Zaqq Barefoot Brand Review

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A woman wearing Zaqq Barefoot shoes the Riquet boot.
The Zaqq Riquet boot

*Since writing this review I’ve tried one more Zaqq shoe! Check out my impressions of their studded ballet flat in this post*

A few months ago a follower asked me if I had tried Zaqq yet, but I had never even heard of them. A quick google search later and my jaw was on the table as I scrolled. How had I not heard of this brand?? I was blown away by the sheer number of on-trend shoes. Not just one or two awesome styles, but 10 or 12 in every category! Dress shoes, boots, sandals, sneakers, men’s, women’s it was incredible. I knew I needed to try it out, and after MUCH deliberation settled on the Riquet. I later went back and ordered the Piquant as well.

Ordering

Even though Zaqq has been working on this, US customers still cannot place an order through the website. You’ll need to e-mail them requesting an invoice, which can take a few days to receive. Hopefully soon it will be possible for everyone to order on the website, but for now it’s a minor inconvenience to have to e-mail them first. Once I paid the invoice by Paypal I received the shoes in about a week.

Zaqq accepts returns of unworn shoes within 20 days of receipt. There’s a little slip in the package you fill out and ship back.

Some sizes/styles sell out occasionally, but they sell the same ones for a long time and usually restock. You can also e-mail them to see if they have what you’re looking for somewhere.

You can now find the Zaqq Riquet at Anya’s Shop in the US and worldwide shipping available!

Sizing

Zaqq is a German company, and on the German site they use European shoe sizes. But if you head to zaqq.com (the English website) all the sizes are displayed in UK sizes (no US sizes are displayed anywhere on the site). So if you don’t know your UK size you’ll want to familiarize yourself with their size chart , but when requesting an invoice use the European size you need.

UK and EU sizes are unisex, and most of the shoes are made to fit both men and women. Women’s sizing (made on a female shaped shoe last) starts at 37 and goes up to 42 (with some styles going down to a 36). Men’s sizes go from 43 to 48.

Boot comparison from left to right, top to bottom: Luks Primavera, Zaqq Riquet, VIvobarefoot Gobi III, Davinci Pickford (company closed), Drifter Leather Chelsea, Unshoes Traverse (no longer available), Softstar Sawyers

I ordered a size 37, which is what I wear in Vivobarefoot, and they fit perfectly with just enough extra space in front of my toes. They are practically the exact length and width of my Vivobarefoot shoes. I am usually between a 36-37 in shoes, so if you are between sizes I’d recommend going up.

Price

Pretty much the only drawback for me was the price of these. Most styles are $150 or above, which is a real bummer when you want to try every single one. They’re not much more expensive than Vivobarefoot, and should hold up just as well, so I feel confident that my investment will come back to me in years of use.

And frankly, so many of the styles at Zaqq are so completely unique (like this gold snakeskin sandal!!) that I’m willing to pay a little more for a pair of shoes I’m in love with. One difference between Zaqq and other expensive barefoot brands is that Zaqq doesn’t hold sales. Sometimes specific styles will be discounted a little bit, but don’t expect a Black Friday or End of Season sale.

Barefoot Qualities

Zaqq shoes are all zero drop, thin and flexible. The soles are 3.9mm thick in the ones I tried. They are very similar in feel to Vivobarefoot shoes, except that Zaqq shoes seem to have a higher volume. The sole is very thin and somewhat hard, and you sacrifice a little bit of ground feel for a long-lasting rubber sole.

The toe box in the ones I have is anatomical and I have had no discomfort in them, but I’ve heard that some styles taper more than these. Looking through the website some of them certainly do look narrow, but subtle design and an elongated toe box can disguise width very effectively. If you’re concerned about a particular style you might want to e-mail asking for measurements.

Overall, my feet are very happy in these and I can wear them comfortably all day without issue.

Quality

All Zaqq shoes are built on a rubber outsole that is perfectly sewn to the shoe upper. The leather pieces are handcut and sewn with not a stitch out of place. Most styles are leather inside and out, and it appears to be of sturdy quality. I’ve had no scuffing or scratches show up over the last few months.

I noticed the leather creases a lot at the beginning, but over time it has softened. Good leather always improves with age, so you know you’ve got something high quality when it looks better AFTER wearing them a ton. Some creasing I think has to be expected because the leather moves with your foot.

