Home » Splay FREESTYLE Review | Best Affordable Daily Wear Barefoot Shoe?

Splay FREESTYLE Review | Best Affordable Daily Wear Barefoot Shoe?

The Splay FREESTYLE™ barefoot shoes are designed to be simplistic and subtle barefoot shoes for daily wear. These shoes feature a classic style with a flexible and wide sole construction.

I’m constantly on the lookout for the best barefoot shoes on the market. Whether it be barefoot shoes for lifting, daily wear, or running, I’m routinely searching for new models to test and try so I was super excited to review the Splay FREESTYLE.

Overall, the Splay FREESTYLE is one of the better barefoot shoes on the market for daily wear, especially if you’re on a budget. They’re a strong performer across the board, but they do have a couple of cons which I’ll discuss below.

In this Splay FREESTYLE review, I’m going to cover a variety of topics to help you decide if this shoe is right for your needs and wants.

Splay FREESTYLE Review

Who Should Invest In the Splay FREESTYLE?

The Splay FREESTYLE is one of the better budget-friendly barefoot shoes on the market for daily wear. This model has a price point of $55 USD and it delivers a simplistic construction and comfortable fit.

The width of this model is really solid so it’s a good barefoot shoe for accommodating even the widest of feet. I also like the removable insole in this model and its sole construction because they provide a nice protective yet comfortable feel when walking and standing.

Splay FREESTYLE Barefoot Shoes Review

I think if you want a barefoot shoe for more casual wear, then the Splay FREESTYLE is one of the better options on the market. It has a fair price point, a classic appearance, and is a relatively strong performer for durability in regard to daily wear.

This will not be the best barefoot shoe for working out and training, however, if you go into this model understanding its intent and limitations, then I think you’ll enjoy the Splay FREESTYLE.

Splay FREESTYLE

$55

Splay FREESTYLE Product Shot
4.6
Stability
4.7
Versatility
4.4
Durability
4.5

Best For

  • Daily Wear
  • Walking and Casual Wear
  • Cost-Efficiency

Falls Short

  • For Versatile Activities

Splay FREESTYLE Pros

Throughout my review and wear testing process with the Splay FREESTYLE barefoot shoes, I’ve found multiple things to like about these shoes.

  1. Price Point Is Great
  2. Good Model for Wider Feet
  3. Simplistic Construction With Breathable Upper
  4. Comfortable for Daily Wear

The first thing to like about the Splay FREESTYLE is its price point. This model has a price point that comes in at $55 USD, which I think is fair for the construction and performance that this shoe offers.

When it comes to barefoot shoes for daily wear, this is definitely one of the better-looking budget-friendly looking models on the market. They also cost much less than other companies daily wear barefoot shoes like the Xero Shoes Prio and Feelgrounds Original Mesh.

Splay FREESTYLE width and sizing

Another perk with the Splay FREESTYLE barefoot shoes is their forefoot width. This model’s forefoot provides a nice width that I think will accommodate a variety of foot anatomies really well.

For example, if you’re often on the fence about a barefoot shoe’s width and curious if it’s actually wide enough, then I think you’ll be safe in the Splay FREESTYLE. They’re comparable to Feelgrounds models and are wider than something like a Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III.

The third aspect to like about the Splay FREESTYLE is its overall construction, appearance, and breathability. This model has a “classic-looking” vibe to it and if you want something simplistic in nature, then I think you’ll enjoy this model’s appearance.

Splay FREESTYLE Upper Construction

The upper is built with 100% natural cotton and it’s fairly lightweight and thin in nature. On warmer days, I never had an issue with foot warmth in this shoe and I think they’ll be a good model for breathability in a variety of settings.

The final aspect to like about the Splay FREESTYLE is their overall comfort. This shoe features a vulcanized and synthetic rubber sole and I felt that it provides a comfortable and flexible fit and feel when walking even for longer durations.

Splay FREESTYLE Comfort

This model’s removable insole is also nice for providing you with an additional thin layer of cushion. I could see the Splay FREESTYLE being a good barefoot shoe for barefoot shoe beginners who are just starting to acclimate to this style of footwear.

Splay FREESTYLE Cons

Personally, I find that there’s a lot to like about the Splay FREESTYLE shoes, but there are two small cons and drawbacks that I’ve found with this model.

  1. Insole Slippage When It’s Warmer
  2. Pointed Toe May Not Be for Everyone

With the Splay FREESTYLE, I’ve noticed that the insole can slip a little bit when wearing this shoe barefoot or in warmer settings with minimalist no-show socks. I noticed this most when walking up and down hills on warmer with these shoes.

