Episode 59: Lems - The Outlander
Updated: Jul 26, 2022
The Outlander waterproof hiking boot just looks so damn good. As soon as I saw the color options I knew I would love the Evergreen model. It's the perfect blend of autumn, outdoorsy, nature vibes. The boot itself is a wonderful shape, with plenty toe box room and excellent tread. It definitely does not have a minimalist sole (16mm plus 4.5mm insole) but for a boot that looks quite hefty, it's surprisingly flexible, light, and doesn't restrict the natural movement of your feet or ankles. I would say it's a great transition boot for those just starting with barefoot shoe footwear or for experienced barefooter's who just want a more rugged hiking boot while maintaining barefoot qualities. They look great as well with an every day casual outfit so they can definitely be worn to work or school. These boots will definitely be well worn and well loved over the next years.
Priced at $190, these boots will be an excellent investment to add to your hiking or everyday casual footwear.
Lems is one of the most loved and renowned companies in the barefoot community, and has not long branched out to provide their customers additional models to their existing models - the much loved Boulder, Mariner, Primal 2 and Nine2Five. They have recently added a slip on the Drifter as well as a casual sneaker the Chillum, in addition to a mid height Boulder boot, as well as a waterproof, and a leather version.
Click here for the Lem's site.
Disclaimer: These shoes were given to me to review, however my opinion is my own. This page uses affiliate links, and by purchasing from an affiliate link, I will receive a small commission which doesn't cost you anything. Thank you, and enjoy the read!
"In 2008, Lems’ creator, Andrew Rademacher, reached his end point searching for shoes that fit the natural shape of the foot. Starting out by dissecting his favorite running shoes and cutting out the extra, unnecessary material, Andrew decided to learn the art and science of shoemaking in his own way. He studied shoe fitting, last construction, and pattern making so that he would be able to design his shoes to fit like no other on the market.
Andrew began to realize that the big shoe brands had it all wrong. Shoes should be built around the natural shape of the human foot, and not the other way around. This meant that a shoe should be widest at the forefoot and toes, while allowing for full flexibility and unrestricted movement.
After three years of research, countless hours of design and dozens of prototypes, Andrew’s unwavering focus finally paid off. In September 2011, Lems released its first product – the Primal. Though the company has come a long way since that original design, Andrew continues to study his art while staying true to his mission of making naturally fitting footwear that allows your feet the freedom to be just as nature intended."
Manufacturing and Sustainability:
"As a product that thrives most when used in nature, it is of vital importance to Lems to also promote the wellbeing of nature in everything we do. Sustainability is a driving force in every decision we make, from our packaging to our physical product. We promote sustainability in the following ways:
Vegan Materials: While all of our shoes are not 100% vegan, we aspire to use vegan materials as often as possible. We currently produce five fully vegan styles, and plan to continually increase that number.
Recycled Product: To combat the creation of new materials, we perpetually seek to integrate recycled materials into as many of our shoes as possible. The Chukka Canvas is our newest and most eco-friendly shoe!
Soles4Souls: "Soles4Souls turns unwanted shoes and clothing into opportunity, by keeping them from going to waste and putting them to good use - providing relief, creating jobs and empowering people to break the cycle of poverty." - Soles4Souls.org. Giving our shoes a second life with those who are most in need is one of the contributions we are most proud of. Not only do we donate unused pairs, but we encourage the Lems community to donate to this impactful nonprofit as well.
Everyday we work towards the mission of being a fully sustainable company, and are constantly in search of ways to further that goal. At Lems, we take full advantage of all that nature provides, and we feel it’s critical to return that favor." See more here
Shipping and Returns:
U.S Shipping (5-10 business days) We offer free domestic ground shipping!
Canada Standard Service (10-16 days)
International Standard Service (14-28 days)
Please note that during the holidays, we will continue to offer a 90-day return policy on all purchases!
Returns for your UNWORN shoes for a full refund on the retail price only, minus $8.00 for the return shipping label. Please note, shoes returned with any wear and tear, including dirt, scuffs, scratches and other signs of wear will not be refunded, exchanged, or credited and will be returned to the customer.
