Groundies Bella Review – An In-Depth Look

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The Groundies Bella is a dressy, barefoot ballet flat for women with a super thin and flexible sole. Groundies Bella flats are also zero drop, and have a nice wide toe box. I know my barefoot ballet flats, so let’s see how they stack up!! Read on for the full Groundies Bella Review.

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Groundies Bella in Rose

Groundies Bella Review

I had the help of two testers to review these Bella ballet flats from Groundies! With 3 different sizes and foot types, we have the full low down in this Groundies Bella review. Watch the full Bella review in the video below, or read the post for the quick synopsis.

Groundies Bella Specs

The Groundies Bella is a lightweight, 4mm thin ballet flat. The upper is made of leather (inside & out), and the outsole is Groundies’ True Sense rubber. They cost 109 Euros at full price, but currently are on sale for 84 euros! They come in several neutral colors and are a good choice for weddings or other dressy occasions.

Of all the barefoot ballet flats I have tried, these have the truest barefoot feeling. You can feel every bump underneath, and the shoe is so light it easily travels with you. It’ll be interesting to see how the thin leather holds up over time, but so far I (nor any of my testers) have had any scuffing.

Groundies Bella VS Other Barefoot Ballet Flats

Barefoot ballet flats comparison narrow to wide
From left to right: Zaqq Barefoot, Storehouse Flats, Shapen Tulip, Shapen Poppy, Lisbeth Joe Harare, Xero Shoes Phoenix, Oesh Dream, Softstar Ballerine, Groundies Bella, Angles Fashion Afrodita, Ela Faustus, Zlatush T Strap, Gea Soles Yrsa, and Softstar Primal Merry Jane

Here you can see all the barefoot ballet flat brands I have, organized from narrowest toe box to widest! Click here for all my content on barefoot flats!

Groundies Bella Fit & Sizing

The Groundies Bella has a nice wide toe box, which fits even Samantha, my extra wide foot model (see them on her feet in the video above). But they are also wide throughout the shoe and especially the heel. This is causing gaping and heel slippage for a lot of people. Adding a heel grip worked for Samantha, but for people with extra narrow heels it might not be enough.

Check out this post to understand your foot type and the shoes most likely to work for you.

I wear a size 37 in my other Groundies barefoot shoes, but sized down to a 36 in the Bella. I often do this in ballet flats because I don’t want them to flop. This turned out to be a good idea with the Bella, because of how open the heel area is. They are a close fit in terms of length, but still loose around my heel. Not so loose that I can’t wear them, in fact I’ve even been wearing them without a heel grip without much trouble. But it helps that I have a wide forefoot to keep the shoe on. It also helps that the shoe is very light.

My two testers did not size down, and they definitely need heel grips to keep them secure. Samantha is doing great with her extra wide feet once the grips were added, Shay (my other tester) has narrow feet and is still having some trouble with slippage.

Styling Groundies Bella Flats

Samantha in Groundies Bella flats in Rose

You should have no trouble stying the Groundies Bella flat. They have a very mainstream look, with neutral colors that are sure to match any outfit. Samantha’s rose gold Bella’s are particularly lovely, but Shay and I have been having a great time styling my our neutral taupe and brown Bella’s. You really can’t go wrong!

Shay in Groundies Bella in Brown

Groundies Bella Review Conclusion

The Groundies Bella is a lightweight, stylish barefoot ballet flat that will go with you to even the fanciest of occasions. If you have narrow feel and/or heels, be aware that they might be too loose. But if you have wide feet and especially wide heels and ankles they are a great choice.

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21 thoughts on “Groundies Bella Review – An In-Depth Look”

  1. Hello Anya, and thank you for all your thorough reviews! I was wondering your thoughts about how this shoe compares against the Softstar Ballerine flat?

    1. Hi! The Softstar Ballerine is heavier and sturdier feeling, and requires breaking in. They also fit more securely. I like both quite a lot, but I think on a day to day basis I will reach for the Bella’s more often because of how light they are.

  2. I’m curious how the Groundies flats compare to Xero flats. I just got my first pair of Xero flats recently and am REALLY happy with the fit and look.

    1. They are pretty similar in terms of fit, except that the Groundies are wider throughout. They’re also thinner and more flexible. But if the Phoenix is a good fit, I would guess that the Bella would work for your foot type also.

