The Best 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"
Why I Love Barefoot Chelsea Boots More

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!)

If you need a refresher on what makes a barefoot shoe, read this post!

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 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.

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 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.

Flexibility

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.

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! 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.

A top down view of a pair of feet wearing black Angles Fashion Artemis barefoot chelsea boots

Angles Fashion (EU) – Sizes EU 37-46. Available lined or unlined. Use code ANYA for 5% off. This shop does not ship to the US or Canada, but you can also find them at Anya’s Shop!


A side angled view of a pair of feet standing in grass wearing brown Lila barefoot chelsea boots, designed by Anya and sold at Anya's Shop with a pair of cozy wool socks peeking out the top

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.


An angled view of a foot resting on concrete wearing Entice Cinnamon Be Lenka barefoot chelsea boots

Be Lenka Entice (EU) – Sizes EU 36-43. Use code ANYASREVIEWS for 5% off from Be Lenka (returns are only accepted from within the EU and USA). Be Lenka is also available at Anya’s Shop!


Conker Shoes handcrafted boots in the UK

Conker Shoes (UK) – Sizes UK 1-13 with 3 different width options.


the drifter leather black chelsea boots

Drifter Leather (EU) – Sizes EU 34-49 with custom fit available. See my reviews of the Drifter Leather here.


Aintap Feelbarefoot Etsy handmade turkish chelsea boots in pretty cream leather front angled flexed view

Aintap FeelBarefoot (EU) – Sizes US Women’s 3.5 – Men’s 15. Read my Review here. You can use code ANYA50 for a discount!


Gaucho Ninja handcrafted leather chelsea boots made in the UK

Gaucho Ninja Chelsea (UK) – Sizes EU 36-45. Read my Gaucho Ninja Review here. Use code ANYASREVIEWS for 10% off!


a top down view of a pair of feet standing on concrete with the left foot bare and the right foot showing the Groundies Camden Barefoot+ chelsea boot in a wide fit and a natural foot shape

Groundies (EU) – Sizes EU 36-43. My personal fave is the sleek Camden! It now comes in two widths as well. You can find this style at Anya’s Shop in the US.

Read more about the fit of these shoes here.


Top view of deep gray green Chelsea boots from Koel barefoot wide toe box chelea boots with a zipper being worn on rocks

Koel Fila (EU) – Sizes 36-45. These come in a few colors you don’t often see in chelsea boots. I like them for average width, average volume feet.

Also available at retailer Mugavik Barefoot with worldwide shipping. Code ANYASREVIEWS gets you 5% off from Mugavik.


A close up side view of a pair of feet standing in snow wearing leg warmers and Lems Chelsea zero drop boots in Cedar suede leather

Lems Chelsea (US) – Sizes W 6.5-12 and M 5-15. Note that these have a thicker sole than most barefoot shoes, but still zero drop and foot shaped. Read the Lems Chelsea review here!


Magical Shoes Lupino chelsea boots in dark red suede

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.


A pair of legs wearing Mukishoes Chelsea in Caramel leather, sustainable barefoot boots outside on a white rock with green foliage in the back and foreground.

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 – the short height makes them easy to style with pants. Read my review for more details here.

Also available at Anya’s Shop.


a side view of a pair of feet standing on concrete wearing PaperKrane barefoot chelsea boots rainbow Skitts

PaperKrane Chelsea boot (AU) – Sizes EU 19-42. PK is a great brand for a pop of color! Use code ANYASREVIEWS 10% off.


Front angled close up of Shapen Barefoot stylish dressy Ivy boots in smooth brown leather. Light colored jeans are visible over top of the zipper low ankle opening

Shapen Barefoot (EU) – Sizes EU 36-43. The Ivy is an extra wide barefoot chelsea boot! See my Shapen review for more details. Use code ANYA5 for 5% off.

You can find Shapen at Anya’s Shop!


Close up of black leather Vivobarefoot chelsea boots with a chunky flexible outsole new for 2023

Vivobarefoot Chelsea – Sizes US W5.5-11.5/EU35-43. Use code ANYA25 for 25% off. You can find two chelsea boots from Vivo – the Gobi and the Geo. My personal fave is the Geo! Read my more about these boots here.

Click here for your nearest Vivobarefoot Retailer.


Xero Tari barefoot chelsea boots in black

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 handmade barefoot chelsea boots in brown

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.


Stock image of Zaqq Equity barefoot chelsea boot in black velour

Zaqq (EU) – Sizes EU 36-50. Lots of chelsea boot options from Zaqq! See my Zaqq brand review here.

We also have select Zaqq styles available at Anya’s Shop.


