Barefoot winter shoes for kids standing on the fallen tree on ground in the woods.

How to Choose the Best Barefoot Winter Shoes for Kids

As confusing as it sounds, kids’ barefoot winter shoes are an excellent choice for those cold days! Despite their name, they provide warmth, are waterproof, and have zero-drop protection. 

In warm weather, it’s easy to switch to barefoot shoes; however, once the weather turns cold, rainy, or snowy, finding barefoot boots that are warm and weatherproof can be challenging.

In this blog, we will help you pick the best barefoot winter shoes and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about them!

Why Are Barefoot Winter Shoes Important?

Many parents opt for their kids’ barefoot shoes for those hot summer days. But why do that only in summertime? There are perfectly crafted barefoot winter shoes for our youngsters. Those types of boots will provide the same, if not even the better isolation, warmth, waterproofness, and the great feeling thanks to the barefoot feature. 


There are barefoot boots options that let their feet move naturally, keep the warmth, and protect their little toes from outside surfaces! Barefoot shoes are foot-shaped, featuring a wide toe box that gives the toes plenty of room to move freely. Additionally, the flexible sole allows for natural movement mobility with the option of feeling every bump on the ground and experiencing different surfaces. 

Benefits of Barefoot Boots

High comfortability

Barefoot boots aim to imitate the feeling of being barefooted all the time instead of feeling the burden of wearing heavy footwear. There are lots of winter boots that will keep your kids’ feet warm and dry. But only barefoot boots will allow you to experience different surfaces as it is.

The sole of barefoot boots is thicker than the sole of typical barefoot shoes. Aside from that, many of them have thermal inserts to provide your kids’ feet with one more extra layer of warmth. One of the most popular barefoot boots is Vivobarefoot. They are cozy, incredibly soft, and warm because they are covered in soft layers on top, and firm boot spoils on the bottom.


Provide extra warmth

Barefoot winter shoes are often made of natural materials that are excellent at retaining heat. They are usually crafted from leather, furs, and wool. Even though it might not be the most vegan option, animal-driven materials are proven to provide the best warmth.

Luckily, shoes like Manitobah have a faux fur option for everyone seeking more environmentally friendly footwear and vegan-driven shoes. However, they are not 100% vegan, and from what we know, for now, there are no genuine options that are entirely vegan and, at the same time, comfortable, warm, and waterproof. Synthetics tend to make boots bulkier, so most vegan options look more like fashion boots you’d wear for a look than outdoor boots intended for outside activities.

Have waterproof feature

Winter shoes made with canvas and fur can be waterproof. However, you must properly clean and maintain boots and treat them with waterproofing agents in order to get the most out of them boots. It is absolutely a good idea to go for waterproof lining if you have very cold winters or live somewhere where snow or freezing rain is constantly present.

Ideal for outside activities

Barefoot winter shoes are great for all kinds of winter activities, including snowshoeing, which means you don’t have to be delicate with them. Plus, they provide an excellent grip on slippery surfaces such as ice. This means that all the winter activities you plan on doing with your kids in nature are 100% feasible. 

Tips for Choosing Best Barefoot Winter Shoes for Kids

Ensure they are waterproof – Almost all barefoot winter shoes are waterproof; however, it’s not a bad idea to double-check them. Aside you can use some waterproof sprays to ensure they are holding it together quite well. There is a waterproof spray for canvas but for leather as well, such as Otter Wax.


Insert thermal or sheepskin insoles – If you are planning on taking your kids trekking over cold ground or high snow, consider adding an insulated sole. Such insoles, like thermal insoles, are great for winter activities and, thus, for winter boots. For extra warmth, try sheepskin insoles that you can find from UGG or Softstar. Also, there are a lot of sheepskin insoles available on Amazon at great prices, with almost all five stars from many satisfied customers. 

Wear merino socks – Pair your kids’ barefoot boots with a good set of merino wool socks. Do this, especially if the boots don’t have a warm and comfortable lining. Ensure socks aren’t suffocating and squeezing kids’ toes because they need the space in the toe box of their barefoot shoes. Many merino wool socks have a little extra room in the toe box. You can find merino socks available on Amazon, but some other good brands are Wildly Good and Smartwool.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you wear barefoot shoes in winter?

Yes, you can wear barefoot shoes in winter. Even though barefoot boots are close to the ground, their characteristics ensure that your feet do not get cold. Conventional footwear consists of a thick sole that protects the bottom of the feet from the ground. Barefoot shoes have just the right bottom with high wool protection to keep your feet warm.

Are barefoot shoes good for being on your feet all day?

Walking on different surfaces and terrains is the best way to avoid overusing your feet. However, standing in barefoot shoes for long periods of time shouldn’t be a problem if you have solid and strong, conditioned feet.

Is walking barefoot in snow healthy?

Yes, it is healthy since it can help you build your immunity and improve your circulation. Walking barefoot in the snow makes your body more tolerant to extremely cold weather, which may usually induce sickness. If this sounds too much for you, you can start with some light shoes first, then socks, and once you build up the tolerance, try walking barefoot on the snow.

In Conclusion

Barefoot winter shoes for kids are a great option for experiencing the ground beneath them. Especially at a young age when their feet are just developing. If you are scared that your kid might freeze, you don’t have to.

Most of these boots are very well insulated, provide high warmth and have a great grip on those slippery surfaces. Aside from that, if you are afraid that your kids will be cold, add some thermal insoles or merino wool socks and their feet will never be cold! 


  • Petra Moskatelo

    Petra is the main editor and writer here at Footmeter. She is passionate about helping people find the right solution. She holds a university Master's degree in pedagogy, and she knows a lot about children and learning.