Barefoot Combat Boots – The 9 Best Zero Drop Lace-Up Boots

*Disclosure – Anya’s Reviews is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.

Do you want that perfect Camden town grunge look? But without sacrificing your alignment or toe space? Doc Martens have a quintessential style, but they’re not great if you want strong functional feet the rest of your life. Check out my selection below of barefoot-approved combat boots that have all the grungy style and none of the foot deforming features.

Welcome to Episode 5 of Wear This, Not That!

Why Doc Martens Aren’t Good For Your Feet

barefoot combat boots - A top down view of a woman's foot standing between one Ahinsa barefoot boot and one Doc Marten Boots. There are green and red lines showing the toe box shapes of both. Ahinsa is foot shaped, and Doc marten tapers to squish the toe.
The image speaks for itself!

Doc Martens have two things going for them: a classic look, and a super durable outsole. But everything else about them can wreak havoc on your body over time. A chunky heel, tapered toe, and rigid sole essentially make these more of a straight jacket than a shoe.

By contrast, natural footwear is completely flat (the way feet are supposed to be on the ground!), have an anatomically shaped toe box, and a flexible sole that moves with your foot. Wherever possible, I highly recommend getting your feet in shoes that fit this criteria. Tending to the health of your feet today can keep you mobile and strong for decades to come.

If you want to learn more about barefoot shoes, read this post!

But here at Anya’s Reviews we know that caring about your foot health doesn’t mean losing your sense of style. It may not be what you see when you go shoe shopping, but there is an entire market of natural footwear that can keep your feet happy without making you stick out like a sore thumb.

A side by side of the same woman in the same outfit. In the left photo she is wearing zero drop flexible Ahinsa jaya boots. In the right she is wearing stiff heeled Doc Martens
No Heels, No Problem!

Now let’s check out some barefoot combat boot alternatives that meet all the criteria of healthy footwear, but don’t compromise on style.

My Favorite Barefoot Combat Boots

I love a combat boot look! Every option on this list makes my little fashionista heart go pitter patter, but is still zero drop and wide in the toe box. In no particular order, check out this list of barefoot combat boots in a range of prices, fit types, and even vegan options! All images are of black boots, but they come in other colors as well. Click through each boot to see more options!

We talk about foot type here to help you find the shoes that will fit the best. Read this post for more context.

1. Ahinsa Jaya

Ahinsa Jaya | $164 | Vegan | Waterproof | Sizes EU 37-46

First up is the Ahinsa Jaya, a vegan boot with an ultra wide toe box. This option is super flexible, fits a wide range of foot types (check that non-sloping toe box), and can accommodate high volume feet. It is the lightest and softest of the bunch as well, and boasts water resistance.

Sizing

I am wearing my usual size 37 and have space for socks and an insole (medium or high volume feet won’t need to tighten the laces as much as I do, but should still fit). They have a Plateau shaped toe box (great for those with long 2nd and 3rd toes).

You can order these babies directly from Ahinsa with code ANYASREVIEWS for 10% off, but be aware that they don’t accept returns unless the shoes are defective. For your convenience, US customers can now order the black Ahinsa Jaya through Anya’s Shop! Orders placed through our shop will be eligible for US returns.

Same shoe, different foot!

Check out the Ahinsa Jaya on two different foot types. On the left (below) is my low volume foot with a wide toe spread. On the right, is Samantha (our researcher here at Anya’s Reviews) with an EXTRA wide and high volume foot. Notice that the laces are cinched much tighter over my low volume foot, but Ahinsa fits both our foot types well.


2. Vivobarefoot Gobi Hi & Scott

Vivobarefoot Gobi & Scott | $190 (after code ANYAVB) | Leather & Vegan Option | Water Resistant | Sizes US 5W – 15M

The Vivobarefoot Gobi Hi (women’s) and Scott (men’s) is a seasonal boot that comes back every fall and winter. It’s lined for a little extra warmth and has a grippy outsole for some decent traction. Mine double as a light hiking boot, they’re pretty durable and break in more and more over time. They have a simple, classic aesthetic to them. If you’re wearing them in the cold, be warned that the insole that comes with it is NOT warm. Check out this post for tips to improve that.

Sizing

For women, the Gobi Hi runs narrow and low volume. If you have wide feet I recommend sizing up. I have a pair in both a 37 (my usual size) & 38. The 38’s fit me much better! The men’s Scott is true to size and fits a medium to high volume. Both cater to an sloped foot, with the big toe longest.

Use code ANYAVB for 10% off any Vivobarefoot purchase, and check out my full review of the Gobi Hi here and the Scott boot here.

