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Lems Primal 2 Shoe Review

Lems Primal 2 Shoe Review

Review by: Stein Langlie

The Good

Out of the box I was surprised by the Lems Primal 2. They look like a casual pleather shoe that you could wear around the office and indeed I did this. It doesn’t end with looks though. The Lems are ultra-flexible and a fit great. The heel counter feels secure and my toes have lots of wiggle room; exactly what I like. Zero drop and zero arch support seems to promote a light foot strike, which is always welcome – and walking in them is like walking on your bare feet. These shoes offer great ground feel and have a tough rubber outsole that should last quite a while. The insole is removable and they breathe well too.

The Bad

It’s winter in Maryland and I had to choose between running on uneven frozen ground or pavement/sidewalk, choosing with the pavement because frozen lawns seem to promote ankle turns. I also run in the dark sometimes so pavement was the only sane choice in both circumstances. What I’m getting at is that my feet and lower legs got a little beat up every time I ran more than 4 miles on the road. I’m probably just getting old and soft, but the Lems are truly minimal. Another small minus was a slight yellowish stain that the insole left on the bottom of my socks; of course nobody but me will see the yellow but insole artwork should not bleed.


These shoes make you feel grounded and are definitely made for the nature boy or girl, and they’re vegan! If you like minimal you will like the Lems Primal 2; they feel like less shoe than my Merrells but more shoe than Vibrams. While not a featherweight, at 8.5 Oz for my size 10.5 their light feel belies their sturdy construction. If you’re an experienced “barefoot” runner (I put Vibrams in this category) then you can certainly run long distances in the Primal 2 but for the rest of us these shoes are more suited for shorter runs, soft surfaces, the gym or as casual wear. For $80-$95 you can get them online.

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Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. Cathal says:

    Nice review – however I don’t think the fact that your feet and calves aren’t quite ready for longer distance minimal running should be a con against the shoes.

    Happy trails 🙂

  2. Junia says:

    Sore feet were not the shoes fault, but rather the result of either a faulty running style or lack of conditioning. I can walk and run barefooted on pavement without a problem.

    1. I think Stein is saying, he hasn’t conditioned his feet for running minimal and that it is a negative for him with the shoe. He is not implying that the shoe is the cause.

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February 15, 2015

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