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.


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, you 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 VBANYA10) | 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.


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 VBANYA10 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!


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.

Use code ANYASREVIEWS10 for 10% off directly from Peerko!

4. Mukishoes Igneous

Mukishoes Igneous | $142 (after code ANYAMUKI) | 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.


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 ANYAMUKI 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.


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.

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!


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!


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. It’s important to note that Be Lenka only accepts returns from within the EU and USA.

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.


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!


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 ANYAREVIEWS10 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) – Select styles available at Anya’s Shop!

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.

No(N)s (Europe) – Read my No(N)s Review here

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


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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50 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

      1. Hi, super article !
        What are the shoes left to you in the last picture ? With the light leather under.
        Thank you

  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?

  6. Great post, i was wondering if you know off any zero drop boots with a protective toe cap that i could use instead of a work boot? Also do you know of any zero drop combat tactical/military boots

  7. Hi Anya,
    I love your blog! Discovering minimalist shoes completely changed my relationship to shoes. I have a question for you:
    I desperately want a pair of minimalist combat boots. I have the Lems boulder boot and I have loved that it does have a thicker sole, but I’m looking for a something a bit less boxy. Which of these boots would come in second on the sole thickness do you think?

    Thanks for doing this for all of us 🙂

    1. The Feelgrounds Patrol would be the next thickest option, I believe it is over 10mm, but not quite as thick as the Boulders. Another option is to add a barefoot insole to whatever you choose, like from NorthSole. Just keep in mind that the insoles take up space so you might need to size up for them to fit (especially if you get the 6mm northsole insole). Because I have low volume feet I can comfortable use the 3mm insoles from NorthSole in most of my shoes.

  8. I came here thinking this was an article for actual combat boots, like coyote tan Army-approved boots. lol Turned out to be fashion “combat” boots… I’ll keep trying. Good article though! Keep up the good footwork!

    1. Jacob T,
      I’m active duty Army. I have a pair of Men’s Belleville TR105 Mini-Mil Boots. They are AR 670-1 compliant. I quite like these boots. They are 2mm drop, rather than 0mm drop. But they are worth a try if you’re still looking for something.

  9. Anya, thank you SO MUCH! Because of you I discovered so much about shoe brands I had no idea existed before. You help people all over the world and your help is very much appreciated. Wish you all the best!

    1. One that comes to mind is the Mukishoes Igneous. This year it will be released in kids sizes which bridges the gap up to the smallest adult size. They told me their fall launch date is Sept. 7th.

        1. What a shame they don’t seem to have Mukishoes Igneous in children’s sizes after all. The hunt continues. It seems to be a real gap in the barefoot friendly market. There is no problem in finding heavy, rigid combat boots for children.

          1. They’re having a second round of fall releases in October, they must be coming in then! At least I hope so. They’ll told me it was happening this fall, and they’re usually pretty precise.

  10. Hi Anya, I am buying my first pair of winter barefoot boots, and I am looking at vivo scott, perko go/frost, muki igneous or belenka winter. I have a 27.9 cm long foot, 10.8cm wide with medium instep and sloped toes (more round at first two fingers then going more sloped to pinky) can you tell me which would suit my feet best? I am really in dillema because I don’t want to spend a fortune on postage sending the shoes back, and waiting for refund to buy another shoe. I am really hoping they will become more available in shops some day. Thanks

    1. I think Peerko Go or Frost and Be Lenka Winter are most likely to fit your width. Just keep in mind that the lining of the Winter and Frost will take up a little more space than the Go (which only has a thin lining).

  11. Hi, which size of Peerko Go do you suggest?
    I use Be Lenka Belissima 41 (27cm) and Vivobarefoot Opanka laces 40.
    Thank you!

    1. I personally have a 37 in Belissima, Opanka, and Peerko Go. If you are like the Belissima in a 41 my guess is that a 41 in Go would also be good.

      1. Thank you! To be honest, the Belissima 41 are quite big for me, but the Belissima 40 are too small, so I use the 41 ones. I will try Go 41 when they will be available, but I am not sure that this is the best option.
        Another possibility would be to try Vivobarefoot Gobi Hi 41?

        1. Sounds like you’re in between sizes. The 41 is still the safer bet in the Go, you can wear socks with them to fill in the space. Vivobarefoot Gobi Hi does fit smaller than the Go, so if you have a narrower foot than the Gobi Hi might be a better option in 41.

