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 favorite Lems products with you!

What Makes Lems Shoes Different?

So what are lems shoes known for? 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.
  • Lems Shoes are known as barefoot 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.
  • Several of Lems shoes are vegan, which is a great for vegan shoppers!

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

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Honest Lems Shoes Review

Over the years, we have both had trouble finding good hiking and walking shoes. Some don’t last, others create blisters or can’t be worn for a long period of time. Some are physically heavy and after an hour hike it feels like you’re wearing ankle weights.

NOTE – As women, we can only comment on Lems collection of women’s shoes and boots; however, Lems uses the same materials and technology for their men’s boots, so we’re confident their men’s shoes are just as good!

We had never worn barefoot shoes before and were surprised with how comfortable they were. Despite not having the additional padding on the heel, the shoes felt very supportive. We personally didn’t experience any ankle or knee pain that other people report feeling when they start wearing barefoot shoes. However, we aren’t wearing Lems as our only brand of shoe, so non-barefoot shoes are mixed into our daily wear.

When we first ordered from Lems, we had to exchange a few pairs in order to get the sizing right. Lems recommends measuring your feet according to their guide because most people have to size up in their shoes. So be aware of this before you order!

We appreciate how Lems shoes are styled. They’re truly minimalistic and are designed in neutral colors, so you can easily match your shoes with a range of clothing. They also offer a range of styles, from hiking to running to lifestyle. Lems Shoes are also built to last. They’re clearly constructed with high quality and tough materials. Unlike with some of our other shoes, especially lifestyle and running shoes, we usually have to replace them within a year. Lems Shoes last much longer, which is more sustainable. As a hiking shoe or boot, we love how they are lightweight and supportive. There really is nothing worse than being on a hike and wearing uncomfortable shoes!

Now that we’ve gone over why we love Lems Shoes, let’s dive into the details of our favorites!

Lems Outlander Waterproof Boot Review

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 Review

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 Review

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

Lems Chillum Review

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. The Chillum shoes are a supportive and functional lifestyle shoe that last!


  • 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!