The shoe lining is a very smooth leather and I found that my feet sweat a little bit in them. I haven’t had any issues with smells, but if you hate foot sweat you’ll want to wear socks.

Zaqq shoes are manufactured locally in Germany and all their materials are sourced locally as well. The shoes are biodegradable and recyclable (but not resolable), though I wonder how many of these shoes ever end up in the landfill. Another cool thing about Zaqq is they have a pretty extensive selection of vegan shoes.

The Riquet

I already own simple black boots, so I wanted something with a little bit of flair this go around. The buckle strap on the Riquet is just enough to give you a little edginess without being distracting (though how awesome are these??) and I have had tons of fun styling them this season.

For being barefoot these boots have a surprisingly mainstream look. I didn’t have to do much accommodating to get them to work with my outfits and the possibilities just go on and on.

They didn’t require any breaking in, though I did find that there was a lot of extra space over the top of my foot. I have low volume feet, so I often use these sticky felt pads in the top of my shoes to keep them from sliding. I also prefer to wear a thin insole (either NorthSole or Naboso) to fill up the rest of the space. With these accommodations they fit either barefoot or with a thin sock. Because these are dressier boots I haven’t wanted to wear thick socks with them at all, but I’d be able to without the insole and felt.

The buckle strap is functional and has 3 holes for adjusting. There is also an elastic portion for even more give.

When I wear these with my black jeans I sneak a black sock in there for extra warmth. Because everything is black you can’t tell! Check this post out for the skinny on how to wear boots with jeans, leggings, socks, and what-not.

Piquant

The Piquant reminds me of an Italian sneaker. Simple, casual, and slightly sporty. I got the same size as in the Riquet (37) and they fit great. I did find the leather heel to be a little stiffer in these and have required some breaking in. They’re softening, and they seem super sturdy, so I’ll forgive them the blister I got.

I love a casual sneaker and these fit the bill perfectly. Something neutral, not too sporty, and that can pair with lots of outfits. This is clearly one of their more popular styles as it comes in a ton of different colors and materials!

Conclusion

So far, I am very impressed with Zaqq Barefoot Shoes. The quality, style, and barefoot features are all top notch. Because of the price I’ll have to pace myself considerably with this brand, but over the coming years I hope to add several more of their amazing shoes to my wardrobe!

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Comments

40 thoughts on “Zaqq Barefoot Brand Review”

  1. Thanks for the detailed review! I’m definitely going to check them out. I am gradually changing all my shoes to barefoot and need more office/business casual looks. I really appreciate seeing the barefoot shoes styled in different ways. Zaqq looks like a terrific brand, very quality oriented. I am interested in their tall black boots – QATCH. Do you know anything about those boots? It looks like the back of the shaft is made of a different material than the leather upper and front of boot. I also submitted a question on their web site. Keep the reviews and posts coming!

    1. I don’t know much about the tall ones. One reader who got the riding boots sent me some info but I don’t know which style it was. She said they were a little wide on her thin ankles and slouched a bit, but that overall she still loved them. If you get them be sure to share your feedback with us!!

      1. Hi Anya

        I love your reviews.

        Can I just ask about the Piquant that you used for comparison, are they for a high-volume foot, would you say?

        Thanks

        Cath

      2. Hi there, I’m German so please excuse any weird word choices but here is a rough translation of the contact form if someone else needs it:

        Inhalt = content / subject
        Under “Inhalt”:
        Fragen zur Bestellung = questions concerning your order
        Größenverfügbarkeit = shoe size availability
        Allgemeine Frage = general question
        Stand der Retourenbearbeitung = status of your return process
        Retourenlabel anfordern = request a return label
        Pflege deiner ZAQQ Schuhe = care regarding ZAQQ shoes
        Reklamation = customer complaint (maybe use this if your shoes have defects?)

        Dringlichkeit = urgency
        Under “Dringlichkeit”:
        normal = usual urgency
        sehr dringend = very urgent

        Bestellnummer = purchase order number

        Anrede = title
        Unter “Anrede”:
        Frau = Mrs
        Herr = Mr

        Vorname = first name
        Nachname = surname
        Bestell Email Adresse = mail adress that you used when ordering
        Telefon = telephone number
        Betreff = subject line
        Kommentar = comment / insert your questions, complaints etc. here
        Schuhname = model of the shoe(s) that you ordered / have questions about

    1. Size 6 or EU 36 in dress shoes, and size 6.5 or 37 in Sneakers and boots. Though some brands call a 37 a US 7. I find the European sizes are more consistent, so I usually go by that where I can.

