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GET TO KNOW LEMS SHOES
Lems Shoes is a barefoot shoe company. What are barefoot shoes? Barefoot shoes are shoes that mimic barefoot walking, creating optimal health for your feet, and in turn, your entire body. This requires a shoe with no arch support, no heel rise (also known as zero drop), a sole that lets your feet feel what you are walking on- meaning it has bend or gives with the movement of your foot, plenty of toe space both from side to side and top to bottom, materials that don’t restrict your foot’s movement by being too stiff, and have a way of staying securely on your feet (i.e. they don’t flop around). These are often sometimes referred to as minimalist shoes, meaning less is more. Barefoot shoes provide protection from the elements without restricting the natural functionality of our feet. Doesn’t this just make sense! Let the foot do what it is meant to do.
I have dealt with arch problems since I hit puberty. I started wearing custom made insoles when I was a teenager. They helped the immediate pain I was having but inhibited my feet from strengthening themselves in the long run. I continued to wear insoles until about two years ago when I came to the conclusion that they were making my knees snap, crackle, and pop. This actually had been happening for a long time before I started looking into it. It only happened when I was out and about. They would make such a loud noise my husband would hear it, and every time I took a step with that leg- POP. It was really annoying and gradually got more painful.
My search of better shoes, and researching why my insoles might be part of the problem, started soon after my first pregnancy when I made the decision to be a stay at home mom. I started going sock foot or barefoot as long as I was at home, which was most of the time. Before long, when I slipped my shoes on, the pain was immediate. I started realizing how much my insoles were restricting my foot movement. Around this time my oldest child was nearing walking age. It was at this time when I was introduced to the levels of Stride Rite. I didn’t give it as much thought as I should have. I just followed Stride Rite’s instructions for their brand’s different stages of walking. The first stage included a sole that bent freely with the movement of the child’s foot (in a barefoot shoe fashion), but then the next stage included an extremely unbending sole. What? I watched my child try different shoes, some turning out to be better than others, but all of them visibly restricting her foot movement. At this point I had stopped wearing my insoles but was still wearing normal shoes (minus heels and ones that completely bound my toes- which I’d learned to stay away from at a very young age due to my big toe shape and proneness to ingrown toenails).
Fast forward about a year when my second child began walking. I had found a brand called go Plae. They were significantly better than most of the shoes we had tried, but we were still having problems. I couldn’t get the youngest to pick a pace other than almost backwards while wearing them, and my oldest started walking flat footed. I honestly don’t remember how I stumbled onto the idea of barefoot shoes, but I’m so glad I did. The only problem was that I couldn’t actually find them. It took me six months of scouring google to find them. Mostly it was because I didn’t know what to call them. Once I learned to call them barefoot shoes, minimalist shoes, and zero drop shoes, I started finding a couple companies. Ok, actually one. Vibrams. I knew I wouldn’t feel very confident with those Five Finger toe shoes on, and I knew I hated toe socks, so I probably wouldn’t like these. Then, I learned that some of the big name companies, like New Balance, were claiming to have a minimalist shoe. After carefully investing these, however, it turned out they didn’t have zero drop soles and who knows if they were even made with barefoot walking in mind.
After about another month of searching I found Lems Shoes.
Lems Shoes was a success!
MY REVIEW- LEMS SHOES BOULDER BOOT
Does the Boulder Boot live up to the expectations of what a barefoot shoe should be?
Yes, the Boulder Boot meets all the criteria a barefoot shoe should have as mentioned above; no arch support, zero drop, stays on foot through adjustment of laces, bends with foot, and large enough toe space.
Do I recommend Lems Shoes Boulder Boot?
Yes, I highly recommend Lems Shoes Boulder Boot.
Lems Shoes women’s and men’s boots are only slightly different in look, and the options are simple. I love that they don’t offer a million and one styles. It makes choosing a minimal decision.
These are my actual boots in the picture above. I wear them with everything. Some people may not see it as fashionable or their style, but I feel fashion is all about what you associate it with, and I associate my boots with healthy feet, and in turn healthy body, which makes me feel confident to wear them. I wear these with all kinds of leggings. I fold the ankles of my jeans to look cute with them as well. I wear them with everything.
The toe space is phenomenal, which is part of the problem with some proclaimed barefoot shoes. The Boulder Boot allows you to spread your toes apart and lift them up while in the shoe.
– If the back area with the tag used for pulling on the shoe seems a bit stiff, I promise it will break in within a couple weeks. If you look at the picture at the top of this post, you’ll notice I discovered not lacing the top lace really gives some needed extra bend in the ankle area, and DON’T forget to actually lace them to stay on your feet! Shoes that flop around don’t truly serve as a barefoot shoe.
– Technically these boots aren’t waterproof but they seem fine without waterproof spray (although I haven’t stood a puddle yet- only passed through). Lems Shoes recommends using an eco- friendly water proof spray.
– If you need to work on getting the natural spread of your feet muscles back to human, rather than the smooshed specimens typical modern shoes create, check out Awesome Toes. Awesome Toes are toe spreaders that can be worn while you walk and even in Lems Shoes. These aren’t the toe spreaders listed on Lems Shoes’ website. I like Awesome Toes better because they actually wrap around your toes to stay in place.
– Signup for emails to get 10% off.
A good book for further reading on the concept of barefoot shoes is Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, a story about finding the answers of a tribe filled with amazing athletes despite the fact that their shoes are made of almost nothing. I thought it was a very intriguing book. I found myself shaking my head yes in agreement to many of the things written; the difficulty finding any information about healthy feet and the frustration of why what the author was being told to do, and wear, wasn’t fixing his arches.
NOTE ABOUT OTHER LEMS SHOES PRODUCTS
I’m not sure what’s up with their Primal 2 shoe, I’m hoping it’s a flaw that will be corrected ( I will be getting in touch and finding out for sure), but there is a strange roundedness to the heal and ball area. It’s like trying to balance on small balls. Lems Shoes Primal 2 shoe is the only sole that has this. Their Boulder Boot, Mariner, and Ninetofive all have the same kind of sole, a sole that does meet barefoot shoe requirements unlike the Primal 2 sole. I will update this post when I get to the bottom of this, as trying to steady on balls is definitely not a barefoot characteristic.
MY STORY CONTINUES
My feet and body are feeling great. Chiropractic adjustments last longer. My arches are getting strong, and my feet actually look completely different. They just look healthy. They didn’t grow as much in width as they did in depth. It visibly lifted my arches and raised the top of my ankle (from top to bottom). It turns out gaining muscles in your feet looks so right. My balance has improved drastically, and I can actually spread my toes using my foot muscles! All this from wearing my Lems Shoes’ Boulder Boots (actually the only shoe I wear right now), using my Awesome Toes from Yoga Body, and a little yoga here and there.
A NOTE ABOUT BAREFOOT KIDS SHOES
When I finally found this company after long researching, I was saddened to see kids shoes weren’t an option. I’ve talked with Lems Shoes’ staff and kids shoes aren’t in any plans as of now. I have, however, found an amazing company with barefoot kids shoes based in Germany called Wildling Shoes! Be sure to checkout the blog for my review of them.
A NOTE ABOUT SUMMERTIME BAREFOOT SHOES
I know it’s nearing the end of boot season, so I’ll be trying Earth Runners Sandals. Check them out and try them with me. I’ll let you know how they turn out. I’m also on the hunt for kids barefoot sandals.
WHERE TO BUY- SHOP…