Splay FREESTYLE Insole Construction

That being said, if you notice this happening, then I’d suggest removing the insole and rocking this model without them. Since the internal part of the shoe is finished you can easily eliminate this drawback by simply removing the insole in certain contexts.

My final drawback with the Splay FREESTYLE shoes is that I think its pointed toe box could be a turn-off for some when it comes to aesthetics and appearance.

Splay FREESTYLE Appearance Review

I enjoy wearing and rotating barefoot shoes in on a daily wear basis including the Splay FREESTYLE, but I do wish the point in this model’s toe box wasn’t so aggressive. It doesn’t impact this shoe’s performance or comfort, however, I do think it gives this model an interesting look that may not be for everyone.

Performance

To discuss the performance of the Splay FREESTYLE, I’m primarily going to discuss how this model does for daily wear and walking. Since this shoe is not designed for working out and lifting, I did not test them in this setting.

That being said, if you’re interested in the best barefoot shoes for lifting, I have a ton of content covering different models for a variety of training contexts and needs.

Testing the Splay FREESTYLE for Daily Wear and Walking

In regard to walking and daily wear, I’ve enjoyed wearing the Splay FREESTYLE barefoot shoes. They feel easy to wear for longer periods of time and I think this is due to three key reasons.

Splay FREESTYLE walking review

First, the width of this model is awesome for accommodating full-toe splay. This shoe features a small midfoot taper, which fits my foot really well, and for walking and standing, I like how easy it is to move my toes and grip the floor.

I think if you like having wiggle room in your toe box in your barefoot shoes, then you’ll enjoy the Splay FREESTYLE for daily wear. Some barefoot shoes can get a little uncomfortable for all-day wear, but the FREESTYLE is a nice exception to this.

Second, I like the upper construction and how it locks down the foot and breathes well. The upper in this model doesn’t feel super loose which is awesome for giving this shoe a nice form-fitting feel.

Splay FREESTYLE upper breathability review

Even though they’re built wide, you never feel like you’re swimming in this model even when wearing them for longer walks. The lightweight natural cotton also does a good job at keeping the feet cool whether you’re wearing socks or going barefoot.

Third and lastly, the vulcanized and synthetic rubber sole blended with this shoe’s insole gives this model a nice comfortable feel. In my opinion, this model’s sole construction walks a fine line between giving you a protected and comfortable ride while not limiting flexibility.

Splay FREESTYLE good for barefoot shoe beginners

With the optional insole and minimal sole thickness, I could see this model being a good option for barefoot shoe beginners, especially those that want to save a little money on their first pay of barefoot shoes.

Splay FREESTYLE Vs Lems Primal 2

I’ve had a few questions about the Lems Primal 2 versus Splay FREESTYLE and how they compare to one another. Below, I’m going to cover four key differences between the Lems Primal 2 and Splay FREESTYLE.

Splay FREESTYLE vs Lems Primal 2

The first difference between these shoes is their overall fit and feel. The Lems Primal 2 has a slightly thicker stack height and rounded sole. This construction gives this shoe a comfortable feel, but it does have more thickness between the foot and ground compared to the FREESTYLE.

The Splay FREESTYLE has less of a midfoot taper compared to the Lems Primal 2 and it has a slightly more “traditional sole” construction in that it sits pretty flat on the floor compared to the Primal 2.

Splay FREESTYLE versus Lems Primal 2

A second difference to note about these shoes is that I feel like the Lems Primal 2 is a better model for outdoor activities that would include things like light hikes and yardwork.

The Lem’s Primal 2’s construction feeds really well into these activities so it’s definitely a better outdoor-friendly model compared to the Splay FREESTYLE. The Primal 2’s construction feels thicker as a whole and more durable for this context.

Splay FREESTYLE versus Lems Primal 2 sole construction

Another difference to note is that the Splay FREESTYLE features a removable insole with a finished internal construction. This gives the FREESTYLE a nice variance in its level of cushion and feel.

The Lems Primal 2 does not have a finished internal construction despite having a removable insole. The final difference to note between these shoes is the toe box width and shape of each model.

Splay FREESTYLE versus Lems Primal 2 barefoot shoes

The Splay FREESTYLE is slightly wider than the Lems Primal 2’s toe box and it has a more pointed shape compared to the rounded Primal 2’s toe box.

Winner: For casual daily wear, go Splay FREESTYLE. It costs half of what the Primal 2 does and has a nice width. If you want a model for hiking and outdoor activities, then go with the Lems Primal 2.