*These boots are available seasonally*


3. Peerko Go & Empire

Peerko | $215-$270 | Leather | Sizes EU 37 – 45

Peerko Barefoot is a relatively new brand on the barefoot shoe scene, but they stole the show this season with a sexy combat boot in two heights. Both feature a side zip for easy on and off and a very edgy style. They’ve been extremely popular, and it’s not hard to see why. They’re absolutely beautiful and yet still have a wide foot-friendly shape. We of course had to sell them at Anya’s Shop this season!

Sizing

Peerko’s unlined boots and shoes run true to size and have a generous width. They are good for all foot shapes except Square, and fit low to high volume thanks to fully adjustable laces. The tall Empire boot fits snugly around the calves, so wide calves might need something like a Boot Band. The Frost is a wool lined version that looks just like the Go, but is better for cold weather.


4. Mukishoes Igneous

Mukishoes Igneous | $142 (after code ANYASREVIEWS) | Leather | Wool Lined | Sizes EU 36-44

*This is a winter model from Mukishoes that is only available seasonally in the fall/winter*

Mukishoes is one of my all time favorite brands because their shoes are soooo flexible, gorgeous, AND they have extremely high ethical standards. The Igneous is a nubuck leather boot lined with felted wool. The zipper on the side makes these easy on and off, and they are superbly flexible. I recommend protecting them with suede spray, since they’re more prone to damage than finished leather.

Sizing

Mukishoes is an average width brand, I sized up to a 38 so I could fit a wool insole and warm socks (cuz it’s winter yo). I wear a 37 in their sneakers, but wear them barefoot or with thin socks. They fit high volume (I always use an insole in my Mukis), and have a Mountain shape to them.

Use code ANYASREVIEWS for 10% off any Mukishoes purchase (except sale items). You can read my full review of the Mukishoes brand here.


5. Groundies Barefootwear

Groundies | $150 | Leather | Sizes EU 36-47

Groundies Barefootwear is always keeping it fresh with trendy styles that are barefoot friendly; they’re a brand I keep coming back to. I have several Groundies boot styles from previous seasons, but this year they have some new ones. The Manchester, Union, and Liverpool are all stylish lace up barefoot boots that look just like popular mainstream styles.

Sizing

I wear my usual size 37 in every Groundies shoe I have tried. They have a Mountain shape to them and are medium width; a little bit wider than Vivobarefoot. The regular Berlin fits a low to medium volume foot, and the Berlin GS1 (with a different outsole) fits a higher volume foot.

You can also often find styles on Groundies Amazon!


6. Feelgrounds Patrol

Feelgrounds Patrol | $169 | Vegan | Waterproof | Fleece Lined | Sizes EU 35-49

Feelgrounds Patrol boots are vegan, waterproof, fleece lined, and slip resistant. They recently relaunched them with a softer upper, which is great because the first version was way too stiff for me. They look super stylish while being practical. You could even use these as a hiking boot!

Sizing

Feelgrounds Patrol boots run true to size. I have a size 37 in them, like all my other Feelgrounds shoes, but I could take a 38 for thick socks. They fit nice and wide.


7. Be Lenka Winter

Be Lenka Barefoot | $200 | Leather | Sizes EU 35-47

Be Lenka Barefoot makes several stylish lace up boots in a range of colors, all of which are ultra comfortable and high quality. I end up wearing my Be Lenka boots often in the winter because they are warm and comfy, and they don’t aggravate my heel spur. They’re the most stylish barefoot boot brand for extra wide feet!

Sizing

Be Lenka boots generally run true to size, but the models that are lined with will fit snugly and most people size up one. This year Be Lenka has two different sole shapes available – some models are made with their original bean-shaped sole and others have a more square shape. Check the product listing and size charts to understand what you’re ordering. All models are great for wide feet.


8. Lems Boulder Boot

Lems Boulder | $125-$165 | Leather & Vegan Options | Waterproof Option | Sizes US 5W – 15M

The Lems Boulder Boot is super popular in natural footwear circles because it has a timeless look to it, and a wide toe box. They have a thicker sole than any other shoe I review here, but it’s still zero drop and flexible (not as flexible as the others). Lems shoes do have a slight toe spring that I wish they would ditch, but otherwise I like wearing my Lems boots when it’s cold or rainy and I want a little more distance between me and the ground.

Sizing

All of Lems shoes size a little bit differently, so it’s best to refer to their Size Guide for each model. In my waterproof Boulder Boots I sized up to a 7.5 from my usual size 7 and they fit well with plenty of space. In my vegan Boulders I am wearing my usual size 7, and still have plenty of space. They are great for Plateau shapes and high volume feet.


