The weather is playing tricks on us, and it doesn't look like we're getting any warm spring days just yet. But prepare yourself and you won't be surprised. Take a look at this year's selection of barefoot trainers for kids. We compared 16 pairs of trainers, both canvas and mesh.
Start by measuring the foot, and check the detailed description of how we recommend you measure the foot or how much extra length or width to choose.
The soles vary in toe box width and shape. Some are straighter, some are more banana-shaped, some are fin-like, and some are wider at the heel.
The shoe should follow the shape of the foot as closely as possible, so a little extra room doesn't matter, but a lot of extra room can be a nuisance. If a bit is missing, it can hurt. If more space is missing, the foot can change depending on the shoe shape, and we don't want that.
We photographed the shoe in size 31 on a 192 x 72 mm foot with an average instep and heel. Some models have shifted sizing, so they were already tight in length.
Froddo & Protetika
Froddo trainers fit a lot of kids because they're such versatile shoes. You can choose from 2 options. The sneakers photographed are G3130229 - they are made from vegan organic cotton, with a microfibre lining and a removable antibacterial insole. Due to the materials used, the shoes are light, airy and comfortable, with padding around the Achilles tendon. The canvas sneakers G1700355 are breathable and the thicker fabric has no lining. Velcro fasteners tighten them to the lower instep. They stick out slightly around the ankle/heel where they don't have any padding. More sensitive children may also have problems with chafing as there is no cushioning in this area. There is one more layer of material in the heel, but they are still soft without areinforced heel counter. The sole is slightly stiffer, the insole is removable, and the toe box is moderately broad and anatomically shaped. Both styles are suitable for warm spring days.
Protetika Roby brown canvas sneakers are comfortable, and this model is from the new 2023 collection. They have an anatomically shaped toe box. They are not recommended for a dominant big toe as the toe tip slightly curls inward. The Velcro fastenings ensure easy adjustment at the instep and around the narrower ankle. The trainers don't have a reinforced heel counters, but the multiple layers of fabric make them firmer and more stable. Models with the new sole and improved anatomically shaped toe box are called Roby Brown, Roby Fuxia, Roby Green and Roby Denim.
Ef & Pegres
Ef Barefoot Monde are textile sneakers with a roomy anatomically shaped toe box, suitable for the dominant big toe. The shape also fits the fin-shaped foot, and you can tighten them with Velcro straps around the narrower heel. They are reinforced at the heel and have soft padding around the ankle.
The Czech novelty in the category of sustainable footwear comes from the Pegres manufacture. The BF57U canvas sneakers, made from recycled cotton, have great proportions, a reasonable price, and sizes up to 36. They fit the fin-shaped foot and you can use the Velcro straps to adjust them even to the narrowest ankles. They have a rubber toe cap to prevent scuffing and fit medium/lower ankle.
D.D.Step & Beda
D.D.Step 329 Royal Blue (073) sneakers are very soft and flexible. This range has an anatomically shaped toe box, which also fits the dominant big toe. Sizes 20-25 have no toe cap, and 26 and above have a rubber toe cap. The shoes fit medium/wide feet and higher instep but cannot be adjusted to the low instep and narrow heel. The fabric is breathable.
Beda shoes have a very straight big toe part and accommodate a dominant big toe. This model is not very high in the instep, so we don't recommend them for higher instep. The heel is not reinforced, but the manufacturer makes models with areinforced heel counter, marked OP in the name. The insole is removable, and the upper material is a textile with a breathable lining. They are relatively airy, but the mesh models are even more breathable, identical in a cut. Thanks to the cushioning in the heel, they are comfortable. You can adjust them to a slightly narrower ankle. The sole is very flexible.
Protetika & Affenzahn
The Protetika Roby Grey sneakers have a great price and the material is similar to denim = a thicker fabric with a textile lining. They are not as breathable as Vivobarefoot shoes, which have perforated fabric. Around the heel, they are nicely padded, which ensures more comfort. The insole is removable, and the sole is very flexible throughout. On the big toe side, the shoe is straight and does not rotate inward, so the sneakers are also suitable for the dominant big toe. The heel is slightly firmer, and due to the velcro straps, the shoe is adjustable, but not for a narrow ankle and low instep. This model is from the original collection, but you can also read about the model on the new sole with the improved shape above.
