Top 5 Shoes with Wide Toe Boxes – For all occasions

Are you tired of squeezing your feet into narrow, uncomfortable shoes? Say goodbye to traditional footwear and hello to wide-toe box shoes that allow your feet to spread and move naturally! In this post, we've rounded up the top 5 best zero drop shoes with wide toe boxes for all your everyday and outdoor needs.

There’s one thing that confuses me about the conventional shoe market: the toe box. 

When you look down at your bare foot, what shape do you see? 

Do you see an arrow shape centering at the top of the toes? 

Likely not … and that’s why we need “foot-shaped” shoes. I.e. wide toe boxes!

In this post, I will introduce 5 of the best wide-toe box shoes for various use cases, which just happen to be zero drop. From everyday wear to trail running/walking options. 

So, let’s jump into it! 

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Xero Shoes Mesa Trail II Hero

Lems Primal 2

Best Casual Wear

Lightweight design
Widest option
Flexible all round


Vivobarefoot Primus Trail Knit FG Review

Bahé Revive

Best Road Runners

Wide toe box
Moderate cushion
High volume design


Xero Shoes Scrambler Low

Xero Shoes Mesa Trail II

Best Trail

High volume design
Maximum ground feel
Ultimate flexibility


Altra superior 6 hero

Earth Runners Circadian

Best Sandal

Full toe splay
Great price vs. durability
Good lock down


Earth Runners Circadian

Revealed at the end

Best House Shoe

???


What if you could build a more sustainable running experience by making simple tweaks that result in faster times and bigger distances…

Best Casual Wear – Lems Primal 2

We’re starting with one of the widest options on this list—the Lems Primal 2. 

I’ve included the Primal 2 as the casual option because it’s an understated-looking shoe that works in various circumstances. I even take mine on runs! But they also fit in a casual work environment or as an everyday option. 

Lems Primal 2 wide forefoot

If you’ve been looking for wide options, look for Lems! We’re not just talking wide in the toe box, either. The midfoot is very accommodating, too! You’ll know if you need that when you look down at your foot. Is your midfoot is wider than your forefoot? 

The Primal 2 is a lightweight, wide-toe box zero drop option! Even though the weight isn’t essential in a casual shoe, I find lighter shoes more comfortable during a long day. The Primal 2 comes in at 6.9oz (195g) for a men’s US9, which is lighter than most other shoes on the market!

Lems Primal 2 outsole

Although this is a lower stack height shoe, there is some cushioning. With a total stack height of 12.5mm (with insole), I’d consider this my “cushioned barefoot” option. But others coming from conventional shoes should slowly transition into a zero drop option like this. You may even consider a transition tool like the PR Gear Bridge Sole to ease the process. 

Lems Primal 2 upper

The upper is very flexible, which helps with true barefoot motion and for a comfortable fit. If your feet are shaped oddly (don’t worry, most are), having a flexible upper can help reduce unwanted hot spots by shaping perfectly to your feet. But not only that. Your feet are also free to expand and flex, just as they would if you were barefoot! This is great for a casual shoe because it leads to further comfort!

Who’s the Lems Primal 2 for?

Fit: Super wide feet from the forefoot to the midfoot. 

Feel: Minimal with a ton of flex, halfway between cushioned and barefoot.

Lems Primal 2

Type: Road

Width: Wide

Stack height: 12mm

Weight: 6.9oz / 195g

The widest in this list and super comfortable. Read the Full Review

Best Road Runners – Bahe Revive

The Bahe Revive is likely not a shoe you’ve heard of before, but it’s fast becoming one of the top shoes I recommend. 

Why? 

Because it’s a wide, moderately cushioned shoe with flexibility –which are often the requirements of many people who come to me for advice. 

bahe revive side wall

I would choose ½ a size smaller next time. Bahé has done an excellent job producing physical size guides you can print off to check the size you should order. It came out to be US9 for me, but because the forefoot is so wide, it would have been possible to go ½ size shorter than usual! (They don’t do ½ sizes, so choose based on the smaller side of their guides). All that is to say, the forefoot is nice and wide! 

The big toe and small toe have plenty of splay room. The toe box isn’t just wide; it’s also nicely squared off (anatomical) to fit those fan-like foot shapes. This may also mean you can get away with a ½ size down to get a better fit over the midfoot. 

bahe revive toe box

There’s no doubt this is made for a deep foot. So, if you’ve ever felt pressure over the top of the foot from Altra’s or Vivos in the past, the Bahé Revive could be precisely what you’re looking for. 

For a bigger, more durable shoe, the flexibility remains excellent. This was a surprise for me. For a forefoot runner like myself, the shoe bent nicely under the ball of the foot for perfect propulsion. I won’t pretend it’s an ideal barefoot shoe, but you can’t expect much more without losing durability. 

Bahe Revive outsole and upper

The small lugs make the Revive a shoe where you can hit the roads or some moderate trails. There’s no way I’d take these on super muddy runs in the fells of the U.K. But if I were to head out in the park or the fields, the small lugs would be enough to offer some purchase on wet ground. This is a true door-to-trail offering from Bahé, much like the Altra Outroad. 

Who’s the Bahe Revive for?

Fit: Super wide and deep feet from the forefoot to the midfoot. 

Feel: Moderately cushioned shoe with good flex in the forefoot. Good for longer runs.

