Yoga is a very popular sport these days with more and more people trying it out. It’s not only great for the body but also great for the mind to help you relax and reconnect. While yoga is normally performed barefoot, some people simply feel more comfortable wearing shoes. This can be for a number of reasons, including injures, not wanting to stand on cold floors, or needing the extra traction. Whatever the reason behind you needing yoga shoes, we have complied a buying guide of things to look for to ensure you get the right shoes, as well as listing our top shoes out there on the market today.
What To Look For In A Yoga Shoe
There are a few things to look for in the best yoga shoes to ensure they are going to be right for your work out.
Shoes are supposed to support you while still being comfortable, and yoga shoes are no different. Stretches in yoga can be difficult on your feet as you need to put a lot of weight on them, so you will want your shoes to be able to support that as well as remaining comfy. Many yoga shoes have a zero drop construction, meaning the heel and toes are at the same height, as if you are bare foot. This can make you feel like you’re not wearing any shoes, which can be very natural and comfortable. You can also look for shoes that have shock-absorbent technologies so your ankles and knees are protected, ensuring maximum comfort.
Your yoga shoes will need good traction so you can grip the floor while you are in different yoga poses. If your shoes don’t have good traction then you may slip and end up injuring yourself. You should also choose a sole that has non-marking properties, especially if you are working without a mat because you don’t want your shoes to mark the floor.
Whether you’re doing regular yoga or hot yoga, you can get quite hot and sweaty while working out. Therefore, you want a shoe that is breathable so moisture doesn’t build up inside your shoe. If too much moisture builds up then inside the shoe can become a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus that can give you fungal infections. Mesh is a common material used in any form of training or exercise shoe as it has great breathability. Other breathable shoes often have knit uppers or canvas uppers that allow air to get in and heat to escape.
There is no doubt that you bend and stretch is some uncomfortable positions while doing yoga, so your shoes will need to have great flexibility to accommodate that. Flexible shoes are often very lightweight and bend with your foot as it moves. Often, yoga shoes have a sock-like fit and you can stretch your toes out easily. This way, you will not be subject to any pain caused by restriction.
You’ll want your best yoga shoes to be light, as if you’re not wearing any. As we mentioned above, yoga is usually performed barefoot, so wearing clumpy, heavy shoes on your feet is not going to help you. Yoga poses can also be quite difficult and require a lot of strength and you don’t want to make it more difficult for yourself by adding weight to your feet. Luckily, most yoga shoes out there are very lightweight so this isn’t something you should need to worry about.
This may not be an important factor for everyone, but you want your yoga shoe to be sleek and stylish. If you had the choice between a sleeker yoga shoe and a bulky one, you would probably pick the sleek one, so it’s just something to think about!
If you’re ready to find the best yoga shoes for your yoga workout, take a look at our top picks below, all available to you on Amazon.
The Best Yoga Shoes Reviews
Made with premium material, these Z-joyee shoes can be used in water or for a varsity of dry land activities including yoga. The upper is made with stretchable, breathable fabric for fast draining and cross ventilation, giving excellent flexibility and comfort so you can move with the shoe. The thickened rubber sole has excellent durability and wear resistance, but is soft enough to prevent your toe from rubbing. There is also an anti-collision cushion in the toe area to protect your toes from injury.
Super lightweight, these shoes are easy to carry and can be folded easily for storage, making them very convenient. Even better, the pull tab at the heel allows you to put them on quickly and take them off easily.
The PENGCHENG men’s and women’s water shoes are another pair of shoes with versatility, perfect for a number of activities. Padded and comfortable, these are made with a breathable vamp fabric and a removable mesh lining insole, making them extra flexible. The lycra of the upper is quick-drying, too. The rubber sole has multiple drainage holes on the bottom to ensure water can flow out of them, but this also makes them breathable, perfect for activities such as yoga.
The bottom of the shoe is also sturdy and safe with good traction, ensuring you don’t slip on the mat, and it helps to protect your feet from any injuries. There is a pull tab to help you get the shoes on and off quickly and there are multiple designs and colors for you to choose from.
These lightweight shoes from Vibram are designed to make you feel as if you are walking barefoot, making them perfect for yoga. Made with mesh they are extremely breathable, allowing good airflow so your foot doesn’t get too hot. The sole is made from rubber to allow you to grip the floor and it helps to protect your feet from injury, yet it is deconstructed to allow the foot to curl. The lightweight design means that they are very flexible, so your foot can move with the shoe as you do each yoga pose.
The toes are separated, further mimicking our natural feet, so you can feel connected to the ground while wearing these. They come in both a black and a burgundy color.
Perfect for a range of activities, the Mishansha men’s and women’s water shoes are made with ultra-light weight, salt-resistant and wear-resistant lycra, giving great ventilation and breathability. The light design of these makes them very flexible, perfect for stretching and performing yoga in. The high-quality rubber sole has drainage holes that further aid breathability, ensuring your foot doesn’t get too hot while exercising and there is no build up of bacteria.
You can adjust the width of the shoe with the built-in straps, allowing for a tighter and comfier fit, making you feel like you aren’t wearing any shoes at all. There is also a heel tab to help you pull the shoes on and off. Again, they are available in a range of colors.
The Ozaiic yoga socks are specially designed for women who practice yoga and, as the title states, socks rather than shoes. Lighter and more convenient than a shoe, you will be able to move freely and without restriction in these socks into every pose. There are 100% silica gel grips on the bottoms placed strategically to stop you from slipping so you can do your yoga practice with ease. The low-cut design features straps to hold the sock in place and the material is combed cotton fabric, giving perfect breathability with increased air-flow around each toe.
They are also specially designed to have each one fit in the shape of either your left or right foot. Even better, these socks help to keep your toes warm too, to help with poor circulation. They come in different colors and in multipacks, too.
