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Groundies Review: Best Barefoot Shoe Brand for Fashion Lovers

A collage of stylish barefoot shoes and boots from Groundies Barefootwear Fall/Winter 2022 collection

Barefoot Groundiesstands out from the crowd as one of the most cutting-edge barefoot shoe brands out there. They carry an amazing variety of stylish (yet functional) shoes for men and women that also meetmy healthy footwear requirements.

They have outdone themselves this fall with a beautiful lineup + better return policy! Read on for details on Groundies Barefootwear and their Fall/Winter 2022 collection.


  1. Meeting the Groundies
  2. Groundies Orders
  3. Regular VS Anatomical
  4. Groundies Size & Setting
  5. Groundies Sole Types
  6. Groundies Fall/Winter Collection Review
    • Boots
    • Ballerinas
    • Shoes
    • Active Shoes
  7. Vegan Shoes by Groundies
  8. Conclusion

Meeting the Groundies

Anya smiling at the camera standing in front of a wall of displayed Groundies barefoot shoes

LandsIt’s been on my favorites list since it first launched in 2019. They’re my go-to place for trendy designs you can’t find anywhere else in the world of barefoot footwear. In fact, theUniverse shoeIt’s one of your favorite first-time barefoot shoes!

So you can imagine my joy when I had the opportunity to visit the Groundies’ installations in person in Germany last month. I held and tried on the entire fall/winter collection AND got a sneak peek of what’s to come in the spring! We chat about the needs of the barefoot shoe community, what I hope to see in the future, and how we can make barefoot living more enjoyable and accessible to the masses. It was a great time, and I think you’ll be pleased to hear where the Groundies are headed.

Groundies Orders

Groundies is located in Germany with fast and free shipping/returns to many EU countries. Outside of those locations you can choose regular shipping (€10 to US) which in my experience is quite slow and unpredictable. Or you can choose expedited shipping (€15 to US) which takes just a couple of days. I usually choose expedited shipping because it’s much faster than normal.

Returns are accepted in newor usedshoes within 14 days of receipt, no matter where you live, and nowUS orders can be returned locally for free(congratulations from you indeed)! That means no more issues with international returns for US customers.

And in other exciting news, we atAnya’s shopthey now carry select Groundies models for even easier access on this side of the pond! That means you can shop locally with us, or you can access the entire Groundies range in the EU and know returns are hassle free.

Buy Groundies
Buy Groundies at Anya’s Shop

Regardless of where you live and how you shop, here’s what you need to know if you want to try Groundies barefoot shoes.

Regular VS Anatomical

Infographic of Groundies Barefootwear Barefoot Fit versus Regular Fit. The toe box on the Barefoot Fit is wide to accommodate a natural foot shape. both are zero drop and flexible.

Groundies have a line of “regulars” fit shoes with a more traditional tapered toe – but otherwise they are the same as your barefoot shoes. The idea is that someone who absolutely won’t trya foot-shaped shoe might be willing to try an in-between option to get your foot in the door. If that’s you, I think a “regular” fit is a more natural option than the chunky, stiff, highly supportive shoes that are popular today.

However, I strongly believe thatfoot shapeof barefoot shoes is essential and if you remove them, you are losing the most beneficial feature of them! So I always recommend choosing the “anatomical” Groundies models – They still look amazing and you can experience the true foot freedom of a barefoot shoe.

You can easily choose which sole shape you see by using the filter at the top of any product collection page, orview all anatomy models in one place here.

Groundies Size & Setting

A close up of Anya holding a rolled up Groundies barefoot shoe to show its flexibility

Since I only review barefoot shoes, we’re going to take a full look at the Groundies anatomical line in this article.

Groundies men’s and women’s shoes are made from the same mold and therefore have the same type of fit. The only difference is the size range offered and part of the design aesthetic.

Groundies Contour Shoes generally fit as follows:

  • True to size
  • Medium Width to Wide
  • Medium volume

Learn more about the type of foot in this article!

Essentially, Groundies fit your average foot. That means they’re not suitable for extra-wide feet, but for many people they’re a comfortable width without being too wide. If you have bulky feet, you can opt for lace-up models or the GS1 sole (see below).

