Lems Shoes Boulder Boot Review

One of the best minimalist products reviewed to date
The Lems Shoes Boulder Boot is a just-above-the-ankle boot available for both men and women. In my over four years of experience writing minimalist footwear reviews, it has not been often that I have nothing to note in the dislike department but I am stumped with the Boulder Boot. They have very quickly become one of my all-time favourite pairs of footwear and I’ve worn them quite often this season already and look forward to many seasons of comfortable, minimalist wear. If you have been looking for a fantastic fitting, cozily comfortable, wonderfully warm and water-resistant boot with great ground feel for a tremendous price, the Boulder Boot is IT!

Quick Details
Price: $115.00 USD
Width: Average to Extra Wide
Sole Thickness: 9.0 mm
Drop: 0 mm
Weight: 7 7/8 oz or 224 grams
Insole: Removable
Sizing: 36–48; Full sizes only; See Lems Size Chart for Sizing
Category: Minimalist Boot

Comfort & Fit
Everything about the Boulder Boot is comfortable from the perfectly padded upper to the wonderful width of the last to the fantastic fit of the lacing system. The boot moves well with my foot and ankle without slipping in the heel or feeling sloppy in the toe box. They feel more like slippers than boots they fit so well.

I fit a size 39 in the Lems Mariner and Sweet Jane, which are both built on the same last as the Boulder Boot, but I chose a size 40 in this product for extra sock room in colder temperatures. The lacing system easily accommodates thin or thick socks without ever feeling loose or too snug.

The Lems 3.0 moisture-wicking insole is removable for extra boot volume but provides a nice thin cushion for the feet as well as additional insulation from freezing ground temperatures.

Barefoot Feel & Function
The LemsRubber™ outsole is fantastically flexible and provides more than enough ground feel for winter conditions. With a 9.0 mm stack height, it is a bit thicker than many of the other minimalist outsoles but it is quite bendy and flexes easily over ground contours while allowing the foot to function naturally inside the boot.

The outsole has a 3.0 mm grip depth which provides sufficient traction for snowy conditions. During this particularly cold and snowy winter, I have not felt the least bit insecure in the grip department while wearing the Boulder Boot.

Weighing in at slightly over 220 grams, these are one of the lightest minimalist products I’ve reviewed and they’re an over-the-ankle boot! Their lightweight is simply amazing.

Upper Qualities
The upper is made of water-resistant nylon with a cotton lining. Water and slush easily beads off the outside but if you step in a puddle that goes up to the laces, your feet will get wet as the water will enter at the junction with the tongue. The non-waterproofness ensures breathability within the boot which keeps sweat from chilling your feet but does limit the depth of puddles one can walk through while keeping dry feet. These boots are wonderfully warm from 0C to -20C (with an additional pair of insulating socks) but also quite comfortable for extended periods at room temperature (with just a thin pair of socks).

There is no break-in period necessary as they were instantly comfortable right out of the box.

The Boulder boot is treated with a water-resistant coating and will wear off over time. A new treatment with a spray of Scotchguard or Nikwax will restore their water-resistance.

Sole Qualities
The outsole is a zero drop, 9.0 mm Lems injection rubber with a 3.0 mm grip depth. They are extremely flexible for this thickness allowing for good ground feel. The last is designed with no arch support at all. The lateral heel features a tougher rubber for enhanced durability in this high-wear area.

Overall Quality
The quality of both the materials and manufacturing is excellent and there are no flaws in the review pair. After many walks in crusty snow, the only sign of wear is that the nylon material along the seam along the top of the boot is just starting to fray. Considering the extreme abrasiveness of this type of use, I can understand this type of wear and am confident that most people will not encounter it in any other season and only if you live in a climate where winter snow crusts significantly.

Style
I adore the styling of the Boulder Boot: functional yet ruggedly fashionable. In fact, they received a completely unsolicited compliment from a friend at a recent outing. They are perfectly suited for a pair of jeans or leggings. They are currently available in black, grey, or brown.

Uses
These boots are the perfect walking companion whether it be around town or around the mountains. They are also comfortable enough for extended standing as I tested them for five continuous hours of standing at a local exhibition. My feet were only the slightest bit tired at the end and perfectly comfortable the entire time.

Value
At $115.00 USD they are priced at the mid-range of minimalist footwear and the ultra-low range of minimalist boots. Considering how comfortable and versatile these are, they are an incredible value!

Summary
Lems Shoes has a colossally winning product with their Boulder Boot. They are amazingly comfortable, fit fantastically, and have great ground feel. They are both water-resistant and breathable allowing them to be useful for a variety of conditions from indoor standing to hiking in extremely cold winter temperatures. And they’re available in three colours! They very quickly became one of my favourite minimalist products of all-time.

For more information about the Boulder Boot, you can check out the Lems Shoes website.

5 thoughts on “Lems Shoes Boulder Boot Review

  1. natasha

    Hi Tina
    I am just educating myself on alignment after some complications from child birth. I live in Alberta too (Calgary) and am wondering whether you know of any barefoot or minimalist shoe stores in the province.

    Currently, I am working on correcting my standing and walking skills, but hope to run barefoot some day once my injuries are healed. I am beyond excited to have found a possible solution to my problems and was very happy to see there is someone in my area who teaches barefoot running. I’m wondering whether you can also work with someone regarding alignment and walking gait analysis?

    thanks!

    1. Tina Post author

      Hi Natasha,
      I emailed you to discuss shoes and walking. Please feel free to call me at the number I sent you.
      Tina

  2. Sarah M

    I’m moving to Canada (Kelowna, BC) from Calfornia for school this Fall. I’ve been wearing minimalist footwear for a bit over a year now, but I haven’t needed winter shoes yet, so your reviews are really helpful. There aren’t that many minimalist winter boots out there, and the websites (and other reviewers) don’t always give all of the information one needs to decide if they are a good choice. (Especially temperature ratings and how they hold up in snow.) Based on this review and your winter minimalist boot comparison, I’m thinking of getting the Boulder Boots!

  3. Michelle

    I’m new to minimalist footwear and I need to buy some winter boots for our heavy Michigan winters to keep up my walking regimen. Thank you for this detailed review!! It is sooo tough to find winter boot recommendations on the web that are this informative. Thanks!!!

  4. Basia Kowal

    Hello fellow Albertan, I stumbled upon your website, as I am looking at investing in Vivobarefoot running shoes for the Powderface and 5 peaks races in 2017. I was looking at Vivo’s winter boots, do you have any experience with VIVO? how to they compare to the boulder boot? thanks in advance

    kindest regards
    Basia

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