  12. Military folks: For anyone looking for a mil-spec compliant boot, the only barefoot one available that I know of is the Belleville Tactical Research Mini-Mil boot. Comes in Coyotoe Brown or black. Never worn, myself, but have read it can cause some heel hotspots, so be sure to test them thoroughly and retain packaging for returns. Aside from those, Danner boots are pretty good for a conventional shoe shape. Little more roomy than normal in toes. Had a pair of the Danner Tachyon when I was in. Rocky boots are also better than the worst (but still too narrow in the toes). Hopefully the military gets with it and starts demanding a foot-shaped boot for personnel in future.

  13. Hi Anya!
    Thank you for the “combat boot” review. As someone who grew up wearing them but is trying to be better to their feet and ankles now but still loves boots this article was very helpful!
    Two questions: would it be possible to add sole thickness info to the article? And boot height?
    Is your shop going to restock any of these items or is it more of seasonal only? I’m hoping to maybe grab a pair on sale to help with the currency conversion.

    Please don’t stop your awesome work!

    1. Thanks for the feedback, I’ll make a note to add sole thickness when we update this article next. As far as restocks, it depends on the brand. However being the end of December, most of our boots won’t be restocked until next fall

  14. Do you know of a lace up barefoot boot that has more of a mid-calf height? A height of 9.25 in / 23.5 cm? I’m looking to replace a favorite pair of boots with a barefoot version. I’ve looked at so many brands but it seems that they’re all shorter than that, or really tall. The Drifter leather Deco is the right height, but Drifter.. can’t just order quickly. Also the Xero Mika boots seems about the right height, but I’m looking for more of a simple leather boot. The Ahinsa Jaya seems close, although I’m looking for leather. It doesn’t seem to exist in the barefoot world. The Wildling Inkcap is close too, but a tad short, and not leather. Any ideas? Thank you!

    1. Samantha helped me think of a couple other options. Non(n)s has one made of leather, but they don’t seem to have many sizes in stock (maybe email and ask? They do made to order shoes). Also Koel Faro is a taller cut and lined with wool.

  15. Do you like the Ahinsa Jaya or Peerko Go better for low volume but wide feet? Is the Peerko shorter than the Ahinsa? The Peerko looks more attractive, but it‘s nice that the Ahinsa one is waterproof.
    How well does the Peerko hold up in rain if you treat them before wearing?

    1. For me the Peerko Go is the clear winner. I haven’t worn them in a lot of rain, but they are easily waterproofed. They look amazing and fit wide feet well. But the Ahinsa Jaya does have a little wider toe box. Both work about the same for low volume, but the Peerko boots might be a little better.

      1. Thank you! That’s really good to know. It also looks like Ahinsa increased the price of the Jaya, it’s now $202 !! Which seems like a lot compared to Peerko.

  16. Thank you so much for your reviews of all these shoes, it’s really helpful! One thing that is missing that I always look for though, is whether the shoe is resoleable, which many of these don’t appear to be. I burn through shoe soles, so paying what many of these companies are asking, only to have to throw the shoes away when they wear out, is not an option. Plus, I feel like they really get broken in well around the time I need to resole, so it’s a double-sad to have to get rid of an otherwise functional shoe over what should be an easy fix.

    1. Hi Jason! Thanks for the feedback. I usually only mention it if the shoe is resolable – if it isn’t I don’t often point that out. It is a wonderful feature for sustainability and getting more use out of your shoes. You might want to check out the Aintap FeelBarefoot combat boot style, they have the look and are resolable! I will try to make it more easily searchable on the website too – we can add a “resolable” tag to articles.

  17. Anya,
    I love your blog you are so thorough.
    I’m looking for a men’s black combat style boot with zero drop and a truly thin sole like a Vivobarefoot Gobi desert boot. Preferably taller than the Gobi. I like the look of the Patrol lite Feelgrounds but the sole is too thick. What would you suggest ?
    Keep up the great work,

    1. Hi Douglas! Mukishoes is unisex and taller than the Gobi. Really thin sole with excellent ground feel. NoNs also has combat style boots, and offer some customizations (they have different sole options). Groundies would be another option with a thin flexible sole, and Peerko also would be an excellent choice.

  18. Thank you so much for these suggestions! After years of pain in my feet, I was just officially diagnosed with a wonderful trifecta; plantar fasciitis, morton’s neuroma and bunions. My PT strongly suggested barefoot shoes with a wide toe box as something to strongly consider. I had only seen trainer style options, and this morning as I cleaned up all my Dr. Martens to donate, was feeling quite despondent. Docs combat boots have been my vibe since the 90’s! I’m so glad I did a search for “barefoot combat boots” and found you! I’m feeling much more hopeful. Many thanks!

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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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