Best Minimalist Dress Shoes for Men & Women 2020

minimalist dress shoes

Minimalist shoes are catching on for their amazing comfort and versatility. Runners and hikers wear minimalist shoes to adjust posture and get closer to nature. Ask someone who wears minimalist shoes, and they’re sure to rave about great experiences.

But what about minimalist shoes for the workplace? You want to be as comfortable at work as you are on the trail. Plus special events are a lot easier when you’re not worrying about your shoes the entire time.

Perfect for the office and black-tie affairs, minimalist dress shoes have a flexible outsole. This will make your feet happy at home, the office or on an airplane. Incredibly lightweight, they are the perfect travel companion. You will feel like you are wearing nothing on your feet.

Want to know which are the best minimalist dress shoes? You’re in luck. We’ve compiled a list of the best dress shoes for minimalist shoe lovers.

Here are the best minimalist dress shoes for men and women.

Best Minimalist Dress Shoe Review

Minimalist Dress Shoes for Men

Vivobarefoot RA Lux Mens

Vivobarefoot RA Lux Mens

Are you in search of minimalist dress shoes that let your feet behave naturally?

Great, Vivobarefoot RA Lux Mens Shoes are one of great choices that you might want to take a look. They are stylish and made from wild hide leather. Somewhat waterproof, the barefoot RA Lux Mens shoes are perfect for everyday use.

Not only can you wear the Vivobarefoot Men’s Ra Shoes at the office but at home or a party. Unlike traditional everyday shoes that squish the toes together, these shoes offer maximum room. As such, your toes will have room to spread and wiggle.

Get the look: Vivobarefoot Men’s Ra Shoes

GOBI II Mens

GOBI II

Some days you want to wear a pair of sleek, cool boots to work. Again, Vivobarefoot has your back.

The Gobi II Men’s Classic Desert Boot is a great addition to your work shoe wardrobe. You can get it in classic black leather with a black sole, or dark brown suede with a brown rubber sole. Like the other Vivobarefoot dress shoes, they created the top with Wild Hide leather, even the suede.

The rubber sole is 3mm thick with a texture that grips most surfaces. It’s still thin enough that you’ll feel almost everything. If you decide to take these boots traveling, they’ll hold up well on most surfaces.

The inside is leather lined, including the footbed. That means that after wearing these boots for a while, you’ll start to notice a nice indent that fits your foot.

If you’re wearing these boots in warm climates, the foam and cork insole is removable. Otherwise, keep it in for warmth and odor control. The cork is naturally anti-bacterial, so it will keep your feet from smelling too bad.

The laces are high up on your foot, almost on your ankle. You can lace them up tight so that the shoe doesn’t move around too much. While it won’t help much with arch support, there is a heel pull feature that keeps your feet where they need to be.

Get the look: GOBI II Mens

Vivobarefoot Men’s Gobi Ii Classic Desert Ankle Boot

A lot of travellers when travelling end up filling up their suitcase with many different shoes. And the good thing about Vivobarefoot Men’s Gobi Ii Classic Desert Ankle Boot is that you can use it on trail hiking and you can wear it to party or work that same day. So it’s going to work in a lot of different contexts.

These shoes come in at about 20.5 ounces for the pair as a whole (size 10.5). Now, that’s quite a bit lighter than most shoes on the market. If you’re not used to a minimalist style shoe, you’re definitely going to want to get used to the thinner shoe before you have these shoes on at all times. Again, you can really feel the ground. The sole is very thin. So, no surprises there.

It’s worth to mention that Vivobarefoot offers a 100-Day Trial period which allows you to return your shoes for a full, hassle-free refund within 100 days of testing them.

Another great thing about Vivobarefoot’s shoes is When ordering these shoes, you can order a couple to make sure to get your size right. Vivobarefoot do a very classy move: They give you a pre-paid return label in the shoebox itself, so you can grab a couple different pairs, a couple different sizes, see what style and fit works for you and then just return all the pairs that weren’t the perfect fit so that you don’t end up using.

The shoes are available in Black, Chestnut, and Black/Orange.

Get the look: The Men’s Gobi Ii Classic Desert Ankle Boot

Vivobarefoot Men’s RA II Classic Oxford

Vivobarefoot Men's RA II Classic Oxford

If you’re looking for a barefoot dress shoe, then Vivobarefoot is one of your best options. They specialize in making minimalist shoes for all occasions.

