I love the chelsea boot look, but I want a pair that is both zero drop and wide. Because I’m tired of cute shoes that are uncomfortable. That’s why I choose barefoot chelsea boots instead! They don’t squish my toes or aggravate my back, like most stylish shoes do. 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 next to a traditional chelsea boot.
Welcome to Episode 3 of Wear This, Not That!
Barefoot Chelsea Boots Vs. Traditional
Most fashion footwear, like the Thursday boot in this post, can hurt our feet. By contrast, The Mukishoes Chelsea boot is a traditional chelsea boot style, but made according to barefoot shoe standards! Let’s break down the features of these two chelsea boots and talk about why they matter. (Psst, Mukishoes fall boots will launch for the 2023 season in September!)
The barefoot Chelsea boot on the left 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.
Heels are a recipe for poor alignment. When I’m wearing the completely flat barefoot chelsea boots from 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 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.
The Mukishoes barefoot Chelsea boot 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 used to foot freedom, wearing the Thursday boots felt like being in a strait jacket. Walking was clunky, awkward and my feet immediately protested.
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! Barefoot chelsea boots like 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 about the barefoot chelsea boot options you have.
Barefoot Chelsea Boots
If you’re looking for barefoot chelsea boots that meet all the criteria of a natural shoe, check out the list below! I also have a full list of barefoot boots available for tons of other options in different boot styles.
And make sure you check out my in-depth reviews of 100’s of barefoot shoes.
Anya’s Shop (US) – Sizes EU 34-45. Chelsea boots designed by me only available at Anya’s Shop! These boots are hand crafted in Turkey using naturally tanned leather uppers and footbed, cotton thread, and a pure rubber outsole. Available in a side zip style or leather covered elastic.
Conker Shoes (UK) – Sizes UK 1-13 with 3 different width options.
Magical Shoes Lupino (EU) – Sizes EU 36-47. Get 10% off with code ANYA. These run small, I recommend sizing up one. Love how soft and flexible they are. Also available in a vegan version.
Mukishoes Chelsea (EU) – Sizes EU 36-48. Comes in vegan and leather options.
ANYAMUKI for 10% off. These are one of my all time faves – they high lower on the ankle than most barefoot chelsea boots which makes them easier to style with pants.
PaperKrane Chelsea boot (AU) – Sizes EU 19-42. PK is a great brand for a pop of color! Use code ANYASREVIEWS 10% off.
Xero Shoes Tari – Sizes US Women’s 5-11. These have a firm heel and durable outsole, but can still be dressed up if you choose.
Zkama (EU) – I have yet to try this brand myself, but I’ve been watching them for years and they seem like a good option.
Ahinsa (EU) – Sizes EU 37-46. Use code ANYASREVIEWS for 10% off
Bohempia Rola (EU) – Sizes EU 36-43. Regular and Wide width available. Use ANYASREVIEWS for 10% off. This is an excellent extra wide vegan barefoot chelsea boot.
Magical Shoes Lupino (EU) – Sizes EU 36-47. One vegan option in smooth black. These run small – I recommend sizing up one.
Get 10% off with code ANYA
Barefoot Chelsea Boot Comparison
Here I’ve organized all the barefoot chelsea boot styles I’ve tried from widest (left) to narrowest (right). This hopefully will help you find a good fit. I have wide toes and am able to fit into everything but the Xero Shoes, which are too narrow for me. The Mukishoes are borderline narrow but have broken in and I am comfortable in them barefoot or with thin socks. All the rest fit me well. Note that the Be Lenka, Shapen, and Angles Fashion boots are EXTRA WIDE and might be too wide for some.
Check out my 10 All Time Favorite Barefoot Boots for more info on the shape and width of these brands!