Realfoot Farmer Winter: Best Extra-Wide Casual Barefoot Boots

December 10, 2023Barefoot boots with an extra-wide leather upper and minimal 4mm tread for winter casual.

Hello, my name’s Andrew, and these are the Realfoot Farmer Winter, an extra-wide barefoot boot with fleece insulation and a flexible sole for winter casual.

Features

Last video I reviewed the Softstar Switchback, which is a great extra-wide hiking boot, but at 9.5mm the sole is kind of beefy for casual use.

So I asked Realfoot for a pair of their Farmer Winter’s to test, and they’ve got even more room for proper toe splay, but with a lightweight tread that’s ideal for chores and walking in the winter.

Realfoot Farmer Winter Boot Features Showcase Desk

Upper/Inner

Because the Farmer’s have an extra-wide foot-shaped toebox with a sanded leather upper that looks worn-in straight out of the box, plus a stitched sole, four quick-cinch lace loops, two lace locks, reinforced heel, and pull tab.

Ok, random, but I just love the sound the lace locks make when you pop them into place. Check this out: “POP” It’s so addictive!

Inside the leather wraps around for easily slipping the boot on/off and the rest is lined with a lightweight fleece and water-resistant membrane for warmth and breathability, while the removable insole is packed with cork for extra insulation and padding.

Sole/Tread

Underneath you’ve got a thin 4mm zero-drop sole that’s highly flexible in all directions, along with a minimal non-slip tread that’s flat enough for roads but tough enough for light trails.

Testing

Because the Realfoot Farmer is designed for extra-wide feet, I thought it might kind of loose on me, but they slim down toward the heel, where you’d want more security, so they actually ended up fitting quite well.

Walking

Going out for a walk the 4mm sole felt similar to my lightweight Ahinsa Jaya’s, because the ground feel and flexibility were about as close as you could get to being completely barefoot.

For someone with medium-width feet I found myself scuffing the outside edge at first, but after a few minutes my brain readjusted and it wasn’t an issue, especially because the Farmer is such an agile boot.

Hiking

Branching off onto trails the leather upper did a solid job of keeping my feet dry through snow and mud and you can treat them with beeswax or sprays, which you can find on Realfoot’s website, but the Farmer’s aren’t fully waterproof, so I wouldn’t recommend dunking them in streams or deep puddles.

For gentle hills the minimal tread provided plenty of traction, although you’d definitely want a more aggressive boot for serious hiking.

Also, while the cork insole is nice for extra padding on rougher terrain, I preferred to leave it out for more ground feel and breathability on warmer days or swap it for a thinner wool felt insole and merino wool socks, which got me down near fifteen degrees.

Conclusion

Overall the Realfoot Farmer is a great lightweight winter barefoot boot that’s got tons of agility and toe space for winter casual.

Pros/Cons

Because the upper is extra-wide with a rustic style, the minimal insulation allows you to layer up and down for a wide temperature range, and the thin 4mm sole feels amazing for walking on roads and light trails.

However, the slimmer back may be too snug for anyone with wide ankles, the upper might be too low for high arches, and the insulation isn’t thick enough to handle deep slush or near-zero temperatures.

Alternatives

In terms of similar winter barefoot boots…

  • Saltic Vintero: wide waterproof leather upper, lightweight synthetic insulation, and minimal 3.5mm tread.
  • BeLenka Winter: extra-wide waterproof leather upper, thick merino wool insulation, and aggressive 8mm tread.
  • Softstar Switchback: optional extra-wide water-resistant leather or synthetic upper, lightweight merino wool insulation, and aggressive 9.5mm Vibram Megagrip tread.
  • Resources

    If you’d like to support the channel, you can shop with the referral links above/below, compare products at barefootwear.org, join the community for extra perks, or watch my Zero-Drop Transition video to learn more about barefooting.

    Finally, if you have a question about the Realfoot Farmer Winter, or about barefoot shoes in general, let me know in the comments.

    Thanks for watching, catch ya next time. Peace!

    Andrew Folts

    Andrew is a writer/filmmaker who creates video guides and reviews for a community of 25K+ creative rebels on YouTube.