• barefootshoereview

Episode 73: Feelgrounds Chelsea - Cream (Sara) & Sienna (Sean)

We live in a country (Israel) where at least 8 months out of the year I’m wearing sandals or light airy shoes. Winter suddenly crept up on us (we don’t really have an autumn season, it sort of goes from summer to winter overnight) and I couldn’t get away with wearing open toe shoes anymore. Plus I was traveling to NY in November which is already quite cold. It was time to figure out which boots I was going to wear this winter. When I saw that Feelgrounds came out with a Vegan, water repellent Chelsea model I knew they would get it spot on. I was so pleased with their sandals and sneaker/shoe models and enjoy wearing them all the time. Their toe box looks relatively mainstream and I love how minimal and light most of their shoes are.



When I saw they were offering the Chelsea model in a gorgeous rich cream color, I was stoked! Growing up, as a woman, I often associated a dressy shoe or boot with high heels. Those days are long behind me since I strongly believe beauty does NOT equal pain.

These boots lived up to every expectation. The upper is a supple and beautiful faux cream leather with contrasting yet complimentary black accents from the elastic ankle piece and soles. The anatomical toe box is so tastefully shaped in addition to the sole that is designed to look like there is a slight heel. They look so much like a traditional Chelsea boot, yet they have an elegance about them which makes them totally appropriate for more dressy occasions. I wore these to an engagement party and to a bachelorette party and it complimented my cream sweater dress perfectly. My mom even said that these were her favorite of all my barefoot shoes, which is kind of a big deal since my mom hasn’t liked many barefoot shoes she’s seen.


I think my favorite part of the boot is how light and flexible they are especially since they look so much like a regular Chelsea boot. I barely felt like I was wearing a boot on my feet and that is saying a lot for someone who rarely even wears a closed shoe. They also have a removable insole which is perfect to remove if wearing on a warmer day or if you prefer better ground feel. I’m quite relieved that I found the perfect go to boot to dress up or down this winter.


The Feelgounds Chelsea is available in Black, Sienna, and Cream in Women’s US size 5-7,7.5,8-11,11.5, and Men’s US 7-12,12.5, 13-15.


Click Here to access the Feelgrounds website.


Disclaimer: These shoes were given to me to review, however my opinion is my own. By purchasing from an affiliate link, I will receive a small commission which doesn't cost you anything.


Company Overview:


After making a huge splash in the barefoot community in 2019 -- Feelgrounds continues to make noticeable strides, by providing their customers with a range of ever-evolving and stylish barefoot shoes, at a competitive price. Owning much of their success due to their excellent online marketing approach - they've successfully crowdfunded $250,000 to assist with production, released their much loved "Original" model, followed by the "Highrise", the Droptop and their fourth; the Patrol & the Lite version. They are releasing a Sandal and kids shoes as well.


"We are a young team of innovators. Our mission is to make barefoot shoes available and appealing to more people.


We launched our first sneakers model in April 2019 on Indiegogo and raised over $250,000 due to the massive support of our amazing backers. Feelgrounds™ was funded within 48 hours.


We're planning to expand our range of models and styles in the future, while continually striving to build better footwear."





Manufacturing and Sustainability:


"At Feelgrounds, we believe that footwear manufacturing can be done responsibly, so we decided to use mainly recycled materials. Our shoes are also 100% animal-free. Our goal is to create shoes that are better for your feet and better for the environment than traditional shoes.


Feelgrounds shoes are manufactured under fair conditions in Vietnam. All workers are of age and benefit from social, medical, and accident insurance. The workers' salary is above the regional average. Sustainability, fairness, and transparency are important values to us.


All materials, used for Feelgrounds, are responsibly sourced. The upper and laces fabric comes from recycled PET bottles. We use a special footwear TPE material for the outsole. This material is extremely flexible, durable, and fully recyclable."





Shipping and Returns:

  • Ships to various countries around the world for a set fee.

  • No additional customs fees or taxes for shipments within the EU

  • "If you're not 100% satisfied with your purchase, we're happy to let you know that you may apply for a refund/exchange within our return policy of 30 days. The shoes have to be clean and undamaged to be eligible for a return. Shoes that were worn outside are not eligible for a refund/exchange. Any returned item not in its original condition or packaging, damaged or missing parts for reasons not due to our error may be applicable only for a partial refund."

Click here for more shipping info. Click here to view the refund policy.



