Barefoot Chelsea Boots That Don’t Squish Your Toes!

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A woman holding up two pairs of shoes, one is the Mukishoes Chelsea review, a barefoot vegan chelsea boot. The other is a traditional chelsea boot with a heel and pointed toe. Above the image is the text "Wear This! Not That"

I love me some chelsea boots, but I want a pair that is both zero drop and wide. Barefoot Chelsea boots don’t squish my toes or pinch my back, like regular stylish shoes do. If you’re into cute shoes like I am, you’ve probably noticed most of them are suuuper uncomfortable. That’s why I choose barefoot shoes instead! Want the chelsea boot look minus the unhappy feet? Keep reading.

In this post we’re taking a hard look at a minimalist chelsea boot made by Mukishoes next to a traditional chelsea boot made by Thursday Boots.

Welcome to Episode 3 of Wear This, Not That!

Barefoot Vs. Traditional

The Mukishoes Chelsea boot is a traditional chelsea boot style, but made according to barefoot shoe standards – and they’re vegan!

*Psst! These boots will be restocked Sept. 2021*

Most fashion footwear, like the Thursday boot in this post, is harmful to our foot and body function. So it’s really great that we have some other options that still look fashionable! Let’s break down the features of these two chelsea boots and talk about why they matter.

Shoe Shape

A top down view of a foot in between two pairs of shoes. On the left is the Mukishoes Chelsea boot, a vegan barefoot boot made of cork with a foot-shaped toe box. On the right is the Thursday Duchess black chelsea boot. Annotation shows that the Mukishoes chelsea boot is shaped like my foot, while the Thursday boot is too narrow.

The Mukishoes Chelsea boot is made in an anatomical foot shape, unlike the Thursday boots that are way narrower than my actual feet are. Helloooo bunions! After an extended big toe injury I don’t mess around with pointy shoes. Free toes are happy toes.

Heel Height

A side by side comparison review of a woman standing in the Mukishoes Chelsea vegan barefoot boots versus standing in a traditional Thursday Duchess chelsea boot that has a heel.

Heels are a recipe for poor alignment. When I’m wearing the completely flat Mukishoes my knees and hips are aligned directly over my ankle bones. This stacking of my joints is the most efficient way to stand and move. If I stick a heel under there, suddenly my trajectory is completely changed and by the time you get to my hips they are way out in front of me. Hellooo back pain!

Completely flat shoes are an absolute must for me. Every single shoe Mukishoes makes (and all the shoes I review on this website) are zero drop, or flat from heel to toe. The rubber outsole gives the illusion of a slight heel, but the foot sits flat on the inside.

Flexibility

The Mukishoes Chelsea is so flexible you can roll it into a ball and squish it with one hand. The Thursday Chelsea boots on the other hand barely flex at the toes. If you’re wearing shoes all day, think what happens to the muscles in your arch when they cannot move. If you don’t use it, you lose it! The flexibility of barefoot shoes is a very important feature, because it has the double effect of keeping your feet limber AND strong. Now that I am so used to foot freedom, wearing the Thursday boots felt like being in a strait jacket. Walking was clunky, awkward and my feet immediately protested.

Style

A side by side image of a woman wearing the same outfit but two different black boots: On one side she is wearing the Mukishoes vegan barefoot Chelsea boot, and on the other side she is wearing the Thursday Duchess chelsea boot

But before you start lamenting the loss of your cute shoes, check out this style comparison. Choosing shoes that are better for your feet doesn’t mean sacrificing on style! The Mukishoes Chelsea can be styled exactly like every other mainstream chelsea boot. Looks to slay, foot function to slay. Now that we’ve cleared the air about that, let’s talk details of the Mukishoes Chelsea.

Want to see more barefoot chelsea boot options? Click here.

The Mukishoes Chelsea Review

A woman sitting on a bench looking to the side and smiling while wearing the Mukishoes black vegan barefoot Chelsea boots.

Use the coupon code ANYASREVIEWS for 10% off any Mukishoes purchase!

This post is not sponsored, but I will get a small commission if you use my code at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting this blog!

Mukishoes is a brand I have a lot of respect for. Their shoes are some of the most lightweight, flexible and comfortable around. Besides making quality shoes that are good for your feet, they are also dedicated to sustainability at an unmatched degree. Some of their models are made using factory surplus textiles, others come from sustainable tanneries, and these Chelsea boots are made from cork (they also have a brown leather version). With Mukishoes you know what you are getting, and you know it was ethically made.

