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Best barefoot shoes to pair with cropped trousers

Image via otzshoes.com

I’m a big fan of ankle-skimming trousers at the moment. They’re flattering, great for wearing to the office (then dressing up in the evening) and a nice alternative when you need a break from jeans – what’s not to love?

In case you’re struggling to find the best barefoot shoes that look good with them, here are three styles for some shopping inspiration:

1. TRAINERS: perfect if you’re craving a trainer day but still need to look somewhat smart in the office (also great for pulling off the looking amazing but haven’t even tried outfit).

Best option: OTZ Pilgrim – currently on my Autumn shopping list.

Alternative: Lems Primal 2

2. BROGUES: for when the weather is threatening to pour down but you still want to wear a stylish shoe.

Best barefoot shoes to pair with cropped trousers

Image via thedrifterleather.com

Best option: The Drifter Leather The Club Oxfords – I need these shoes.

Alternative: The Drifter Leather Ronalee

3. BALLERINAS: showing off the top of your foot can be very flattering with cropped trousers (and it’s good to flash a bit of skin in on a warmer Autumn day while you still have the chance).

Best barefoot shoes to pair with cropped trousers

Image via softstarshoes.com

Best option: Soft Star Shoes Ballerine – because you can’t go wrong in a black ballerina.

Alternative: Vivobarefoot Jing Jing

And if you need any inspiration for trousers, head over to Topshop

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Comments (4)

  1. Lisa Mills
    November 05, 2016

    Hi Emma,
    Love your blog, and good to find an Englishwoman who’s passionate about barefoot shoes AND style! I’m a big fan of Katy Bowman, and there are many US bloggers raving about shoes, but not so many Europeans, as far as I know.
    I have a question about the OTZ shoes – most of their shoes and boots look very chunky, as if they are designed for people with a lot of vertical bulk to their feet. Do you know what I mean? I’m talking about the measurement between the sole and the top of the shoe. I have quite narrow feet, with low arches, and often slip out of shoes (forget mules and clogs, for instance). Are they actually as roomy as they look? I have several pairs of vivobarefoots and am fine with them, but I wonder if my feet might flap around in a pair of OTZ!
    Also, I’m really interested in some chelsea boots or lace ups from Drifter Leather, but they have stopped taking orders for the time being. I’m on their mailing list for news of when they start up again.
    Thanks again for a great blog!

    • Emma Thornton
      November 09, 2016

      Hi Lisa
      So glad you like the blog! The Drifter Leather are still taking orders on their site (www.thedrifterleather.com) but have just temporarily closed their Etsy shop. I highly recommend the Chelsea Boots, am currently writing a review on mine but I wonder if a lace ups would be a good option for you if you have a low arch as they are quite spacious on that part of the foot (at least for me they are!)
      As for OTZshoes, I know what you mean. Unfortunately I haven’t tried a pair myself so I really can’t say – such a shame that we don’t have any European suppliers from a lot of the US brands as online shoe shopping is bad enough, let alone with international returns! I’ll have to work on getting a review on a pair of OTZshoes…
      x Emma

    • Cara
      April 19, 2017

      Hi ladies, I’m late to the party but thought I would still write a comment for anyone looking for information on Otz shoes.

      Not affiliated with the brand but I’ve bought a number of pair to try on. One pair of boots I actually wore for a little while before selling them.

      So, the thing with Otz shoes is that they are not barefoot shoes out of the box. They have a molded cork footbed which has a positive heel and arch support. The footbed is easily removable (except for the sandals) and then you have a zero drop shoe with no support.

      The reason the shoes look so bulky is because they’re built with extra room to accommodate the molded cork footbed inside the shoe. If you leave the footbed inside the shoe you’ll be fine (but this is a site for barefoot shoes so I presume you don’t want to do that). If you take the footbed out to make them barefoot shoes, suddenly there’s way more volume inside the shoe and you’ll be flopping around. Depending on the type of shoe you may be able to fill this extra volume just by wearing wooly socks, and if the shoes lace up you can tighten them nicely. But something like the espadrille won’t work because it’s a summery slip-on (therefore no option to wear thick socks, and no laces to customize the fit).

      I also found with the espadrille that once you remove the insole, there’s a lot of slippage in the heel, which means the back part of the shoe that wraps around the heel chafes with every step. Keep in mind that these shoes are designed for wearing with the insole, which makes a big difference on the low-top models like the espadrille and Pilgrim. Remove the insole and your foot sinks farther down into the shoe which means the shoe’s opening hits higher on your ankle, if that makes sense. I can see it irritating the ankle bone because of that. Again, if you leave the footbed in you won’t have this issue but then they aren’t barefoot shoes.

      I had lace-up Otz boots which fit OK without the footbed. They were also shearling lined and I wore them with socks, so no chafing. I won’t buy any slip-on Otz again due to heel slippage, and I probably won’t even buy the Pilgrim sneakers even though they lace up, because they’re low-tops and I think they might chafe. It’s too bad because I really like the Pilgrim and there isn’t much in the barefoot market that looks like a Chuck Taylor sort of shoe.

      • Emma Poppenborg
        April 30, 2017

        Thanks so much for this Cara – it’s so helpful. I’ve not tried OTZShoes myself before but totally agree with you on the look of the Pilgrim, I’m still searching for a Converse All Star replacement 🙁


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