Groundies Sole Types

A collage showing the 4 different sole types that can be found on Groundies Barefootwear shoes

Groundies anatomical shoes come in 4 different types of soles. Since they are all roughly the same shape, the difference comes down to style, functionality, and fit.

  • IR1:Groundies original sole that is extremely responsive, grippy, flexible and soft.
  • GS1:This gives the appearance of a thick traditional sole, but is actually quite thin. However, it is slightly thicker and less flexible than the GO1.
  • GX1:This one is thicker than the GO1 to be more resistant for hiking and cold, but it is still flexible.
  • GP1:The second most flexible Groundies sole, but with a bit more cushioning and the look of a wedge heel. It also has a slightly elongated toe box for a more traditional look (but it’s no narrower than other Groundies shoes).

For me, the originalGO1 soleIt’s the most genuine barefoot feel, and it also has the widest fit. This is because the material is very flexible and doesn’t ride up too much, so it can spread out with your foot. I’m pleased that Groundies are going back to their roots this fall with many boots built on this incredibly comfortable sole.You can find all of the shoes built on the GO1 here.

Shoes in theGS1 solethey have a slightly different type of fit than the other models. These shoes fithigh volume and a little narrowerthan the other sole types because the high-walled sole prevents the shoe from spreading. For that reason, I recommend them for medium to narrow and high volume feet.

Now let’s get to the good stuff. Here are my thoughts on some of the best shoes from the Groundies fall/winter collection.

Groundies Fall/Winter Collection Review


This season Groundies have released many beautiful boots that cover both the stylish options and the practical needs for warmth, water resistance and grip. You can find the men’s and women’s options reviewed here.


A close up of a person's legs wearing plaid pants and a pair of black suede Groundies Odessa barefoot boots

€150-€160 | EU sizes 36-43 | leather | Leather lining | GO1 & GX1 sole

Odessa! This model was first released a few years ago and I immediately bought a pair. They are timeless (my mom wore boots like these when she was young) and very comfortable. You can dress them up, but feel like you’re still wearing your slippers!

The ankle opening runs on the widest side, but they have a medium volume over the arch. The leather is suede, so I recommend using a waterproofing spray to protect it.

Shop Odessa at Groundies
Shop Odessa at Anya’s Store


Groundies Ontario rugged zero drop hiking boot being worn in the woods

€190 | EU sizes 36-47| leather | Waterproof | GX1 sole

The Ontario doubles as a hiking boot with a slip-resistant sole, a waterproof upper AND a waterproof membrane. They are approx 8.5mm thick and run on the small side so sizing up is recommended.

These feel a bit stiff at first, but the sole breaks in fairly quickly (it took me about a mile or two of walking before I felt it) and the whole shoe becomes soft.

Buy Ontario


Groundies Salzburg close up side view of a person wearing them on stone, flexing one foot up. They feature large eyelets, thick laces, and soft nubuck on a zero drop flexible outside with wide toe box

€140 | EU sizes 36-43 | leather | Leather lining | GO1 Sole

The Salzburg is a women’s zip-up ankle boot made of the softest nubuck leather. The beige color is very pretty, but prone to getting dirty, so I sprayed them with Carbon Pro before wearing them down. Nubuck leather is often more delicate, so protecting it before use is a good idea (even the color black).

This model is a delight if you want something elegant while remaining light and soft.

Shop Salzburg at Groundies
Shop in Salzburg at Anya’s Shop


Groundies Derby tall leather waterproof warm winter boot comfortable wide toe box and no heel

€210 | EU sizes 36-43 | leather | Waterproof | Synthetic wool lining | GX1 sole

This model has a thick and plush lining throughout the boot and the material is WATERPROOF. There are some gussets inside the zipper, over which water could get in if you step into a deep puddle. They are built on the GX1 sole which increases its functionality. I’ll wear these as a warm walking and hiking boot, but they could almost be used as an outdoor work boot.

You may want to size up a larger one if you plan on wearing thick socks (that’s usually a good practice), but I found them true to size even with the liner.

Buy Derby


A close up side view of a pair of feet standing on grass wearing Groundies boots, one of the best barefoot boot brands

€140 | EU sizes 36-43 | leather | Faux fur lining | GO1 Sole

This Chelsea boot has a high top, just like the one I saw all over London last month. At first I was more or less into the style, but I was sold on the elegant and cinchGone ankle gives it an edgy yet streamlined look. I love them with skirts and dresses or leggings.

