The 7 Best Minimalist and Zero Drop Boots in 2020
We know you have multiple pairs of shoes and boots in your closet. But there is also something else we know-you keep swapping them each day to see which ones are super lightweight. Our best guess is that none of them gives you the barefoot experience you are looking for. We’ve got good news for you.
There is a boatload of minimalist shoes that offer maximum underfoot protection and comfort while still weighing as much as two fleas, one on top of the other. We don’t know what the fleas are up to, but we can assure you that minimalist shoes are perfect for any person.
But before the wheels turn further, perhaps we take a look into the basics first. Minimalist boots are special shoes that mimic a barefoot walking experience. They are also known as zero drop boots. Their lightweight nature takes the pain off the feet so you can focus better.
The biggest problem is finding the best pair for your feet. With the explosion of online marketing and e-commerce, it’s easy to blow your hard-earned racks. In this article, we are going to review for you the best minimalist boots worth spending on. Keep reading.
Best Minimalist Boots On the Market
|Beleville TR102 Tactical Research Minimalist Training Boot||Leather||Vibram||Check Price|
|Caterpillar Men’s Brode Hi Steel Toe Skate Shoe||Leather||Rubber||Check Price|
|Danner Men’s Tachyon Coyote Military and Tactical Boot||Leather/Textile||Rubber||Check Price|
|Tactical Research Belleville Men’s Khyber Mountain Hybrid Boot||Leather and Fabric||Vibram||Check Price|
|Under Armour Men’s Jungle Rat Military and Tactical Boot||Leather, Textile||Rubber||Check Price|
|Vivobarefoot Men’s Tracker FG M Leather Walking Shoe||Leather||Rubber||Check Price|
|Xero Shoes DayLite Hiker Zero Drop Trail Shoe||Breathable fabric||Rubber||Check Price|
Here are the best barefoot boots as backed by positive feedback and stellar rating from previous buyers:
1. Beleville TR102 Tactical Research Minimalist Training Boot
With hundreds of positive reviews on Amazon and gold-standard ratings on other platforms, Beleville TR102 Tactical Research Minimalist is a top contender. Put this shoe on, and you will climb the tallest trees and cruise through hardships without feeling held back by its weight.
As pointed out, this boot is lightweight. That folk is precisely what tactical teams need-less baggage. The top overlays are made from leather to form an active protective layer. Vibram sole works with the double and triple stitched seams to increase its sturdiness.
Beleville TR102’s heel-to-toe drop measures 5 mm which is within the recommended scale of between 4-8mm. The seam linings, meshed tongue, and eyelets are the key openings that facilitate air ventilation. So be sure your feet won’t overheat while doing tactical surveys.
This shoe does attempt to offer some level of comfort through minor padding but it’s not a lot. Nevertheless, it’s durably built, lightweight, breathable and reasonably comfortable. It could also be one of the few zero-drop boots with a generous toe box.
Beleville TR102 Tactical Research Minimalist doesn’t tick all the boxes, though. For instance, the laces can dig into the foot, and the sole offers minimal traction on snow and ice surfaces. The boot takes a bit of time to break in as well.
The top features of Beleville TR102 Tactical Research Minimalist include:
- Flesh-out leather
- Padded Achilles support
- EVA midsole( single density)
- A convenient pull tab
- Oil and a slip-resistant Vibram outsole
- Double and triple stitching
Related Article: The 7 Best Boots for Ranger School, Ruck Marching & SFAs in 2019
2. Vivobarefoot Men’s Tracker FG M Leather Walking Shoe
Vivobarefoot Men’s Tracker Walking Shoe is a nature-ready shoe meant for hiking and daily walks. What makes this boot a top choice is the premium quality material used to craft it. Sure, the price is a little higher, but let’s be honest, good things don’t come easily or cheaply.
Here are the reasons why this shoe is a bit overpriced; first, the leather used is thick and soft to deliver a gentle hug. Secondly, there are some light paddings on the tongue and collar. This makes Vivobarefoot Men’s Tracker boot far more comfortable than many minimalist boots.
Other favorable features that make it a top choice for many people include a roomier toe box, lightweight construction, and waterproof capability. The boot bars water seepage courtesy of the hydro guard lining. However, after some time, they might lose that functionality.
Thin soles help to cut down on weight. But in doing so, some do sacrifice on traction. This is not the case with Vivobarefoot Men’s Tracker Walking Shoe. Numerous previous buyers have reported having walked on Ice lands, snow, and jagged rocks without the boot failing them.
