Thursday, January 2, 2014

Gear Review - Lems Primal 2 Shoes

With the start of the new year, I know that a lot of you are beginning walking, running and exercise programs. Sometimes it's difficult to know what type of shoes to wear.   Today I have a guest post from my mom, who is doing a gear review on Lems Primal 2 Shoes and I thought you'd like to hear about them.  Mom says these are by far the most comfortable shoes she's ever worn and if you're looking for a great walking shoe - this may fit your needs.  Read her review and decide for yourself....

I was recently given the opportunity to test out a pair of Lems Primal 2 shoes in their sky blue color.  Check them out.....

I admit that I hadn't heard of Lems shoes before this gear opportunity so I immediately went to their website to find out more about them.  First of all, they are a family owned company that is dedicated to creating and providing a quality shoe that fits the natural shape of your foot.  Lems shoes are made with less, but actually give you so much more.  Let me explain.

In designing their unique shoes, the folks at Lems have taken away

  • heel elevation which can be harmful in athletic shoes
  •  toe spring which incorrectly causes your toes to curve up from the ground
  •  tapered toe box which creates a narrow toe area 
  •  "curved last" which is basically a cut out area in the middle of the foot that in turn denies proper use of a weight bearing bone
  • shoe stiffness, added weight and bulk
Here are the specs from the Lems website:

Last:  LemsLast™ foot-shaped
Upper:  Microsuede + open-weave mesh (100% vegan)
Sole:  8.0mm LemsRubber™ injection rubber
Insole: Optional removable 3.0mm MoistureWick foam
Lining: 100% Moisture-wicking polyester
Stack Height: 8.0mm (without removable insole)
Drop: 0.0mm
Weight: 6.9oz (size 43)
Width: 4.2-4.4" (size 43)
So what does all this mean?  Let me tell you.  Right out of the box, I loved the blue color, although they also come in black, brown or frost. The shoes are extremely lightweight and flexible.  If you're packing them in a suitcase you can easily roll them up and stuff them in a corner of the suitcase where they will take up practically no room at all.  But I think you'd really prefer to wear them. 

Womens Primal 2 Sky
These shoes are ultra comfortable.  I'm a bare-foot girl from way back.  I'm one of those people who never wears slippers and if I'm out in the yard, well, I never have shoes on.  Lems shoes are the next best thing to being barefoot because they are so lightweight.  You honestly forget you have shoes on.  I loved the extra toe room.  I never felt like my toes were squished.  I have trouble wearing shoes for more than a couple of hours due to an injury several years ago that resulted in a broken bone on the outside edge of my left foot.  Usually by the end of a shoe-wearing-day my left foot is aching and sore.  I never noticed any discomfort with the Lems

Womens Primal 2 Sky

Since I liked the Lems shoes so much for general use, I wondered how they would perform as a running shoe and decided to give them a workout.  I tried using them both on my treadmill and outdoors and for me, personally, they didn't provide enough shock absorption in the sole.   I inquired about the use of the Primal 2's as a "running" shoe and Lems did inform me that  "Although the Primal 2 is not marketed as a running shoe, it is often used in such a way.  We recently had a customer run a marathon in the Primal 2's.  I would not recommend using them as go to running shoe unless you are accustomed to barefoot style shoes.  However; if one has been using minimalist footwear for awhile, there is nothing wrong with using the Primal 2 as a running shoe."  I think it will be more a matter of personal preference on whether you want to use the Primal 2's as an everyday shoe and/or a running shoe.  As far as an everyday shoe - they cannot be beat.  I love them!
Pros:  I like the mesh on top, the breath-ability and the flexible soles.  Most of all I loved how light weight they are and the feel of extra toe room.  By far one of the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn.  Also, their customer service is excellent.  They have very good response times for questions and inquiries.

Womens Primal 2 Sky
Cons:  Lems is in the process of switching from US size grading to European and I found their current size chart difficult to decipher.  I inquired about the reason for the chart change and explained my difficulty with it.  I received a quick response from the folks at Lems who said "European sizing believe it or not is a little more accurate than US sizing.  With that being said, we understand that some people have trouble in deciphering what size they need based on our website and we are currently in the process of redesigning the sizing chart with a print out that allows potential customers to measure their foot."    So you can see that they are aware of a sizing chart difficulty and they are actively working to correct that.  As I said - great customer service!
Go visit the Lems website and go like their FB page.

I was provided a pair of the Lems Primal 2 shoes for review purposes and asked to give an honest review.  All opinions are my own.  All photos are property of Lems and cannot be reproduced.