The lining is microfiber, so it’s not very thick and I didn’t need to scrub.

Shop Camden at Groundies
Shop Camden at Anya’s Store


A close up of a brown and a black Groundies Barefootwear Tegernsee Barefoot boot for fall and winter 2022

€150 | EU sizes 36-43 | Chamois | Fabric lining | GX1 sole

These boots are very soft and flexible and are built on the GX1 sole. They work as an everyday or light hiking boot. The lace and attached tongue make them adjustable for most foot sizes, and they’re so cute! They are not waterproof.

Shop Tegernsee


Groundies Alaska on GX1 zero drop with anatomic toe box , lace up, cozy lined leather boot

€140 | EU sizes 36-43 | Chamois | Virgin wool lining | GX1 sole

The Alaska is a cozy boot lined with a medium thickness fleece. They have a cozy casual vibe for cool days and a looser fit (perfect for warm socks). A side zipper makes them perfect for quick errands.

Buy Alaska


A close up of a pair of feet wearing beige Groundies Barefootwear Cozy barefoot boots for fall winter

€140 | EU sizes 36-43 | leather | Wool lining | GS1 sole

The cozy is a Uggs style boot. They’re on the GS1 sole, which makes them a little less comfortable for me, but I still like the ease of these boots. The lining is of medium thickness, so it is good for cool autumn and early winter days. Super cute if you are going for the Uggs look!

Shop Cozy



A pair of feet standing on concrete, the left foot is bare and the right is wearing a Groundies Felicia barefoot ballet flat in beige with a black toe cap

€110 | EU sizes 36-43 | leather | Microfiber lining | 3mm TrueSense Ballerina Sole

The Felicia was exciting for me, they are so beautiful and elegant. They also have a roomy, comfortable fit and a microfleece lining for a little extra warmth in the fall & winter. I reviewed these barefoot ballet flats along with 4 other testers recently, you can read myGroundies Felicia Reviewfor all the details.

Buy Felicia

A crossover style for spring is theBelina floor.This is your basic black ballerina, perfect if you need a versatile dress shoe without frills.


Barefoot Groundies sneakers are available year-round and perennially popular with barefoot shoe fans. They just look so smart! This fall’s choices are mostly riffs on old favorites.


A close up of a hand holding a Groundies Nova stylish barefoot sneaker

€120 | EU sizes 36-43| Nubuck or leather | Chrome-free leather lining | GS1 sole

The Nova is the most popular Groundies style from season to season. They have a retro-inspired design and come in 3 different color combinations. These are all built on the GS1 sole, which looks amazing but is a bit soft for my foot type. Although they are so beautiful!

Buy Nova at Groundies
Buy Nova at Anya’s shop

Universe & HiTop Universe

€120-140 | Sizes EU 36-43 (select models up to EU 48) | leather | GS1 sole

The Universe is another perennial Groundies model with a classic sneaker look. Many of you have worn this shoe as your first step into the world of barefoot footwear! They look conventional, but still give you the barefoot experience. The Universe line continues to expand with the HiTop model for the úLatest high fashion white sneaker.

This fall, the low-top Universe sneakers come in a choice of leather-wrapped details or subtle snakeskin. The Snakeskin Universe is available in Anya’s Shop!

Buy Universe at Groundies
Buy Universe at Anya’s shop

Active Shoes

New from Groundies this season is their Active line! These are built on a grippy sole for running and working out (both indoors and outdoors). They are immediately soft, have a breathable upper and a beautiful look.

Active Shoes

Vegan Shoes by Groundies

If you only shop for vegan shoes, there are quite a few options in all categories. Below you can search for Groundies’ 100% vegan barefoot shoes.

All vegan shoes


If you have a medium wide foot,Landsis a wonderful barefoot shoe brand for both style and functionality. You can find attractive sneakers, warm waterproof boots, and exercise shoes all in one place.

Groundies barefoot shoes are a combination of style, quality and healthy footwear. Also, one of the most flexible soles you can imagine! If you’ve been on the fence about barefoot shoes, this is a great brand to start with.

PostingGroundies Review – Best barefoot shoe brand for fashion loversfirst appeared inAnya’s Reviews.

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