The Men’s RA II Classic Oxford is a great addition to your everyday work wardrobe.

The rubber sole is 3mm to 5mm thick, so you can feel everything you’re walking on. Whether it’s concrete, carpet, or even walking in the park, you’ll feel connected to the ground even at work.

The cork insole is removable. Keep it in for a little extra layer of warmth, or take it out to get closer to the ground. It also protects your shoes from bad foot odor. If you’re worried about that you should wear shoes with socks.

You can wear any kinds of socks with these shoes. That will affect your foot feel and experience. Wearing them with toe socks will still allow your toes the flexibility you want in a barefoot experience.

Speaking of toes, another great feature of the Vivobarefoot RA II Classic Oxfords are the toe boxes. Like other great minimalist shoes, the RA II Classics offer a wide toe box. This lets your toes spread out and grip the ground like they should.

The top parts of the shoes are Wile Hide leather, available in either black or brown. This helps protect your feet while still giving a professional appearance.  Protect the leather with typical shoe polish or leather friendly waterproofing treatments.

The shoes hold together with weather-tight canvas. They also have rubber-taped seams to make the shoes extra waterproof.

If you do get these shoes wet, remove the cork lining and let them dry.

The Vivobarefoot RA II Classic Oxfords are your go-to shoes for dressy occasions.

Get the look: The Men’s RA II Classic Oxford

Slyde Leather Mens

Do you remember your dad’s old loafers that he’d wear to work bar-b-q’s or around the house? The Vivobarefoot Slyde is about as close as you can get to those classic shoes.

The slip-on model is great for casual events or summer time. The heel is neoprene. This material is very stretchy and will allow you to slip your shoes on and off with ease. That’s much easier than the stiff leather heels in traditional loafers.

There’s also elastic on the edges, so you can enjoy waking without everything slipping around. As much as you want freedom on the bottom of your feet, you don’t want your shoes falling off and rubbing on your skin.

The Slyde comes in dark brown with various sizes, which means you can wear them to the office as well as around town. The top is the same Wild Hide leather as the RA II Oxfords and RA II Lace-Ups. Unlike those shoes, the Slyde is perforated on the top to give your feet some ventilation.

This is also a good shoe for transitioning to everyday minimalist wear. The Slyde has a non-removable footbed that’s textile lined for your comfort and support. If you’re starting out on your barefoot journey, especially in the workplace, then this might be the shoe for you.

Get the look: Vivobarefoot Slyde

Alston – A Barefoot-Friendly Dress Shoe

Want “zero drop” that you will not be embarrassed to wear to the office? Then you might want to check Alston shoes.

Alston is a great option for the office, especially in wintertime. It has a leather upper made from full-grain buffalo leather. You can wear it as-is or use oil or wax to make it more dress shoe style. Xero Shoes recommend using a leather conditioning wax such as Obenauf’s then buffing the shoes and applying a polish.

Now for the good stuff: what kind of sole does the Alston have? Luckily Xeroshoes creates a Grippy FeelTrue® rubber sole with a Removable 2mm insole that you can take off to get more feedback from the ground.
A wide toe box lets your toes spread, relax and move naturally. With a non-elevated heel and low-to-the-ground sole, the shoes allow for proper balance, posture and agility.

Because the Alston shoes are lace-ups, you can tighten them around your foot how you’d like. That means you can control how much slippage there is on your feet and the extra support around your arches.

The shoes are available in two colors – black and caramel (This is less of a dark brown color and more of a light, almost bright brown). This makes them perfect with shorts and pants.

Get the look: Alston Xeroshoes

Hana Leather – Men’s Classy Casual Shoe

The Hana has many of the same benefits of the Alston shoes but in a more casual look. Like the Alston, these shoes have a roomy toe-box for your toes to splay out. This gives you better balance for when you’re running around the office or waiting tables.

The leather upper part of the shoe is the silky smooth full-grain leather. As such, they are lightweight and strong. This makes the shoes perfect for every adventure and terrain.

Unlike the Alston, it only comes in one color: black. Pair them with a well-hemmed pair of khakis or dark pants, and you’ll have both comfort and style.

