Long-time readers will recall that I am rather a fan of the footwear that Lems produces. I reviewed their Boulder Boots over on WWR originally (seen here), and I’ve liked those so much that I picked up another pair in waterproof leather. We’ve also written about their Primal line before (seen here), but this new version – the Lems Primal Zen – seems like the route I’d go, personally.
The great thing about what Lems produces – as opposed to other “barefoot style” shoes – is that they actually have some cushion under your feet. If you want to feel every bump, crack, and rock on the ground you’re traversing, more power to you. Me, I don’t mind a little bit of cushion from all of that. So, how are these barefoot style then? One, they have a zero-drop profile, meaning the front of your foot and your heel are level to each other. Secondly, they have a wider toebox, allowing your toes to spread out as you move through the world.
It all adds up to a shoe that is super comfortable, and biomechanically better for your foot. The Primal has always been their lighter-weight shoe, but with the Lems Primal Zen they’ve added a bit more cushion, and redesigned the sole some. In other words, this feels like a shoe that would be perfect for someone who’s curious about what a zero-drop style feels like, and also wants something that’s super light (perhaps to pack along for a trip).
With the breathable mesh built into the Lems Primal Zen, these also look like they’ll be good shoes for the warmer weather ahead. You’ve got two colors (black and white) that seem a little more aimed at in-the-city usage, while the brown-and-green color combo seems like they’re aiming you towards the outdoors. These will go for $120 when they land (sometime in April); in the meantime, you can check them out over at lemsshoes.com
Details from Lems
- Last: Lems Natural-Shape™ Last
- Upper: Microfiber & air mesh
- Lining: 100% polyester
- Outsole: 9.5mm LemsRubber™ (air-injection rubber)
- Insole: Ultra-thin 0.8mm cork top layer with 3.0mm PU under layer
- Stack Height: 11.0mm (not including 3.0mm insole)
- Drop: 0.0mm (Zero-Drop)
- Weight: 8.2 oz (Men’s 10)
- Tongue: Gusseted
- Vegan: Yes