You might have heard that it is yoga etiquette not to use socks or shoes while practicing the sacred arts. However, if for some reason you need to wear shoes, there are specialized yoga shoes that you can use. That’s right; some shoes are perfect for yoga and come with certain advantages that make them an attractive alternative for yogis and yoga enthusiasts. It should be noted that you can’t use just any shoe to practice yoga as regular shoes are harsh on yoga mats and can tear them apart. This is why we have a list of the best shoes for yoga that can help guide you in your search and ensure you buy the right pair of shoes.
The Best Shoe For Yoga
Form-fitting uppers that feel good on your feet
Stretchable closure system that makes it easy to pull on and take off
Rubber soles that are gentle on the yoga mat
Easy to wash and maintain
The practice of yoga requires absolute oneness with yourself, your environment, and the energies that surround you. This is why any pair of shoes you wear to practice yoga have to fit you like a second skin, and that’s precisely what the Vibram Women’s VI-S Fitness and Yoga Shoe do for you. The minimalist design of the Vibram yoga shoes makes it unobtrusive to whatever poses you seek to perform, and it also doesn’t stand out in such a way that distracts those around you when in a public setting. Additionally, the shoes are made for comfort with its flat inner sole providing the wearing with comfort and relief while pulling off complicated yoga moves.
That’s not all; the Vibram shoes also feature form-fitting uppers that mold your foot, giving off that feeling Cinderella in glass slippers. Also noteworthy is the closure system, which consists of stretchable material that makes it incredibly easy to pull on and take off. With the closure feature, you can be in and out of your shoes in no time at all with as little hassle as possible. Also, the Vibram shoes sport rubber soles that are gentle on your yoga mat, ensuring that you do not damage them while practicing yoga. Additionally, it is easy to wash and maintain and can also easily be air-dried. Make sure you also check our guide to the best spin class shoes.
Zero drop shoes that give you that ‘foot on ground’ feeling
Made with 100% polyester
Provides excellent balance and stability
Some units have glue seeping out of certain areas
The style makes it awkward and uncomfortable for some
Sizing was off for some consumers
Stretchable material that makes it easy to pull on and take off
Useful for ballet, casual hangouts, and so on
Washing machine compatible, air dry
Breathable shoes with mesh material that keeps feet dry
Once again, we have another Vibram product, and this is because they are a brand that makes comfortable shoes that feel more like extra feet than shoes. The Vibram Women’s VI-B Fitness Yoga Shoe is another great product and is really effective for practicing yoga. More impressive still is the fact that while the shoes are made primarily for yoga practice, they can be used for other activities, from casual hangouts to long walks and even ballet. Created with a combination of synthetic material and mesh, the Vibram Women’s VI-B Fitness Yoga Shoe is an excellent product that anyone would be happy to buy. Like its sister shoe, the Vibram VI-B is also a toe shoe, and this is important as it offers the wearer a level of flexibility that isn’t available with other types of shoes.
On top of that, the shoes are easy to pull on and take off thanks to the stretchable material used in its construction, which makes it perfect for women on the go. Going back to the mesh material, the shoes contain numerous pores that let your feet breathe and ensure that your feet aren’t left sweaty after a yoga session. What’s more, the shoes are made absolutely free of any animal cruelty, meaning you can make use of the shoes with peace of mind, not worried that you’re wearing the skin of some poor animal somewhere. Our guide to the best jazzercise shoes offers more great footwear like this so check it out.
Zero drop shoes that feel supremely comfortable
Amazing Vibram sole that’s gentle on yoga mats
Comfy on your feet and easy to wear all-day
The size chart doesn’t work for some consumers, and they get the wrong size
The style is off and uncomfortable for some buyers
Some consumers have complained that the shoes while cute, don’t last long
Reinforced heel cup that provides optimal support for the wearer
Useful for yoga, pilates, exercises and so on
Enclosed toe style promotes better hygiene
Robust rubber front sole that is sturdy and durable
If the Vibram shoes are not for you, then perhaps you should give the Bloch Women’s Athletic Shoe a try as they are a fantastically designed pair of shoes perfect for yoga. The Bloch shoes feature a rubber sole that feels good on your feet and gives you the necessary traction when on your yoga mat or on any other surface for exercise. Furthermore, the Bloch shoes aren’t only suitable for yoga but can be used in a number of applications, including for exercises, pilates, ballet, and so on.
One of the drawbacks of the Vibram shoes for consumers was the toe features, which give the shoes a somewhat awkward look that doesn’t mesh well with some people’s sense of fashion. If you found yourself not loving the design of the Vibram shoes, you will have no such problems with the Bloch shoes as they have a more conventional design that doesn’t take anything away from their flexibility and maneuverability. Beyond that, these yoga shoes have a heel cup that has been reinforced and does a great job in supporting the wearer and absorbing shock while exercising. The Bloch Women’s Athletic shoes are made with quality materials that are made to last and are there to serve you for a long time. Don’t forget to also check our guide to the best shoes for zumba.