Read my full review of the Mukishoes Brand in this post

Mukishoes Chelsea Materials

The interior of the Chelsea is lined with organic cotton flannel (plaid!) which is soft on the skin and absorbs moisture. The fabric helps with insulation a little bit, but it’s a thin material so not really warm. The outsole is 100% natural rubber, super flexible and lightweight. The elastic panels are holding up well with no signs of rippling or stretching out. Total stack height of the boots is 4mm.

The cork doesn’t take marks or scuffs and wipes off easily whenever dirty. It also is naturally water resistant, but the seams of the shoe haven’t been treated. If you wanted to make them waterproof you should use a product like Aquaseal or Sno Seal.

You can see some creasing from wear, but I am not bothered by this. It happens in my leather shoes too. The cork also has a slight texture to it and is very matte. It’s pretty subtle, so if you’re looking for a shiny black leather chelsea check out the Vivobarefoot Fulham.

Mukishoes Chelsea Sizing

I typically wear a US 6.5 to 7 in boots, which translates to an EU 37. That is the size I got in the Chelsea and they fit exactly right. I have shallow feet and thin ankles, so chelsea style boots are often a challenge. I added a thin barefoot insole so my foot doesn’t slide around and I am good to go.

You can see below that these Chelsea’s run shorter than the Vivobarefoot Fulham boot (Read my Vivobarefoot Fulham Review here for more info. They are also slightly narrower (2mm narrower in the toe box is what I measured). If you have high volume feet and/or thick ankles I would recommend sizing up one from your usual for the Mukishoes Chelsea. For my foot type they are great in my usual size, and actually fit better than most other chelsea boots I’ve tried.

Mukishoes Chelsea Style

I geek out on barefoot shoes that are trendy. It’s not everyday you find a shoe that looks like a mainstream style but doesn’t hurt your body! I don’t know who started the whole “beauty is pain” thing, but it’s time we put it to rest. The Mukishoes Chelsea (and other barefoot chelsea boots) look like normal shoes and can be styled exactly the same way. My favorite place for outfit inspiration is Pinterest. Searching for “black chelsea boot outfits” will give you tons of ideas for styling these beauties!

A side by side image of a woman standing near a lake wearing the same coat and pants but two different black boots: On one side she is wearing the Mukishoes vegan barefoot Chelsea boot, and on the other side she is wearing the Thursday Duchess chelsea boot

Other Barefoot Chelsea Boots

If you’re looking for some other options check the list below! I also have a fill list of barefoot boots available for tons of other options.

And make sure you check out my in-depth reviews of 100s of barefoot shoes.

Vegan Options

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Comments

10 thoughts on “Barefoot Chelsea Boots That Don’t Squish Your Toes!”

  1. Hi Anya. Great review, as always. I have a question about the Mukishoe Chelsea boots. I really want a simple pull on boot like this chelsea. I’m a consistent 38 in Vivobarefoot and can wear most of their styles, even the Ryder, comfortably. However, I found their Fulham boot too snug across the top of my foot. Do the Mukishoes have more volume than the Fulham? In your picture above it looks like the Mukishoes might have more top to bottom space in the forefoot, even though it’s a little shorter (for the equivalent size). I’m wondering if I could wear a 39 in their chelsea boot. I have a slightly high instep, but not a particularly high volume foot, if that makes sense. What do you think?

    Thanks again for all your great reviews! You are sooooo helpful on this minimalist shoe journey.

    1. Yes, there is more space over the tops of the toes and instep in the Chelsea than in the Fulham (with the insole). But if you take the insole out of the Fulham it is about the same. So if the Fulhams were still a little shallow over the toes in the Fulham even without the insole you might want to size up in the Mukishoes. So glad the info is helpful!!

      1. Thanks, Anya. I think one size up for the Mukishoe Chelsea will work for me, especially since it’s a little shorter than the same size Fulham.
        One more question. How high up the ankle (the shank?) is the Mukishoe Chelsea? I thought I saw somewhere you said it is a little shorter than the Fulham, but I wasn’t sure.

  2. These are so lovely! The cork is such a neat texture. All sold out in my size though. Hopefully they’ll get more in stock soon!

    1. They are getting a big restock at the beginning of the new year! It’s a bummer to have to wait that long, but they are making the Chelsea a part of their permanent line up so they’ll be getting plenty in.

  3. Hello , I have been following your site since i have recently been hooked on barefoot shoes . Can you tell me how do i buy angles fashion dafne ev black boot in the U.S .?

    thank you
    regards
    Jane kaufman

    1. Hi Jane! If you open up their website on Google Chrome you can use the Goggle translate feature to get it all in English. Then you should be able to check out like normal, and enter your shipping destination. I have a couple pairs of Angles shoes on their way to me, I’m excited to get to know the brand better!

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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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