Bohempia Review – Time To Throw Away Your Converse & Vans!

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a semicircle of bohempia barefoot sneakers in different colors and styles surrounding a pair of feet - one foot is bare and the other is wearing a Bohempia sneaker in grey to show that it has a natural foot shape. Above is the text "Bohempia Sneaker Review, Anya's Reviews"

Bohempia barefoot shoes are the perfect replacement for stylish but narrow sneakers. You can look just as cool but without the squished toes! In this article I test and review all Bohempia barefoot sneaker models, so read on for the full scoop.

Use code ANYASREVIEWS for 10% off your Bohempia purchase.

Getting to Know Bohempia

A pair of legs standing in Bohempia sneakers with 2 pairs of unworn Bohempia sneakers one each side. They all feature a wide toe box and converse and vans look.

$110-$140 | 100% vegan | Sizes EU 36-48 | Ships from EU, AU, US, or JP

Bohempia is a Czech brand that makes unisex vegan shoes and accessories from hemp. They’ve built their brand on sustainability – hemp is a renewable resource that is naturally strong, breathable, and antimicrobial. So the shoes are not harmful to the environment, or to your body!

But there’s something else about Bohempia that has made them one of my favorite brands. They carry some of the coolest looking barefoot sneakers that perfectly replace cult classics like Converse, Vans, and Keds! I have long been searching for barefoot alternatives to those brand names and Bohempia does it like no other. I bought my first pair of Bohempia shoes 3 1/2 years ago, and the brand has only gotten better since then.

Bohempia Compared to Popular Sneaker Brands

Toe to Toe photo collage comparing Bohempia barefoot hemp sneakers with Converse pointy toe. Arrows pointing to the converse shoe say "Bunion Shaped". The arrow pointing to the Bohempia sneakers say "Foot Shaped"

Here are the main reasons I choose Bohempia barefoot shoes over other sneaker brands.

Bohempia is:

  • Foot shaped, allowing your toes to spread out naturally instead of being pinched together
  • Totally flat – yes, even Vans and Converse are not actually zero drop. They have some cushioning under the heel in the insole, which can be detrimental to your alignment.
  • Thin & Flexible – the thick padding on other sneakers prevents your foot from sensing the ground and moving with its environment. While Bohempia shoes are not paper thin, the sole is much thinner than it looks and they allow for a more natural experience when walking and standing.

While Bohempia shoes are not paper thin, the sole is much thinner than it looks and they allow for a more natural experience when walking and standing.

Check out this article for more info on the benefits of barefoot shoes.

A close up of a hand holding a rolled up Bohempia barefoot sneaker to show its flexibility

Ordering Bohempia Shoes

Bohempia.eu is the main hub for all Bohempia styles that can be shipped worldwide. There you can use code ANYASREVIEWS for 10% off at any time. Returns are accepted on unworn shoes within 14 days, at buyers’ expense.

But there are a few other places you can order from around the world, which might be more convenient for you:

A woman sitting on her front steps in a black dress and jean jacket. She has her arms on her knees and she is smiling at the camera because her feet are happy in her Bohempia Herlik 2.0 hemp barefoot converse dupe sneakers

Sizing & Fit Type

Another one of the most appealing things about Bohempia is that they offer two widths. That means that even people with extra wide feet can get in on the fun. Both widths are:

  • True to size for length
  • Medium to high volume (They fit extra high volume if you take out the removable insole)
  • Straight/Fan hybrid
  • Plateau toe box shape

Don’t know what any of that means? Read this article on foot shape, volume, and how to measure your feet to pick a size.

Regular Vs Wide

a close up of the outsoles of bohempia regular versus wide width

Regular Bohempia barefoot shoes fit an average to wide foot. I comfortably wear Regular width in my usual size 37 even with my wide forefoot. Wide Bohempia shoes are perfect for extra wide feet or for lots of splay room to wear toe spacers.

Same Shoe, Different Foot

On the left you can see me wearing Bohempia regular width. I have a wide fan-shaped foot with a low arch and skinny ankles. On the right is Samantha wearing Bohempia in Wide width. Samantha has an extra wide, high volume foot.

Bohempia Sneakers Review

a collage of a woman with brown hair wearing 5 different outfits and 5 different styles of Bohempia barefoot sneakers

All Bohempia barefoot shoes come with a removable insole and are 3.5mm thick without it and 6mm thick with it. Despite being thin, the rubber has yet to show any signs of wear for me. I’ve even heard from several readers who skateboard in Bohempia with good sucess!

They are also all made from the same type of hemp upper that is sturdy but not super soft when brand new. I have never had any trouble with it rubbing or giving me blisters, but it’s not a plush fabric. The outsoles are made of natural rubber that is slip resistant and has worn well for me.