Designed to offer your feet comfort, the shoes also are good for walking, trekking, and hiking.

If you do a lot of traveling, you can pack the Hana in your bag with ease. The whole point of minimalist shoes is not only to connect you to nature. They’re supposed to be flexible and easy for your feet to move in.

These shoes might not work in the boardroom, but they’re great for business casual offices.

Get the look: Xeroshoes Hana

Minimalist Dress Shoes for Women

It shouldn’t be that surprising that women’s minimalist dress shoes are hard to find. Most women who need dress shoes can expect at least a one-inch heel, and forget a roomy toe box. There’s a reason there’s a huge market for tools to make women’s shoes more comfortable.

So no, it’s not surprising that women’s minimalist dress shoes are hard to come by. It is disappointing, but we’ve done our best to find some great minimalist options for women.

Fit in Clouds Satin Portable Folding Flats with Bag for Everyday wear

If any business knows about foot health, it’s the dance business. That’s one of the reasons ballet flats are so popular. It’s not only about wearing the same shoes as ballet dancers, but it’s also about foot health.

The Fit in the Cloud Shoes are best for women who are transitioning into minimalist footwear. They still have a padded insole so that your feet aren’t too uncomfortable. The insole is thin, but it isn’t removable.

The sole itself is thick, split rubber, like the famous (but expensive) Tieks. Unlike Tieks, these have a larger toe box. It’s still not as wide as some minimalist purists would like, but it will do for normal or narrow feet.
Clouds Satin Portable Folding Flats come in a variety of great colors and fabrics. These ones are black satin, a soft and classy option for the workday or special event. They also come in different patterns of leather, like snakeskin.

The Fit in the Cloud Shoes are primarily for women on the go. You can put them in the drawstring bag they come with, and take them with you wherever you want. If you have to wear those crazy uncomfortable heels for an event, stash the Fit in the Cloud shoes for later.

Get the look: The Clouds Satin Portable Folding Flats

Silky Toes Women’s Roll Up Slipper Shoes

Like the Fit in the Cloud shoes, the Silky Toes Women’s Roll Up are ballet flats. Made to stretch and mold around your feet, the Silky Toes Women’s Roll Up Slipper Shoes are great and a comfortable fit. Each shoe comes with a soft and plush interior. As such, they are perfect for traveling, commuting and partying.

The rubber soles add protection and comfort. In fact, they will save your feet from lots of pain, unlike traditional shoes. Each shoe comes with an expandable fit.

Available in creative design, the shoes come in classic colors and tones. This adds style and color to your wardrobe. You can get them in a few standard colors, like black, grey, or white. What you need to know is that the shoes can also be a perfect bridal party gift or wedding gift.

By gifting the bride with these stylish foldable shoes, she can dance the night away without worrying about their feet.

At first glance, the Silky Toes Women’s Roll Up Slipper Shoes look like an ordinary pouch. Well, they are foldable shoes and come with an adorable matching hair bow. For easier packing and transportation, each shoe comes with a travel pouch.

Just roll up the shoe and slid it into the pouch. You can carry the shoes in your purse or handbag.

Get the look: The Silky Toes Women’s Roll Up Slipper Shoes

Addis Womens

The design of the shoes is inspired by the oldest human footprints found in Tanzania. This leather shows individual markings that reflect a life with freedom to roam.

What you need to know is that the leather upper is an African tanned leather. They have ultra-thin soles. Although they are ultra-thin, the soles are puncture resistant. This makes them perfect for the indoor environment.

Vivobarefoot Addis are perfect to take with you for work, formal events. With these comfortable shoes, you don’t have to wear high heels for weddings when those uncomfortable heels are a must but the pain from them is not welcomed! You can take these portable shoes with you wherever you want and you never have to worry about the heel pain.

Get the look: Vivobarefoot Addis 

Vivobarefoot RA Slip-On Women

Vivobarefoot RA Slip-On Women

Made for work and play, the Vivobarefoot Women’s Premium Slip-On is light and breathable. As one of the lightest on the market, they have a leather upper. This assures you of top quality and durability.

The rubber outsole also makes the shoes to be lightweight. As such, they are the perfect companion for the woman on the go. You can pack the shoes in a standard travel case and off to your next destination.