    1. Glad you found it helpful! I’m curious to know where you heard negative feedback about Zaqq, if you don’t mind sharing. I saw one thing about one of their men’s dress shoes being tapered on Facebook, but otherwise wasn’t able to find much of anything about the brand.

    1. Hey there! I haven’t had any issues with them not wearing well so far, but I leather is on the thin side in the boots I own. I can see them scuffing if you’re hard on them. I got mine late summer last year, so not quite a year.

  2. Hello Anya, Zaqq can be difficult to contact. There is no telephone number or email address on the UK website. The contact form is in German – no good for me. I googled the postal address and wrote to them about the form being in German on their UK website but I haven’t heard from them and the form is still in German. Not good if you have problems with an order.

    1. I used the form to contact them way back when and just guessed at the fields! If I really didn’t know, I would copy the text and drop it into a translator. They replied, and after that I had their e-mail to reply to. They aren’t the most responsive, it’s true. But I would still send something through with the form even if you answer some of the sections incorrectly.

  3. Hi, Anya. Thank you for reviewing Zaqq’s. I’m thinking of buying a pair, but it would help me figure out my sizing to know how long your feet are in cm/mm since you said you took a 37. After hearing about issues with returns above, I’m hoping to get my size right the first time.

  4. Great to know that they match well with Vivo sizing, that puts my worries at bay. I did just request an invoice for three shoes, two of which I just noticed say “Not Available for Sale in USA.” I really hope this isn’t the case; these shoes are absolutely stunning. Do you know why it would be the case that some shoes aren’t available for purchase while others are? I’ll come back to update with availability and shipping times. Thanks for the reviews!

    https://www.zaqq.com/briq-prime-black/?number=briq-prime-black-41
    https://www.zaqq.com/briq-brogue-antique-cognac/?number=briq-brogue-antique-cognac-41

  5. Hi there! 🙂
    German customer of Zaqq’s here and wanted to join the conversation about durability 😀 I’ve had three pairs of Zaqq’s so far and they were my first barefoot shoes, what made me choose them was the promise (and customer experiences) of them being really waterproof and also the small scale hand-manucaturing in Germany with conscious choice of materials.
    So far I have only had boot models so I can only comment on those, but one thing I can definitely say is that I can’t recommend their vegan leather option. I bought a pair of vegan Expeqs in the spring of 2019 and the thin leather-imitation layer broke after only a few months, not only leaving the shoe ugly but not waterproof anymore as well.. 🙁 I contacted them and after lengthy discussions and a lot of annoying messages they agreed to exchange them with another model from their site, without refunding me the price-difference.. even German customer service is not suuuper good unfortunately.. In exchange for the broken shoe I got the leather expeq one and have been wearing it for over two years now in super hard conditions (at the stable almost every day, through brambles, mud and muck) and never had wet feet except one time when I stepped into a mud hole so deep the water ran in from the top 😀 😀 That makes them the most waterproof shoe I ever had! The leather is thin but so far I find it very durable, despite the rough use and lack of care I subject them to.. They are not suuper breatheable so after running around in them summer and winter for 1.5 years they have started smelling a bit, but I still really like them! I find their soles actually thinner and more flexible than my vivobarefoot models (swimrun and primus trail) and not very suited for long stretches on hard ground because my feet tend to hurt a bit after a while..
    My third pair by Zaqq is the Hiqe Mid (leather again), which I use as a winter and hiking boot, trudging through snow with it and never having cold or wet feet, as long as I keep moving 🙂 I find those very high-volume and loose around my foot, which makes them a not really ideal fit for me personally, at least without thick socks, but that of course depends on foot shape and the size you choose 🙂

        1. Hi! They’re not that warm. I have worn them with a sheepskin insole and it helps, but the boots aren’t lined so if you’re in a cold climate they won’t keep you very warm.

  6. Beware of this company. They sent me 2 different shoes in 2 different sizes. It was very hard to communicate with them. I lost money, time, and energy. They never even covered the shipping costs. Very bad customer service 😒

    1. Ugh, I’m so sorry. I’ve noticed their customer service is very slow. Hoping to bring more styles to my shop so people in the US an avoid all that hassle.

