Belenka Champ 2.0 Light teal vegan model

My In-Depth Review of the Be Lenka Champ 2.0 Barefoot Shoes

Last Updated on September 22, 2023

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I’ve been a huge fan of barefoot shoes for years now. There’s nothing quite like that liberating feel of wearing footwear designed to mimic being barefoot. No restrictive toe boxes squishing your toes together or arch-destroying support – just pure, natural movement.

As an avid barefoot shoe wearer, I’ve tried all the major brands out there. Lems, Vivobarefoot, Xero Shoes, you name it. But Be Lenka has a special place in my heart – and my shoe rack. Their Champ model has been my daily go-to for work, dog walks, travel, and fitness for a while now.

So when Be Lenka released the Champ 2.0 – an updated version of the original Champ – I was beyond excited. I just had to get my hands on a pair to see how they improved my favorite barefoot sneaker design.

In this mega in-depth review, I’ll share my experiences testing out and wearing the Lenka Champ 2.0 after months of real-world use. You’ll get the full scoop on the comfort, durability, style, and barefoot performance. Let’s dive in!

Testing the Vegan Light Teal Champ 2.0

For my test pair, I went with the brand-new vegan light teal colorway. How could I resist that refreshing, spring-ready hue?

The vegan upper on the Champ 2.0 really intrigued me too. It uses sustainable materials while still retaining the quality, breathability, and comfort of leather.

Belenka shoe box

Cracking open the box, I was thrilled to see the gorgeous teal upper in person. It really pops against the classic Be Lenka silhouette. The included pair of laces perfectly matched the upper color too.

Slipping them on for the first time, I instantly noticed the impeccable craftsmanship and attention to detail. The stitching and edges are completely clean and symmetrical – a mark of Be Lenka’s premium quality.

Autumn Update: Due to the new model release, the Champ 2.0 is now 40% off!

Key Standout Features of the Champ 2.0

Before diving into the specifics, let’s take a high-level look at what makes the Champ 2.0 special:

  • 4mm ultra-flexible sole connects you to the ground
  • Wide toe box allows natural toe spread
  • Cushioned removable insole for adaptable comfort
  • Premium leather/vegan uppers that are soft and breathable
  • Reinforced heel and toe bumper improve durability
  • Padded ankle collar prevents heel slippage
  • Anti-slide eyelet keeps tongue centered
belenka champ 2.0 light teal vegan shoes top picture

With those key features covered, let’s look at how they come together to create an incredible barefoot shoe experience.

Unmatched All-Day Comfort

If a shoe isn’t comfortable, I’m not wearing it. Period. Thankfully, Be Lenka absolutely delivers when it comes to all-day wearability. The Champ 2.0 is easily one of the most blissfully comfortable shoes in my entire collection.

Here’s why:

Roomy Toe Box Heaven

My toes rejoice in the extra spacious toe box of the Champ 2.0. Most sneakers cram your toes together in a constricted triangle shape. Not fun.

The Lenka Champ, on the other hand, features a wide foot-shaped toe box. My toes can naturally splay, engage, and move just like being barefoot.

This toe freedom makes a huge difference in comfort. No more squished piggy toes! Pressure points are eliminated, allowing me to be on my feet all day without fatigue.

True-to-Size Fit Perfection

Sizing and fit are so important for comfort. I have normal width feet, and the Champ 2.0 in my standard US size 9 fits flawlessly.

The overall volume provides a “just right” amount of room for my foot shape. Those with wider feet may benefit from sizing up, but for me, the true-to-size fit couldn’t be better.

With the laces tightened, my foot feels secure without any of the dreaded heel slippage. The padded tongue and ankle collar lock my foot in place.

Customizable Cushioning

Out of the box, the Champ 2.0 includes a removable cushioned foam insole. This ramps up the comfort even more with supportive, shock-absorbing cushioning.

When I want to up the ground feel and get closer to an “absolutely barefoot” experience, I take the insole out. This versatility lets me customize the cushioning.

Whether I wear it with or without the insole, the Lenka Champ 2.0 wins big points for cloud-like comfort. My feet never ache or get tired, even after hours of wear.

Premium Construction That Goes the Distance

A barefoot shoe has to stand up to some pretty demanding conditions. After all, the thin flexible sole provides less protection against abrasive surfaces.

belenka light teal vegan top photo

That’s why high-quality durable construction is so vital. I need shoes that will log serious miles over various urban and natural terrains without falling apart.

The Champ 2.0 uses top-notch materials and meticulous craftsmanship:

  • Full grain leather or vegan upper – I went with the super soft vegan option in teal. The technical microfiber material is featherlight yet strong.
  • Flexible rubber sole – Provides the perfect balance of ground feel and protection. The 5mm tread has held up well to asphalt, concrete, dirt trails and more.
  • Reinforced heel and toe – These high wear areas feature reinforced stitching to prevent ripping or abrasion issues. Smart!
  • Proprietary glueing method – The upper is bonded to the sole using a patented glueing technology that significantly improves longevity.

After months of near daily wear, my Champ 2.0s still look and feel brand new. The upper has stayed perfectly intact with zero signs of wear. Impressive workmanship indeed!

I expect I’ll easily get years of wear out of these premium sneakers. Be Lenka really designed the 2.0 for maximum durability.

Trendy Barefoot Style

Let’s be honest – as amazing as the Lenka Champ feels, I still want stylish shoes I can confidently wear out and about.