So why this boot? Because it offers both comfort and barefoot experience without compromising on quality and light weightiness. There are no grave cons for this boot apart from its inflated price tag.
The best features of Vivobarefoot Men’s Tracker Walking Shoe worth mentioning include:
- Leather top
- Rubber outsole
- Heel pull-on tab
- Off-road lugs
- Slight padding in the tongue and collar
- Hydro guard lining
- Speed Lacing
3. Danner Men’s Tachyon Coyote Military and Tactical Boot
If you want a cheaper boot that doesn’t sacrifice comfort and performance, try Danner Men’s Tachyon Coyote Military and Tactical Boot. There are so many good reasons why this kick made it to our list.
First, the top of this boot consist of both leather and textile. This makes it not only easy to clean but faster to dry as well. The thin structure takes care of unnecessary weight so you can perfume intricate maneuvers during military and tactical operations.
Are you curious to know what the inside consists of? Well, the footbed sports open cell Polyurethane and a removable insole. This is great as it gives you a chance to reinstall better ones. The rubber outsole is reliable in providing both protection and traction.
If you sweat a lot, do not go past this boot. This is your rescue plan given its highly breathable material. The one thing you are not going to get is waterproofing. Thankfully, the drain screens at the bottom of the boot help to eliminate water for faster drying.
So basically, Danner Men’s Tachyon Coyote Military and Tactical Boot is an ideal barefoot boot because it’s lightweight, breathable, comfortable, and affordable. The wrong side; this boot offers minimal ankle support, and its structure may not hold up well in hard conditions.
The core features of Danner Men’s Tachyon Coyote Military and Tactical Boot include:
- A mixture of leather and textile
- Removable insole
- Polyurethane footbed
- Rubber outsole
- Speed Lacing
- Drain screens
4. Xero Shoes DayLite Hiker Zero Drop Trail Shoe
Xero Shoes DayLite present s women with a great hiking shoe to replace the stiff and bulky varieties in the closet. With a mixture of leather and synthetic material, this boot offers excellent protection and breathability.
Women value shoes that are gentle on their feet. This is why many of them have fallen in love with this minimalist boot. Its interior boasts of a cushioned insole that absorbs shock. If you want a more barefoot feeling, get rid of the removable insole.
Even though most women may not have wider feet, Xero DayLite Boot still provides ample toe box which is essential for toe movement. There’s also a reinforced cap on the toe box for maximum protection.
The outsole also sports quite a lovely FeelTrue technology. The essence of this tech is to inspire natural movements. The sole does flex to the optimum to avoid dragging you back. There are also several color options to pick from.
So if you want to feel secure, confident, and comfortable while out and about, Xero DayLite Boot should be your top choice. Be wary about sizing as it runs a little small.
The top features of Xero Shoes DayLite Hiker Zero Drop Trail Shoe include:
- Flexible sole
- Leather and textile
- Cushioned insole
- Wider toe box
- ToughTech toe cap
- Dual-Chevron treads
- Multiple colors available
5. Under Armour Men’s Jungle Rat Military and Tactical Boot
Unless you are the kind of a person that expects everything to be perfect in life, Under Armour Men’s Jungle Rat Boot should be a decent purchase. Albeit designed for military and tactical purposes, the boot is ideal for anyone who spends plenty of time on their feet.
Like most barefoot boots, this one too carries minimum weight thanks to its thinner construction. By the way, it’s pegged as waterproof but that not the case. It partially resists water. The reason why this should not worry you is that they dry fast.
The rubber sole is not of remarkable quality although it forms a sufficiently protective layer under your feet. The inside lacks comfy material. However, the midsole is slightly enhanced through the inclusion of Micro G tech. The shanks too sport the strong TPU stabilizing system.
The loveliest feature about this boot that is missing in other is the anti-odor technology. Tactical, military, and other strenuous operations can result in boots getting wet due to too much soaking. With odor-resistant tech, you don’t need to worry about unpleasant smells.
Unfortunately, even the best inventions have one of two flaws and so Under Armour Men’s Jungle Rat Military and Tactical Boot. The laces are not of the best quality, and the eyelets can come off within a short time of use. However, these issues aren’t a deal-breaker, though. If you work as a correctional officer, check out this review for finding top pair of boots.