Altra Escalante 3 Hero

Discount code : BRR10

Bahé Revive

Type: Road/Trail

Width: Wide

Stack height: 10mm

Weight: 10.1oz / 288g

Very wide fit with interesting grounding tech. Read the Full Review

Best Trail Runners – Xero Shoes Mesa Trail II

The Xero Shoes Mesa Trail II is one of my all-time favorites. 

With a balance of outsole protection and flexible ground feel, it’s a perfect shoe for mellow trails and barefoot training. 

And whereas the toe box width isn’t the largest on the market, I think it’s the best compromise between a good shoe and fit. 

Xero Shoes Mesa Trail ii toe box

The toe box is wider than conventional brands but could be better for mega-toe spreaders! This is a shape that Xero Shoes are known for. The toe box is wide enough for most. But if you’ve got fan-shaped feet (very wide-toe splay), you may want to look at Vivobarefoot instead. As I said, 70-80% of people will fit perfectly in Xero Shoes. In a perfect world, I’d ask Xero shoes to square off the big toe area, and the toe box would be amazing. 

It’s got Xero Shoes’ depth, and you can gain even more depth by removing the insole. The depth of the Mesa Trail II is a feature I love about the shoe. I have no problem with toes scraping against the top of the toe box, and I don’t feel constricted in the midfoot. Those with shallow feet may need to crank the laces right around, but it’s not extreme with the insoles still in. On the other hand, if you have super deep feet, take the insole out and breathe a sigh of relief! 

The outsole bends in all different directions. When running barefoot, your foot doesn’t just bend at the toes. It articulates in many different directions. Front to back, side to side, and torsionally like a screw. Some minimal shoe manufacturers forget this fact and only build flexibility into a shoe at the ball of the foot. That’s not true for the Mesa Trail II. Thanks to the minimal upper and flexible outsole, your foot can move in every direction yet still maintain adequate underfoot protection. 

Xero shoes Mesa Trail II feel

The upper is breathable and perfect for the summer months. The material covering the toe box and between the overlays is a very thin mesh, allowing your foot to breathe on those hot, sweaty days. It also presents the bonus of drying out if you have water crossing on the trails. The one situation I’d say they might not work is in the muddy, wet hills of the UK in the winter. You’ll end up with very wet, cold feet, but there’s not much in the barefoot world that solves that issue. 

Who’s the Xero Shoes Mesa Trail II for?

Fit: Average wide foot, without a huge toe splay. It suits those looking for deep shoes.

Feel: You don’t want to go much more minimal than this on the trails. Great ground feel and flexibility.

Xero Shoes Mesa Trail II

Type:Trail

Width: Wide

Stack height: 10mm

Weight: 8.2oz / 232g

Best combinatinon of ground feel and protection. Read the Full Review

Best Sandals – Earth Runners Circadian

There’s nothing more freeing for the toe than sandals! Forget the shoes! 

Most shoes are too constricting in the toe box, so why not just throw the toe box away completely? The only consideration there is the base of the shoe. 

The Earth Runner Circadian’s are shaped to allow for a wide-toe splay and will fit most of you out there! Just be sure to take some time getting the straps right. 

The stiffer straps help keep the sandal in place, although it takes a while to get the fit right. Finding a perfect fit took me a solid 2 weeks of micro-adjustments. It’s not easy. But now I can go all day without straps rubbing. When choosing a sandal, I’d suggest one with a toe strap like the Earth Runners because it stops any side-to-side motion of the outsole, specifically the “Performance laces” to keep your foot locked down. 

Earth Runners Circadian Feet

Having no upper allows your feet to stay cool in the heat. Wearing sandals can be beneficial for two reasons. Firstly, when your feet become hot, they tend to swell, which can cause discomfort and tightness in regular shoes. However, with sandals, there is no such issue as nothing is constricting your feet. Secondly, wearing sandals allows your feet to cool optimally since there is no barrier between your feet and the outside world. So, it is an excellent option for keeping your feet comfortable and cool during hot weather.

Because the sandal has less structure, it forces a better barefoot gait. For this reason, I love to use sandals for barefoot training. Any material around the foot may add some support where it’s not wanted; a sandal avoids this. Only the outsole underfoot influences your barefoot gait, so depending on the surface you run, it’s possible to opt for a thin outsole to enhance your barefoot feel further!

Earth Runner Circadian

Best House Shoes – Your bare feet….

Ok, this is a joke. But with serious undertones! 

The widest toe box (house) shoes are no shoes at all! 

Depending on your culture, you may wear footwear in the house, and I’m here to say there’s no need! Having our feet bound up in shoes, ESPECIALLY when indoors, is not beneficial for our foot health. 

Instead, throw the shoes off, and better yet, take those socks off and let your feet experience all the textures and feels of the floor. 

Sloped toes

If you’re in a cool climate with hard floor surfaces, you may want to keep your feet warm when standing around. 

But I challenge you to question how long you stand on the hard surfaces. If it’s only walking to the bathroom and back, your feet will survive. 

And if you’re standing in the kitchen cooking for long periods, just throw on some toe socks to retain a little warmth. 

There are many options, and most don’t involve shoes, slippers, or any coverage. 

Nick
Nick

Nick is a UESCA-certified ultramarathon coach and avid barefoot runner, having over 5 years of experience in barefoot training and has competed in multiple ultra marathons wearing barefoot shoes. Starting his journey in the running industry over 10 years ago in New Zealand, Nick evolved from a running shoe salesperson to a passionate advocate for the transformative power of barefoot running. He believes in its potential to enhance running experiences for all and combines his unique insights from both personal achievements and professional coaching to guide and inspire the running community."

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