Over time, yoga's popularity as an exercise option keeps increasing. Perfect for men and women of all ages and activity levels, yoga may be one of the most well-known forms of exercise in history. As its popularity has increased, and it has moved out of yoga-specific studios, the need for yoga shoes and other footwear has increased. Although many prefer to go barefoot, there are plenty of times you want yoga shoes or yoga socks for your session.
But what makes for a good pair of yoga shoes? Much like the act of yoga itself, the best yoga shoes will put a focus on flexibility, in addition to cushioning and support. A good idea for beginners and experts alike, this new trend exists for a good reason: your feet need protection. Even exercise as slow and deliberate as yoga comes with its fair share of foot and ankle related injuries. Don’t be a statistic.
Many different brands have entered the scene with their own take. With all of these brands, prices, levels of quality and designs in the market, selecting the best pair of yoga shoes for your needs can become difficult. Comfort, value and quality all play major roles in decision fatigue. Luckily, we here at Shoe Guide are happy to assist.
Below we present our carefully-curated list of what we consider to be the best. These decisions were not made lightly. We did a lot of research and testing before coming to a final list. We created this to make sure that our visitors leave armed with the knowledge necessary to make an informed decision on the best yoga shoes.
And without any further ado, here is our list!
Our Choices for the Best Yoga Shoes
This was a difficult process. There are a lot of different factors and features that are crucial when deciding what makes a great yoga shoes, and some of those just come down to your personal preferences. It made it difficult to stick to a strict ranking list, and to narrow things down even further to shoes that we considered strong enough to purchase and extensively test on our own. So, we came up with a lot of different things different people might be looking for in a yoga shoes and created a “best for” summary to help you pick out the features that are important to you.
Below the summary, you’ll find detailed reviews of our top choices that give you a lot more information on the features of the shoe.
A quick note: most of these shoes are not available in men’s sizes (a few are, and we’ve included links to those where they exist). A good rule o thumb is to subtract 1.5 from the women’s size to get the equivalent men’s size.
Here are the best yoga shoes you can buy:
- Best All-Around: NikeGrip Studio Toeless Socks
- Best Sneaker-Style Shoe: Spenco Yoga Stretch
- FiveFingers Yoga Shoes: Vibram V-Soul
- Minimalist (but still a "shoe"): Fitkicks Active - Men's | Women's
- Best Grip Socks: LA Active Grip Socks
- Ballet Style: ToeSox Bellarina
- Best of the Rest: Great Soles Ballet Grip Socks
- Best Yoga Sneaker with Laces: Spenco Chelsea Sneaker
- Sandals for getting to the studio: Skechers Meditation-Studio Kicks
What we Looked for in Testing
The best shoes for yoga come in a wide variety of sizes, colors and shapes. Each yoga shoe is different in many ways, and everyone is different. All enthusiasts will have to do their own due diligence and make careful choices based on their own preferences.
Personal preference plays a vital role in considerations. However, there were some common factors that we thought would be most important to most people. In our research and testing processes, we focused on factors that truly play into the viability of a pair of yoga shoes:
Read on for the detailed reviews of each shoe and how they measured up!
The Best Yoga Shoes - Detailed Reviews
1. NikeGrip Studio
Nike designed the NikeGrip Studio Toeless socks for studio classes such as yoga and pilates, or any other studio work where you want foot protection without a full shoe. Since Nike designed these specifically for yoga, they feature ideal construction for the type of movements involved in yoga.
Obviously we’ve taken some liberties with the “shoe” part of our guide, but there are many situations in which a yoga sock lets you adhere to a “no shoe” rule, while providing protection for your feet. The NikeGrip Studio is the perfect option for such situations. The open design helps keep your feet cool, keeps you connected to the ground, and have a nice-looking style.
Why these socks?
Maybe the real question is, why not? The NikeGrip Studio socks provide a light cushioning underfoot, especially at the ball of the foot, right where it’s most important. Additionally, the grip stripes underneath the front of the foot provide excellent traction on smooth studio surfaces. This keeps you comfortable and stable while performing some of the more difficult yoga poses.
The open toe and open heel design allows them to fit most feet comfortably. Nike provides them in three sizes. The only downside here is the two-toe open design was too tight for some people. We did not have a problem with it, but we found a couple people online complaining about the issue, so if you have especially large feet, maybe try another option.