Powerful insole that absorbs shocks admirably
Slip-on shoes that are easy to pull on and off
Available in various colors
The material could cause your feet to get sweaty and start to slip
The rubber soles don’t cover the arch
Some users found that the shoes gripped some surfaces too hard
Zero drop shoes that feel perfect on the ground
Easy to pull on and slip off
Perforated uppers provide your feet with breathability
Perforated bottoms are gentle on yoga mats and bring them no harm
The New Balance Women’s Wf118cm Shoes feature a unique design that immediately draws you in and fascinates you. These excellent shoes are perfect or yoga and weigh next to nothing, making them very convenient for you to use. Furthermore, the shoes are 100% free of any animal cruelty and are made with synthetic material making them a pair of shoes you can be proud to wear. Besides, the New Balance shoes feature a perforated upper that aids breathability and helps you keep your feet dry at all times. Similarly, the bottom sole is also perforated, which improves the grip you have on some surfaces.
The perforated bottoms are also perfect for yoga mats as they do not damage them in any way, meaning that you can practice yoga in peace without worrying about damaging your mat (or someone else’s.) On top of that, the New Balance is zero-drop shoes that keep your feet in perfect harmony with the ground and make the act of walking about delightful indeed. Stability is another convenience that the New Balance Shoes provide ensuring that no matter the type of workout you indulge in, you will always be in control. If you like working out, check out our guide to the best walking shoes for women.
Stable shoes that keep you in control
Unique design that isn’t easily found in other shoes
Completely animal cruelty-free
Some consumers have found that they do not stand up well to wear and tear
The shoes might be too narrow for some
The grippies tend to shed easily even after minimal use
Rubber soles give the user strong grips while doing yoga sessions
Shorter lace system grants the user greater flexibility
Exquisite design that looks good wherever you go
Memory foam footbed cradles your feet and provides comfort
The Ahnu Women’s Yoga Flex is the most regular looking shoes on this list, and therefore, they hold a certain mainstream appeal that potential buyers will appreciate. That said, they are still chock-full of features that make them perfect for yoga and other athletic endeavors. Looking under the hood a bit, you’ll find that the Ahnu Yoga flex features breathable mesh material that allows your feet to get the requisite ventilation it needs while you’re working out. Not only that, the shoes feature a shorter lacing system that affords you with some additional flexibility that will be necessary while working out.
The design on the Ahnu yoga flex means that they bend and flex along with your feet while partaking in athletic activity, and due to the durable material that the shoes are made from, they do not break or tear. What this means is that you have a pair of shoes that are durable and are available to last you through thick and thin. On top of that, these shoes sport comfortable insoles reinforced with memory foam that feels gentle on your feet and enable you to stay in these shoes all day if necessary. In addition to all this, the shoes also have a rubber sole that gives your feet the grip it needs to handle workouts and yoga sessions. You may also like to check our guide to the best trail running shoes for women.
Easy to clean and maintain
Made with sturdy materials to last for a long while
Mesh uppers afford you feet greater breathability
Some users have complained that it is too tight and uncomfortable
Cushioning and arch support were subpar for some
The mesh material also means that dust and dirt can get in easily
Comfortable footbed for a comfy experience
Moisture-wicking fabric that helps to keep the feet dry
Unique design that’s easy on the eye
Synthetic sole that provides the user with requisite grip for exercise
For some people, the idea of wearing shoes for yoga is too constricting, and they would prefer something with a lot more flexibility and space, this is where the Sanuk Women’s Yoga Sling 2 Sandal comes in. These lovely sandals have a unique design that would be endearing to your inner hippie, and they have the extra advantage of being well-suited to yoga and other activities. What’s more appealing to potential buyers is that it can also act as casual footwear that you can wear outside for walks and hangouts making it a multi-purpose footwear. The fabric straps are stretchable and easy to pull on and off while the open design, which looks like flip flops, means that your feet can enjoy the natural air and, in the process, remain dry.
Also, the fabric does a great job in wicking away moisture from your feet, meaning that the little sweat that does get on your feet is gotten rid of quickly. What’s more, the Sanuk Women’s Yoga Sling 2 Sandal has a soft footbed that is welcoming to your feet and allows you to move with comfort. Add to this the powerful synthetic sole that provides the user with excellent grip while at the same time maintains the integrity of the yoga mat it is used on, and you have a great product that you shouldn’t hesitate to buy.
