Walking barefoot in socks: Why barefoot shoes and socks (don’t) get along

Do you wear barefoot shoes on your bare feet or with socks?

Is it even possible to walk barefoot in socks?

It is, but... 

We’ll talk about that “but” by first having a look at your socks. You’ll find out why your socks are ruining the joy of barefoot walking. And you’ll find out whether your favorite pair of socks deserves the title of “barefoot socks”.

Freedom: the core of barefoot walking

Walking barefoot in the grass. Why is it so satisfying? Because your feet are free when you walk barefoot. Nothing is there to bind them. 

You should enjoy this freedom in good barefoot shoes. If they are truly barefoot, they won’t constrict the tip of your foot or bind it into a certain shape. In barefoot shoes, the feet can: 

  • feel
  • move in all directions
  • activate the toes

You’re simply walking just as freely as if you were barefoot.

An imprint of a bare foot, a foot in a classic shoe, and a barefoot shoe by Ahinsa. The imprint of the bare foot and the imprint of the barefoot shoe is almost identical.

The imprint of your foot in barefoot shoes (like Ahinsa shoes) looks the same as the imprint of a bare foot.

Elastane – up to no good

You might also want to experience this freedom, so you go and buy your first barefoot shoes. 

You put on your favorite normal pair of socks, slip your shoes on, and head out into the world. But something’s wrong. The perfect sense of freedom hasn’t arrived.  

Is there something wrong with your shoes? 

Is there something wrong with your feet? 

No, no. There’s another rascal to blame here: The sock.

We all like when our sock holds nicely to our foot. That’s why today the material called elastane is added to socks. It streeeeetches when you put your socks on. Then it constricts. And that’s exactly the problem. 

Have a look at your foot in a classic sock. You’ll see it’s narrow at the tip. The toes are constricted.

A bare foot next to a foot in a classic sock. The toes of the foot in the sock are constricted into a tip.

See? A regular sock is enough to constrict your foot just like a normal shoe.


You don’t usually recognize this tension, but it’s stealing the freedom from your feet. It’s constricting the toes and preventing them from actively moving, rebounding and softening impacts. 

Simply speaking: Even if you’re walking in barefoot shoes, you’re not walking as if you were barefoot. 

Even a little strength is enough to limit the function of your toes. The toes are prevented from functioning properly in a classic shoe. When they finally start to wake up when you’re barefoot or wearing barefoot shoes, it doesn’t take much to “put them back to sleep”. 

Lukáš Klimpera, physiotherapist

Socks and barefoot shoes… belong together!

But you don’t have to say goodbye to your drawer of socks, nylons and stockings just yet – we’ve got good news. 

Yes, common socks constrict your toes, pinch your feet and don’t belong in barefoot shoes. But have you heard about barefoot socks?

Barefoot socks are socks that support the effect of barefoot walking. They won’t constrict or hinder your movement. You can recognize them by three characteristics: 

  • They don’t contain elastane, which contracts the sock on the foot. 
  • They have a sufficiently wide tip (or they’re toe socks).
  • There’s no strong rubber at the ankle to prevent circulation.

A man and woman in barefoot Ahinsa shoes and barefoot socks.

Introducing: Barefoot socks that BELONG in barefoot shoes.

Bamboo barefoot socks?

We thought for a long time about what material to use to make these socks. And we found one. 

Bamboo viscose.

Bamboo is becoming a more and more popular material for clothing. It’s easy to grow, needs minimal light, and doesn’t need any fertilizer. It’s extremely pleasant to the touch. It wicks away sweat and is breathable. And it’s anti-bacterial. 

It’s the ideal material for our first barefoot socks. Because – let’s be honest – we all want to keep our feet dry and bacteria-free.

Feet in barefoot socks from bamboo viscose.

Bamboo keeps the feet dry and satisfied.

What are the takeaways from today’s article? 

Just two things:

  1. Normal socks ruin the joy of barefoot walking. Elastane constricts the toes. 
  2. You’ll recognize barefoot socks by the wide toe, free ankle and elastane-free composition.

Once you start looking around for socks for your barefoot shoes, take a look at our barefoot bamboo socks. Would you like them in black or beige?

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