We also liked the open heel design. While open toe yoga socks were common, we found fewer of them with the open heel. This made our contact with the floor feel more solid. If you want a sock that approximates a barefoot feel while protecting your feet, this is a great choice.
Pros of the NikeGrip Studio
- Good traction in a minimal sock design.
- Open design helps fight odors.
- Extra cushioning under the forefoot to maximize comfort.
- An open-heel design promotes flexibility and connectedness.
- Stretchy fits are accommodating and comfortable to most.
Cons of the NikeGrip Studio
- Two-toe design was too tight for some customers.
We had high expectations seeing a Nike yoga sock on the market. And our expectations were met and exceeded by the NikeGrip Studio. It is light, easy to put on and take off, and makes yoga a breeze.
2. Spence Yoga Stretch
Spenco is an impressive up and coming shoe brand. The Spenco Yoga Stretch is a shoe-in (get it) on our list of the best yoga shoes. They come chock full of a surprising amount of technology, providing breathability, support, cushion, and flexibility.
After all, the last thing you are going to want in your yoga shoe is restriction of ankle, heel and toe movement. Spenco works on this with their comfortable, incredibly well designed yoga shoe that helps you move into your next stage of flexibility and yoga practice.
Why these shoes?
Spenco has decided upon a combination of yoga and a love of the outdoors with the Yoga Stretch shoe. Spenco created these shoes for those who look for versatility as a strong point both inside and outside of the yoga studio. With incredible cushioning and high levels of arch support, these yoga shoes are going to keep you going and going for hours, even outside of the studio. But, with their breathable mesh uppers and incredibly grippy sole, these shoes are perfect for use inside the studio as well.
With an array of incredibly vibrant and bright color options, these shoes will become the star of the show when you walk into the yoga studio. They also work wonderfully for other movement-based classes and activities, including Pilates and even Zumba (although we suggest looking at our list of the best Zumba shoes for a more thorough breakdown of great options for that sport). Finally, their lace-up design stands out from most other yoga shoes, keeping you snug and in-place in your shoe with minimal slipping issues.
Pros of the Spenco Yoga Stretch
- A definite shoe versus socks or sandals, these can be used for many sports.
- We tried these on a run and they performed surprisingly well.
- Multiple densities in the foam footbed ensures strong support and cushion.
- An EVA rubber outsole is lightweight while still providing impressive support.
Cons of the Spenco Yoga Stretch
- On the narrow side.
Spenco’s Stretch women’s yoga shoe is for those looking for a design they can transport easily from the studio to the wilderness and beyond. Both lightweight and breathable, these shoes also make for wonderful cross-sport options for activities such as walking, where you will likely be needing more support in addition to breathability.
3. Vibram V-Soul
Vibram’s V-Soul is another one of our selections for the best yoga shoes coming from the Vibram’s FiveFingers line of products. These shoes are stylish, lightweight, breathable and comfortable, hitting all of the high notes for a solid-grip yoga shoe that will keep going and going both inside and outside of the studio.
Why these shoes?
The minimalist styling of these shoes is one of the largest draws. With individual toe areas, as well as a solid strap across the top of the foot that provides added traction and a snug fit, the Vibram V-Soul is a wonderful option for those wanting a high-grip, high-flexibility yoga shoe to exceed their expectations when in the studio.
Pros of the Vibram V-Soul
- Impressive levels of comfort for a reasonable price.
- Soft upper keeps from snagging or pain when performing yoga.
- One of the lightest full shoes that we researched for our list.
- The patented Vibram outsole provides intense grip for intense poses.
Cons of the Vibram V-Soul
- Some have drawn concerns to a tight instep fit that may dig into the skin.
- If you have wider feet, the strap across the top of the shoe may feel a bit tight.
Considered stylish and incredibly comfortable by many, the V-Soul is one of the most popular dance and yoga shoes on the market today. With a grippy outsole, versatile design, and ease of use, this is sure to be your go-to when wanting to level up your yoga game.
