Monday, October 29, 2012

Ancestral Footwear: Leming Footwear Review

Things have been so busy lately, so I've got a number of reviews of some great products backed up.  Today I'm finally getting to a review of a really great shoe.  And to quote my wife.."Wow... you actually have some minimalist shoes that don't look goofy!!"

The shoes she was talking about?  The shoe from Leming Footwear (formerly Stem Footwear). And I have to say, these are some of the most comfortable minimalist shoes I've worn.  Leming (which is short for Level & Flat, Extra wide toe box, and Minimal design), has created a super comfortable, casual shoe for those of us that can never return to a lifted heel, over cushioned shoe.

While these shoes weren't specifically designed as a running shoe, I did take a short run in them just to get a feel.  They performed well, and were really comfortable... BUT.. the whole time I was worried about getting them too dirty... lol.  Since that time, these have become my "go to" shoe for every day wear.  They look great, and I love the wide toe box, light weight, and great proprioception that comes from a super flexible shoe.

From a specifications standpoint, the Leming's weigh in at 6.3 oz and have a total stack height of 8.5mm, but that includes the insole which I would estimate is around 3mm.  The insole is used as a sizing tool (similar to the GoLite Dart Lite), so that if you leave it in, it fits better for a narrow to medium width foot, and remove it for a medium to wide foot.  I tried it both ways, and preferred the shoe without the insole. Fit was great, and I generally wear socks with them.  However, if you wanted to wear these barefoot, you certainly could as the stitching inside is very smooth, and the shoe is machine washable.

The obligatory flexibility test photo...
So... if you are looking for a really comfortable, and truly minimalist casual shoe, I think the Leming's are a great choice.  They function as a great casual shoe (and I've worn them bike riding as well).  Currently, Leming offers just the one style (for men and women), but I am hoping that sometime in the future they may put out other styles, and perhaps some running specific shoes. 

For you minimalist shoe folks out there... what is your favorite casual shoe? Besides barefoot of course :-) Let me know!

Happy trails!



  1. Hey Jeff, it sounds like a cool shoe.
    I've just gone down the minimalist path and thus currently only own the Inov-8 Trailroc 235. Ive done about 30km in them, a recent 10km in about 41min as the longest so far but I must say I love them. There is just something about the feel of them. If you want to check out my blogger it is ThisFishCanRun.

    Cheers and great posting

  2. These look pretty good Jeff, how's the stitching around the toe holding up? Looks a bit vunerable, only from the pictures mind you.

    I just got the Vivobarefoot Gobi and they're the best barefoot casual shoes I've tried so far. I liked the Ra but the Gobi just looks a lot more stylish.

    Got into the whole barefoot thing via Vibrams but haven't looked back since ditching them!

    1. Stitching seems pretty strong so far, but we'll see how it holds up over time. The quality of construction seems really good, but we'll see how it holds up over time.

  3. I wear a pair of Vivobarefoot (mostly black- forget the type) for work (I teach 2nd grade) and also a pair of Clarks. I don't remember the style of Clarks either- unfortunately I can't find them anywhere. I just tore through my 2nd pair in 3 years of heavy, heavy use (I really don't stop moving at work!!). I'm going to check out the Leming site now!!

  4. Hi Jeff, nice blog! Lems (I bought them under the name Leming) are an awesome shoe. I stopped counting km, but I've easily gone over 1000miles on them. The sole is good on soft trail, but on mud or wet rocks they're slippery as heck!
    They're still glued well, a bit unglued in the front, but is caused by stumbles with roots :D
    I've machine washed like 3 times and still perfect.

    Run free

  5. Great post full of useful tips! My site is fairly new and I am also having a hard time getting my readers to leave comments. Analytics shows they are coming to the site but I have a feeling “nobody wants to be first”. I'm in love with their boots

  6. A couple of comments..I fast walked yesterday for 16 kms in competition, the concrete surface is hard under the foot soles over those kms, and one bridge, covered with frost was very slippery. Shoes are very comfortable. Cheers, Anne

  7. It was really insightful.
    Thanks for such a nice content.
    BTW if anyone interested more have a look theshoesfinder thanks


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