Lems Shoes is a brand that focuses on minimalist footwear for the outdoors. Their mission is to design shoes that are lightweight, flexible, and durable, while still allowing for natural foot movement.
The company has a focus on creating comfortable and eco-friendly shoes. In this Lems Shoes review, we’ll take a closer look at some of their most popular styles for hiking, including the Boulder Summit, the Outlander and the Trailhead, to help you determine if they’re the right choice for you.
Lems Shoes Review #1: Outlander Boot
Lems Outlander boots are designed for outdoor adventures and perform well in different terrains, including sand, water, and forests. They are waterproof, breathable, and comfortable to wear for long hours over a day spent hiking.
- Lems Outlander Waterproof Boots are specifically designed for outdoor sports like hiking and camping. They are comfortable and stylish, also making them an excellent choice for daily wear.
- The Outlander boots have great traction and can withstand different terrains, including forests, mountains, mud, sand and snow.
- They are made with a nylon and leather upper, polyester lining, winter traction outsole and a breathable waterproof insole.
- Colors: Iceberg, Blue Steel, Evergreen
- Insole: 4.5mm
- Stack Height: 16.0mm
- Drop: 0.0mm
- Weight: 14.7 oz in men’s size 10 and women’s size 11.5
- Fit: True to size
- Vegan options are not available
- Waterproof: The Lems Outlander Boots are fully waterproof.
- Traction: The sticky rubber outsole utilizes 4mm deep lugs and zig-zag grooves to provide ample traction.
- Comfort: The boots have a minimalist, zero drop architecture with a wide toe box that allows for natural toe splay.
- Lightweight: At 14.7 oz for men’s size 10 and women’s size 11.5 , they are lightweight and easy to wear over long hikes.
- Expensive: The Lems Outlander Boots are on the pricier side at $190, which may not be affordable for everyone.
YouTuber Odie Matthews reviews the Outlander Boots after testing them in the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado, famous for its sandy hiking trails and scenic views. The reviewer runs a popular YouTube channel with more than 3K subscribers that’s been around since 2013 where he reviews all sorts of travel related gear.
The Outlander boots hold up impressively well in water. The reviewer wore them in a stream and found that his feet were completely dry even when he stepped into water up to the ankles.
The reviewer points out that sand tended to get inside the boots. For this reason he recommends wearing them with socks rather than going barefoot. Overall, the reviewer found that the Outlander boots are great for a variety of terrains, and he would trust them for hiking in the snow or places where there’s going to be a lot of water.
In terms of comfort, the reviewer found that Lems Outlander boots are comfortable to wear all day. They’re breathable, which is great for hot weather, and stylish too, so you can wear them in everyday life as well. They also have great traction, making it easy to step over logs and broken branches.
Lems Shoes Review #2: Boulder Summit Boot
The Lems Boulder Summit is a lightweight, waterproof boot that compresses down to the size of a rolled-up jacket. This makes it a great choice for hikers who need to pack light. The Boulder Summit is an updated version of the original Boulder Boot, featuring a grippier outsole and thicker leather.
- The Boulder Summit is the latest iteration of one of Lem’s most popular boots, the Boulder Boot.
- The new Lems Boulder Summit Boot is an upgraded version with improvements in the leather quality, tongue gusseting, waterproofing, and outsole.
- Colors: Nitro, Rugged Bark
- Outsole: 9.0mm LemsRubber™ (air-injection rubber)
- Insole: 3.5mm
- Stack Height: 10.0mm
- Drop: 0.0mm
- Weight: 9oz in men’s size 10 and women’s size 8.5
- Fit: Lems recommends that customers order up at least ½ size from their US size. For example, if you normally wear a size 9, you should consider ordering a size 9.5 or 10.
- Vegan options are the Nitro
- Waterproof: The Lems Boulder Summit Boot is fully waterproof with an upper made of 1200-denier nylon and nubuck leather, making it a great option for wet and rainy hiking conditions.
