Froddo – Brand Review

Froddo – a Croatian brand with a long tradition in shoemaking, has also made a successful breakthrough in the barefoot footwear market. Thanks to the wide choice of leather and canvas models, the wide range of sizes, the easy maintenance and durability of their footwear, the demand for Froddo barefoot shoes is growing extremely fast.

Froddo is a footwear brand that has been on the market for more than 75 years. Today, with more than 1000 employees, it is one of the leading footwear manufacturers in Croatia. They focus on sustainable production and sustainable products, and their shoes are handmade using European, certified materials of the highest quality.

They have only recently entered the world of barefoot footwear, but years of experience have helped them to quickly establish themselves as one of the most popular, quality and affordable manufacturers of barefoot footwear for kids in the world.

At first, Froddo offered soft, barefoot shoes only for pre-walkers. The barefoot shoe range was quickly extended to barefoot toddler shoes, which were joined in 2021 by barefoot models for bigger children and adults up to size 40. Today, their barefoot shoes are available in many stores worldwide.

I bought my first pair of Froddo barefoot shoes as soon as they were available. This winter I received three pairs of shoes from Froddo to test, which I have included in the review with the other models we have tested in the past or we are testing now.

Disclaimer: I received three pairs of shoes as a gift for a review, the rest I bought myself. All opinions expressed here are my own, I am not affiliated with Froddo and I do not receive any compensation if you decide to buy them.

I’m PedTerra (US retailer) affiliate and I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase on Pedterra website through the links on my website and with using my discount code at no additional cost to you. 

1. General

  • Brand: Froddo
  • Material: leather or canvas (depending on model)
  • Sizes: 17-42
  • Price: for most models the price ranges between approx. 50€ and 65€
  • Tested on: kids

In addition to ‘barefoot’ models, Froddo also offers classic shoe models that do not have barefoot characteristics. Some shops also sell these models, so make sure you choose the right model when you buy. On the official Froddo website, all their barefoot models are labelled as ‘barefoot’.

| Made in EU | Children’s, smaller adult sizes | Leather, canvas | Available in various stores worldwide |

2. Material characteristics

2.1 Upper

Froddo barefoot shoes are available in a wide range of colours and designs to cover children’s needs all year round – winter boots, autumn ankle boots, sneakers, ballerinas and summer sandals.

My children have so far tested their leather models for autumn, winter and spring. We have not yet tested the summer canvas models and sandals.

The upper is made of smooth leather, suede leather combined with textile or canvas in summer models.

They have a velcro closure or shoelaces (depending on the model).

The leather is soft and of high quality and is easy to clean and maintain. The smooth leather in winter models is made from a special Terracare® leather that is water-repellent, breathable, antibacterial, environmentally friendly and sustainably produced.

For the Autumn/Winter 2021/2022 collection, we noticed faster wear on the pink leather, while the other models and colours performed great.

2.2 Lining

The inside of the shoes varies depending on the model and can be lined with chrome-free leather, textile or wool. Wool in winter models is soft, but it becomes flatter with use. It may also bother more sensitive kids at the beginning. In our case, this bothered only one out of four children, even though they all wore shoes with the same lining.

Insoles are removable only in some models.

Some winter models also have a waterproof membrane built in. The membrane can withstand a 2-hour stay on wet snow, but the boots should always be dried well after such use, as moisture will get inside the boot over time.

2.3 Sole

The rubber sole is thin but more compact, so the ground feel is less intense than with softer soles. The sole is less flexible at the start, softens with wear, but is not among the softest barefoot soles. The sole is curved upwards at the front edge for greater protection of the shoe.

The tread is not deep, making the shoe suitable for urban environments.

3. Sizing information

3.1 Length

Froddo barefoot models are available in sizes 17-42, but only pre-walkers models are available in sizes up to 20. Standard barefoot models start at size 20, but only some models are available in smaller sizes.

The internal length of a shoe varies depending on the model you choose, so I advise you to always check the internal lengths of a particular model with different barefoot shoe retailers who take their own measurements. All online shops can be found here.

For my children, I always choose shoes 15-17 mm longer than their foot to allow room for growth and to cover the non-ideal match between the shape of their foot and the shape of the Froddo shoes.

See my post How much space do we need in shoes if you want to know more about that.

3.2. Toebox shape & width

Froddo models are best suited for medium wide feet. The smaller sizes also fit medium-wide feet well, while the larger sizes are narrower and are best suited for narrower and medium wide feet.

The toebox shape of the Froddo shoe has a stronger slope towards the little toes, which becomes even more pronounced in larger sizes. It is best suited to foot types 1 and 2, but feet with a squarer foot shape may have difficulty getting enough room in front of the smaller toes. For my kids, who do not have such a steep slope, I always prefer to choose a little more space in the Froddo shoe to give enough room for smaller toes.

More about different foot types you can read in my post What is my Foot Type?

The space above the toes varies depending on the model. Leather, wool-lined models appear shallower with less room above the toes, so are suitable for less voluminous feet. Leather-lined models have more space, and winter models made of a combination of suede and textile also have more space above the toes.

3.3. Fit around the instep, heel and ankle

Froddo ankle boots and winter models are best suited for lower instep and narrower ankles. Velcros are shorter and can already look shorter at normal height of the instep. My kids all have narrower ankles and lower or lower to normal height instep, so the Froddo models suit them extremely well in this place.

My niece wearing the pink model in the picture does not have a high-volume feet, but she has a normal high instep and slightly wider calves, so you can already see the shorter velcro.

Low-cut models are wider around the ankles and fit better to average wide ankles too.

5. Froddo and winter time

We’ve tested the Froddo winter models a lot this winter – in snow, mud and water. The winter models are lined with wool, which flattens with wear but still provides enough insulation for winter in our climate, where temperatures are around 0°C most of the time. My kids never get cold in them, but they are not suitable for temperatures well below zero.

They also work well in the snow, but need to be dried well after each use (a few hours after use, the inside of the shoe becomes damp). Due to the low profile on the sole, the shoes are not suitable for more demanding terrain.

On days when we don’t have snow, we have a lot of mud. Above all, it is important to me that Froddo are easy to clean and still in good shape after such intensive use.

6. Price & where to buy

On the Froddo official site, it is not possible to buy their shoes, but it is full of useful information on materials, range of sizes and colours. You can buy their shoes from a wide variety of online shops (including those that do not specialise exclusively in barefoot footwear). When buying, be careful to choose their barefoot model (check the official website if you are not sure if the model is barefoot or not).

My readers from US/Canada can buy them at PedTerra (10% off on your first order at PedTerra with BOSENOGICE – affiliate code&link).

Shops selling barefoot shoes can be found on my list here. Froddo shop list can be found here.

7. To sum up

Froddo are one of the best quality barefoot shoes for kids on the market. They offer excellent value for money and are easy to maintain, clean and put on. The large range of sizes and models will cover the needs of many children. This is definitely a brand that has got off to a more than excellent start in barefoot footwear.

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