9. Magical Shoes Alaskan

Magical Shoes | $175 | Leather | Wool Lined | Sizes EU 36 – 43

Magical Shoes Alaskan boots are soft, cozy and flexible. I wear them often for quick errands because they’re so light and comfy. I love the new Buffalo brown line!

Sizing

Magical Shoes close toed sneakers and boots run small and I always wear a size up in them. If you size up they have a decently wide toe box and work for many foot shapes.

Available At:

Use code ANYA for 10% off! You can also find select colors at PedTerra, where ANYASREVIEWS gets you 10% off your first purchase.


A Few More Barefoot Combat Boots

Want to see even more options? I’ve compiled a full list of barefoot boot options organized by style! Click on the link below and head to the Lace Up Boots Section.

In the meantime, here are a few other stylish options I like.

Angles Fashion Zeus (Europe) – Angles is one of my fave boot brands with an extra wide shape. Read more about them in my 10 Best Barefoot Boots post! Use code ANYA for 5% off!


Wildling Panther (US & Europe) – Another personal favorite brand of mine. Their options change seasonally, so this isn’t available year round.


Zaqq Quintic Vegan Barefoot Winter Boot

Zaqq Barefoot (Europe) – We’re going to be carrying these at Anya’s Shop fall 2021!


Sole Runner Hati (Europe) – This boot has an extra wide fit!


A close up side view of a pair of Zlatush combat boots sitting on a log pile. They are zero drop, lace up, with a wide toe box

Zlatush (Europe)


A stock image of a pair of No(N)s tall black leather lace up barefoot combat style boots.

Nons (Europe)


A close up front view of a pair of bespoke custom barefoot leather boots by Gaucho Ninja

Gaucho Ninja (UK) Use code ANYASREVIEWS for 10% off

Conclusion

And that’s it peeps! Plenty of grungy combat boots for you with none of the foot deforming features of Doc Martens. If you’re interested in seeing more healthy footwear options that don’t make your eyes hurt, make sure you check out my Fashion, But Make it Barefoot series!

*If you’re looking for true combat boots for the military, check out the Belleville Mini Mil*

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Comments

12 thoughts on “Barefoot Combat Boots – The 9 Best Zero Drop Lace-Up Boots”

  1. Hi! After reading your reviews now I want alllllll the shoes 😉 However, I think I will go for combat first. Would you rather pick Groundies Berlin or Peerko Go? Also, which ones are higher?

    1. I haven’t tried either of those styles myself, but having tried other shoes from both those brands I would say Groundies Berlin with the original sole (note the GS1). It is sooo flexible and comfortable. Peerko is a little bit wider in the toe box though.

  2. Hi. In the last photo with you wearing a pair standing in a row of boots which ones are you wearing?

    W/a Smile, Tiana

  3. Hi there Anya,
    I just bought a pair of Gobi Hi Top IV (thanks to your code!) and have been wearing for 2 days now.
    Two questions: they are really creaky, would not feel comfortable wearing them in quiet spaces, do you know if this stops completely and how long it takes?
    Also, I thought they would be lined with beige faux fur, but they are lined with dark synthetic material. I purchased on their website but am wondering whether they are original… Any thoughts? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hey! The Gobi Hi IV doesn’t have the faux fur that last year’s did – I just pulled out my pair of the most current model (the IV) and they are also lined with a plush material that’s neither fur nor fleece. So I think you just got the current model that was just released this fall. Mine are also super creaky! I recommend putting a little leather oil or conditioner on the tongue (it’s the leather on leather that makes the noise).

  4. Hi Anya
    Thanks for the update.
    I’m debating getting the MukiShoes Igneous or a pair of Zaqq Quintic. I have shallow volume feet, that aren’t particularly wide, fine bone structure. I feel my feet are quiet similar to yours when I look at your photos. Which would you recommend?

    1. I think both would be great. The Zaqq Quintic fits me really well with no fuss. The Mukishoes Igneous I sized up in for width and that plus the fact that Mukishoes tend to be higher volume in general makes them fairly roomy. I got them with the wool insole and I need to wear that plus tie the laces fairly tight. Those two things makes them fit great. If your feet are proportionally narrower than mine, then the Igneous in your normal size I think would fit well too.

  5. Hi Anya
    In the picture of you wearing boots all in a row, what are the boots to the right of you? Actually what are all the boots in that picture?
    Thanks
    Lauren

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Hi. I'm Anya.

Hi. I'm Anya.

I first discovered barefoot shoes after a long history of foot issues. By changing my footwear and strengthening my body I was able to completely transform my life. Anya’s Reviews is my way of sharing with the world that healthy feet are happy feet!

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