- Rugged outsole: The Boulder Summit Boot features a rugged outsole with 4mm deep lugs and zig-zag grooves, offering excellent grip and traction on uneven and slippery terrain.
- Lightweight: The Boulder Summit is a super lightweight hiking boot, weighing just 9oz, making it comfortable for long hikes.
- Natural Foot-Shaped: The boot has a natural foot-shaped design that allows the toes to wiggle and spread, promoting a midfoot strike and natural alignment. The boot has a 0mm heel-to-toe drop, placing the forefoot and heel flat on the ground.
- Sole thickness: Some reviewers have noted that the soles on Lems boots, including the Summit Boot, are thicker than expected in minimalist shoes, which may not be ideal for those looking for a truly minimalist or barefoot experience. For people that are new to minimalist, barefoot style shoes, this can be a big plus because it gives your foot more cushion.
- Toe box width: A few reviewers have mentioned that the toe box may not be wide enough for some individuals.
- Heavier: The Lems Boulder Summit Boot is slightly heavier than the 1st generation Lems Boulder Boot, with a weight of 12.8 oz compared to 11.9 oz.
Rose Anvil is a YouTube channel with more than 700K subscribers run by a cobbler and footwear enthusiast who creates videos that cover various aspects of shoes and boots, including reviews, restorations, and customizations. In this video, the reviewer provides a detailed comparison between the first generation Boulder Boot and most recent Boulder Summit Boot, discussing their strengths and weaknesses, and cutting them in half to see what’s inside.
The Boulder boot is one of Lems’ most popular shoes, and has been worn by the reviewer for the last two and a half years. Lems released a new version of this shoe in late 2022 called the Summit boot, which has upgrades and improvements that fix some of the issues with the original Boulder boot. One of the major issues is that the sole of the Boulder is just foam and has no rubber, which makes it wear out quickly and lose its cushion over time.
The leather on the Summit boot is of higher quality and is a little thicker, at 2.3 millimeters, compared to the Boulder boot, which has a thin leather that is heavily pigmented. The Summit boot also has a gusseted tongue up to the second eyelet, making it waterproof and giving it more protection from water and dirt.
The insole of both boots is anatomical in shape, but the Summit boot has a dual-density insole, while the Boulder boot has a single-density foam insole. The Summit boot also has a midsole layer that’s glued to a rubber outsole, giving it more durability and grip.
The construction of both boots is cemented, with no stitching holding the soles together. The reviewer has never had any issues with the soles coming apart in any of the Lems shoes he has owned.
In conclusion, the Summit boot is a new and improved version of the Boulder boot, with upgrades that include better quality leather, gusseted tongue, waterproof design, better outsole, and a slightly softer midsole.
Lems Shoes Review #3: Trailhead
The Lems Trailhead is a trail shoe engineered to handle a variety of terrains, from rocky mountain paths to city streets, without compromising on comfort, durability, or style. The Trailhead is made of microfiber and air mesh, with a full-length rubber outsole. The microfiber provides support, while the air mesh allows for ventilation, and the rubber outsole provides ample traction.
- The Lems Trailhead hiking shoe is durable and comfortable, has a thicker outsole than most minimalist shoes.
- The Trailhead has a 4mm heel to toe elevation – taller than the other shoes we’ve discussed in this article.
- The Trailhead is recommended for a variety of activities, including disc golf, hiking, and trail running.
- Colors: Desert Khaki, Mercury Sunset, Moonlit Moss, Stormy Night, Sage, Sequoia, Onyx (not all colors are available in the women’s style)
- Footbed: 4.5mm
- Stack Height: 17mm/21mm
- Drop: 4.0mm
- Weight: 11.7oz in Men’s size 10 and 9.5oz in Women’s size 9
- Fit: Lems recommends that customers order up at least ½ size from their US size.