4. Fitkicks Active Yoga Athletic Shoes
Available for Men at
Available for Women at
The Fitkicks Active are a very comfortable shoe that is soft all over, but still capable of solid activity. These wonderful yoga shoes allow the foot to breathe, providing exemplary ventilation and airflow. Additionally, your feet can move about extensively and naturally as needed with performing difficult yoga poses and stretches.
When you attempt more advanced poses, your feet need to be as articulate as they possibly can, as well as free to grip. The Fitkicks Active provides this, with thinner, skin-like fabric that maintains support and stretchiness from all angles. These shoes are wonderful for use in all different sessions and exercises.
Why these shoes?
The amazingly soft, sock-like design of the Active conforms comfortably to the feet, providing a barefoot feeling while also allowing for extensive support. They provide a true wrap-around style, enabling pleasant overall experiences while practicing yoga. The ample cushioning and padding ensures that poses performed on harder flooring are problem-free.
Flexibility provided allows for intense grip as well, and flexibility for the user. The sock-like structure lets them conform and grab onto the feet. When slipped into, users enjoy everything that comes with the poses and stretches, regardless of flexing or bending.
Pros of the Fitkicks Active
- These shoes come with material known as “FlexForm.”
- One of the best breathable uppers we tested.
- Rubber tread is impressively non-skid and provides great grip.
- The synthetic sole is lightweight and comfortable.
Cons of the Fitkicks Active
- Sizing tends to run extremely small. Size up at least 1.5 sizes.
Overall, we were very impressed with the level of flexibility and grip for the price, as well as comfort for the users. The sock-type structure means that they conform to the foot perfectly, without any slipping and sliding.
5. ToeSox Bellarina
Bellarina’s ToeSox are a wonderful yoga shoe that provides an intense amount of grip, balance and stability, based mostly from the toes having the opportunity to move about independent from one another and really grip onto the mat.
ToeSox has been a well-known yoga shoes brand for a while now, and their offerings always drum up the quality level that is at and above what we would expect from an inexpensive yoga shoe option. As such, these breathable, open shoes made it easily onto our list of the best yoga shoes.
Why these socks?
The Bellarina’s added heel tab on these yoga shoes (that are more like socks, really) was manufactured to provide additional protection for the Achilles tendon, one of the most common areas of injury when doing yoga. Additionally, these yoga shoes have an arch bank, providing the foot with the necessary lift and support that makes your experience more enjoyable on the feet.
With a patented impressive grip design, these yoga shoes do an incredible job in security the foot to the floor. These anti-slip options help you feel truly balanced and secure at all times. Also, the additional toe spacing assists with grip, letting you balance and bend at peace.
Pros of the ToeSox Bellarina
- These shoes come with an impressive non slip designed sole.
- They are made from organic cotton, which is a stellar addition.
- The five-toe design of the Bellarina makes for wonderful grip and accessibility.
- Sock-style fits ensure that the fit is snug and comfortable.
- Enhanced protection of the achilles tendon prevents common yoga injuries.
Cons of the ToeSox Bellarina
- These shoes lack the cushioning we would expect from a good-quality yoga shoe.
Given the brand recognition, as well as the incredible level of grip provided, the ToeSox Bellarina is by far one of the strongest pound-for-pound, dollar-for-dollar option for yoga shoes.
6. Great Soles Ombre Grip Socks
There are times when you would just prefer a sock-like foot covering compared to a strange, strappy piece of footwear when doing yoga. When this is the case, we highly recommend the Great Soles Ballet Grip as your go-to yoga shoes.
With a mix of colorful options and a minimalist, eye-catching style, the Great Soles Ballet Grip can provide a pop of pizzazz into your yoga routine, in addition to gecko-like levels of enhanced grip. All yoga shoes are not the same, even if they seem simple enough to be. The Ballet Grip made it onto our list of the best yoga shoes due to their strong mix of style, price and function.
Why these socks?
Maybe you have gone through the process of testing out “grip socks” and are looking to level up to the next best thing. This is that thing. The Great Soles Ballet Grip comes in a wide variety of colors and styles. Whether you are looking for darker colors, pinks, blues and beyond, there is a color option for you.
