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Barefoot Pals: The Lightest and Most Flexible Shoes I’ve Reviewed

Barefoot Pals Review, extremely minimal barefoot desert boots by Gaucho Ninja in red navy and black ethically sourced leather

Barefoot Friendsis a new brand from the talented shoemaker Lisandro, from Gaucho Ninja. They are possibly the softest, lightest, most comfortable barefoot shoes we’ve ever tried.Read on for our review of Barefoot Pals’ signature desert boot style.


  1. Origin Story
  2. Barefoot Pals Review
  3. Size & Setting
  4. How to order
  5. Friends in action
  6. Style Inspiration
  7. Conclusion

Origin Story

A close up of a pair of Barefoot Pals Gaucho Ninja red leather barefoot desert boots with the left shoe rolled up into a ball to show its extreme flexibility

Gaucho Ninjais Lisandro’s first barefoot shoe brand founded in 2015, and is a combination of Lisandro’s Spanish Heritage and his background in martial arts (gaucho means cowboy in Spanish). Under that brand, he has been hand-making beautiful shoes and boots in the UK from high-quality materials in an earth-friendly way. It even offers fully custom shoes for a personalized experience. You can read myGaucho Ninja Reviewhere.

But making shoes this way is expensive for customers, and he wanted to find a way to bring his handiwork to more people with a lower price. He had a hard time searching, but he finally found a factory that would meet his high standards and produce on a larger scale so he could reduce costs. And so Barefoot Pals was born.

A close up side view of a pair of blue leather Barefoot Pals shoes with gold stitching and laces

They combine the features ofbarefoot shoeswith quality craftsmanship and style –The Pals are hands down one of the most comfortable barefoot shoes available!

Barefoot Pals Review

Front Angle view of red leather barefoot desert handmade boots by Gaucho Ninja brand Barefoot Pals ethically produced in Guatemala

$180 after coupon | leather | EU sizes 36-46 | Free Worldwide Shipping from the UK

Barefoot Friends

Use the codeANYREVISION10% off

These boots are made for walking! Pals are some of the lightest shoes I’ve ever worn. We got one of the first sampler pairs made in 2021 and have been waiting to share about them until Lisandro found the right fair trade production facility. That day has come!

The outsole is made from my favorite Vibram® Superflex, and the upper is a buttery-smooth leather that takes no break-in time. The leather is ethically sourced and comes in 3 colors: black, red, and navy (love the laces and contrasting yellow stitching).

The 3 leather tones are chrome & free of heavy metals, and the red and navy blue are even biodegradable. The upper-stitched construction means these boots are workable, so you can put them to good use for many miles.

If they are a little snug at first I wouldn’t worry as leather is very capable of stretching. The waxed cotton cords are of very good quality and finished with a metal end.

They’re made on a last (shoe mold) that ensures they have enough vertical clearance for your toes, but the upper is unlined so you can see the shape of your foot through the leather. also known as toe poke. This also means that they are super flexible, moldable and breathable. They feel like you are wearing thin gloves on your feet.

Size & Setting

Please read this article for an explanation of the terms used here, plus instructions on how to measure + use a size chart.

The barefoot friends are:

  • True to size
  • Average to wide with a hybrid straight/flared fit
  • High Volume

Although they are true to size, we recommend consulting the size chart below before ordering. Shows the inside length for each shoe size.

The Barefoot Pals size chart showing the length of shoes for each size

Due to how incredibly soft and elastic leather is, there is a chance that people with extra wide feet (especially if they areWide Straight) will be comfortable in these shoes, but your toes are likely to go over the seams. Samantha, below, has extra wide feet and you can see how her foot ends up over the side seams. Her bulkier feet fill the entire shoe, but she doesn’t find them uncomfortable or too tight anywhere thanks to the very supple leather.

Top down close up of Navy leather super lightweight Barefoot Pals by Gaucho Ninja desert boots with gold cotton laces worn by a woman with extra wide feet. Her lavender flowy skirt is visible at the top of the frame

And if you have low or medium volume feet, I’d be prepared to usea template, especially if you don’t want them to look baggy. I can even place a thicklambskin insolein mine, which made them feel even more luxurious! See below how they fit on my low volume feet.

How to order

Because this is a new brand, there are some advantages to being an early customer. The first 50 pairs of Barefoot Pals are 40% off at $121 plus shipping. After that the retail price will be $202 with free shipping worldwide and you can use the codeANYREVISIONfor 10% discount. As for barefoot shoes, $121 is a good price for such a comfortable high-quality shoe. And they can be fixed once worn to prolong their life.

Pals are available in most sizes and are ready to ship anywhere in the world via DHL, so you shouldn’t have to wait long for them. Any size that is not in stock will have a delivery time of 4 to 6 weeks.

Size changes will be free, and returns are also free within 30 days on new shoes. You canstart a return here.

Friends in action

Style Inspiration

Desert style boots are a versatile and stylish unisex design. Wear them casually with jeans and a sweater like I did for thisFashion post, but do it barefoot on Instagram, or combine them with dress pants, or even with a flowing skirt. The black one can easily work as a traditional dress shoe, and the others are a fun pop of color.

There are no hard and fast rules, desert boots are neutral and you can wear them with anything!


Barefoot FriendsDesert boots are a delight to wear. Not only are they classic, but they are also ethically produced from sustainable materials. Congratulations to Lisandro for sharing his passion for shoemaking with a wider audience.

Postingbarefoot friends – The lightest and most flexible shoes I’ve ever reviewedfirst appeared inAnya’s Reviews.

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