damage to you and your feet.
This is why it’s seems so unfair that finding a pair of smart and stylish barefoot office shoes is such a mission. And when it comes to summer options in particular, most barefoot sandals for women are performance style running huaraches (fantastic as a barefoot shoe but don’t quite cut it in most office situations).
From a barefoot point of view, the problem with a lot of sandals on the market is that they’re not well attached to your foot (which means you likely have to grip or lift your toes with each step in order to hold them on). Doing that for eight hours a day certainly isn’t going to be great for your gait and alignment. Also, although many sandals have a thin sole, they’re often very inflexible and have a pesky little heel, which is still noticeable if you’re used to wearing a zero drop heel.
This season I’ve come across three options for great barefoot office shoes – all with thin, flexible soles, well attached uppers and zero drop heels.
Unfortunately, I don’t think I can quite justify a pair myself seeing as I’m on maternity leave at the moment…
Image via thedrifterleather.com
The adjustable front strap is great for anyone with a slightly wider foot, as well as ensuring you get the right fit to keep these well attached. I also personally find a X strap much more flattering than a single loop around the ankles.
In terms of the sole, these are made with a soft 1mm cushion above a 6mm Vibram outsole, which means you have a good deal of flexibility that’s so often lacking with sandals.
Image via zuzii.com
These are such a timeless style that you won’t risk them going out of fashion anytime soon. It’s important to note that they’re designed to form to your foot with wear so do ensure to read the sizing guidelines before ordering to make sure you get the perfect fit.
And if you’re looking for something a bit more edgy than classic black, these come in a range of colours from a cognac brown to metallic green.
I find it so annoying that the majority of ‘flat’ sandals on the market are actually quite close to being barefoot but tend to have this mini little heel added to them. It’s usually only about 5mm or so but after wearing shoes with a zero drop I still find noticeable (and so unnecessary!)
If you don’t mind taking matters into your own hands then one option for when you fall in love with a pair that have this heel (like I did with a pair from H&M pictured above) is to take to them with a screwdriver and pair of pliers as demonstrated by The Resilient Body in the video below.
Just be aware that this only works when the heel is an extra piece of sole and it does leave the underneath of your shoes a bit worse for wear. Also I personally wouldn’t attempt this on an expensive pair just in case it doesn’t quite work out how you wanted.
Another option if you like the idea but are a bit worried about trying it yourself is to ask a cobbler if they could give it a try for you instead.