You can find some fall/winter shoes with a microfiber lining from Bohempia too, but I personally am only drawn to the sneakers. However if you want to wear your hemp vegan barefoot shoes into the cold season they are a good option!

Now let’s dig into specifics for each sneaker model from Bohempia.


Velik – Slip On

My personal favorite is the Velik – a Vans slip-on alternative. They are just perfect, down to the outsole details and padded collar. I have a fan shaped foot that is wide at the toes and narrow at the heels, so they feel loose around my ankle, but I solved that by putting a tongue pad in the upper (it keeps my foot down).

Because I have low volume feet I wear mine with the insole that comes with, but they are still comfortable without it if you need more space. Of all my Bohempia shoes, I wear these the most. They style just like my old Vans but feel a million times more comfortable. J’adore.

Bohempia also sells the Vikla, which is the same sneaker but in different color combos and a smooth rubber outsole (no black strip or texture toe guard)


Herlik – Low Top

The Herlik is the ultimate Converse dupe, because Converse are very squishy on the toes! After the slip-ons reviewed above, I like Herlik the most of all Bohempia sneakers. The textured outsole and brass eyelets add just the right amount of pizazz, Bohempia really nailed it with the details.

The fit type is similar to the Velik, but because they have laces I can cinch them over my foot and don’t need to make any modifications. One other big difference between the two is that this model does not have padding around the ankle. I found that the heel area cut into my skin and I needed to add a heel grip for comfort.


Orik – High Top

The Orik is reminiscent of a high top Converse or the like. The high volume in these is a little more apparent than in the low cut shoes, and they bag around my skinny ankles a little bit if I’m wearing them without socks. I think they look better on me when I’m wearing them with socks. Otherwise they’re excellent! No break in time and no discomfort wearing them.


Kolda – Low Top

The Kolda is the first pair of Bohempia shoes I bought over 3 years ago because I wanted a Keds alternative. They are a simple sneaker that can be paired with a dress, skirt, or pretty blouse as well as jeans, sweats, cutoffs, you name it. They do exactly what I hoped they would – finish my outfit with a bit of neutral style while still leaving my toes free.


Hoska – Low Top

a close up side view of a pair of feet wearing jeans and black Bohempia Hoska barefoot sneakers standing on concrete

The Hoska is like the Kolda but has more lace eyelets for a sportier look. They are a good classic Vans replacement, which my husband used to wear and bust through regularly (his toes just wanted to be freeeeee). Simple, and they get the job done. 10/10 recommend if you want a better Vans alternative.


Conclusion

Bohempia is the place to look if you want a barefoot shoe that looks like a classic sneaker. You get to look good, feel good, and have a clean conscious thanks to their sustainable materials and ethical manufacturing.

You can explore more options in my 15 Stylish Barefoot Sneakers article!

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Comments

32 thoughts on “Bohempia Review – Time To Throw Away Your Converse & Vans!”

  1. Thanks for the review on Bohempia Anya! How are those compared to Feelgrounds? As those are also doing some Vans/Converse substitutes…

    1. Good question! I love Feelgrounds as well. The soles on Feelgrounds are not as long lasting or grippy, but they are softer and more flexible. The uppers on Feelgrounds I find slightly less comfortable on my skin than Bohempia, but they are very light (they also don’t keep any water out, so if there’s a drizzle or the ground is wet I will choose Bohempia). What else… The toe box shape of Feelgrounds is a little bit wider than Bohempia Regular, but narrow than Bohempia Wide.

      1. Thanks very much for the answer Anya!! I’m really struggling between both but I’m truly convinced that I want to start now my transition to barefoot shoes and get some cool Wildling as my first choice!
        I walk barefoot most of the day working from home so I expect the transition not to be that long and painful (if at all).
        Still a tough decision between Feelgrounds and Bohempia though and thinking about the long lasting item you shared… although I was reading earlier today that those big old sneakers I used to buy are only in their most adequate status for around 200 kms… 😀

        1. I went with a pair of the bohempia high top and love them. I looked at the Feelgrounds previously but wasn’t sold on them. So glad I went with the Bohempia!! It’s my go to pair of shoes.

    1. Looks like you ended up on the USA site, that is a Bohempia franchise that is closing. The links in this article all take you to the right places! Bohempia.eu is the main site, and then for the US we carry them at anyas-shop.com

    1. Yes, we have some coming as soon as next week and the rest by the end of the month. So within a few weeks everything should be restocked.