The top features of Under Armour Military and Tactical Boot include:
- Leather and textile
- Rubber outsole
- Minimalistic design
- Speed lacing
- Medial side drainage
- Convenient pull-on tab
- Several color choices available
6. Tactical Research Belleville Men’s Khyber Mountain Hybrid Boot
If you don’t like the previous full-grain leather offer from Bellevile, then perhaps you might be into Tactical Research Belleville Men’s Khyber Mountain Hybrid Boot. This one features both leather and fabric as the core materials.
Labeled as a hot weather boot, this kick is entirely breathable thanks to the meshed fabric throughout. The cowhide leather helps to give it extra toughness for longevity. The boot’s rugged outlook makes it ideal for tactical operations.
One of the most practical aspects of this boot is the addition of deep serrations on the heel, sides, and the sole. These deep grooves help a lot in stopping or arresting slides. They do come in handy while climbing and crawling.
The Vibram sole guarantees the best protection against chemicals, rocks, and other dangerous objects or fluids.
Moreover, when it comes to looks, we might all agree that Tactical Research Belleville Men’s Khyber Mountain Hybrid Boot is more stylish than rest.
This boot doesn’t have any issues apart from the longer breaking-in period. Oh, just one more thing it could have been better if there were more colors to pick from.
The main features of Tactical Research Belleville Men’s Khyber Mountain Hybrid Boot include:
- Leather and fabric overlays
- Orthotic insole
- Vibram outsole
- Serrated heel and sole
- Aggressive lace style
7. Caterpillar Men’s Brode Hi Steel Toe Skate Shoe
While putting together this article, we figured not everyone is a fan of high-tops. Therefore, we included Caterpillar Men’s Brode Hi Steel Toe Shoe for low-top lovers. It’s a must-have for those who want something with a cool, sneaker-like vibe to it.
Many people might mistake this an ordinary shoe, but it’s not. Its construction is minimalistic by nature with the sole taking a zero drop level. There is no arch support. Thanks to substantial padding, this stands to be one of the best minimalist work boots for those with day jobs.
The toe end comes embedded with steel to cushion your toes from the impact of falling objects. There is a cloth lip that covers the steel, so it doesn’t rub on the feet. However, it’s just that-a thin cloth with inadequate cushioning.
Another thing that we can consider a setback is that the front might be narrow for some people. Otherwise, Caterpillar Men’s Brode Hi Steel Toe Shoe remains to be one of the best and cheapest zero-drop boots one can ever want.
- Leather overlays
- Steel toe cap
- Rubber sole
- Stylish lacing
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Are you familiar with minimalist boots? Is there anything ambiguous that could use an explanation? Well, the best place to look for answers is the frequently asked question section. Here are some of the FAQs asked by previous users and lovers of zero drop shoes:
Q: Are minimalist boots better than ordinary boots?
A: Minimalist boots can serve as a better alternative to the usual bulky ones. In fact, many people who have tried these types of boots end up neglecting their previous heavy ones. The beauty of zero drop shoes is that they are the definition of lightweight-It’s like you have no shoe on.
Q: Are minimalist boots ideal for walking?
Yes, they are ideal for walking. With their featherweight construction, they can help you focus better on your job and not have to worry about your feet becoming swollen or painful.
Q: Do zero-drop boots strengthen arches?
A: The best minimalist boots for women-those worth recommending to someone you don’t want to disappoint our Xero Shoes DayLite Hiker Zero Drop Trail Shoe, Merrell Vapor Glove 3 and many more.
Q: Do zero-drop boots strengthen arches?
Yes, they do. Most of us are born with weak arches, and the only way to give them some stamina is by walking barefoot. But since that is not safe, the alternative would be to put on minimalist shoes. However, if your feet are too tender, just go with the advice from your podiatrist.
We are living in a fast-paced world where the economic crisis happens to make us stretch ourselves a bit far to make a better living. In this never-ending race, you might be forced to take a double shift, overtime, and other extra duties. That means much standing.
Military individuals, hikers, and tactical teams too experience so much. Therefore having a nice pair of boot that minimizes your baggage can be a great relief. If your feet have been going through much pain, it’s time to look into the best minimalist boots.
As we said before, these shoes vary a lot. It’s hard, or rather, it will be hard to get a pair that ticks all your boxes. The one that does will probably be costly. So be ready to compromise something or go for those that try to give you bits of all the best features.