In recent years, the selective inhibition of FKBP51 has emerged as a possible treatment for chronic pain, obesity-induced diabetes, or depression. All currently known advanced FKBP51-selective inhibitors, including the widely used SAFit2, contain a cyclohexyl residue as a key motif for enabling selectivity over the closest homologue and anti-target FKBP52. During a structure-based SAR exploration, we surprisingly discovered thiophenes as highly efficient cyclohexyl replacement moieties that retain the strong selectivity of SAFit-type inhibitors for FKBP51 over FKBP52. Cocrystal structures revealed that the thiophene-containing moieties enable selectivity by stabilizing a flipped-out conformation of Phe of FKBP51. Our best compound, , potently binds to FKBP51 biochemically as well as in mammalian cells, desensitize TRPV1 in primary sensory neurons, and has an acceptable PK profile in mice, suggesting its use as a novel tool compound for studying FKBP51 in animal models of neuropathic pain.