  2. Have you tried Groundies True star and can compare them to Orik? I have true star but feel they are too narrow and thinking of the Orik instead. But I´m afraid the wide one will be too wide instead 😛 The regular one says it´s the same width as groundies, but I have other shoes with same width that I don´t feel squish my toes as the groundies do so thinking Orik maaaybe could work 🙂

    1. The Orik in regular width is pretty comparable in actual width to the True Star, but the way the True Star sole is it feels restrictive on the sides and front of your toes. In my own shoe size I find the sole on True Star a little too narrow for me, but wear Bohempia in regular. So basically, you have a good chance of fitting into regular width in the Orik.

  3. Can I wear correct toes with the regular width Herlik or do you need the wide width? I wear a size medium correct toes.

    1. It really depends on the person, but I would say you are most likely to have success in the wide width. If you have narrower feet to begin with then the regular could work.

    1. Actually the reason I reviewed these shoes is because they have an anatomical toe box shape, though I do appreciate that they’re sustainably made. Maybe donate your Converse and Vans instead of throw them away 🙂

  4. I want to try wider width version because I wear toe spacers. The width is widers only around the forefoot or the whole foot including heel? I have a narrow heel.

  5. Hello!
    I love my Bohempia Herliks! I have the wide version and with thick socks my little toe is so comfortable and has room to wiggle!!
    Can you do a review or brush up on the difference bewteen Herlik original and Herlik 2.0? Thanks!!

    1. Hmm, I see that the Herlik now says 2.0, but I think it’s not any different. I’m pretty sure there’s only ever been one Herlik. I’ll check in with them to see.

  6. Would Anya’s Shop be offering the burgundy w/gumsole version of the Velik 2.0?

    I was looking to order that one because I like colors lighter than black for my athletic shoes (plus, I really dig the gumsole).

    Your shop is sold out of my size 41Wide anyway, for both the Velik 2.0 and Kolda 2.0.

    I’m in the US.

    Paypal’s eu:usd conversion rate is really bad.

      1. Alright, thanks, Anya. I’m looking forward to your re-stock of the grey Kolda in 40wide and 41wide (still not sure which size will be best for me, but, the Wide is a definite. I’ve been relying on minimalist footwear since 2009).

  7. Magdalena Ciolek

    Hi, how do you manage the slightly too wide at the ankle Kolda – Low Top? I have just purchased them and not sure if I should go size down (which would be exactly the length of my bigger foot) to have fit a bit better? (Ive got narrow feet but need space at mid and front section due to arthritis in one foot). Atm they feel a bit loose. Thanks!

    1. I used a tongue pad in the upper of my Kolda’s which prevents my foot from slipping around, but there is still some space around the sides. However, it’s just an aesthetic thing now because my foot is secure and the shoe feels good. You could also try a heel grip in the back, or both. If they fit your length and toe width, IMO it’s better to use those hacks then to order a smaller size.

  8. Thank you so much for all of your reviews! I was just wondering if you plan to carry the Veliks in your store? How do these compare to the Xero Aptos? I tried the Xero but the ankle padding was a little too thick for me. Thanks for any help.

    Thinking about trying the Herlik but hmm, no ankle padding does not seem like the solution either. Does the ankle break in?

    1. Yes, we actually just restocked the Velik! The Aptos has almost a sausage shape – they are cut pretty straight and high volume. The Velik fits wider and isn’t so high volume, so I have more toe space and I don’t walk right out of them. The ankle opening is softer on the Velik as well. The Herlik does break in, but I have kept my heel grip in them and just wear them with it since I didn’t want to break them in on my skin.

  9. Hi Anya! How do you find the Oriks to hold up with wear? And how does the sole feel, I notice it has some strange roll on the outside edges, is that something you feel when first worn?
    I honestly would be super curious to see more reviews over time for barefoot shoes, how they hold up, where problem areas might be in terms of wearing down/ things coming apart especially per brand based on their construction/materials, and even if there’s preventative things to do for them. I know that because there’s so much more bend in barefoot shoes, wear is inevitable of course, especially compared to many traditional shoes, but I still struggle on knowing what is truly worth it, at least in terms of time for the money we spend.
    I loved my True Stars, a literal every day shoe, but eventually the sole at the toes pulled away, might have been about a year, maybe a little less, and shoe goo only made it last about another few weeks before it pulled away again. Otherwise, the rest of the shoe still looks essentially flawless, even the sole shows almost no wear.

    1. Hi Jill! I have not noticed anything feeling strange around the edge in any of my Bohempia’s. Of all the Bohempia models I wear the Velik the most (in fact they’re one of my most worn period) so that is my best reference for durability. They still look great. The upper has a few wrinkles where they bend, but there is no fading or wear evident on the material. The outsole is a little scuffed around the edges, but again no wear is evident besides cosmetic marks.
      You’re right about the creasing being a unique high-wear area for barefoot shoes because they bend so much. It’s hard for me to say for certain, but based on my own experience and that of other readers who use Bohempia for skateboarding I would say they’re a little more durable than Groundies.

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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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