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August 27, 2023

Best Gym/Training Barefoot Shoe - Voted By The Community | Golden Toe Awards 🏆

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👉 This is post 8/11 of our Golden Toe Awards 2023 series.

The Golden Toe Awards 2023 continues to be a thrilling journey, exploring the diverse world of minimalist footwear. Today, we're putting the spotlight on gym enthusiasts and announcing the winners of the 🏋️ Best Gym/Training Barefoot Shoe category.

These shoes are the piéce de résistance for any fitness aficionado. They prioritize foot freedom, allowing your feet to move as naturally as possible while offering the grip and protection you need during intense training sessions.

Top of the Podium: Gym/Training Barefoot Shoe Winners...

And the Winners Are...

🥇 360 by Xero Shoes - Rating: 9.88

🥈 Primus Lite by Vivobarefoot - Rating: 9.60

🥉 Primal 2 by LEMS - Rating: 9.49

Why They Won - Community Feedback

After analysing the votes and feedback, here are the winners that have emerged from a pool of exceptional nominees. Here are the champions:

🥇 360 by Xero Shoes - Rating: 9.88

Design and Fit
  • Many voters appreciate the versatility and comfort of the shoes, noting they are suitable for a plethora of activities including tennis and gym workouts.
  • The barefoot feel of the shoes is especially lauded when it comes to training and recovery exercises.
  • The community recommends buying the shoe at least 1.5 sizes up for those with wider feet for a comfortable fit.
  • Some feedback indicates that the material near the toe box could be improved as it is prone to tears after extensive use.
Comfort and Performance
  • A substantial number of voters report the shoes aid in maintaining good posture and aid in strengthening feet and legs.
  • The shoes were highlighted for their durability, with one feedback stating their pair lasting for over two years without smelling.
  • However, a few voters found discomfort with the lack of arch support, especially during constant standing or movement.
  • It was suggested that the shoes might benefit from a rougher sole pattern for an enhanced trail experience.
Specific Requests and Improvements
  • A notable number of the community expressed a desire for more color options.
  • Some isolated feedback reported a design flaw in the mesh causing the shoes to tear easily.
  • There was a request for more arch support, while other community members appreciated the barefoot design.
Customer Feedback and Experiences
  • Many of the Golden Toe Awards voters testified to the great customer service from Xero shoe, which offers a two-year manufacturer's warranty and is willing to replace defective shoes.
  • Some customers have expressed experiencing soreness and discomfort due to zero arch support, while others found this beneficial for their feet strengthening and recovery exercises.
  • Some isolated cases highlight the shoes tending to squeak while walking.
Overall Value and Price
  • A large part of the community finds the shoe to be of great value, particularly appreciating the fit and lasting quality of the shoes.
  • There is widespread admiration for how the shoes have held up to daily use, with minimal wear and tear.
  • The user experience is overwhelmingly positive, with some voters stating they wouldn't change anything about the shoes, making them their go-to workout shoe.
Get the Xero Shoes 360 Barefoot Gym Shoes ->

🥈 Primus Lite by Vivobarefoot - Rating: 9.60

Primus Lite by Vivobarefoot
Design and Fit:
  • Many voters appreciate the comfort, quality, and fit of the barefoot shoes.
  • The design is deemed to be cute for sports but not everyone's style for everyday wear.
  • Some voters are suggesting a wider toe box and shorter shoelaces.
  • The shoes fit well and have been said to look less "dorky" than typical minimalist shoes.
Comfort and Performance:
  • The shoes are said to be lighter than other brands which the community highly appreciates.
  • Voter reports indicate that the shoes offer excellent grip and ground feeling for training.
  • However, some find the material of the uppers disagreeable and the soles not as flexible as expected.
Specific Requests and Improvements:
  • The major voting bloc wants better materials for the uppers, citing sweat and discomfort issues.
  • The call for more flexible soles was also notable among voters.
Customer Feedback and Experiences:
  • The voters reported mixed experiences on the shoes' performance depending on the context.
  • While some users benefitted from the inclusion of toe socks and elastic laces, others suggested they might better suit minimalist shoes from other brands.
Overall Value and Price:
  • The Primus Lite's were viewed as too costly by some community members.
  • However, others value their comfort and practicality during workouts, indicating they find them worth the price.
Get the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite Barefoot Gym Shoes ->