First Impressions:


- Rich cream color

- Unisex

- Quality materials

- Tastefully shaped anatomical toe box

- Quite minimalist, 10mm sole plus 3mm insole

- Super flexible

- No ankle restriction

- Finger loop - easy to slip on

- Water repellant

- Vegan

- Complimentary black accents with sole and elastic ankle piece

- Good tread

- Removable 3mm natural cork insole for more ground feel or if warm

- Microsuede inner lining is soft, comfortable, and cozy

- Can be dressed up

- Lightweight

- Would wear with socks to prevent rubbing by the ankle

- Zero break-in time

- Zero drop but has a sole that looks like it has a slight heel so its quite aesthetically pleasing



Sizing and Fit:


**My foot is 25cm long and 9.5cm width. I generally wear a US 8 / EU 39. My biggest toe is the longest and have medium/regular volume feet**


**Sean's foot length is 26cm and 10.1cm width. He generally wears a Men's US 8 or 9 and EU 42. He has high volume feet.**


I received the Chelsea in a size US 8 EU 39 and they are true to size. However, if you plan on wearing them with a thick sock then either remove the 3mm cork insole or try sizing up.

I you have a high volume foot or if you’re between sizes then size up.

I would recommend always wearing them with a sock to prevent rubbing or chaffing by the ankle part but otherwise there was zero break in time.


They are extremely easy to slip on and off, I don’t feel like I have to force my foot in at all. For more minimalist/extra ground feel I like to remove the insoles. The width is roomy and the boot is so supple and flexible and pleasant to wear.


According to Feelgrounds sizing info:

  • fits true to size for most customers. Some customers need to size-up due to the Chelsea's curved heel (which helps to secure the foot in the boot) as it might position your foot a little more towards the front. Especially if you intend to wear thicker socks with your Chelseas, or your other Feelgrounds are already quite snug, we therefore recommend sizing up.

  • The Chelsea boots have the same sole as our Patrol boots. It has the same inner length and inner width as our Original, Droptop, and Highrise sole, but differs in design, material, thickness, and tread pattern.

  • The Chelsea boots are perfectly suited for feet with low to medium instep volume. For customers with a very flat instep, we advise an extra insole and/or thick socks.

  • recommended wiggle room in front of your toes: approx. 0.5 - 1.2 cm



I agree with their sizing recommendations from their site, it is quite accurate and easy to figure out.


Performance:


The Chelsea boot is the perfect every day boot that you will thoroughly enjoy this winter.

One of my favorite parts about it is that I don’t feel any ankle or foot restriction while wearing this boot. (The Feelgrounds Patrol for example is stiffer compared to this boot).

The sole has a grippy texture for maximum traction and it is water repellant so it’s reliable on a wet slippery day. It is super lightweight, I literally felt like I was bouncing/floating around in these as if there was no weight on my feet. There was zero break in time and I immediately felt at home in these boots.



Upper and Lining:


- Vegan PU leather (upper)

- Microsuede (inner lining),

- Cork (exchangeable 3mm insole)

- Black elastic ankle piece

- Finger Loop

- Water Repellant

- Eco Friendly

- Supple and Flexible

- Quality



Sole:


- TPE & TPU (sole)

- Zero Drop 10mm sole plus 3mm cork insole

- Grippy texture for maximum traction

- Good ground feel

- Sole feels lightweight


Technical Specifications:

  • Vegan PU Leather (upper), cork (insole), TPE and TPU Rubber (outsole)

  • Weight per shoe: 343 g / 12.1 oz (US W11.5/M10)

  • Sole thickness: 10 mm / 0.4 in, total stack height incl. exchangeable cork insole: 13 mm / 0.5 in

  • Drop: Zero drop

  • Available sizes: US W 5-7,7.5,8-11,11.5, and US M 7-12,12.5, 13-15.

  • Price: $149

  • Water Repellant



Care Instructions:


Loose dirt is best removed with a dry, soft shoe brush. Then work in a mild cleaning solution with a little water and a clean brush. Remove excess product with a damp cloth. After cleaning, allow to dry at room temperature. Afterwards, we recommend the use of a waterproofing spray, especially for the elastic ankle piece.


The Chelsea is not machine washable.



Where and How to Wear:


The Chelsea is the perfect boot to dress up or down. Wear the boot with a causal pair of jeans and they’re great for work or school or around town. Or you can pair them with dressier pants or a cute dress and they're perfect for a night out, party, or dressy event especially in the Black or Cream color options.



Future Improvements:


The only improvement I would recommend is that Feelgrounds create more half size options for slip on boots like these since I have a feeling that many customers may find themselves between sizes.


Conclusion:


I am so thrilled to add the Chelsea to my list of favorite winter boots this winter. They are so aesthetically pleasing, flexible, lightweight, and best of all they don’t restrict my foot in any way. And I’m definitely excited to add them to my list of dressy barefoot boots as well. The rich cream color adds such a beautiful touch to any outfit and truly pulls the whole look together. With good traction, water repellant, and eco friendly, what more can you ask for!


Click Here to access the Feelgrounds website.