  3. Thanks for this informative review! πŸ™‚ It’s really hard to know which size to order. I have a sloped, fin-shaped foot that’s 24.2 cm length with a wider forefoot (9.5 cm), narrow heel, medium instep, and maybe? low-medium volume (not sure). Based on the size chart, the length is good for size 39 Groundies. But, if the Bella runs larger, it’s hard to know whether to size down or not. Return shipping is expensive, so it’d be nice to get the sizing right the first time. Any advice?

    1. It’s hard to say. Have you worn any Groundies shoes before? My gut is to stick with the size recommended by the size chart, since you have a wide forefoot.

  4. Thanks for this review–love your website. I just received my Bella flats in black leather (first pair of Groundies) and they are a little big, even though I measured and went according to the size chart. I thought I might put a pair of thin insoles in them and wondered what you would recommend. Also, the mid section of the shoes arrived kind of misshapen/flared out, so I put the cardboard inserts that came with my Topo Athletic ST-3 Running Shoes [which I LOVE] and then a rubber band around the shoe to try to form it better. Any other ideas/suggestions? Thanks!

    1. Hi! Hopefully if they’re just a bit big your adjustments will help. You can make your own thin insole by cutting felt and putting duct tape on the back of it. I’ve never done it myself because I have insoles from other shoes I can move around, but I’ve seen it done before. Otherwise it sounds like you have the right idea and are getting creative!

  5. I recently purchased the wide Bella Groundies from Amazon. I am normally a size 8.5. The size 8 wide tended to squish down my big toe. I solved that problem by getting a size 9. There’s still a touch of pressure on my big toe, but I think it will get better. The reason I’m writing is for advice about the back. The back of the shoe is angled inwards, and this is fine because it helps keep the shoe on my foot. The problem is that the band rubs the skin on the back of my heel, causing soreness and almost a blister. Do you have any advice about inserts? I don’t know if it will get better on its own.

    1. If the shoe fits everywhere else I would put a little strip of moleskin on that spot that rubs. You can buy adhesive moleskin from the drugstore or places like Walmart/Target (Mine is from Amazon) and you cut it to the shape you want and stick it on. It’s thin, so doesn’t interfere with fit.

  6. Hi Anya,

    Thank you for another great review!
    I just got a pair of Bellas and went with your recommendation to size down. I have a pair of Groundies Liverpool in size 40 so I got Bellas in 39. My feet are 26cm long and I feel the big toe touching the front of the shoe. Do Bellas stretch? I can feel my feet slipping forward when walking so I’m not sure if I should exchange them for size 40 or just hope they will stretch.
    I’m quite new to barefoot shoes and these are my first bf flats so maybe they should feel this way?

    1. That’s similar to how my Bella’s fit. Ideally, you don’t want your toes touching the front of your shoe, but I find that sometimes in a shoe like the Bella (light, flexible) it doesn’t bother me. And if I were to go up a size in the Bella they’d be way too big everywhere else and not stay on my foot. The Bella’s do stretch, but I’ve found that my foot slides forward a bit even still.

      1. Thanks so much for your reply! I will stay with size 39 then. Like you wrote they are so light and flexible that the toe touching the front is not a big issue.

  7. Hi Anya, I was wondering if you could recommend specific products for cleaning and maintaining the Groundies Bella Flats in Rose. I’m worried about staining the leather or altering the color too much, since they’re multicolored and slightly metallic. Thank you so much as well for your blog! It’s a godsend.

    1. If it were me I would use something like Chamberlain’s leather cleaner and conditioner. It’s lightweight and I don’t think it would alter the color of the Bellas. But if you’re concerned about it then you could also use a spray, like from Nikwax. So glad you are enjoying the blog, thank you!

  8. Thank you so much for the review! I just got my first pair of Bellas. The length is great, but the elastic leather around the opening, especially the heel, pushes my foot forward so my toes touch the front. Sizing up would make these much too big and not really solve the elastic problem. Does this elastic relax, and if so, how much and how long does it take? The positive about the elastic is it helps to reduce the gaping around my very low volume feet, so I definitely appreciate that!
    Thanks for all you do!

    1. Mine haven’t stretched very much, but the heel has broken in a little. You could try to stuff the shoe and use something like a pencil to push out the heel area.

  9. Hi Anja, Thank you so much for all your great reviews! As the Bella flat seems to have been replaced by the Lily, could you please give some pointers as to how these compare?
    Any advice would be much appreciated.

  10. Good review, when it come to ballet type flats best to size down, I agree I don’t want them slipping off, back to regular sizing for everything else.

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Picture of 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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