The outsole is tough and can withstand different terrains. They are also flat. As such, they lack a heel. This is beneficial to you as you will not experience any pain even after wearing the shoes all day.

Not only that. They promote better health and realign your posture. There are several benefits of better posture. First, proper posture keeps your joints and bones in the correct alignment.

Second, they help to decrease the abnormal wearing out of the joint surfaces. Third, they decrease the stress on the ligaments by holding the joints of the spine together.

Get the look: The Vivobarefoot RA Slip-On Women

Opanka Leather Womens

opanka

Next on, we have the very simple but excellent Opanka barefoot minimalist shoes from Vivobarefoot that are a perfect blend of lightweight and comfort. Dress up for meetings, dress down for drinks, these minimalist dress shoes are your ultimate workweek companion. You can also walk and run in these shoes without them impacting your weight or speed.

Their ultra-thin sole is built to hold the weight of your body without any strain. This sole also protects you from any harsh pressure that would be transferred to your feet if you step on a rough object. The non-elevated zero-drop design of these soles ensure that you have the right posture when moving around in these shoes.

This barefoot slip-on is also quite flexible, thus allowing for your feet to bend and tread on naturally. They are made in Portugal using local leather and canvas. The casual canvas is placed in such a way that it molds your feet to grow in the right manner. The sole is a honeycomb pattern for gripping on everyday surfaces. The top line has elastic to make it easy to slip on and off.

The Opanka differs from Fit in the Cloud in several, key ways.

The first is that the sole is not a split sole. It’s all one thin rubber piece that keeps your foot low to the ground without adding extra stress on the balls of your feet. It’s an ultra thin sole with puncture resistant features to protect your feet.

The second difference is the size of the toe box. It’s created to be much wider than most popular ballet flats, so your feet will get the same room as they do in trail Vivos.

Get the look: Opanka Leather Womens

Hana – Casual Canvas Shoe for Women

hana xeroshoes

If you are someone who likes sandals but still want something with closed-toes for work, these simple shoes with FeelTrue® sandal base should be at the top of your list.

The soles are rubber which make the shoes comfortable to wear throughout the day. Slip out the removable 2mm insole if you want more ground feedback.

In fact, you can wear these shoes at home after a hard day at work or the office. They are the perfect travel companions too. While on the airplane, just slip on the Opanka for added comfort.

The shoes are available in Carob and Black. They’re rainy-friendly.

Get the look: Xeroshoes Hana

Phoenix Leather – Women’s Dressy Flat

Phoenix Leather

The last are Xeroshoes Phoenix. The Phoenix is Xeroshoes’s most professional minimalist shoe for everyday wear. Other minimalist shoes are a little too rustic looking for the office (unless you have a very relaxed office).

This leather flat has a 5.5mm rubber sole with a removable 2mm insole which allows you to choose the level of feedback from ground that’s suitable to you. With full-grain leather inside and out, these shoes are made for work, as well as after-work activities like dancing or walking.

The heel measures about 0.25”, and has the same technology as other minimalist shoes. The wide toes, thin outsole, lightweight design means you can still enjoy the feeling of not wearing any shoes while you’re at the office. There is a sufficient opening on the upper surface that allows for your feet to breathe all day long. The opening also contributes to the overall coolness of the design of these shoes.

The Phoenix shoes come in black leather with simple design, so they’ll match any outfit you pair them with. Xeroshoes has other work-friendly everyday shoes. They have the same barefoot comfort as their trainers. Xero recommends that you order your usual size.

All in all, the Phoenix shoes are the best option for minimalist shoe purists. They fold up as well as the Fit in Cloud’s shoes and don’t have a split sole. Sadly they’re not as colorful as Tieks, but they’re better for the minimalist shoe experience.

Get the look: Phoenix Shoes

Wrapping Up

Modern and comfortable, minimalist dress shoes offer freedom for natural walking. As such, you can wear them at different events and occasions. With the right shoes, you will experience a sense of balance all day long. Also, they do promote better health. They can improve your posture and gait. Also, the shoes alleviate common foot ailments like bunions.

When shopping for minimalist dress shoes, always consider quality. They should also have ultra-thin soles, leather or canvas upper, and antibacterial insoles. So, look no further and get yourself any of the shoes reviewed above.

Best of luck!

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Image credit: Xeroshoes,  Vivobarefoot

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