Grip is the number one draw of these yoga shoes. There is a ribbed textured sole that stretches from the toe to heel, ensuring you remain put when in difficult poses, and maintain perfect form. Quality is the number one policy at a company level with Great Soles, and as a result their Ballet Grip yoga socks are frequently sold out. Backing up their quality promise is a fill year satisfaction guarantee, virtually unheard of with shoes at this price point. We love companies that put people before profits.
Pros of the Great Soles Ballet Grip Socks
- These yoga shoes are surprisingly machine washable.
- With non-slip heels, you aren’t going to be sliding around during intense poses.
- The shoes come with an impressive one-year guarantee.
- Colors and styles are eye-catching.
Cons of the Great Soles Ballet Grip Socks
- Due to the low price, the durability is not something to write home about.
The Great Soles Ballet Grip Socks a stellar purchase for anyone looking to enhance their grip and style in the yoga room. An added buyer guarantee from Great Soles is the icing on the cake.
7. Spenco Chelsea Sneaker
This is the most supportive and versatile yoga shoe on our list. Spenco’s Chelsea sneaker has a full knit upper for breathability. This is especially useful if your yoga classes are in a hot gym or outdoors during warm weather. The Spenco Chelsea also features a bungee-style lacing system and a heel tab so you can get them on and off quickly, but still have the flexibility to tighten them to fit your feet. This is more important with a yoga shoe than with most activities. Even if your yoga space is somewhere that you need shoes, you want them to be minimal and not interfere with your poses.
Spenco built these shoes with their “TOTAL SUPPORT” footbed. This is a foam insole and midsole that absorbs shock and provides arch support. If you overpronate and want arch support, this is an ideal choice. That should not matter too much during yoga, but if you use these for walking or other activities it helps. Along these lines, the Chelsea also features a deep heel cushion to give greater motion control. Again, they’ve made this to help those with foot issues and who suffer from overpronation.
Why these shoes?
Choose this shoe if you want a yoga shoe that you can use for walking around in the gym or for other activities. It provides an athletic shoe style and feel with unmatched arch support and motion control for people with flat feet and people who overpronate. They also have a deep heel cupping that can help alleviate pain associated with plantar fasciitis or heel spurs.
Pros of the Spenco Chelsea Sneaker
- Synthetic textile full-mesh upper to keep your feet cool.
- Bungee-style lace up system for optimal and adjustable fit.
- Rounded toe with heavy-duty bumper to protect your toes and forefoot.
- TOTAL SUPPORT insole for shock absorption and support.
- Ideal cushioning and arch support for overpronators.
- Lightweight, coming in at around 7 ounces for each shoe.
The best choice for those looking for arch support in their yoga shoe. They also provide motion control and a soft insole for overpronators or those with flat feet. In short, this is a solid choice if you suffer from foot or heel problems and want a yoga shoe that will support your feet and help to minimize any pain associated with these foot conditions.
8. Skechers Meditation Studio Kicks
So the problem here is that these aren’t really for doing yoga. They are called “yoga” shoes because the footbeds are made from yoga mat material. Which is great! But can lead to people being confused, which is why we included them in our list, so that people know what they are buying. These are a great sandal, but are not designed for being in the studio really.
There is no question, sometimes you just get the urge to wake up nice and early and do some yoga on the beach as the sun rises. Maybe you’re just wanting to get in better touch with nature, and do some yoga out in the woods. Whatever the case may be, Skecher’s Meditation Studio is a wonderful option to get the job done.
Not only is this shoe a stellar looking “non-sock” sandal, the company has also taken ample time in listening to their wearers and developing a yoga shoe that is perfect for putting into practice. This shoe is eco-friendly and extremely comfortable, and is a great choice whether on or off the yoga mat.
Why these sandals?
Are you ready for a feature that you won’t find in any other yoga shoes? With the Skechers Meditation Studio, you won’t need to drag your yoga mat around! Instead, these yoga shoes come with the mat built directly into the shoe’s footbed.
These extreme levels of yoga-mat padding are incredibly comfortable, allowing users to wear their yoga shoes all day without aches, pains, fatigue and discomfort. Additionally, the footbed is surprisingly durable, so their longevity speaks for itself, especially when pitted against similar yoga shoes on the market.
Foot sweat when performing yoga routines is nonexistent, as these shoes are like sandals, open with just a soft, fabric-style wrap adhering the foot to the shoe. Both secure and flexible, this fabric keeps the sandals firmly fixed in even the most active of poses, keeping you comfortable and cool.
