When you start on your barefoot journey it can be daunting when trying to pick the right shoes and then managing switching out shoes once you start to switch to minimalist all the time. I mention Whitin shoes a lot, and that is because they are the shoes that introduced me to minimalist footwear. I had checked out many brands before choosing my first shoe and these were a clear winner for many reasons. I have tried several different styles and loved them all.
Whitin Shoes Pros
Budget Friendly: The biggest pro to Whitin minimalist shoes is that they are budget friendly. They are great shoes for under $50 with some styles to choose from.
Durable: I have tried and heavily worn three different styles and they all have stood strong. My very first pair I wore almost everyday, walking, in the gym, around town and after two years they are starting to show very minimal wear on the heel.
Comfortable: The removable insoles create control over the amount of cushion in the shoe. I kept the insole in my first pair of shoes for quite a while. Once I, and more importantly my feet were ready I removed the insole to create more ground feel and allow more movement in my feet.
The Four F’s: They checked all the boxes for the minimalist shoe Four F’s; flexibility, ground feel, foot shaped, and flat. You can read more about the Four F’s here
Whitin Shoes Cons
Limited Styles: They do not have as wide a range of styles as some of the other minimalist shoe brands. If you are looking for more style these may leave you wanting more however they are a great starter shoe and would be a great Keds or Sperry canvas shoe replacement.
Very limited kids options: With only one style for kids at the moment they provide a basic shoe option.
Changing Fit: They have changed up the construction of their shoes slightly by widening the toe box as well as changing out the leather insole for a synthetic material. While this is not a negative change it is one that leaves reordering not necessarily a straight swap. So far I have been able to order the same size however I have clients who have had to go up a size after ordering the same shoe with the new construction.
Overall, I highly recommend Whitin shoes as a great introduction to barefoot footwear. While they do have only a few styles they are a great everyday shoe that still look great, and they are coming out with more options over time. I have literally had people stop me in the gym and at coffee shops loving on my shoes and even had one person buy the same pair right on the spot! They are perfect for those who are budget conscious and want to start conditioning their feet for a barefoot style shoe.
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The styles I have tried and loved:
Wide Canvas - yes I ordered the Men’s version and they still fit great!
Water and Land
Extra Note on the Water and Land Shoes: They had amazing drainage, dried quick, and did not get weighed down with water when trudging through a river. The grip while in the water was excellent and they are an extra lightweight and breathable option so hotter days.