Another shoe from Vibram, this shoe is very similar to the other Vibram yoga shoe we mentioned above. The breathable upper ensures cool air passes through to keep you dry and comfortable while excess sweat and moisture are actively wicked away. There is a wool/poly sockliner that sits comfortably against the skin, preventing friction and irritation, and there are double velcro straps that deliver a secure fit which can be easily adjusted to your needs. A 2mm PU foam insole helps to keep you comfortable and helps to minimize any shock on your ankles and joints.
Even better, the XS TREK outsole provides optimum grip and traction, as well as a flexible design that allows your foot to move freely. The sole is also non-marking, meaning it will not scuff or damage indoor surfaces. The toes are separated to mimic your foot and the lightweight design means it feels like you are barefoot.
Made to feel like socks, this pair of SIMARI shoes are actually designed to go in the water but make a great lightweight pair of yoga shoes too. The upper is both smooth and stretchy and is made of a diving material that is breathable and dries quickly. Very flexible, it feels as if you aren’t wearing any shoes and the lightweight design means you can carry them around easily with you. The neckline of the shoes is designed to take care of your ankles and the unique sole is ergonomically shaped to cushion your foot and prevent any injuries.
The sole is made from TPR materials and has a non-slip design too. They come in a range of different colors and designs, so you can pick the pair that matches your yoga outfit best!
The Ahnu women’s yoga shoes are designed for low to medium impact hybrid workouts. A dual layered air mesh and neoprene cross-foot straps provide all over comfort while allowing for maximum breathability, ensuring your foot does not get too hot. The forefoot of the shoe has an engineered Flex Zone and a second density heel pod provides great flexibility and balance, perfect for yoga poses as your foot can naturally bend and flex into the position you need. The dual density memory foam footbed provides the perfect balance of comfort and support, too, ensuring you are not prone to any injuries.
The Spider Rubber outsole grips prevent you from slipping while also promoting balance and there is a contoured heel cup that offers a stable yet gentle feel. Even better, the split toe is designed to feel like your natural foot. There are four different colors for you to choose from.
While these sandals from Sanuk are not quite as protective as some of the other shoes we have listed here, they allow protection between you and the floor without compromising your ability to move and stretch. In a flip-flop design, there is a padded yoga-mat footbed ensuring comfort and to make you feel like you aren’t wearing any shoes at all. The stretch fabric straps ensure your foot doesn’t slip off the shoe and stays in place, yet you still have full mobility of your toes and therefore great breathability.
The U-rubber sponge outsole is durable and doesn’t slip easily, although customers have reported that they can become slippery when there is water on the floor, so this is something to take into consideration. They come in a range of designs, too.
These New Balance Women’s 118v1 Studio Skin shoes are designed to feel like you don’t have anything on your feet while still providing the protection and support you need in your yoga class. With great room for breathability and ensuring there are no smells, these shoes provide traction against the floor so you don’t slip. There is extra-cushioning on the ball of the foot and the arch for support and the Fantom Tape provides a lightweight strategic support that’s made with stretch material for a tailored fit, giving you the comfort to help you move freely.
These shoes are known to run small and it is suggested you order 1/2 up from your normal shoe size for the perfect fit. They are available in four different color options.
With a leather sole, these Barerun half toe shoes for yoga have grips on the bottom for a non-slip fit, improving both your comfort and balance in different poses. Made with a microfiber leather upper, these shoes absorb sweat and give you support without being too bulky on the foot. The holes in the toe of the shoes give you great flexibility and do not compromise your ability to move or stretch, and the lining around the ankle supports yet allows for movement too.
The lightweight design means they can pack easily into your bag and they are versatile for a number of sports, including dance and pilates too. They are easy to get both on and off, too. There are thirteen different colors to choose from and they come in a range of sizes, including kids sizes.
The TIOSEBON yoga shoe is the most “sneaker-like” shoe on our list. With a thick rubber sole, your foot is well protected from the ground and there is great traction to prevent you from slipping. The stretchy mesh upper expands with your foot as you move, giving you a comfortable and close fit to reduce any irritation but also giving flexibility to move as you need. The fit around the ankle is snug too, providing the support you require to prevent any injuries.
The shoe is breathable and great for high-intensity activities as it does not retain any unpleasant smells. Although this is a proper shoe, it is still lightweight on your foot and does not weigh you down when you are practicing yoga. Again, this shoe is available in a number of different colorways so you can find the shoe that’s right for you.
Yoga Shoes FAQ’s
Is it okay to wear yoga shoes in class?
This really depends on the class you take. Some yoga teachers prefer their students to go barefoot, while others do not mind if you wear shoes. The best thing to do is to contact the teacher before the class to ask whether you can wear shoes.
How do you wash yoga shoes?
The rule with yoga shoes is that less is more. If you wash them frequently or put them in the washing machine, you are much more likely to damage them than if you wash them only occasionally when they need it and only do a spot clean. You can do this with warm water and a little laundry detergent. Generally, if you are only using your yoga shoes in class, they shouldn’t need to be washed too often as they shouldn’t get too dirty.
Why are yoga shoes supposed to feel like you are barefoot?
As we mentioned above, yoga is usually performed barefoot so any shoes you wear should mimic that. You don’t want to be doing difficult yoga poses in heavy shoes, because it will completely throw off your balance.
If you decide to wear yoga shoes in your yoga class, they should be lightweight and comfortable. As yoga is traditionally practiced barefoot, your shoes should be lightweight and allow you to move easily, as if you are wearing nothing on your feet. Ensure they have good traction on them so you don’t slip in class and breathability is a must so they don’t get too sweaty. Any of the shoes in our list above will give you the protection you need but still allow you to enjoy yoga to the fullest.