CLEARANCE SHOES WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED FOR RETURNS OR EXCHANGES.
Return shipping labels are only valid for US customers.
If you are an international customer, please request a return on our site (in the form below), and return your shoes to us at the address provided via the automated return confirmation email and return the shoes at your own cost.
Color's give off nature vibes
Attractive boot / Aesthetically pleasing
Not very minimalist, quite a thick sole
Generously wide toe box
Flexible for quite a solid hiking boot (heel is slightly more rigid but doesn't affect gait)
Excellent tread - 4mm deep rubber lugs with zig-zag grooves
100% water proof
Here you can see the Outlanders flexibility compared to their other new model, The Primal Zen.
Sizing and Fit:
**I'm generally a women's size EU 39 and a US 8. My foot length is 25cm and width is 9.5cm, regular volume feet.**
The sizing for Lem's shoes are a bit funky, so I would recommend choosing a size based on their sizing chart. I'm wearing the Lem's women's 9.5 and they fit me pefectly! Lem's say that the Outlander fits the same as the Primal 2 and if the Primal 2 a bit roomy then size down a half size. And in comparison to the Boulder boots, the Outlander fits longer than the Casual Sole styles.
Indeed the Outlander length and toe box area feel much roomier and spacious compared to the Boulder boot.
I can confidently say that the Outlander is a true hiking boot. It has excellent traction and grip on steep terrains with loose rock and dirt. I generally prefer to wear sandals as hiking shoes on warmer days (it's spring now but already quite hot), but since we were hiking in an area full of thorns, shrubbery and lose rock/dirt I decided to wear the Outlander and was so glad I did. I think one of my favorite parts of the shoes is ZERO break in time. Barefoot shoes are generally so flexible and feel organic with your foot almost immediately that they require little to no break in time. No more chaffing or blisters on hikes after wearing the Outlander boot!
I actually didn't mind having the thicker sole while hiking since I barely noticed it and and still enjoyed a bit of ground feel. I only really notice how thick the sole is when I am wearing the boot for casual strolls. While the heel part of the sole is slightly more rigid than the rest of the sole, I don't feel that it affected my gate in any sort of way. My toes had plenty room to splay, there was great flexibility and traction, and overall sizing just felt perfect.
Waterproofing: 100% - breathable waterproof membrane
Last: Lems Natural-Shape™ Last
Upper: Nylon and leather
Lining: Polyester with waterproof membrane
Outsole: Winter traction outsole with 4mm lugs and zig-zag siping
Insole: 4.5mm Adventure insole
Stack Height: 16.0mm (not including 4.5mm insole)
Drop: 0.0mm (Zero-Drop)
Weight: 14.7 oz (Women's 11.5)
Care & Treatment: Otter Wax or Nikwax
Sizes available: 4.5-15
Colors Available: Evergreen/blue steel/iceberg. Evergreen shown.
Flexibility; semi flexible+, heel slightly more rigid than rest of sole
Can feel warm on a hot day
Would love to see this boot in a more minimalist thinner soled option. It's quite thick and would enjoy a thinner option as someone who enjoys wearing more minimalist shoes.
Where and How to Wear:
The Outlander is a wonderful choice for any outdoor adventure (I prefer to wear on cooler days), from hiking to a casual stroll in the park. It's thick rubber lugs and waterproof materials make for a great hiking companion in almost every terrain. It's warm, yet breathable, so I would recommend this boot for autumn and winter or even spring days. It's very aesthetically pleasing and can be worn casually with any every day outfit if you like the more rugged look. I love how it looks with hiking pants or a pair of jeans.
Click here to purchase the Outlander
Overall I am so impressed with the Outlander boot. Not only can it be worn on hikes with serious terrains, but it can also be worn as a casual every day boot since it looks that good!
The traction on the boot is excellent in rough terrains, and the roominess, lightness and flexibility for a rugged looking boot is pleasantly surprising! The Outlander is an awesome addition to my barefoot shoe closet and I'm sure it'll be a favorite of yours too!