- Vegan options are available in the Moonlit Moss, Onyx, Sequoia, Stormy Night and Sage
- Lightweight: The Lems Trailhead is made out of microfiber and air mesh, making it super lightweight and comfortable to wear during outdoor activities. A men’s size 10 weighs 11.7oz.
- Durability: The Lems Trailhead is designed with a new low-profile rubber tread that offers ample traction on trails while also providing excellent durability on pavement.
- Vegan: The Lems Trailhead includes a version made entirely out of vegan materials, including the microfiber and air mesh used in its upper.
- Popularity: According to reviews and ratings, the Lems Trailhead is a great option for those looking for a minimalist hiking shoe, with a score of 87/100 on RunRepeat.
- Price: The Lems Trailhead comes with a retail price of $140, which might be considered pricey by some.
- Limited waterproofing: Although the Lems Trailhead is designed to be versatile, it is not waterproof.
As a disc golf player, the reviewer has been searching for the perfect shoe to help alleviate joint pain and improve his performance on the course. After trying out various running and hiking shoes, he stumbled upon zero drop and four millimeter drop shoes, which are designed to provide a more natural and stable base for the foot.
Since switching to these types of shoes, the reviewer has noticed a significant improvement in how his knees, ankles, hips, and back feel after playing golf. And after wearing zero drop shoes for over a year, he can confidently say that they have been a game-changer for him.
The Lems Trailhead shoe is one of the reviewer’s favorite pairs of zero-drop shoes – although the Trailhead are technically not 100% zero-drop (they have a 4mm elevation). He complements the tread on these shoes has being thick and substantial, providing great contact with the ground and making him feel more connected to the earth.
When the reviewer first switched to zero drop shoes, he did experience some soreness in his lower legs as his feet adjusted to the new position. But after just a few weeks, the soreness went away, and he has never looked back.
Are Lems Outlander boots vegan-friendly?
Yes, Lems offers both vegan and leather options for their boots.
Is the Lems Boulder Boot waterproof?
No, the Boulder Boot is not waterproof, and the tongue is not gusseted, which means water and dirt can get inside the boot.
What is the difference between the Lems Boulder Boot and the Summit Boot?
The Summit Boot is an upgraded version of the Boulder Boot, with improvements in leather quality, tongue gusseting, waterproofing, and outsole.
Are Lems boots good for outdoor activities?
The Boulder Boot is not great for outdoor activities due to its lack of grip and waterproofing, but the Summit Boot is a better choice for hiking and other outdoor activities.
How do I choose the right size for the Lems boots?
It is recommended to measure your feet and use the size chart provided by Lems to ensure a proper fit.
What is a cemented construction method?
Cemented construction is a method of shoe construction where the sole is glued to the upper.
Are Lems Chillum good for hiking?
Yes, these shoes perform well for hiking and backpacking, but may not be suitable for more technical terrain.
Can you wear Lems Chillum in the winter?
These shoes are not designed for winter weather and may be slick on snowy or icy surfaces.
How do you care for Lems Chillum?
You can treat the material with Otter wax or Nik wax to protect them from the elements.
Do Lems Chillum have good arch support?
These shoes are designed with a minimalist approach and do not provide traditional arch support.
How do Lems Chillum compare to other minimalist shoes?
These shoes are well-designed and perform well in a variety of environments, but it’s important to choose a shoe that fits your individual needs and preferences.
What are zero drop shoes?
Zero drop shoes have no height difference between the heel and the ball of the foot, providing a flat and natural position for the foot.
What are four millimeter drop shoes?
Four millimeter drop shoes have a slight height difference between the heel and the ball of the foot, providing a natural but slightly raised position for the foot.
How can zero drop shoes help with knee problems?
Zero drop shoes can help improve posture and alignment, reducing the pressure on the knees and promoting better joint health.
Are Lems Trailhead shoes only for hiking?
No, Lems Trailhead shoes are versatile and can be used for a variety of outdoor activities such as disc golf, running, and walking.