Healthy Shoes

Have you ever thought about how amazing it feels

to take your shoes off

when you come home from work?

This could be harmful to your health

Unfortunately, this is a serious warning from your body. This may be because your dress shoes unnaturally contort and put pressure on your feet, lower back, and body in a way that caused undue stress.

This stress accumulates over time, and it’s a large reason that many people suffer from back problems later in life.

Buy comfortable dress shoes

In fact, mounting evidence has shown that our bodies never made to wear shoes in the first place; human beings were made to be barefoot. This Time article, “These Are the Healthiest Shoes To Wear, According to Scientists“ says:

Daniel Lieberman [a Harvard Professor of Anthropology] and other researchers have found evidence that people who predominantly walk or run in “minimal” shoes—shoes that mimic your bare feet, tend to have stronger, stiffer feet than those who wear traditional shoes.

The concern is that a weaker foot is a foot prone to problems like flat feet,” Lieberman says. Research has linked flat feet to knee pain, cartilage damage and low-back pain. In civilizations around the world, “people who are barefoot or minimally shod have lower rates of flat feet than shod populations,” Lieberman says.

Human beings were made to be barefoot

We’ve spent 10+ years painstakingly engineering a premium dress shoe – thoughtfully crafted with superior full-grain leather and 9 stitches per inch – that looks amazing. But more importantly, it can improve your foot and back health, all without sacrificing the style of a traditional dress shoe.

My Story: An Accountant Tired of
His Only Options

My name is Mountain. In 2009, I was a corporate accountant who had to wear dress shoes for work. I had an image to keep up, and I felt trapped between two options:

1. Wearing good looking dress shoes that ruined both my health and sports performance.

2. Wearing a clowny, casual looking barefoot dress shoe to work. While good for my health, I lost a lot of credibility and even respect from some of my more judgmental coworkers and clients.

Both options seemed terrible, so I decided to take matters into my own hands. I had to make a great looking, barefoot dress shoe.

There were two core design philosophies that went into the 10+ years we’ve been designing minimalist dress shoes.

These shoes needed to let my feet move naturally

They needed to have no heel drop so my posture would be improved and a wide toe box for my toes to splay naturally.

Most dress shoes shoes can wreak havoc on your foot health. They put your toes in a death grip, which can cause bunions, plantar fasciitis, and many other foot problems. They also have heels, which can cause calf shortening, ankle pronation, flat feet, foot pronation, and more.

Knowingly wearing traditional dress shoes like these felt like I was consciously deciding to smoke and degrade my health. I loved my family and life too much to treat myself that way. I would rather take a deep whiff from a trash can or wear ugly barefoot shoes than wear a modern dress shoes.

It was simply not an option for me because I wanted to live my best and healthiest life.

Image is everything at work, and I didn’t want to spend 4 hours on a presentation only to be ignored by my coworkers because of my shoes. Talk about a waste of career. My experience isn’t unfounded either. Here’s some research that shows exactly how dressing well can affect your work performance.

1. Having attractive shoes may lead coworkers to have a higher opinion of you. Specifically, they may think you have high conscientiousness (aka the ability to: set and keep long-range goals, deliberate over choices, behave cautiously or impulsively, and take obligations to others seriously) according to the study “Shoes as a source of first impression”. Being perceived to have all these traits is extremely valuable with peers, bosses and clients, and this is the why behind business dress codes, really.

2. First impressions can last one month or more, according to a study. Combine this with the fact that first impressions can be made quickly (people debate whether it’s in 1/10th, 1, or 7 seconds.. but it’s pretty quick), and you can see how important it would be to craft the right image. If your coworkers or clients are sticklers about style, Carets could help you avoid the hassle of being poorly perceived for long periods of time without sacrificing comfort.

3, “Dressing the part” boosts confidence. In this Scientific American article, they cite a study from the American Psychology Association mentioning that dressing formally can help you win more in a negotiation game. Dressing less formally could result in lower testosterone levels.

These shoes needed
to look great

Carets: A High Quality Dress Shoe That Looks Amazing
and Lets Your Feet Move Naturally
A lack of heel creates an unsophisticated look

In order to build the best looking dress shoe, I began by deliberately analyzing the flaws of existing barefoot dress shoes, and there were two main issues.

First, a lack of heel creates an unsophisticated look. 99%+ of dress shoes today have a heel. Check out the Vivobarefoot Ra, from the side. Notice that the lack of a heel makes it look unsophisticated. A good exercise would be to ask your stylish friends if barefoot shoes without heels look dressy. I guarantee you the vast majority would say “no”.

Now take a look at the Carets shoe. From most angles, we look like we have a heel...

However, if you take a look at our shoe from the side, you’ll see that it’s simply a visual illusion.

This genius design is patented and unique to Carets. Most of your coworkers and friends won’t be able to tell that there isn’t a heel until they see it from the side, or if they see the bottom of the shoe.

Genius design is patented and unique to Carets

As you can see in the picture, your foot sits on the bottom of the fake heel. Your foot gets all the benefits of a zero-drop shoe while still looking great in dressy situations.

A wide toe box can make barefoot shoes look "clowny".

Second, a wide toe box makes shoes look “clowny.” Check out the Vivobarefoot Ra, again, pictured below here.

As you can see here, the toebox of a typical barefoot shoe is very wide. The extremely wide toebox combined with the squared top of the shoe creates a clowny look (our customer’s words, not ours).


Our shoes have a wide toe box that look sleek.

"Our barefoot shoes have a wide toe box that looks sleek".

The result is a much sleeker looking profile.

