Lems Boulder Boots: Minimalist Camping Footwear
You might be asking yourself, “What does this minimalist boot have to do with adventure motorcycling?” The fact is, ADVMoto will review anything we think you would enjoy. I first placed an order for the Lems Boulder Boots not knowing I’d be writing a review for them, but I’ve grown to love them so much that I felt inclined to share my thoughts.
While many dual-sport enthusiasts wear semi-comfortable “adventure-style” moto boots, I’d guess that half, if not most, of us wear motocross footwear for optimum protection. After a long, hot day’s ride I want nothing more than to get out of my sweaty, constricting riding boots, and I’m sure you know the feeling.
So, what do you wear when you’ve reached your destination or campsite? Sneakers? Flip flops? Go barefoot? Here’s a better option: Lems Boulder Boots are perfect to slip into when you’re off the bike, whether you’re at camp or commuting to work. You can spend all day hiking in them, and the ankle coverage will protect you while trotting through poison ivy.
What attracted me to the Boulder Boots was their softness, compactness, and flexibility. The original Lems shoe was designed to be so soft that it could be folded up, even fitting into jacket pockets. The same holds true for the Boulder Boots, although a more sensible place to store them would be a tank- or tail-bag. The sole is made of soft, 9mm air-injection rubber, while the upper part of the boot is made of leather and 1200 denier nylon. One hundred percent cotton lines the inside and a removable 3mm PU insole completes the package. All in all, the Boulder Boots weigh a feathery 9.9 oz. each. Lems calls it the “World’s Most Pack-Able Boot,” and we agree. They’re so light and compact, we’d recommend packing them especially for extended trips.
You’ll appreciate them when you don’t have to explore a new town in your heavy riding boots. Another unique feature to Lems footwear is the wide toe box. Most of my sneakers and especially my European motocross boots really get narrow toward the front. This is necessary to keep your foot from sliding around, but do you need that type of constriction when you’re not being especially active? Kick your shoes off and take a look at your sole, then look at the bottom of your shoe. They’re slightly different shapes, aren’t they?
I tested the Lems at last year’s Touratech Rally East, which turned out to be a formidable proving ground for the Boulder Boot. The event was riddled with rain, keeping the campgrounds soggy the majority of the time. Although Lems claims these boots are not water resistant, they held up while trudging through shallow mud. The morning dew on the grass never penetrated the boots, keeping my feet dry the entire time we were camping at the event. It appears they used some kind of moisture protectant at the factory. I wouldn’t intentionally tread water in them, but for general hiking purposes they work just fine.
The Zero-Rise heel gives a feel similar to walking around in flip flops. The flat profile is more natural, and Lems claims that it could offer less strain on your spine compared to normal tennis shoes (elevated heels force an unnatural heel strike). Inside the boot, the comfy cotton interior kept my feet warm on cooler mornings. While sizing is consistent with most shoe manufacturers, the fit around the ankles is pretty snug, so those with thicker calves probably want to opt for the Lems Primal sneaker model.
The Boulder is not a riding boot. Could you wear them on a quick jaunt into town to run errands? Sure. Just keep in mind they do not offer the rigidity and durability of proper riding boots. Are they safer than riding in flip flops? Absolutely. Scoff if you want, but we know some of you don’t always wear all of your gear, every single time, and we’re guilty of that, too.
Motorcyclist or not, the Lems Boulder is a boot that most will enjoy. Before you buy, check out the interesting story on their website about how and why Lems shoes were created. With a variety of shoe models and colors available, including a full-leather Boulder Boot, Lems has a comfy and cool-looking option for you and your friends. MSRP: $115 LemsShoes.com
▲ Looks great
|▼ Slightly water resistant, but no waterproof models|
|▲ Comfortable to wear and walk in|
|▲ Packable and lightweight|