Lems Shoes Review: Best Shoes for Hiking, Running, and Walking

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Learn more about why Lems Shoes are one of the best brands for hiking, running, and walking shoes!

We’re big fans of Lems, a company from Boulder, Colorado, that specializes in natural shape, minimally designed shoes. We’ve been wearing Lems for several years and are excited to share some of our favorites!

Lems offers a wide range of shoe styles, from hiking and exercise to around the town. Even with this range, all the shoes have a few attributes in common:

  • Shoes have a natural shape, meaning they provide plenty of room in the toe box for your feet to naturally relax and splay, unlike a lot of other modern shoes.
  • The shoes are either zero-drop or only a few millimeters above being zero-drop. While many other shoes are designed in a way that elevates the heel and can throw off posture and gait, zero-drop shoes are designed to be more like walking barefoot.
  • The shoes are lightweight with flexible soles, giving your feet the ability to flex more naturally and feel like you’re not wearing shoes at all.

Let’s take a look at some of our favorite Lems Shoes!

Get the Black Friday deal! NOVEMBER 21-28: UP TO 25% OFF SITEWIDE

Lems Outlander Waterproof Boot

Lems’ newest boot, the Outlander, is an all-season, waterproof boot, perfect for hiking and outdoor adventures.

The tread is great for hiking uphill on wet trails, but they never feel heavy or clunky. They also provide some ankle support without feeling constricted.

© 2022, Lems Shoes

I wore these on a trip to Olympic National Park where it rained every day, and I was impressed by how my feet never got wet, despite encountering puddles, streams, and even show on the mountaintop.

The Outlander pairs nicely with Smartwool hiking socks.

The Outlander can be a bit warm at times so keep that in mind on hot days!


  • Cost: $190
  • 100% Waterproof
  • Wide Toe Box
  • Zero-drop
  • Zig-zag tread for all-season grip

Shop for the Outlander Boot

Lems Vegan Boulder Boot

The Boulder Boot is a great all-purpose boot. It has a lightweight, bendable sole and a toe box so wide and comfy it can almost feel like slippers! They are great for the outdoors but also light enough to wear indoors and around town.

The Boulder Boot is my favorite to wear on easy day hikes, photo walks, or at the nature center where I work. I gravitate toward the Boulder Boot when I am doing a lot of walking around outside but not necessarily extensive hiking. For example, I like wearing them at work when I am switching between working indoor educational programs and nature walks on the trails where I’ll encounter a variety of outdoor conditions.

The Boulder Boot has less tread than the Outlander, so I prefer to wear these on short, level hikes where I’m not carrying much gear. They also are not as waterproof, unless you specifically get the leather waterproof Boulder Boot

The Boulder Boot also pairs nicely with Smartwool hiking socks.


  • Cost: $135
  • Vegan
  • Wide Toe Box
  • Zero-drop
  • Not waterproof
  • Lightweight

Shop for the Boulder Boot

Lems Mesa

The Lems Mesa is my go-to sneaker and the first style of Lems shoes I purchased. I knew I was going to be doing a lot of walking and sought out shoes with a wide toe box and low drop. I was so happy to come across the Mesa! They are so comfortable and also have a simple, clean look. I chose the Mesa over a true barefoot shoe since I knew I would be walking on a lot of gravel; while I want to feel the ground with my feet, maybe I don’t want to feel that much of the ground!

If I know I won’t be walking through mud or big puddles, the Mesa is a great shoe to wear at work. At one of my jobs, I put many miles on my Mesas walking crushed gravel trails, going up and down stairs, and standing for extended periods of time. I am impressed that my feet don’t hurt after a long day!


  • Cost: $130
  • Knit Mesh
  • Quick-drying
  • Zero-drop
  • Not waterproof
  • Lightweight and flexible

Get the Black Friday deal! NOVEMBER 21-28: UP TO 25% OFF SITEWIDE

Lems Chillum

It’s in the name – The Lems Chillum shoes are great for when things are chill and easy. With a kick-around sneaker feel and look but with a much wider toe box, they can be stand-ins for Keds or Converse.


  • Cost: $130
  • Cork footbed
  • Wide toe box
  • Zero-drop
  • Not waterproof
  • Lightweight
© 2022, Lems Shoes

Tips for Purchasing Lems shoes

Having purchased several pairs of shoes over the last few years, we wanted to share some advice for finding the best shoes for you.

Measure your feet before selecting a size

Lems explains in detail the best way to find the perfect fit.

If you’re going based on your usual shoe size, you should size up! I wear an 8.5 in most shoes but can wear a 9.5 or 10 in Lems.

Use the sizing chart to compare between styles

There is some sizing variation between shoe styles, so look at the sizing chart to consider exactly what size to get in what style.

We hope if you get a pair of Lems, that they take you on some awesome adventures!

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