Down ‘N Dirty: Lems Boulder Boot

The Boulder Boot checks all the boxes for a well-rounded, comfortable, durable shoe. It is highly packable, zero drop (more below), and looks great. It’s my go-to shoe for shorter hikes, camping, walking around town, and traveling. I’ve gotten compliments on them while waiting in line at a Bakery in London, and on the trails in New Mexico.

I live in a van full time and am in constant need of space. The Boulder Boot packs down because of it’s pliable sole. This sole also allows for more natural movement of the foot while walking. I am a huge fan of natural movement to promote alignment and prevent injury. I am also a huge fan of saving space with such tight quarters.

I travel with these boots often because they are so easy to pack. I recently took them on a trip to London and Sri Lanka, and not so recently to the East Coast and Costa Rica. They are easy to wear on the plane, take on and off, they can be worn for a long time and still be comfortable, and they look great with any travel outfit.

Let’s talk minimalism. Zero drop means there is no distance “dropped” from your heel to your toe. Most shoes have some level of ‘drop’ to them, even if they aren’t high heels. It can take some getting used to. If you have any pre-existing foot or alignment issues, consult a doctor before trying minimalist shoes. Along with zero drop, they also have a wide toe box and flexible sole. Lems sells Correct Toes on their site if you really want to go down the alignment rabbit hole.

The Boulder Boot is made out of 1200 denier nylon, cotton, leather, and their proprietary LemsRubber. The all black color is vegan-friendly, while they also offer a full leather version (slightly more expensive). There is no waterproofing but will withstand some splashing.


Pros: Lightweight, minimalist construction, fashionable, easy to travel with. I don’t mind wearing mine for 24 hour travel days. The darker colors look clean for a long time, and the leather ages nicely. They are wide and flexible enough for natural movement. They look great and I can wear them with any outfit I travel with. They can roll up and pack into small spaces most boots won’t fit into.

Cons: They are not waterproof like other hikers, but you can waterproof them aftermarket. After two years of wear, there are some stains on the lighter outer and rips in the plaid inside fabric.

Where We Took Them: Sri Lanka, London, Costa Rica, East Coast, Colorado and surrounding states, a van for two years.

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