Like an eyelash trapped under your eyelid, bad footwear reminds you of its own inadequacies with every step. In a world dominated by Fitbits and pedometers, who has time for 12,000 steps of such inadequate unpleasantries? Your feet deserve good footwear, and fortunately for you, we've found a pair that'll do the trick: The Boulder Boot by Lems Shoes! They come in a variety of Men's and Women's sizes.
Lems Shoes sent us a pair to test in November, and I've been wearing these boots around town, on hikes, and at the office for the past 2 months. After putting them through the wringer, here are my thoughts!
General Impressions of the Boulder Boot:
The Boulder Boots by Lems Shoes were designed to be light, packable, and ultraminimalist. My pair of size 44's weigh in at just over 12oz (per shoe), and they feature a zero drop design (no height difference from heel to toe), a wide toe box, and a 100% cotton lining. The pair I reviewed is the Men's Boulder Boot Brown.
Pros of the Boulder Boot:
While there are many thing I enjoy about the Boulder Boots, I can summarize most of the points by talking about comfort and versatility.
1. Comfort: First and foremost the Boulder Boots are exceptionally comfortable. Whenever I transition to my Boulder Boots from other shoes, I feel like my feet can finally breath! The wide toe box allows my toes room to wiggle, while the relatively high cut of the boot provides solid ankle support. The cotton lining adds another layer of comfort (and style), and while I'm not sure how much warmth the lining actually adds, my feet have been staying toasty this Minnesota winters despite some incredibly cold mornings. The comfort of the Boulder Boots is further enhanced by its zero drop design. Having fallen in love with zero drop footwear after wearing a pair of Xero Shoes sandals, I really enjoy the sensation of my feet feeling the ground while i'm walking.
2. Versatility: Fashionable yet rugged, the Boulder Boots can easily be warn on your commute to work, while you are at work, and during your after work walk in the park. Unlike many other shoes with wide toe boxes and a zero drop design, they actually look good! While you can find boots that are more rugged or more fashionable, you'll be hard pressed to find boots more rugged and more fashionable!
Bottom line is that these boots look good, feel good, and can be warn in casual and professional/semi professional settings (or at least all the professional settings I encounter). They are boots you'll find yourself wearing all the time.
Cons of Boulder Boot:
With all lightweight products my concern is always durability. While I have this concern with the Boulder Boots, I haven't warn them long enough to substantiate or rebuke this potential con. After 2 months, they are holding up well. When thinking of things I don't like (or don't care about), I think about packability and the threads.
1. Packability: When you get your hands on a pair of the Boulder Boots, the first thing you will notice is the weight. They are EXCEPTIONALLY light. They are also EXCEPTIONALLY packable! While this packability is a neat feature (and looks sweet in marketing/advertising), in the 2 months of wearing them, I've never actually needed them to be packable. More over, I'm not sure of a situation where I would need them to be. If i'm going on a hike or I'm outside working they'll be on my feet, and if i'm not, they can happily sit under my desk, outside my tent, or in my mudroom. Other than airline travel (and even then they can simply be warn onto the plane), I'm not sure their packability matters much to me. I certainly want my sandals to fit nicely into my pack when not being used, but for me, boots never really have opportunities to get packed.
2. Treads are pretty meh: When the goal is incredible lightness, there can be aspects that get diminished. For the Boulder Boot, this area is the tread. While not bad, they are basic. They aren't particularly grippy, and seem prone to wearing down quicker than your more traditional Vibram designed soles.
The Boulder Boot by Lems Shoes have become my go to boots. They look good, they are exceptionally comfortable, and they can handle all of the adversity of my typical city dwelling routine. While they will never make the packing list of my overnight or extended trips, they are perfect for casual outdoor outings, and situations where you want something more than tennis shoes but less than your Asolos.