As you can see, we’ve put a ton of thought into creating the highest quality, minimalist dress shoe there is. We ship offer free shipping and returns in the US. Our shoes are very popular and we have run out of stock every single year of our company’s history. Get your pair today!

Click here to shop
Our attention to detail and design philosophy have resulted the best looking, minimalist dress shoe on the market. Personally, the most fulfilling part of running Carets is that our customers tell us we’re helping them live healthier and more successful lives. They no longer have to choose between looking great and having healthy feet.

Our Customers Call Our Shoes Life-Changing

Over 90% of our customers give us a 5/5 star review. Here’s a few of them below:

I’m coming from a minimal shoe running background and have been looking for minimal but smart work shoes for years. Tried Vivo, Lems etc but people always asked what was going on with my shoes?! Finally some minimal Oxfords that look the part and feel really, really good. Very happy. Thanks! Sizing vs Vivobarefoot comes up big so go a size down.

Oliver W

Since the time I participated in high school sports, I have had knee and back pain. Any time I had to wear dress shoes, my joints would start killing me. As I was looking for minimalist dress shoes, I happened to discover Carets.

Carets provided all the comfort and benefits I had previously encountered wearing minimalist shoes. As long as I can keep a pair on hand I will never go back to wearing regular shoes. These shoes have been a lifesaver for my knees and back, and for my career!

Patrick Peabody

Get your pair of high-quality, comfortable dress shoes

Click to Shop

I purchased a pair of Oxfords. I am so glad I did. Mountain, the owner, was beyond amazing emailing me promptly and lending me advice with any concerns or questions I had.

I wear them very frequently, as they are my work shoes. I am on my feet for extremely 8+ hours a day. I am grateful these shoes have started to undo many problems I have had wearing heeled dress shoes for so many years. It was an adjustment and painful at times while my calves and tendons adapted to their natural positions again. Now, I have much less pain after these extremely

Marcos from NY

I love them! I work in the hospitality industry and am on my feet most of the day always wearing a suit and dress shoes. These zero-drop dress shoes always have my feet in a comfortable position with no pain while working.

I've looked everywhere for zero drop dress shoes and Carets are truly the only brand that has zero drop dress shoes that actually look like dress shoes. Thank you for making such a wonderful product. It has truly changed my life.

Scott A

I crossed over to barefoot shoes about 10 months ago and regular shoes just don't feel right anymore. I needed something sharp to wear at the clinic or with a suit, the classic look of Carets is the answer. I put them next to my Kenneth Coles and you can barely tell the difference.

Raymond V

These are the best ‘formal’ shoes I have ever owned. I’ve been wearing minimalist shoes for the last 3 years. As my feet have widened and restored, I’ve dreaded putting on my expensive dress shoes for work or meetings. I often present for eight hours a day on the training floor and my feet scream for relief.

That relief has now come with Carets. On my first wear, I presented for 3 full days on my feet. The shoes are a dream - comfortable, wide, soft and almost as good as being barefoot (not an option in my job).

I’ve now boxed up all my Church’s and Crocket shoes with the intention of selling them to someone who enjoys the pain of bad design. You have a loyal customer for life.

Mike W

By far the most comfortable work shoes I have ever worn. These look just as good as any other shoes I have worn in my job as a banker. Nobody at work has ever batted an eyelid.

My circulation is a bit better and the knee pain completely vanished when I made to switch to barefoot shoes like these. Highly recommended.

Mark R

I own 4 pairs of Carets. I wear them to work daily in a shop/office environment. To my surprise these shoes hold up better and last
longer than any other shoes I have abused at my job. Love these

David S

We guarantee you outstanding quality and great comfort of our dress shoes!

Shop our collection

Having just gotten into the minimalist movement, I kept looking for nice dress shoes and found these to be nice but expensive. Having said that, I would always take my dress shoes off any moment I could before. Finally, after wanting to end the torture of hating my dress shoes I took the plunge and bought a pair, best decision ever.

The customer service has been amazing and the shoes took only one day to break in. Such high quality leather and I never take off my shoes anymore because they seem invisible to me. Mountain has been amazing and this company really seems to care about their clients.

John Doe

The shoes are of magnificent quality and I look forward to wearing them for my new job.

Eric N

Hands down the best pair of minimalist dress shoes on the market. Super comfortable out of the box and they even come with shoe trees, a very nice touch. I own both colors so far and will purchase future iterations.

Michael K

Having had foot and back issues my whole life, my issues have vanished and my feet feel like new all the time.

They have changed my life and are the best investment in myself I've made in a while. With proper care, I expect these to last a long time and I will be a longtime Carets advocate and client. Thank you again for creating such a great product.

Paul L

I love my Carets. They are comfortable right out of the box and they look great. They have the look of a high end dress shoe while feeling cozy on your feet.

Eric G

These shoes are expensive, but I just bought my second pair. These shoes are great for comfort and look very professional. All my other 0 drop shoes looked ridiculous. Hopefully these shoes will last a really long time. The material quality is top notch.

Ronald E

Frankly, I'm amazed. I ordered a pair of Carets just in time for an out of town wedding. When they arrived they were incredibly comfortable, but I had not really tested them before leaving town. They are dress shoes after all - there's got to be some discomfort with any dress after you're on your feet for a while, right? Day of wedding I slip them on. First of all, they look great with a suit. But here's the best part: I forgot all about them until I took them off that evening. I have never been so comfortable at a formal situation before. Also, I did follow the advice on the sizing chart and ordered one size down from what I would normally wear and they are a perfect fit. Thank you so much for helping me find a way to wear no-rise shoes 24/7.

Chuck M

We guarantee our
quality and high comfort

shop Carets shoes

Get to know Carets

Follow @carets_shoes on Instagram.