Lems Primal 2

Lems Primal 2

Pros: Comfortable, Good Intro Minimalist Shoe
Cons: Versatility
Weight: 8.30 oz (size 10)
Size/Fit: True to Size/ Wider Width
Offset: 0mm
Price: $110
TF2 Rating: 4.3
Splay FREESTYLE Product Shot

Splay FREESTYLE

Pros: Price, Breathable
Cons: Insole Slip
Weight: 10.25 oz (size 10)
Size/Fit: True to Size/ Wider Width
Offset: 0mm
Price: $55
TF2 Rating: 4.6

Splay FREESTYLE Sizing

When it comes to sizing and fit in the Splay FREESTYLE, I think most should be safe going true to size. The length of this shoe fits true and they’re wide enough to accommodate a variety of foot anatomies and widths.

If you’re still uncertain about your sizing in the Splay FREESTYLE, then I’d suggest checking out their size guide, as they’ve built a pretty cool system to help you find your ideal size.

  • Splay FREESTYLE Sizing Thoughts: Go true to size.

Splay FREESTYLE Sizing and Fit

If you have additional questions on the Splay FREESTYLE’s sizing and fit, drop a comment below and I can try to help you accordingly.

Price Breakdown

For the Splay FREESTYLE shoes, you can expect to pay $55 USD. Personally, I really like this price point and think it’s spot on the money for what this shoe has to offer.

Splay FREESTYLE Barefoot Shoes

I think if you like this model’s simplistic and classic look, then that price point could easily be justified. Plus, this model’s durability feels pretty solid especially for daily wear if you’re taking good care of them.

This will not be the best model for training and working out, so if you are on the market for a barefoot shoe for that context and want to save, then you may want to check out something like the WHITIN Minimalist Trail Runner.

Splay FREESTYLE

$55

Splay FREESTYLE Product Shot
4.6
Stability
4.7
Versatility
4.4
Durability
4.5

Best For

  • Daily Wear
  • Walking and Casual Wear
  • Cost-Efficiency

Falls Short

  • For Versatile Activities

Construction Details

Overall, the construction of the Splay FREESTYLE is relatively simple in nature, as in there are not a ton of frills that go into this. Below are some of the key construction details to know about this model before investing.

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 0mm
  • Weight: 
  • Removable Insole: Yes (with finished interval construction)
  • 100% Natural Made Cotton Upper
  • Triangular Tread Pattern
  • Vulcanized and Synthetic Rubber Sole
  • This Foam Removable Insole
  • 6 Core Eyelets

If you have additional questions on the Splay FREESTYLE barefoot shoes, drop a comment below and I can answer whatever you have.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q:
How wide are Splay shoes?

A:
The Splay Freestyle's width is most comparable to Feelgrounds barefoot shoes. Personally, I think the width of the Splay Freestyle will accommodate a variety of foot anatomies and if you have wide feet and want maximal width, then you should be safe in this model.

Q:
Do you wear socks in Splay barefoot shoes?

A:
The Splay Freestyle barefoot shoes are an awesome shoe for allowing you to feel comfortable whether you prefer to wear socks or go barefoot. This model breathes well and provides a nice snug fit for both occasions of going barefoot and wearing socks.

Q:
What is a natural splay shoe?

A:
When someone refers to natural splay shoes they're referencing shoes that are designed to accommodate our toes to splay fully. As we walk and move, our toes spread, also referred to as splay, and a natural toe splay shoe will be wide enough to accommodate this.

Takeaway Thoughts

I think if you’re wanting a budget-friendly barefoot shoe for daily wear, then the Splay Freestyle is a great model to explore. For $55 USD, this model delivers a consistent fit and feel with a fairly clean construction.

I also like the width of this model’s forefoot and if you’re worried about having enough room to splay the toes, I don’t think that will be an issue in this shoe.

My only minor complaint with the Splay Freestyle is that the insole can have some slippage issues in warmer settings and this will be most prominent for those that like wearing these barefoot like me.

If you have additional questions on the Splay Freestyle shoes, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly or @that_fit_friend).

That Fit Friend is a site that is supported by myself (Jake Boly) and its readers. If you purchase products through affiliates links on this site, then I may receive a small commission on the sale. These commissions help keep the lights on here at That Fit Friend so I can continue to create content and they help me purchase new models to review!

nv-author-image

Jake Boly

I've been in the fitness and strength training industry for nearly a decade. In that time, I've trained hundreds of clients, written thousands of articles, reviewed over 100+ pairs of training shoes, and have produced a large list of training videos. I live and breathe fitness and training gear, and I think it's important that reviewers walk the walk with the gear they're testing. As for my educational background, I have my Masters in Sports Science, Bachelors in Exercise Science, and have my CSCS.

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