Pros of the Skechers Meditation Studio Kicks
- These can easily be worn for outside yoga-related activities.
- The stylish fabric wrap stretches for comfort and flexibility.
- The sole is made of “Happy U” rubber for increased durability.
- The footbed is made from yoga mat, a surprising feature!
- Sanuk’s machine washable shoe ensures wear after wear.
Cons of the Skechers Meditation Studio Kicks
- The sizes of the Meditation Studio seem to run small for most.
Skechers’s Meditation Studio is a perfect yoga shoe for far more than just yoga. They work wonderfully for many different activities. They are also durable enough to handle use in everyday situations. These are ideal for stretches, beach days, vacations and more.
Important Features to Consider
There are many different poses and moves in yoga that require people to lift their feet in some way, shape or form off of the ground. With such moves as the Half Moon, Boat, Crow, Shoulder Stand and more, watching these stretches performed makes it clear to see that they can be very difficult to attempt. One of the last things you want to deal with is making these poses more problematic with heavy, dense footwear.
It is extremely beneficial to purchase a yoga shoe that is designed to be lightweight. This way, they won’t weigh your feet down when performing these poses and stretches.
One of the best methods to select a lightweight yoga shoe is to be on the lookout for options that note a soft, elastic sole. If weight is a primary concern, avoid shoe types that seem to have a thicker sole to them.
Typically, many of the options available are going to mention their weight, at least if they aren’t too heavy. Other buzzwords to be on the lookout for regarding weight include exact gram measurements of the shoes, and a “quick slip on” description.
Your feet are bound to twist, bend and turn in all sorts of directions when practicing proper yoga. When your feet become constricted in non-flexible and ill-fitting footwear, you can easily end up with severe foot pain by the end of your session.
The footwear you choose for your next pair of yoga shoes need to be flexible. This way, your feet will be able to feel comfortable when stretching. The most effective way to ensure your flexibility needs are met is to keep an eye out for materials such as polyamide in the shoe construction. This is an incredibly elastic fabric that provides the ability for your feet to move freely without extensive resistance.
Another buzzword that tell you the flexibility of a yoga shoe will be up to par is a sock-style construction. If you are able to move your feet about in your yoga shoes without restriction, much like stretching while in a pair of socks, you’ve found yourself a winner.
It’s particularly important to pay attention to whether the upper part of the shoe is noted for “stretch fabric”. Finally, the last buzzword of importance is an XS Trek sole, which was designed specifically for its flexibility.
You don’t have to be doing hot yoga for your feet to sweat profusely: fact. One of the best ways to prevent sweating, and consequently moisture weight added to the shoes being worn, is to focus on breathability when making a purchase decision.
One of the most obvious defenses is an upper made from polyester mesh. Conversely, look for a shoe that is made from polyamide. Both polyamide and polyester are both incredibly water resistant. They assist in transporting moisture away from the body into the atmosphere.
Mesh is porous, much like a net in some ways. This, in combination with polyester, will provide airflow that the feet need to keep them dry and cool through most of the season. Fortunately, most footwear is made of this material, and have wider uppers, very much like flats. With this, there shouldn’t be an issue finding a yoga shoe that offers incredible breathability no matter where you look. Some of the most breathable fabric types are knit uppers, mesh, and canvas (surprisingly).
Traction is more important than you may realize. It’s crucial that your yoga shoes have a solid grip on the ground when performing these poses. Shoes that fail to grip properly can easily cause awkward falls and pose collapses that can lead to injury.
One of the most effective things for traction is a rubber sole. Pay close attention that the shoes have rubber soles. This feature provides maximum traction for all stretches, and helps to keep you safely positioned when doing yoga.
Additionally, another feature is the XS trek outsole that we have mentioned in the flexibility consideration above. These outsoles have been specifically developed to provide durability that keeps things working well for plenty of yoga sessions with their slip resistant features.
It’s important to ensure that whatever sole us chosen is both non-marking and non-skid. If you practice yoga without mats, you don’t want the sole to cause damage to flooring or on the ground. Even with mats, you aren’t going to want the sole to wear the material out. For this reason, opting for soles that are smoother and less coarse will provide the grip needed while simultaneously reducing wear and tear.