Vegan Options

Ahinsa vegan barefoot chelsea boots in grey

Ahinsa (EU) – Sizes EU 37-46. Use code ANYASREVIEWS for 10% off


Stock image of Bohempia Rola vegan barefoot chelsea boots

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.


a close up a pair of feet standing on concrete wearing feelgrounds chelsea barefoot boots in white vegan leather fall winter

Feelgrounds Chelsea (EU) – Sizes EU 35-49. Available in black, cream, and brown!

Read all my Feelgrounds Reviews here


Stock image of black vegan material chelsea boots from Magical Shoes. The Lupino with wide toe box and zero drop outsole

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


a close up review of the barefoot vegan chelsea boot from Mukishoes shown at a side angle sitting on concrete, made of black cork

Mukishoes Chelsea (EU) – Sizes EU 36-48. The black cork option from Mukishoes is vegan. I love these boots and have worn them for years now. They are so light and comfy!

Use ANYAMUKI for 10% off. You can read my review of the Mukishoes Cork Chelsea here.


Barefoot Chelsea Boot Comparison

A row of barefoot chelsea boots organized from widest to narrowest - Shapen Ivy, Be Lenka Entice, Angles Fashion Artemis, Magical Shoes Lupino, Vivobarefoot Fulham, Mukishoes Chelsea, and Xero Shoes Tari

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!

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
Mukishoes Chelsea boots (left), traditional chelsea boots (right). Minimal style difference, huge comfort difference.

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Comments

75 thoughts on “The Best Barefoot Chelsea Boots That Don’t Squish Your Toes!”

  1. Hi Anya, Thank you for all the information on Muki Chelseas. I normally wear a size 39 (25cm/10cm) but sized up to 41 on the Mukis so I can wear them with insoles and thick socks. They are so comfortable, like slippers! They look good with all my outfits. I am 75 years old and these are my first pair of barefoot shoes! Never too late to wise up ! Thank you again for all that you do.

  2. Hi! I live in the U.S- New York. Are any of these shoes sold in U.S.? If not, do any of these shoes ship to U.S.? What happens if they don’t fit?
    They look so comfortable!

    1. There are many available in the US! My shop Anya’s Shop carries several of these European brands and we are located in the US. And the ones that aren’t physically located here almost always ship to the US. If they don’t I mention it, because most of my readership is stateside.

      Read through each shop’s return policy to see what to do if they don’t fit, it varies. But most accept returns on new shoes within 30 days.

  3. Hi Anya! Great list of boots! I was wondering if any of these are waterproof? I’ve had the xero tari boots for about a month and they already look terrible from all the rain we get. Any slip-on Chelsea boots that are waterproof? Thank you!

  4. Hi Anya, thank you for all your great reviews! I am considering the Mukishoes cork or leather Chelsea boot in black, have you tried both and if so would you say they are very similar in size and fit? I am typically 38 in most shoes (24cm longest foot). Also is the leather version really warm or could they be ok also for spring and autumn? Just trying to work out which option to go for :).

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Frida, I do have both and I find the leather model fits a little bit smaller. I have a 37 in the Cork and a 38 in black leather and my feet are 23 (sometimes 23.3) cm long. Both are a little smaller than chelsea boots from Vivobarefoot in the same size. The lining isn’t so thick in either and I think they can definitely work for spring and autumn.

      1. Hi Anya, would you recommend to size up from Vivo Fulham or just the same size? A little hard to judge from the photo for me 😀 Although I must say that 39 in Vivo Fulham sometimes feel lose for me with insole. I won’t be getting the insole right off the bat with Muki as they are out of stock though. Thanks so much in advance for your reply 🙂

        1. The Vivo Fulhams from year’s past ran bigger than usual for Vivo, but this year the Geo Chelsea is more true to size. If you have a wide and/or high volume foot you might want to size up for a little more space, or if you plan to wear warm socks. Otherwise I think you can order based off their size chart.

          1. Hi Anya thank you for all of your reviews and amazing info. I don’t know if you have much experience with duckfeet shoes there roskilde inparticular. I have wide-extra wide mountain shape feet, my question is would these be a good durable fit for my particular foot? If not any recommendations I am hard on shoes and looking for a good rugged chealsea.
            Thank you

          2. Hi! I don’t own any Duckfeet shoes, but I have looked at them. I love everything about them except that they have a small heel. An alternative that looks very similar and is also durable is Conker shoes or Green shoes in the UK. They can be made with a totally flat rubber sole, and repaired as often as needed. You might also be intrigued by the Lems Chelsea, but Conker shoes are more durable.

