Questions & Answers

minimalist shoes for kids --summer

I'd love to compile a list of some of the companies who make minimalist shoes for kids. I know a few:

Soft Star Shoes (babies, toddlers, kids and adults) Vibram (sizes 29-34) Vivo Barefoot (sizes EU 27-39) Certain water shoes

I've heard Merrell will have some, but haven't seen them, yet.

What else is out there?


Answers and Replies


Although not completely minimalist, Inov-8 makes the X-Talon 160 specifically for kids. My daughter has a pair and loves them for hiking. I just wish they had not such a pointy toebox.

Also, another thing that might be worthy of noting is that once kids get a little bigger, they can fit in small women's shoes. This is what I have started to do with my kids now that they are a little older. What is important is that there be availability in really small womens sizes (i.e. size 5).

21 has both the free instructional videos (on Youtube) and sells do-it-yourself kits, or will make a custom sandal from your foot tracing.

Finding a cheap durable sole material is the biggest challenge (when I looked, vibram sole material on ebay was not significantly cheaper than buying a kit from invisible shoes). If you have a cobbler in your area you might be able to get something cheaper or even make kids shoes out of free scraps.

Some people glue leather on top to make a fancier footbed (using Shoe Goo or barge cement).

I keep hearing about people being creative with random materials such as old carpet, etc. ;)


Thanks, Damien My kids (2.5 and 4) are still a little small for women's shoes, but I am going to keep that in mind. At the rate they are going, it won't be long! I might look into the X-Talon, but my older son has Flintstone feet--they are pretty much rectangles, so a pointy toe box might not work for him.


I'm looking forward to making huaraches again... created a set in a nature class the kids took 2 years ago and it's about time!

We got VFFs for the kids this year and they love them. They're great for school, running around, etc. They're just not a slip-it-on-easily kind of shoe like their flip-flops.

Their next shoes will definitely be VIVOBAREFOOTs since I've learned so much about that company through The Living Barefoot Show.

Mostly my kids are barefoot, but there have been accidents, unfortunately. Namely, a glass incident that resulted in 3 stitches!


This summer we tried quite a few different types of shoes for our kids and found that water shoes (recommended by Damien's wife Renee) worked the best. WE bought our oldest (8) a pair of VivoBarefoot Pally in the spring, and they are already nearly destroyed so I was not impressed with the quality. We also bought her a pair of VFF (I plan on posting our thoughts on those very soon) which she hardly ever wore. We purchased cheap water shoes for our 4 year old and 6 year old and Skidders for our 1 year old, and they lasted all summer and they LOVED wearing them (when they had to wear shoes). My husband made a pair of huaraches, and I think we will be making a pair for each child next summer. They are fairly inexpensive and can be made out of so many different materials...just thought I would share my thoughts.


Interesting that you had problems with the Pally's, Brienne's have been great and they are on their second summer. Laurent just got a pair of the Invisible Shoes huaraches and he loves them, they are now his favorite summer footwear.


Maybe we got a pair of "lemons." They are such nice shoes and I really liked them until recently, but the sole just started tearing away from the upper (which seems a little early to me). They even have holes forming on the upper where the shoe bends when she walks. I have worn my Vivobarefoots nearly every day, and they still look brand new, but hers are a different story. You'll have to let us know how the invisible shoes work out.

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