  7. I’ve just recieved a pair of the their HIQE hiking boots I ordered. I sized up in accordance with their size guide and your recommendation. The right shoe is the right size and fits ok… but the left shoe is a whole size smaller than the right, despite being stamped on the inside of the tongue as being the same size. I’ve now worked my way through their returns form, requested a replacement and got a free return label (I’m in Germany). Couldn’t upload a picture as their site keeps timing out. Let’s see how long it takes. Hopefully I won’t recieve the same mismatched pair masquerading as a new one… but if the reviews are anything to go by (they apparently don’t publish critical reviews on their website), I’d better not get my hopes up. For a 170 EUR pair of shoes, their quality control leaves much to be desired.

    1. Update: The replacement process took about 7 work days from the time the returned shoes were delivered to ZAQQ (mailed on a Friday, delivered the next day on Saturday), but I’ve the feeling it went so fast bacause I called after four days to enquire when I can expect my replacement. Customer service wasn’t the most personable, but they were helpful, as they got the ball rolling. The replacement boots are thankfully both the same size in the size I ordered. I sized up and they feel a bit roomy and long, but that’s not a bad thing, as they seem to be a bit tapered at the big toe, not to mention that they can be worn with thick woolen socks. Shoes seem well made, but only time and wear will tell. There’s a rather thick removable insole (HIQE model) that I don’t particularly like because it detracts from the overall barefoot feeling of the shoe, but I have since figured comes in handy in a cooler whether when there is more standing around than walking going on – like a Christmas market 🙂

  8. Bonjour Anya ,
    J’ai un pied Mountain , avec une hauteur moyenne et un pied Narrow , est ce que la marque ZAQQ et Nummilit serait bien pour moi ?
    Me suis aperçu sur différentes marques que mon pied fait la taille 42.
    Pour ZAQQ , j’ai pensé à ses modèles : Iviq , Soqq , Stiq et Qerry ?
    Pour Nummitis : Ignis
    Est ce les bons modèles , ou pouvez-vous me conseiller d’autres marques svp ?

    1. Hi! I think Zaqq and Nummulit would both be good brands for you. I’d also recommend checking out Vivobarefoot and Wildling. They are narrower brands that work well for low volume feet.

  9. Hi Anya, I have a fairly narrow and low volume foot and am wondering if I would be able to wear correct toes in Zaqq shoes comfortably. I’m looking at the Equity boots and the Qarma flats specifically. I would be grateful for your thoughts!

    1. If you have a narrow foot it’s likely you’ll be able to wear your Correct Toes in them, but you never know for sure until you try. And it really depends on each person.

  10. You mentioned rubbing a blister on your heel, which is something I’m running into with many different barefoot shoes. I’m suspecting that maybe it’s because I have low volume feet and the heel sometimes slips ?? But also, many shoes just seem to have a very stiff heel area that strikes me in exactly the wrong spot. Do you have any secrets for this?? Moleskin?? Cushions?? Please help my poor heels – LOL!

    1. I use both! Moleskin and heel grips, they’re lifesavers.. I have sensitive heels and delicate skin, so it’s not uncommon for me to get blisters there on shoes with a stiff back.

  11. I was wondering if you can wear correcttoes comfortably with the Zaqq shoes? I’ve asked them to send a printable outline of the insole but they said they couldn’t send me one. My feet are of similar dimensions to yours but I have bunions. I would be very grateful if you could help me out with this!

      1. Hi Anya, thank you for that, I think I will order a size 5 (EU 38) so I might be able to wear socks and Correcttoes. For future reviews, it would be very helpful if you could include a section on how each shoe fits wearing Correcttoes with them. My poor toes have been squeezed into tiny toe boxes for so long, so I would like to maximise the time I get to wear toe separators while still looking cute!

  12. Hi Anya, I had a question regarding the Riquet boot. I know you say they fit similar to vivos but the only Vivo boots I own are lined Nepals and they are a bit big in my vivo size. Fine with thick socks a bit loose with thinner socks. I was curious if you have worn the Groundies Odessa and if so how do they compare in size to those? I usually wear a EU38 in all shoes. I do have the Zaqq Derby Twist in UK5/EU38 and they run a bit higher volume but I just added and insole and they are fine. I’m hoping I can do the same with these.

    1. Hi! Yes, I do have a pair of the Odessa boots, I wear them in a size 37, same size I wear in my Riquet boots and my Vivo Fulhams (but the Fulham’s in a 37 fit bigger than the others).

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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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