What is my foot shape?

When choosing barefoot shoes, it is important to aim for the right shoe according to the shape of our foot. Check out the images below to see why this is so important.

In order to have enough space in the shoe, we must choose it not only by length, width and color, but also by the shape of the toes. We will divide the forms into 4 varieties:

1. Dominant thumb or Egyptian

Suitable shoe brands for this type of foot are: Belenka, Pegres, Efbarefoot, Fare bare, Bundgaard, Barebarics, Vivobarefoot

2. Mountain or Greek


Specific to the mountain foot type in the shape of the toes is that the second and/or third toes are longer than the big toe.

Suitable brands of shoes for this type of foot are: Baby bare, Xero, Tikki, Bundgaard, bLifestyle, Baby bare, Pegres, Beda

3. Plateau or Roman

The shape of the fingers tapers slightly towards the puppy and has an almost square appearance. First two or three fingers are the same length and the foot has a slight slope. Looking again for shoes that have a slight taper.

Suitable shoe brands for this type of foot are: Belenka, Pegres, Efbarefoot, Fare bare, Bundgaard, Barebarics, Baby bare, Vivobarefoot, Xero, Tikki, Beda

4. Square

The shape of the toes is rather square, there is no particular taper towards the puppy and you are looking for a shoe that does not taper at the front of the toes.

You can find more information how to care for your feet HERE.

Suitable shoe brands for this type of foot are: bLifestyle, Baby bare, Tikki, Xero, Bundgaard, Fare bare, Beda

How to measure our feet?

Before buying barefoot shoes, we need to measure our feet very well to determine exactly what size shoes we need. The correct measurement is made in length and width, which means that we must also take into account how wide our foot is at the widest part at the toes.

You take a white sheet of paper, place it on the floor close to the wall on the short side of the sheet. Then place your foot with the heel slightly resting on the wall. You trace your leg with a pen perpendicular to the floor – holding the pen at 90 degrees to the floor. The result will be an outline that is wider than the foot, because above the surface our foot is wider.

The length of your foot is the distance from the longest toe to the end of the heel. The width is the distance between the toes at their widest part.
Measure both feet and see which is bigger. You will use his measurements to choose your size.

Advice! Always check the shoe model for what sizes it has. For example, size 40 of different models, even if they are of the same brand, may have a difference of up to 0.5 cm!

According to the width and length, the feet are divided into 3 categories: narrow feet, normal feet and wide feet.
The formula we use is the following:

X = length/width in millimeters

Length in cmVery wideWideNormalNarrow
Table info from Facebook group ‘Barefoot shoes Bulgaria’

Use the chart as a guide to how wide your foot is. Always buy shoes that have +2mm in width.

What size shoe size are you looking for?

Always buy shoes with size in mm longer than your actual size.

For a toddler up to 18 months – between 0.7-12 mm.
For a toddler above 18 months – between 10-12 mm.
For a big kid – 12 mm required, unless it is an open sandal.
For an adult – 12 mm required, unless it is an open sandal.

In addition to length and width, we need to consider what volume our foot has. The volume can be – low, medium or high.

Legs with a low volume are usually thin, they can have the so-called “Narrow heel” (it can be seen from the shape of the foot how narrow the heel is if the toes are wide). People with thin feet have a hard time finding shoes that are not too bulky. Brands that produce suitable shoes are: Belenka (some models), Fare, Wildling(some models), Splay, Vivobarefoot, Pegres, Bundgaard, Koel4kids, etc..

Medium volume feet find shoes easily because even wider shoes fit well and can be adjusted. Most brands tend to make their shoes suitable for medium volume feet.

High volume feet are quite a bit more specific as they cannot fit into a shoe for a low volume feet. People with wide and voluminous feet are looking for a shoe that does not squeeze them. Brands that produce shoes for voluminous feet are Belenka, Wildling, Xero, Shapen, etc.

We advise you to measure a toddler’s feet every month, and a child over 3 years old every 3 months. Adults may also experience growth and a change in shoe size if you have recently gone completely barefoot.

What healthy shoes to buy for baby’s first steps? 

Have you heard that a child should walk in shoes that shape the foot and support the ankle? The truth is that a toddler’s foot should have the freedom to move naturally, not be “shaped” by a shoe. Therefore, shoes with a hard heel or Nike type sneakers are NOT suitable for babies and small children.

According to studies, over 99% of children are born with healthy feet, but only about 1/3 of them remain with healthy feet and proper posture, without complaints as adults. All this is a result of the inappropriate shoes that children wear daily. See the picture below.

The appropriate shoes for a toddler and child are barefoot shoes – light, soft, flexible, manufactured according to the shape of the child’s foot. They don’t have a heel, heel lift or hard sole like the modern shoes on the market – Biomechanics and Nike Revolution.

Attention! During the first 4 weeks of walking, the baby should be barefoot if possible. The baby’s first shoes should be chosen after he can walk independently without someone leading him by the hand.

As already mentioned, there is no need to buy shoes with heel support, for example Biomechanics shoes, if your child has healthy feet. Sneakers from conventional brands like Nike and Adidas are stiff, with a raised heel, narrow toes and heavy, even if they don’t feel like so heavy to you. Only when you do the comparison of the above and a barefoot shoe, you will see that really conventional shoes are heavy and hard for the child’s tender foot.

Barefoot shoes have the following 3 characteristics:

1. Flat sole without lifting the heel or the so-called Zero drop

With conventional shoes, there is a heel lift that may be so small that you don’t even notice it at first glance. This is because manufacturers hide the “heel” inside the shoe. Lifting the heel leads to shortening of the muscles and tendons of the feet – stiffness and immobility. Therefore, barefoot shoes have a completely flat sole that does not take away from the movement of the foot and is completely healthy for a child’s or baby’s foot.

Bundgaard Petit Strap Dark Rose WS

2. Flexible and flexible sole

All the muscles, joints, ligaments and bones in the foot are involved in the movement of the leg when walking, jumping, running. This allows the joints to move freely, as well as distribute the weight of the body evenly when walking.

The thin and flexible sole allows the child to feel the pebbles and rough pavement under his feet, allowing him to develop the sensory feeling of his feet. The pebbles will not lead to unpleasant stinging, as some parents worry. Barefoot shoes have a thick enough sole to protect a toddler’s tender foot while still not depriving it of the sensitivity every foot should have!

3. Wide toe box

The front of the shoe should be wide and roomy enough for the toes to move freely. The thumb toe needs free space as it takes a large part of the body’s weight when stepping. Pointed shoes flatten the toes and quickly deform the child’s foot. And this, in turn, leads to problems with feet and posture in the future. Shoes should be foot shaped, which looks like this:

Pegres Barefoot BIO natural brown
Pegres Barefoot BIO natural brown

Appropriate shoe brands for the first steps of your baby are:

Narrow feet: Bundgaard

Normal feet: Pegres, Fare bare, Tikki, bLifestyle

Wide feet: Pegres, Fare bare, Tikki

The shows for both normal and wide feet can be easily adjusted so that they fit good enough.

Now that we’ve told you what shoes are suitable for a toddler, it’s time to tell you how to measure your foot to correctly judge which shoe size to get. See this article.

We will conclude this article with the recommendation that you should always consult an orthopedist before buying shoes for your child. If the child has a health problem, then barefoot shoes may not be suitable for him. But if the child has healthy feet, there is no need to wear shoes with a hard heel (Biomechanics) or orthopedic insoles.