Bohempia Vikla – Review

Vegan, sustainable, eco-friendly barefoot shoes made of hemp. Bohempia is one of the few companies that offers its barefoot shoes in two different widths. Now barefoot shoes are easily accessible even to those with very wide feet who usually have a lot of trouble finding suitable shoes for themselves.

Bohempia is a young but fast-growing company founded in 2015. The company manufactures shoes, clothing and various accessories. Their goal is to promote sustainability in fashion and increase the use again of hemp again. All their products are ethnically and sustainably made in Europe.

They become known in barefoot community with a barefoot version of their hemp shoes. Their barefoot models are suitable for both men and women, are vegan and are one of the few shoes that are also available in two different widths.

Here I review their slip-on model Vikla 1.0 in pink colour. Recently, all of their models received an update in Barefoot 2.0 version, which differs from 1.0 models only in the height of the side edge of the sole.

The shoes are packed in sustainable packaging, without the use of plastic.

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Use code BU10 for 10% discount

1. General

  • Brand: Bohempia
  • Model: Vikla
  • Colour: pink
  • Tested on: woman, medium-wide feet, 26.3 cm long and 10 cm wide (10.3 cm between metatarsal heads), low instep, skinny ankles with narrow heels, fin-shaped foot (see my how to measure guide and foot type) – wearing size 42

| Made in EU | Adult | Vegan | Ship to EU and USA |

2. Material characteristics

2.1 Upper

The Bohempia Vikla model was inspired by sailor shoes and therefore a look at them can quickly evoke memories of the sea and summer. They are made from hemp canvas and are available in three different colors – pink, which I review here, beige and black.

According to Bohempia, hemp material is durable, breathable, antimicrobial and moisture-wicking. Therefore, this model is more than suitable for summer when you want to wear closed-toe shoes.

Vikla is a slip-on model, which means you can put them on super fast. In the instep area, elastics are added along the sides, which allow some stretching for greater comfort while walking. The Bohemia logo is also added on the outside of the elastic.

The collar is padded, so the shoes will not cause you any discomfort while walking.

2.2 Lining

The inside of the shoe is offwhite colour and is made of the same material as the outside of the shoe.

The shoes come with a durable PU insole, which provides light shock absorption and a more pleasant walk on harder surfaces.

2.3 Sole

The sole is made of natural rubber and is 3.5 mm thick. The total thickness of the sole with the insole is approx. 6 mm.

The sole looks thicker than it really is due to the design. The outer edge is added just for the appearance. The shoes have good flexibility in both directions and this “wall design” of the sole does not significantly limit the flexibility of the shoe.

The sole is thin, but because of the foam insole you will still feel some cushion and a slightly less intense ground feeling under your feet. The shoes are therefore also suitable for those who want at least minimal shock absorption in their shoe.

Also check the video for the close-up and to see how they look on my feet.

3. Sizing information

3.1 Length

Bohempia shoes are available in sizes 36 to 47 and are unisex models. They are available in two widths, but pink is only available in standard width and in “woman” sizes.

In Bohempia shoes, I wear size 42 with an inside length of 27.5 cm. I have exactly 12 mm of space inside the shoe, which is my ideal number.

See post How much space do we need in shoes if you want to know more about that.

You can choose the appropriate size using the size chart or a template available on their website. I prefers their size chart to choose the right shoe length, and the templates are more useful in determining the approximate shoe width.


3.2. Toebox shape & width

Bohempia is one of the few brands that offers shoes in two different widths – standard and wide. The widths are given in their size chart but the inside width of the shoe is bigger from the values given in the table.

My foot width is 10 cm and I wear a standard width in size 42 where the width according to the size chart is 9.4 cm. 9.4 cm is the width of the insole, which is narrower than the actual inner width of the shoe. I have enough space in my shoes if I wear them barefoot, but I would need a little more space in width if I would wear the shoes with socks.

The ‘standard’ width in size 42 is best suited for medium wide feet and the ‘wide’ model for wide and extra wide feet. The width of Bohempia shoes does not increase evenly with size, so in smaller sizes the standard widths are suitable for wider feet than in bigger sizes. Due to the shape of the sole with a raised edge, it is not possible to obtain some extra width in the shoes by spreading the sole to the side.

In the photo below, you can see a comparison between the Vikla 1.0 ‘standard’ width model and the Kolda 2.0 ‘wide’ model. You can also see the difference in sole between the 1.0 and 2.0 model.

The toebox shape of Bohempia shoes has a milder slope towards the little toes and is most suitable for foot types 2-6 (most optimal for 2 and 5). With the type 1 you can have some extra space left in front of the smaller toes.

More about different foot types you can read in post What is my Foot Type?

3.3. Fit around the instep, heel and ankle

With slip-on shoes like this Vikla model, it is very important that the shoe holds your foot well. This way you prevent the heel from jumping, the foot from sliding forward, and the toes from gripping to keep the shoe on the foot.

Vikla fit the best to feet with normal heels and normal instep. If you have narrower heels and a very low instep, these shoes are not for you.

In the case of a slightly lower instep, the shoes will fit you well if you have wider heels. The standard-width Vikla model is also not suitable for very high insteps, but by choosing a wide model or by removing the insole, you can also get more space at the instep.

I have a low-medium high instep, narrow heels too and the shoe doesn’t fit me perfectly around the heel and over the instep. You can see in the photo above that I still have some gapping around my ankles. I improved the fit in instep part with a felt sticker, but in the case of a very low instep, this sticker won’t be enough.

There’s also the option of using an extra insole, but you’ll also lose some toe space and ground feeling.

4. Comfort

Extremely comfortable shoes. Because of the padded collar they never caused me any problems around my ankles either. You can also put them on very easily, because they do not require any effort or the use of hands.

5. How and when to wear them?

Vikla are ideal shoes if you like wearing casual clothes. They have a timeless look, so you will be able to wear them for years without a problem.

Due to their design and similarity with sailor shoes, I prefer to combine them with navy blue and white colours, e.g. dark blue jeans and a white t-shirt. You can also combine them with white pants and a striped T-shirt, jeans or a dress. There are many ways to wear them.

6. Price & where to buy

You can buy Bohempia Vikla on the official Bohempia website. The price of the Vikla model is 103 €.

Use BU10 for 10% off.

7. Shipping info

The shipping costs are free for orders above 150 €, for smaller orders the shipping costs are calculated during checkout.

8. To sum up

Due to the style of the shoe and inability to fix them well to foot, shoes may not be the best choice for just about any foot, but the two-width option significantly increases the circle of people to whom these shoes will fit perfectly.

Before I transitioned to barefoot shoes, I was a big fan of slip-on shoes and I’m glad I found my perfect pair among barefoot shoes too. Bohempia Vikla are made in the color I love, they use natural materials that breathe, are easy to put on and yet look great. You just have to love them.


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