Affenzahn sneakers are recommended for narrower feet. They have a suitable toe box shape for the dominant big toe but narrower feet. The sneakers have one of the most flexible soles, have a non-reinforced heel, and the insole is not removable. You can tighten them to a narrower heel and lower instep, but overall the instep is a little roomier, so you'll have to do a lot of tightening on slim feet. The material is breathable.
3F & Fare
3F 3BE29/14 pinkish grey sneakers have slightly shifted sizing, so the photographed size 31 is almost without any additional size number. This brand is very roomy, both in the toe and above the toes, in the instep and ankle. The straps make it easy to tighten them up, but then the straps go almost to the ground, so they tend to fit on chubbier feet overall. They are comparable in flexibility to the Fare. The sneakers are without a reinforced heel counter, with a removable insole. The fabric is a thicker textile and not as breathable.
Fare 5211404 are canvas sneakers with a leather toe cap, completely flexible throughout. They have an ideal toe box shape, optimal for wide feet and dominant big toe. They are firmer in the heel, and although they fit the heel well, they stick out slightly around the ankle. They are suitable for the average/higher instep, the straps make them adjustable to the lower instep, but then the straps are almost down to the ground. The insole is removable.
Merrell & Vivobarefoot
The Merrell Trail Glove 7 A/C Grey/Coral vegan sneakers are breathable, outdoor, and non-slip. We recommend them for slimmer feet. This new model has a narrow toe box compared to older models. The big toe side rotates inward, so the big toe does not have ideal space.
The Vivobarefoot Primus Trail sneakers are made of breathable mesh and recycled plastic. They are very airy and one of the most breathable shoes. They combine a breathable instep section with a hem just above the outsole to keep sand from getting into the shoe. The lacing is provided by a quick-release mechanism combined with elastic lace. The multi-terrain thin sole makes it suitable for any surface. They are roomy in the toe, appropriate for average feet, fan-shaped feet and dominant big toe. They are soft in the heel, fit even on a narrower heel, and adjust to a slim ankle.
Reima & Koel4Kids
Reima sneakers are a spring novelty. We were pleasantly surprised because they are like slippers, light, soft and flexible in all directions. They have a roomy anatomically shaped toe box and thanks to the elastic laces, they are easy to slip on. They curl a little at the toe and are rounder, but the upper material is flexible and does not squeeze the toes together. They are made from breathable, stretchy knit fabric, so they mould to your foot and fit even if you have a high instep. We recommend a smaller additional size number than with more rigid shoes. They are appropriate for average/broader feet, so we do not recommend them for narrow ankles. They have a removable insole and can be machine washed in a wash bag on a gentle 30°C programme.
Koel4Kids are canvas trainers on a Bernardinho-type sole, and the canvas upper and lining are suitable for spring/summer. The toe has an improved shape, fits the dominant big toe and fan-shaped toes, and the toe section is not as tapered and fits straighter toes. Velcro straps allow easy adjustment on the instep and tightening around the ankle. They are suitable for medium to high insteps. The sole has a non-slip pattern. Velcro and lace styles are appropriate for lower insteps.
Pegres & Vivobarefoot
Pegres sneakers have anatomically shaped toe box suitable for the dominant big toe and fan-shaped toes. The sole is flexible but a little stiffer than the Vivobarefoot. The combination of leather and breathable fabric ensures breathability. Tightening can be done with a rubber lace with a pull tab. They are a little firmer in the heel, not downright stiff, and fit a narrow ankle better than the Vivo. The insole is removable.
Vivobarefoot sneakers are slightly looser in the heel than Pegres and softer at the same time because they are not reinforced at all. The material combines recycled PET, which protects the shoe in stressed areas, with more breathable fabric. The perforations on this material are more prominent than on the Pegres, making the shoes more breathable. The insole is not removable. The Velcro closure is quite low on the instep and not very tight around the ankles.
We wish you the right choice and suitable weather for sneakers. If you are still not sure about your choice, we are here for you on the customer line, chat, FB or IG.