Stretchable fabric makes it easy to pull on and off
Washing machine compatible
Made with cruelty-free materials
The soles are way too narrow for some users
The straps could sometimes feel loose and give off an uncomfortable feeling
The footbed could get slick with sweat and therefore constitute a hazard
Synthetic sole that provides adequate traction for the user
Exquisitely designed upper that affords the wearer with breathability
Zero drop shoes that feel great on the floor
Toe shoes that offer greater flexibility
We close out our list with yet another Vibram product, and this time, we’ll be taking a look at the Vibram Women’s Alitza Loop Fitness and Yoga Shoe. As with all the other Vibram products on this list, the Vibram Alitza is a zero drop shoe that grants your feet perfect communion with the ground. On top of that, the Alitza are also toe shoes with each toe designated its own little space within the shoe. What this does is that it provides the user with extra flexibility, which is very necessary when practicing yoga.
Moreover, the exquisitely designed upper of Vibram Alitza contains enough space for your feet to breathe, meaning that your feet also remain dry more often than not. The synthetic sole gives you the grip you need to deal with various terrains, but they are even better when used within a studio or with a yoga mat. The soles soft patterns mean that they barely leave a mark on the floor or the yoga mat, but they still provide you with impressive traction. Another great feature that the Vibram Alitza has is the stretchable material that allows you to slip into these shoes with ease, and when you want to take them off, they pose no problem either. A great addition to your yoga shoes would be yoga wheel, one of the most versatile yoga accessories.
Useful for yoga and other athletic endeavors
Easy to wash and maintain
Stretchable material makes it easy to slip in and out of
The designated spaces for the toes don’t fit some wearers making them uncomfortable
Difficult to size correctly
The elastic at the top of the shoes dug into the flesh of some users
Shoes For Yoga Buying Guide & FAQ
Features To Look For In Shoes For Yoga
Comfort - The practice of yoga requires as much comfort as possible as the discomfort can be distracting, and this, in turn, could mean that you don’t get as much out of a yoga session as you should. Therefore, you need to ensure that when you’re getting yoga shoes, you get comfortable shoes that can be worn for long periods. Zero drop shoes are a great shout as they are close to the ground and feel natural on the feet. Additionally, it is also advised that you get shoes with comfortable materials that are soft on your feet. The topic of comfort also spills into the breathability of the shoes. If you wear enclosed shoes with not breathable spaces or material, your feet are likely to sweat, which could cause you to slip, or for bad odors to emanate from your feet.
Durability - For many practitioners, yoga is a daily routine and, therefore, requires shoes that can handle heavy usage. Even for those who do it once a week, that still adds up to a lot of yoga sessions over time, and you do not want to find yourself changing yoga shoes every few months, so getting the right pair of shoes is the best idea for you. There are many yoga shoes out there with varying degrees of quality, and picking out the right one could be challenging. This is why we have this list, and we can proudly claim that all the shoes on this list are made with durable material that is made to last you for a long time.
Flexibility - As mentioned above, yoga is a practice that requires a great deal of flexibility, so the last thing you need is a pair of shoes that will hinder you in any way. This is why getting flexible shoes that can stretch and bend with your feet is very important. A lot of shoes are made to be sturdy and inflexible, but this would be a bad idea for yoga shoes. Flexibility is a core strength of many of the shoes on the list above, and many of them are made with materials that can move with your feet seamlessly. For example, the Vibram shoes reviewed on this list are toe shoes with spaces for your toes. The advantage of toe shoes is that it provides the wearer with excellent flexibility.
Grip - Yoga involves a lot of moving around, and to successfully pull off several of the poses; you need shoes that are stable and balanced. So, when next you get yourself a pair of yoga shoes, ensure that they have durable grips. Grips are essential because poor grips could cause the wearer to slip and fall and could potentially cause damage to users. Apart from getting shoes with great grips, it is also important to get those with yoga mat-friendly soles. Using regular shoes with yoga mats is a no-no as they tend to ruin the mat’s material. Therefore, you will be well served to get a pair of shoes that have competent grips but also don’t ruin the yoga mat it is being used on.
Shoes For Yoga FAQ
Q: Can you wear shoes while doing yoga?
A: Generally speaking, yoga etiquette dictates that you do not wear shoes or socks to practice yoga. In many places, students wear shoes to the yoga classes but have to remove them the moment the class begins. However, you can wear shoes while doing yoga as long as it is comfortable enough. It should be noted that if you insist on practicing yoga with your shoes, you will need to use your own mat as regular shoes can damage yoga mats.
Q: Should I do yoga barefoot?
A: The short answer is yes. Doing yoga barefoot has many advantages, including flexibility and balance. While many shoes have features that make them suited for yoga like zero drop designs and comfortable insoles, there’s nothing quite like doing it with your bare feet. Additionally, doing yoga barefoot allows you to get into poses easily, and it also strengthens and stretches the muscles in your feet properly.