Last but not least, one of the most important considerations when researching the best yoga shoes is comfort. Yoga stretches put extensive force on the feet. Not having the proper footwear, or any footwear at all, can put tons of stress on some parts of the foot compared to others. For this reason, it is crucial to wear footwear that provides strong support of the foot. Not doing so can cause injuries, slips and falls.
The strongest buzzword to be on the lookout for with comfort considerations is “zero drop”. A zero drop shoe construction is going to allow the heel to be the same height from the ground as the front, more naturally mimicking the actual foot when standing on flat surfaces. This more natural feel provides ample support during all poses, increasing the comfort level when doing yoga.
Additionally, shock absorbing polyurethane cushioning in the sole is a very helpful feature to check for. This will reduce weight impact with each step taken to provide comfort when planting the feet. This is ideal for those looking to take their yoga hobby into the outdoors without mats.
Finally, thicker foam arch support inserts serve to better protect your feet. This is ideal for those with flat feet or plantar fasciitis, or those who do yoga in nature.
Commonly Asked Questions Regarding Yoga Shoes
By this point, you may be surprised how much information is available on yoga shoes. Maybe you’ve been left with some questions. Below we are going to answer a few of the more commonly asked questions about yoga shoes and the purchasing process.
Am I allowed to wear shoes when doing yoga?
Some yoga instructors prefer their students to be barefoot throughout the course of their class. However, most are fine with footwear being worn during class. The easiest thing to do is contact the instructor or company and ask whether it is okay for you to have shoes on in class. Typically, instructors simply want you as a student to be extremely comfortable when practicing yoga, so they likely will not have any issues with this.
What about water? Can these be submerged?
Typically, most yoga shoes are cross-functional to work as water shoes as well, although the root of the matter lies in the individual shoes. With their similarity to water shoes, there are many yoga shoes that work well for both. If you check out our guide to the best water shoes, you will find quite a few contrasts between the two types of shoes.
As many designs, including almost all in our list above, are comprised of a mixture of polyamide, polyester, and other water-usable materials that work to wick away moisture, they work fine when fully submerged for activities like kayaking and surfing. In fact, many slip on tightly to avoid unwanted removal when in the water.
How can I best go about washing and cleaning my new yoga shoes?
This process couldn’t be more simple if we tried! All of the shoes that we reviewed as our best shoes for yoga are machine washable. Toss them into the washing machine with the rest of your clothes and wash them cold, then just leave them out to dry. If you pick a yoga shoe that has leather components, you might want to forego the machine wash and use a leather cleaner, though.
What about casual wear? Would these look dumb in the day-to-day?
This is entirely dependent on both the style of the shoe itself and your own style preferences. Some people find these yoga shoes to be comfortable enough to wear consistent, but it also depends on the amount of flexibility of the feet, and the softness of the materials.
Some people prefer shoes for daily wear that have a bit more arch support. Most yoga shoes lack the level of arch support needed for extended time spent standing or walking around. But again, the choice is yours. If you’re thinking of making your yoga shoes a potential daily driver, we suggest wearing them for a full day and gauge how you are feeling about it.
How difficult can it be to find the correct sizing?
Many yoga shoes are true to their sizes. However, if you are a male, you are less likely to find your size. In which case, subtract 1.5 from the women’s size to get a relatively accurate depiction of the men’s size. However, there are also some yoga shoes that arrive in more standard “small, medium, large” configurations. It is suggested to find a yoga shoe that fits a bit tight, and over time it will mold to the shape of your foot.
Final Points about Yoga Shoes
Look at the pros and cons of each shoe, getting into the nitty gritty of what is an advantage and potential disadvantage to owning those particular shoes. There are also some important questions to ask yourself when researching, including:
- Are you planning to do your yoga primarily inside or outside?
- What skill level are you at? Will your poses and stretches be beginner level or more advanced?
- What kinds of yoga are you planning to participate in?
Remember, your selection will be completely up to how you plan to use them, as well as the environment and exercise level. All yoga shoes vary in price, style and options. Find one you like, ensure the fit is good, and in no time you’ll enhance your comfort and quality level when on the mat.
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