Thankfully, the Champ 2.0 brings together exceptional comfort and on-trend minimalist style. I get compliments every time I wear them!

The sleek silhouette pairs effortlessly with jeans, joggers, shorts, skirts, and dresses. The low profile design elongates my legs compared to chunky sneakers.

Beyond my teal pair, Be Lenka offers the 2.0 in timeless colorways like black, grey, tan, and blush pink. There’s also a full grain leather version for those who prefer that premium look and feel.

Truly a perfect everyday sneaker that seamlessly combines comfort and style – just what my wardrobe needed!

Optimized for a True Barefoot Experience

As a diehard barefoot shoe fan, delivering a natural, unrestricted barefoot feel is make-or-break for me.

The Champ 2.0 checks all the boxes to provide that sought-after barefoot experience:

belenka champ 2.0 soles

4mm Flexible Sole

This ultra thin sole bends and contours to my foot’s every move. I can actually feel subtle textures like cracks in the sidewalk through the sole.

The flexibility also allows my toes to grip and leverage the ground for stability, propulsion, and balance – just like being barefoot.

Foot-Shaped Toe Box

My toes can naturally splay, engage, and move uninhibited thanks to the extra wide toe box. This anatomical design allows my foot and toes to be in proper alignment.

I love that the upper material over the toes is super thin and soft. It’s barely noticeable, retaining a natural barefoot feel.

Anti-Slide Eyelets

Nothing ruins the barefoot experience like an annoying tongue that constantly slides to the side. Not with the Champ 2.0!

The anti-slide eyelets on the tongue elegantly solve this problem by securing it in place. No more readjusting every 5 minutes.

Padded Ankle Collar

Even during long walks and workouts, my foot feels securely locked in place. The padded ankle collar prevents any heel slippage or shifting inside the shoe.

This enhances stability for a carefree barefoot ride. No distractions, just ground connection.

For an authentic, uncompromising barefoot experience, the Champ 2.0 delivers the goods!

Rave Reviews from Other Barefoot Fans

As a long-time Be Lenka fan, I closely follow user feedback on their shoes. I’m hardly alone in my love for the Champ 2.0!

Here’s a sampling of the hundreds of overjoyed customer reviews:

“These are hands down the most comfortable shoe I’ve ever worn in my life! My feet feel so free and happy in them. I literally never want to take them off.”

“Just got the black leather ones and I’m obsessed. Perfect amount of ground feel while still being totally practical for urban settings.”

“I work retail and am on my feet all day. Switched to the Champ 2.0’s and now have ZERO foot pain at the end of a 10 hour shift! Feel like I’m walking on clouds.”

“Beyond stylish and versatile. I wear my new teal pair every chance I get! Non-stop compliments whenever I have them on.”

“I wear them with invisible socks or without socks (not smelly so far) and they are just as comfortable either way. They are all over the place in terms of comfort and style.”

Other barefoot shoe enthusiasts clearly share my sentiment about the Lenka Champ 2.0!

I did notice a few reviewers say the toe box runs slightly short. This mainly affects those with longer toes or who prefer wearing thicker toe socks with barefoot shoes.

“The size matches very well, though 0.1 or 0.2 cm would have been excellent. I measured my feet and they are 26.5 cm, so I ordered size 42 which is for 26.6 cm feet. But I think 26.7 or 26.8 cm would have been perfect.”

Also, some felt the 4mm sole was too thin for harsh outdoor terrain. But for everyday urban wear, it provides the ideal ground feel.

My Final Verdict: A Must-Have Barefoot Shoe

Over the past few months, my light teal Champ 2.0’s have become my go-to shoe. I wear them literally every single day without fail. They’re hands down among the most comfortable, durable, stylish, and high performing shoes in my entire collection.

Be Lenka managed to take an already beloved best-selling barefoot sneaker and make it even better with the Champ 2.0 update. Every detail has been meticulously refined for the ultimate wearing experience.

For anyone seeking the perfect blend of barefoot comfort, quality construction, and modern style, the Lenka Champ 2.0 is an easy first choice. I can’t recommend them highly enough. In fact, I’ve already ordered a couple more colors to build my collection!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are 4 potential FAQ questions and answers for your article on the Be Lenka Champ 2.0 barefoot shoes:

What is the sizing like on the Champ 2.0?

The Champ 2.0 runs true-to-size for most foot shapes. Those with wider feet may want to consider sizing up for a roomier fit. A small number of reviewers noted the toe box runs slightly short, so those with longer toes may prefer sizing up as well. Going with your standard shoe size should work well for those with average width, and normal length feet.

How durable is the Champ 2.0 sole?

The flexible 4mm rubber sole provides good durability for everyday wear while still allowing ground feel. The tread design grips well on urban terrain like sidewalks and asphalt. Some reviewers felt the sole was too thin for very rugged hiking use, but for everyday wear the Champ 2.0 sole should hold up well for many miles of use.

Can the Champ 2.0 be worn without socks?

Yes, the Champ 2.0 can comfortably be worn sockless. The vegan upper material and smooth interior lining prevent rubbing or blisters on bare feet. Reviewers say they are able to wear the Champ 2.0 for hours without socks and they remain odor-free. This versatility makes them easy to wear for a variety of activities.

What is the sizing availability?

The Champ 2.0 comes in both standard US men’s and women’s sizing from size 5 up to 13. Half sizes are available as well in the full range. The shoes are also offered in standard European sizes. Be Lenka provides a printable foot measurement tool on their site to help find your ideal size.

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