  5. Hi! These are great reviews. Couldn’t be happier to see shoes made for our feet. There’s always one more thing, right? I’m looking for a wide toe box but with a platform sole. I need more cushion but without pitch. Have you come across a good platform boot? Preferably with a removable insole. That’s all.

    1. Unfortunately I don’t know of any such boot myself. Duckfeet is probably the closest but they have a small heel. You might like Oesh Shoes for their thicker sole, but they don’t have any boot styles.

  6. Have you tried the Chelsea boots from Etsy sellers like feelbarefoot and bespokycraft? Curious how those compare.

    1. I had never heard of or tried Bespokycraft, but it looks like they are heavily inspired by FeelBarefoot. I do have a pair of Chelsea boots from FeelBarefoot and they are good. They have more of a high volume fit over the arch than is ideal for me, but look sleek (and I use a tongue pad in them). I like that you can get them in virtually any color too. All around good choice – but shoes made with those thick buffalo hide outsole start out feeling stiff and then break in significantly as you wear them. Just a heads up, since some barefoot shoe wearers are surprised by that. This is my FeelBarefoot Review, which doesn’t include info on the chelsea yet because I got them later, but does share more info about the brand and materials used.

  7. Thank you so much for this wonderful in-depth reviews! Of these Chelsea boot options, which hold up best outdoors? We live in a rural area and are often on more natural elements, not on sidewalks and pavement. I’d appreciate any insight into which of these are more for urban areas or dress shoes, vs. outdoor and in the elements. I already see the suggestions of waterproof- thanks!

    1. I would suggest the new Vivobarefoot Chelsea (which haven’t been released yet but should be soon), or the Lems chelsea. The Be Lenka Entice also should function well for outdoors.

  8. Hi Anya!

    I just got inspired to order a pair of Mukishoes Chelsea reading your article and also seeing them being relaunched now on their website. Maybe I gotta be quick to order them before they run out. Just got a small question about the fit. I have low volume feet. Do you think these boots will suit me? I think I read on your site that Mukishoes in general cater to high volume feet or am I wrong?

    Best regards
    Mikael

    1. Hi Mikael, I might have replied too late but it’s true that Mukishoes generally fit high volume and the Chelsea do fit high volume over the arch. But the ankle area is slim and can wear them well with an extra insole. They fit a little loose on me, but because they’re so light and flexible I don’t have an issue with it.

  9. Hi Anya,

    How wide are the Groundies Camdens compared to the Vivo Geo Chelseas?

    Style is a huge factor for me and I’m looking for Chelsea boots that fit slim at the ankles with a medium to taller shaft.

    Wondering which of the 2 you would recommend, or if you have other suggestions.

    For reference, I’m a 38EU/7.5US with plateau feet.
    – Vivo Magna Trails hiking boots are a bit too narrow for me (chafe pinky) out of the box at the right length
    – Vivo Addis have a lot of splay room, very comfortable, although I could definitely go narrower
    – Xero Prio Neos fit well, potentially because of the mesh top (more stretchy)

    1. Hi KC, the Camdens are similar in width to the Vivo Geo Chelsea’s but to me they feel softer and wider because the sole is more flexible and forgiving. I have both in the same size and find that the Geo Chelsea’s feel stiffer out of the box and take more breaking in. But I will say that the Vivo’s look nicer after having been worn a while. The Camden’s are super soft and comfortable but crease more. I really like both for style, but personally I find the taller shaft on the Camden a little harder to wear because I am short. Basically, I love both! but hopefully those minor differences will be enough to help you decide. Oh, and the Vivo’s are leather lined whereas the Camden has a velvet lining that is warmer.

  10. Hi Anya,
    I have extra extra wide toes, and narrow heels/ankles. Could you tell me which has a wider toe box, the be Lenka entice or the Groundies Camden mid barefoot+?
    (I have other be lenka boots and they could be wider, but I struggle to find brands wide enough and I’m in UK, so not being able to return is an issue for me). Thanks so much

    1. I don’t have the Camden Mid, but I have the regular Camden in Barefoot+ (size 37) from Groundies and I Just put them on side by side with the Be Lenka Entice (size 38). The length is the about the same and visually they look to be the same width but the Entice feel snugger on me and my outer toes brush the sides. The walled outsole on the Entice comes up higher and isn’t super flexible so it encroaches on the widths a bit. The Camden Barefoot+ feels soft and roomy, but they are a little wider in the heel area than I need. I have been wearing them with socks and an insole and they stay nice and secure. As a side note, Happy Little Soles in the UK carries a lot of Be Lenka. But I don’t know any UK retailers that sell Groundies right now.

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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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