🥉 Primal 2 by LEMS - Rating: 9.49

Primal 2 by LEMS barefoot shoes
Design and Fit:
  • Many voters mentioned the wide toe box of the Primal 2s welcomed their broad feet.
  • Some feedback noted the shoes being a little tight on top and on the sides initially but loosening over time.
  • Despite the roomy toe box, there were reports of sizing issues, as the Primal 2's size guide seemed to run a bit small for some users.
Comfort and Performance:
  • The Primal 2s received praise for their performance on a variety of surfaces, making them well-suited for work in different environments.
  • Interestingly, voters mentioned using them successfully for indoor soccer, highlighting their excellent grip on turf.
  • However, some feedback suggested that the outer soles of the Primal 2s might feel softer and not as grippy initially.
  • For everyday wear, Primal 2's comfort level was praised highly, with many users reporting that they didn't feel compelled to immediately remove them upon getting home.
Specific Requests and Improvements:
  • Some voters reported that the shoes didn't provide the 'ground-like feel' some other barefoot shoes.
  • Concerning durability, there have been reports of these shoes developing holes above the toes or the sole's material wearing down surprisingly quickly, particularly for those who wore them for walking and running.
Customer Feedback and Experiences:
  • Reviews brought out how well the Primal 2s worked for different activities. They were seen as good gym shoes, satisfactory for pickup basketball and other sports games but were reported to be falling apart after a few games.
  • Interestingly, some Primal 2 owners removed the insoles or switched between having them in and out.
  • The shoe was also praised as well-ventilated and good-looking enough to be worn casually.
Overall Value and Price:
  • While some voters thought the Primal 2s were priced fairly, others were disappointed by the perceived lack of durability concerning their price point.
  • Despite some durability issues, others found them "comfiest" shoes they've ever owned, enough to buy multiple pairs for different uses.
  • They also enjoyed a favorable comparison against other models like Xero Prio shoes for their casual look, heel-toe transition, and a slight cushion.
Get the LEMS Primal 2 Barefoot Gym Shoes ->

What's Next?

As we celebrate these phenomenal winners, the anticipation builds for the next category: 🌱 Most Sustainable Barefoot Shoe Brand. Stay tuned to our blog and keep an eye on our posts as we continue uncovering the best in minimalist footwear.

Don't forget that we're also getting closer to revealing the Golden Giveaway winners! Your participation and passion make the Golden Toe Awards and the barefoot shoe communty awesome.

A massive thank you goes out to all our giveaway sponsors:

Barebarics, Be Lenka, Cool East Market, Deliberate Life Designs, Earthing Moccasins, Feelgrounds, Freet, Fullsoul Runningpad, Geniale Sandals, Iguaneye, Kyrgies, PaperKrane, Shapen Barefoot, The Last Shoe Maker, Tomar Creation, Xero Shoes, and Zlatush.

See The Winners Of Other Categories

🏅 Best Barefoot Shoe ->

🏃 Best Barefoot Road Running Shoe ->

🏔️ Best Barefoot Trail Shoe ->

🥾 Best Barefoot Hiking Boots ->

🥶 Best Winter Barefoot Shoe/Boot ->

👞 Best Barefoot Dress Shoe ->

👶 Best Kids' Barefoot Shoe ->

🩴 Best Barefoot Sandals ->

🏋️ Best Gym/Training Barefoot Shoe ->

🌱 Most Sustainable Barefoot Shoe Brand ->

🏪 Best Barefoot Shoe Retailer ->

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