It used to be pretty hard to find a good winter boot that had all the qualities of a barefoot shoe that I wanted. When I heard about Groundies Ontario barefoot boots I was intrigued. They promised a lightweight, comfortable and natural feel. After wearing them for a few weeks I was not disappointed. As promised, the shoes are comfortable and lightweight. Let's dive in...
Summary & tech spec 🤓
• Zero drop
• Upper layer made of rugged waterproof cowhide leather, inner lining made of breathable Perlon microfibre
• TrueSense® GX1 sole of 4.0 mm base and 4.5 mm tread, flexible, slip-proof and abrasion resistant
• Made in Portugal and climate neutral offset,
• Sizesrun one size smaller
• Free shipping and free returns for US, Germany, Austria, France, Belgium and the Netherlands
• Sole initially stiff but breaks in with wear
What we love 😍
As an avid barefoot shoe lover, I can tell you that my Groundies Ontario boots are absolutely amazing. They provide a zero-drop outsole, giving me a real barefoot feel for a boot. The tread on the outsole is durable, flexible and slip-resistant.
The anatomic toe-box with a wider fit in the toe area makes the shoes feel like they were made for my feet.
The upper layer of the Ontario shoes is made of rugged, waterproof, cowhide leather and has durable eyelets for comfortable lacing. The inner lining is made of soft, breathable, waterproof Perlon microfibre membrane and the TrueSense® GX1 sole, which has a 4.0mm base and a 4.5mm tread, makes the shoes flexible and long lasting.
The Ontario boots come in sizes EU 36-47 and they run a bit small, so make sure you order one size up. Luckily, they offer free shipping to most countries and returns to the US, Germany, Austria, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. So you have some flexibilty to get your sixing right.
I'm really pleased with my purchase. If you're in the market for a barefoot shoe that is lightweight, comfortable, and stylish, then the Groundies Ontario could be perfect for you.
What could be better
I can firmly say that I'm thoroughly impressed with their quality and craftsmanship of my Ontarios. That said, some of the areas for improvement are that the sole takes a couple of miles of walking before they break in and become soft.
If you live a country that is less supported by their shipping policy returns can be more inconvenient and expensive compared to the free and fast returns available in most EU countries.
In addition, the sizing of Groundies shoes run one size smaller, so take that into consideration before ordering.
Sizing/fitting advice 📐
The Ontario's run small so get one size smaller than you normally would.
Pricing, shipping and returns 💳
At €189,90, the Ontarios are similarly priced to other winter barefoot boot brands like Vivobarefoot and LEMS.
How to care for your Ontarios 🪥
To care for and maintain your Ontario barefoot boots, it is important to be aware of the materials and construction of the shoes. The shoes are constructed of rugged waterproof cowhide leather, with an inner lining made of breathable waterproof Perlon microfibre.
To ensure they stay in good condition, it is important to clean and dry when they're dirty/wet, as well as store them in a dry area away from excessive heat or cold. Use appropriate cleaning products when needed. Additionally, to prolong the life of the shoes, occasionally oiling the leather can help keep the shoes supple.
You can also condition the leather with a product designed specifically for leather. This not only helps the shoes stay supple, but is also helps to waterproof them. In addition, regular cleaning with a damp cloth can help remove dirt and dust without damaging the leather. Lastly, make sure to let the shoes dry fully before use, allowing the leather to naturally regain its shape.
Final thoughts 🤔
I highly recommend Groundies Ontario barefoot shoes. They are among the best boots for those looking for a true winter barefoot experience. The shoes are lightweight, comfortable and stylish. I especially appreciate the free shipping and free returns for US, Germany, Austria, France, Belgium and the Netherlands customers, and the climate-neutral offset of the shoes.
All in all, these shoes offer a perfect combination of style, comfort and price, making them an excellent choice for a barefoot boot.