When it comes to minimalist footwear, probably the hardest type of shoes to find is a pair of boots that will keep your feet warm in freezing conditions, have a decent grip on slippery icy conditions, while providing the benefits of minimal footwear that most barefooters love: light weight, flexibility, comfort, freedom of movement and zero heel drop.

I have had a chance to try a pair of Lems Boulder Boots (Amber Blue) in Toronto winter conditions over the last couple of weeks and I can tell you I have not been disappointed. Once again, the guys at Lems have proven that they are committed to delivering good quality products for the minimalist footwear fans

Following is a summary of my experience:

Quick Stats

  • Last: LemsLast™ foot-shaped
  • Upper: 40% Nylon + 60% Leather
  • Water Resistant: Yes
  • Sole: 9.0mm LemsRubber™ injection rubber
  • Insole: Optional removable 3.0mm MoistureWick foam
  • Lining: 100% Cotton
  • Stack Height: 9.0mm
  • Drop: 0.0mm
  • Weight: 9.9 oz (size 43)
  • Width: 4.2-4.4″ (size 43)

Style and Features

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The Boulder Boots follow the same general moccasin-style of the Lems Mariner, with the obvious difference of a high top that goes over the ankle. They come in 5 colour choices: Amber Blue, Buckeye, Navy Stout, Brown, and Black. They feature padded cotton lining, which helps keep your feet and ankles warm. Because of their classic, casual look, they lend themselves to be worn out on a hike in the woods, as well as casual footwear with jeans around the city.

Weighing only 9.9oz (size 43) and stack height of 9mm, the Boulder Boot is arguably the lightest boot in the market. The upper is made of water-resistant nylon and full-grain leather to keep away moisture. They are also extremely flexible thanks to their air-infused rubber (LemsRubber™) soles that allow them to bend and twist in every possible direction you want. The criss-cross tread pattern on the soles provide good grip, even on snowy and icy conditions – very important for winter use up here in Canada.

The outside sole about 17/32” (9 mm) thick, and they feature thin permanent insoles. The removable insoles are a nice option for extra cushioning; remove them if you like an enhanced ground feel underfoot, as well as extra wiggle room for your toes.

Even though they are not water-proof (only water resistant) I was very pleased with the way they handled deep snow, puddles and slush around Toronto. My feet never got overly cold and never felt wet.


Good performance in deep snow



Good grip in compact snow



Good foot protection in wet, slushy conditions



Good grip on icy sidewalks


Lems has an “Eco-Rule of 50%”; which means they strive for less than 50% consumption in their manufacturing and distribution practises, compared to other footwear manufacturers.
I noticed that both the material and the craftsmanship are of good quality. The boot look and feel well finished and durable.

The Boulders are easy to clean and maintain as they are made out of durable materials, which withstand regular use in different conditions.

Cost & Availability

They have a retail price of US$115.00 and they are available online via the manufacturer’s web site: www.lemshoes.com – they offer affordable worldwide shipping.

Fit / Comfort

The Boulder fit me perfectly right out of the box. The soft and supple finishes inside the boots make them perfect for wearing without socks. I did notice a bit of rubbing around the Achilles tendon when I wore them without socks right out of the box, that went away after a few more uses with socks on.

The wide toe-box truly allows your toes to move freely and comfortably. Personally, I like the fact that they have laces, since this gives me the option to fit them more snug to my feet if I know I will be going for a long walk. Mostly, I leave them untied so I can kick them off and put them back on in a split second when needed.

For best fitting, make sure you refer to the Lems Sizing Chart. Carefully measure your feet and take a look at some of your regular shoes for sizing accuracy. It worked for me very well when ordering my Boulders.

Because of their highly flexible soles and overall construction, these boots also provide a great range of movement, allowing your feet to perform more naturally and comfortably.

Final Words

I love these boots. As I mentioned before, for years, I’ve been looking for a pair of minimal boots that will not only feel comfortable but also have the required ruggedness for Canadian weather. Due to their versatility, they are perfect to wear from mid fall to early spring.

If you are into minimalist footwear and looking for quality boots, then I would highly recommend the Lems Boulder.