Lems Shoes

Lems Shoes
Not my feet. Image stolen from lemsshoes.com

I have super-wide feet (2E+), so finding shoes that actually fit is difficult – usually having to size up a whole, or even 1.5 sizes in "normal" shoes to accommodate the width of my hobbit feet. Most of the Lems range are designed around a wide toebox format built to 2E width, so when I discovered them back in 2020 I just had to try them.

Unlike traditional footwear that squeeze the toes together, our foot-shaped toe box allows for maximum room giving the toes ultimate freedom to wiggle and spread.

They're also zero-drop, which is apparently a thing trendy fitness-type people care about.

Shoes designed to be... actually foot shaped. Who knew.

Primal 2

The Primal 2s are a little too sports minimalist for my taste, but they're the first shoes I ever wore that felt like they fitted my feet. I wore these daily for a long time – they're super comfortable, but the soles are a bit too barefoot for me.

Chukka Canvas

Lems Chukka Canvas

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By far the most meh of all the Lems shoes I own, the Chukka Canvas were quickly relegated to garden and DIY duty and very nearly put me off Lems shoes altogether. The problems: lack of volume in the forefoot combined with a lack of stretch in the canvas makes them tight under the laces, and the back of the collar is in exactly the wrong place, digging into my achilles tendon and rapidly causing pain, discomfort, and blisters.

Chillum

These instantly became my daily drivers, and I can't recommend them highly enough. Super versatile shoes, they look decent with either jeans or shorts. The only downside: that cork footbed they come with feels nasty. I just swapped in the regular insoles from the Chukka's I hardly ever wear – problem solved.

Outlander Boots

Lems Outlander boots

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Really pleased with these boots. IMO they're nicer in-person than in the pictures online. I have a few pairs of Lems now: Primal 2, Chillum, Chukka, and now these Outlanders too. These Outlander's aren't cheap, but from first impressions these are a step up in construction and build quality compared to the others. The one downside to the Outlanders is the waterproof lining: they can get hot, and there's a seam down the middle of the heel, which can rub a little.

Sizing


I have the Primal 2 in a 9UK and the Chillum in a 9.5UK. The Chillums and Primal 2s fit me just right. I went for the Outlanders in 9UK.

Length-wise the Outlander in a 9UK is about the same as the Chillum in 9.5UK, and a few mm longer than the Primal 2 in a 9UK - perfect for my 276 mondopoint feet.

Width-wise the Outlanders fit a touch narrower than both the Chillum/Primal 2, and have a lower volume in the forefoot (possibly just because there's a more substantial upper with less give in it). That makes the Outlanders a snug fit for my wide feet, but I strongly suspect they'll give a little as they wear in. Removing the insole makes them roomy enough to be comfortable with thick-ish (snowboard) socks.